So I think this was the first weekend where good weather was actually predicting sunny weather!! We had qualifying and a race on Saturday and then a warm up and a race on Sunday.
On Saturday I went out for qualifying and after the 3rd lap someone dropped a load of coolant up over the ride and into Quarry, which caused the MG ZR of Stephen Dowler to go into the tyre wall straight ahead and the Fiesta of Kelly Williams to spin in front of me and go into the tyre wall to the left. Luckily I span to the right and managed to avoid everything and continue on. The safety car soon came out and we had 5 laps under the safety car whilst cars were recovered and the drivers looked after! I didn’t really get into things after that and did a 1:24.576 on my last lap which isn’t too bad and put me 4th in class and 17th overall.
I got a pretty decent start but had to lift off or be pushed off so lost a little ground. I managed to stick in my position for a lap then and then managed to get around the outside of Russell Poynter-Brown in his Corsa going around Tower, putting me into 3rd in Class. I stayed there for a lap but then had a bit of a moment on Folly. The back end went and at those speeds there’s not much I could do really so ended up in the field and then into the crops, amazing how quickly you slow after hitting them!! I drove out and could immediately feel the steering was weird, it was juddering and I thought I’d damaged something so pulled off into the paddock. Turns out there was a large lump of wet mud stuck to the wheel which was throwing the balance out. But anyway got a DNF for that one 🙁 but at least there wasn’t any damage for the race the day after!
So I qualified 26th, 4th in class with a time of 1:24.900 which was a new PB for me! So I was obviously happy with that but I could feel there was definitely more to come from the car. I got blocked a few times whilst trying to put in a hot lap.
Got blocked a little on the start and going into the first corner there was a bit of an incident ahead so everything slowed and I went to put my foot down and as you hear in the video my clutch just span up, so I lost a few places and I was worried that was game over. A lap later Steve Sutton’s 106 went into the wall at Quarry (you’ll see on the vid) and the safety car was soon out. After the safety car went in I got a good restart and managed to overtake Geoff Wade in his Integra and to my surprise over the next few laps I was catching 2nd in Class, Russell Akers in his Astra. And then to even more of a surprise I managed to overtake him around the outside of Quarry :s so I was 2nd in class where I’ve never been before. I slid past Simon James in his Saxo at Tower and it was then a matter of keeping Russell behind me. I had more power however his braking and cornering is much better than mine. I put in a PB of 1:23.982 (another second off!!) whilst being chased. Unfortunately I left too much room whilst being lapped by Adam Prebble and Russell followed him through with only 2 laps to go and he managed to pull a bit of a gap whilst we were being lapped by more cars. At the last corner I had a bit of an incident…I didn’t brake enough and went onto the grass and went across the line sideways :s people thought the car was going to roll due to the way it was hopping but I guess I got lucky there. Overall my best race I think, finished 3rd in Class and 21st overall. With a good position to start for Sunday.
Race 2 Report
Got a pretty good start this time but the Leon in front didn’t so had to dodge him! However the Integra seemed to make a great start as usual so slipped past. I managed to get down the inside of Kelly Williams in her Fiesta ST going into Tower and I kept chasing the Integra. I struggled to get past him at first and I could see Russell in the Astra disappearing into the distance. Geoff braked a bit early going into Quarry and took to the inside line to defend his position so I quickly moved to the outside but didn’t get a good drive through and we went side by side into the Esses and had a little knock but I managed to make it stick and passed him. Kelly was right behind me for a few laps and I decided to let her through as I knew she was faster and I wasn’t really racing her but to my surprise I managed to stick with her all the way to the end pretty much. I finished 3rd in Class and 18th overall. I got a new PB of 1:23.407 so over the weekend I’d managed to knock about 2 seconds off by PB!! A great weekend and some good racing. Plus 2 more trophies to add to my other
Next on my to do list is a LSD, just need to save some pennies but I think it’ll make quite a big difference!
