Scottish Mini Cooper Cup driver Taelor Shand has experienced her best weekend of the season at Rockingham. Taelor took full advantage of the series one meeting away from Knockhill by showing excellent speed all weekend, culminating in a sixth-place result in race two. Hot conditions throughout the meeting made the racing even tougher, nonetheless Shand built on her solid 12th place qualifying effort by finishing in ninth in race one, before a crazy last lap saw her finish sixth on the road in the second and final race of the weekend, before she was promoted post-race into the top-5.
The weekend started off promisingly with Taelor showing great speed in testing leading up to the weekend which would be a sign of things to come. In qualifying, Shand was quick from the outset and immediately jumped inside the top-10 with her first lap of the session. Even with the high tyre wear at Rockingham, Taelor managed to improve her lap time midway through the session which ended up being good enough for a 12th place starting spot, the best of her season to date. Being within a second of the third place driver, Shand knew there would be opportunities to move forward during the races with the field so close.
Starting from the sixth row of the grid, Shand didn’t make the best start at the beginning of race one and fell to 13th position at the end of the opening lap as the safety car was deployed. When the race resumed, Taelor immediately picked up two positions to move into 11th, before moving inside the top-10 by the end of lap five. Despite her best efforts to close up to the pack of the drivers ahead of her, Shand just run out of time and crossed the line in 10th, setting her fastest lap of the race on the final lap. Following a post-race stewards decision which led to the exclusion of a driver ahead of her, Taelor was delighted to move up to ninth and was full of confidence ahead of race two.
Aiming to move forward at the start of race two, Taelor made a much better start and enjoyed a positive first lap which saw her move up to seventh by the end of lap one. A number of close battles during the middle portion of the race saw Shand move back to ninth by the end of lap, however still within touching distance of the drivers ahead due to the competitive nature of the championship. Taelor was then able to capitalise on a final lap incident ahead which saw her move up to finish in sixth, a fantastic result which was fully deserved after her impressive pace throughout the course of the weekend. Following the conclusion of the race, Shand was promoted to fifth to secure her best result of the Scottish Mini Cooper Cup season.
Taelor will be thrilled with the pace she has shown over the course of the weekend with two strong top-10 results to show for it. It has been a season of highs and lows for the Scottish Mini Cooper Cup driver, but this meeting has proved that Shand has the speed to contend for potential podiums as the season progresses. With the next round of the championship taking place at Knockhill in just two weeks’ time, Taelor will be keen to ensure she maintains this momentum in search of even better results.