The Spain barrier
PUBLISHED: 12:08 12 June 2008 | UPDATED: 08:30 02 June 2010
WISBECH racing driver Liam McMillan finished all three SEAT Supercopa races at Jerez in southern Spain at the weekend, which is more than can be said for many of his rivals who fell prey to the incredible heat, hard racing and strict race officials. Raci
WISBECH racing driver Liam McMillan finished all three SEAT Supercopa races at Jerez in southern Spain at the weekend, which is more than can be said for many of his rivals who fell prey to the incredible heat, hard racing and strict race officials.
Racing his Triple R SEAT Leon Cupra, the 18-year-old completed three races, each featuring 30 cars.
He finished 14th and 19th on Sunday and 24th on Saturday.
This was McMillan's first experience of the Andalusia track, but after learning his way around in Friday's free practise sessions, he was significantly quicker in qualifying on Saturday.
But he was one of 19 drivers who had their best qualifying times disallowed for cutting a corner.
McMillan started the first of three races from 19th on the grid, but the race was red-flagged after two laps following an accident.
In a shortened race, McMillan was hit from behind after the re-start and forced to make a pit stop.
Despite damage to the back of his car, McMillan rejoined the race and finished 24th.
Sunday's two seven-lap races were expected to be the hottest of the entire season, with the air temperature hitting 34dC and a track surface temperature of 47dC. While some drivers picked up more time penalties during the races, McMillan completed two good races without a problem - racing hard and well against aggressive local Spanish opposition.
At one stage his Leon Cupra cut to safe mode as the engine temperature hit 115dC, and despite enormous cockpit temperatures McMillan coolly finished 19th and 14th.
McMillan said: "It was a strange weekend because with so many cars having their times disallowed in qualifying and more time penalties imposed during the races, you didn't really know where you were going to start a race from or where you were going to end up in the results.
"But I'm pleased to have learnt another new circuit and finished all three races.
"It's a very fast and technical track; we were fastest through one of the speed traps at 128mph, so we have good pace in the car.
"I'm looking forward to the rest of the season because I've been to all the remaining Spanish circuits and won't have to learn the layout of the tracks, so I should be on the pace straight away."
McMillan's next Supercopa race weekend will be at Albacete in central Spain on June 28 and 29.
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