After a few running issues I’d decided to replace the HT leads and spark plugs however this didn’t cure the issue so I franticly searched for a coilpack and thankfull Tony Hutchings (Audi TT) had one and brought it with him on the morning of the race, thank you Tony!! However it didn’t cure the issue 🙁 I was only running on 2 cylinders when idle, but thought I’d see how qualifying went anyway. I started to get ready and realised I didn’t have my race boots!!! (they were 40 mins drive away) quick call to my Mum 😀 (who lives 20 mins from my house) and she managed to arrive literally just before we went out as there was a “technical” delay.
Had an ok qualifying, it stayed dry and I managed to qualify 28th overall and 5th in class with a time of 1:26.992 which was just shy of my PB. We had a grid walk before our race where we all line up on the grid and then the public are allowed out on track for half an hour to walk all around the cars and have a look 🙂
So the race…..I got a pretty decent start (can always be better!) and somehow up to 21st at the end of the first lap. I had a few close laps with Russell Akers in his Astra but he’s got brakes the size of my wheels I think, he was outbraking me everywhere and he’s a good second or two a lap quicker than me so the inevitable happened and he passed me. After a few dodgy gear changes, its my first dry race on my dry wheels and tyres so I’m really not used to the ratios, they managed to pull away a bit but I managed to catch back up to them as they were battling. Rob Ballard unfortunately put his Leon into the barrier at Tower and the safety car came out for a few laps. Russ made a mistake going into Quarry and I managed to get past him. A back marker then blocked him out braking me going into Tower. I then messed up Quarry a bit so he got a good drive past me and to be honest that’s where I stayed the rest of the race! I put in a new PB of 1:24.994 on lap 13 which I’m really happy with, especially as its my first dry race on these tyres with the new gearbox ratios. I need another second and a half off that to be competitive really but I’m sure I can make improvements in my driving first!
Had a really good day and some close racing for part of it. Thanks to my brother Jay for helping out and my Mum for driving like a loony to bring me my race boots 🙂 And thanks to all the Marshall’s who make our racing possible! See you on the 16th and 17th June 😀 Hopefully I’ll sort my misfire sooooon!!
As usual with a race that’s going out live on TV there was a big grid! 37 cars qualified and I managed to qualify 20th on the grid, 4th in class with a time of 1:41.952 which I was very happy with. It was raining for the whole of qualifying which seems to suit me!!
Before the first race the sun came out and a dry line started to form and then it started to rain so I decided that I would stick with my “wet tyres”. Got an ok start and going up into Quarry I couldn’t see a thing as you’ll see in my video. Cars were everywhere! I’d managed to make up 2 places in the first lap, Bill in his Ibiza managed to get past after I made a bit of a mistake a few laps later. My main goal really was to get past Steve Sutton in his 106 as he’s in the same class as me. On the 8th lap I managed to get past him around the outside of camp as he made a little mistake 🙂 This put me up into 3rd in class and 17th overall. I got some good traction around the outside of Tower past Bill but braked farrr to late and understeered a lot. Bill squeezed past the inside of Carl Loader in his Saxo going round Quarry, pushing him wide which allowed me to slide through after him as well. I knew I had good traction around the outside of Tower so decided I should go for it again and managed to pull it off this time 🙂 and there was the chequered flag!! (although some people didn’t realise *cough* Bill lol). Anyway a great race for me and my best ever result and a little trophy, 3rd in class and 15th overall 😀
First race of the season for a change!! I’ve never done the first race and I’d never done a wet race either…was dry the day before but unfortunately the forecast was right and it rained all Monday!! I went out for qualifying on a set of Yokohama AD08’s and what a mistake that was, it was like I was driving on ice, no matter the speed I took a corner I was sideways which made things quite interesting. I qualified dead last with a time of 1:58:108 so I could only go forwards lol!!
