Susie Stoddart admits she was disappointed not to maximise her potential around her home Brands Hatch circuit after qualifying 17th on the grid for the fourth round of the DTM.
One of the weekend's big attractions, the sophomore competitor returns to the Kent circuit with an eye on impressing the home fans but has been unable to find the limit of her Mucke Motorsport run Mercedes C-Class.
Indeed, with qualifying proving remarkably close around the short Indy configuration, mistakes are proving very costly, as Stoddart found out when issues in morning practice forced the team to go a one way with the set-up, a move that instead turned into a disadvantage.
“I'm not happy at all with my position,” she told Crash.net Radio
. “It was a real disappointment because we had problems with the car in the test this morning, so we had to do something and we made a change for qualifying but unfortunately it didn't work and I had really bad oversteer. It isn't what we wanted at all and it is quite disappointing, but now I just have to focus on getting a good car for the race.”
Stoddart had set her sights on a spot in the second knockout session, but was frustrated to find herself struggling on a track that has favoured rivals Audi thus far this weekend and hasn't proved too kind to the 2005-specification cars.
“We weren't completely on the pace, but for me getting into the next session and qualify somewhere between 12th and 14th would have been acceptable and I think that was realistic too. It was disappointing not to make it through.”
Still, the Scot is remaining confident for the race and although she is placing plenty of emphasis on the importance of strategy, she accepts that 'anything can happen'.
“Anything can happen in the race and strategy is very important and because Brands is such a short lap, traffic is so important. A good start is important here too because it is very difficult to overtake here and unless there is a safety car or a small crash at the start, it is very difficult to move ground up. I think I can finish inside the top 14 in the race though.”