After qualifying we noticed the front wheels were towing out for some reason so we lined them up a bit better by eye as I don’t have a toe gauge and I also managed to get a set of Toyo T1R’s brought from home (my old tyres) and got them fitted before the race. I got a good start and I moved up 8 cars in the first lap and another 3/4 on the second before Annie King span in front of me and my car seemed to copy lol!I managed to rejoin losing a few places and then on the way up Folly I had a good run alongside Paul Gardner but he didn’t know I was there and came across me so I lifted and that sent me into a slide (fastest part of the track on a slight bend is not where you want to lift lol!!). So I lost a few more positions however I soon moved back up a few places but coming towards the Esses the exhaust started blowing massively so I pulled in and was towed back at the end of the race. Had a look under the car and the exhaust manifold had broken where it joins the cat pipe, which is strange but so far I’m assuming I must have knocked it somewhere.
Progress has definitely been made and the car feels a lot faster with the new gearbox, I was up to 3rd in class before I span and subsequently stopped, which is a great result! So I’m very happy with the car and hopefully next time I’ll finish 🙂
I’ll be at the Audi Driver International show tomorrow at Castle Combe, I’ll be out on track in the Lupo. As well as loads of car clubs there’s quite a few trade stands and some nice demo cars going out on track. For more info: Audi Driver International
So went out for qualifying and was surrounded by traffic for most of the start and couldn’t manage a decent time and after a few I was getting a shuddering through the steering at speed and the car was pulling to one side and really didn’t feel right. So I came into the pits and we couldn’t see anything wrong apart from the smoking o/s caliper so went out to try and put a better time in with the shuddering steering and I did a 1:28.324, which put me 32nd on the grid, 8th in class.
We took the o/s caliper off (after about an hour of cooling! it was that hot) and worked it a little and couldn’t see any issues to put it back on and hoped for the best. We also checked all the steering components but couldn’t see anything obviously wrong so decided to live with it!
On the grid I couldn’t actually see the lights!! So had to lean over and look through someone elses car…not ideal! Managed to get a half decent start with a little wheel spin and instantly around the green MG (Pete Weston) in front and down the inside of the silver MG (Paul Ashton). Paul managed to pass me going into the Esses and then somehow Pete passed coming out of the Esses towards Old Paddock. I kept close to Paul and manged to pass after a good exit from Camp. Paul passed again going into Tower, I seem to lose a lot of pace from the Esses to Tower. Then going into Camp Paul tapped Pete causing him to lose a bit of speed and I couldn’t help but give him a little tap on the back bumper as well (my first racing incident!) Pete managed to keep ahead and I nearly passed coming out of Quarry but we had a similar pace and Pete just kept in front but I managed to finish the pass in the Esses and really for much of the race I stayed there. Paul pulled away having a quicker car but on the last lap I think Paul was having some issues and I started to rapidly gain on him. The lap board had said 2 laps remaining so I thought I had another lap to get passed but as I came out of Camp close to Paul again and about to pass I saw the chequered flag was out! A shame really but I had a good race none the less with a bit more action this time! I finished 23rd, and 6th in class with best lap time of 1:26.849 (new PB!).
Still not entirely happy with the car and I know where I’m losing my time so hopefully next year I can fix the issues and get me up the field a bit more.
I went out for qualifying and after 3 laps (minimum I have to do) I saw my oil pressure looked low so decided to come in, in the pits the gauge showed 0 pressure. After putting in a mechanical gauge and seeing 30psi we decided that I just had a dodgy gauge!! grrr!! Anyway I’d qualified 27th with a 1:30.335, 8th in class out of 10, 3 seconds off my best ever time but with the problems and first time back I was happy with this.
The race, obviously nerves kicking in but as soon as you line up these disappear quite quickly 🙂 I gave it too much on the start and got too much wheelspin but everyone else seemed to do the same! I dived down the inside of a few cars going into quarry and locked up, meaning I got passed again on the exit, then unfortunately me nearest competition pulled off with problems 🙁 and people in front pulled away and I left the people behind. After 5 or so laps I realised I’d used 1/4 tank (I only put in 1/2 tank and its 15 laps!) so I backed off a bit and after 11 laps I think it was a medi helicopter was hovering above the circuit attending a previous incident so the race was stopped. I finished 23rd, 7th in class with a best time of 1:27.438, which is equalling last season, which tbh I’m not very happy with but the map was setup with a very safe map and it was my first time back so I suppose its ok lol.