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 🙂
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.
The last race day of the season sprung up quickly. We arrived in the morning and I signed on and then took the car straight down to scrutineering where one of the scruinteers pulled on my electrical cut off switch and well couldn’t pull it. So we were sent away and told to fix it, panic mode set in and I had a quick look around a few other cars to see there setups and then asked Rich Marsh how he did his and his had also happened to fail scrutineering on a similar reason!! Rich found an electrical socket (the metal bracket that sits in the wall) in his van and kindly donated it to my race car, thanks Rich!!! Anyway we got it in and screwed it to the dash, sprayed nearly a whole can of WD40 down into the pull cord and it worked a treat. Returned to scrutineering to be told I needed to make it more secure by putting a bolt through it, ok fair enough I was in a rush and should have done it in the first place. So back we went, borrowed a drill from a college race team that run formula fords in exchange for a 9v battery and returned to scruineering and was then given the go!! Panic over!!
Before heading out we adjusted the tyre pressures and topped the oil up as it was getting a little low and then headed down to queue up for qualifying.
It was a little greasy out and I ended up sideways coming through Camp but held on to it, the car felt good however as I was heading up to Avon Rise the oil light came on and the engine made a few funny crunching noises so I pulled off towards the marshalls post on the inside of Quarry and the car cut out half way across the grass (to be honest I might have stalled it) started it again and drove towards them and shut it off. The marshalls thought they could see oil but I wasn’t so sure so they called for a flat bed but I was told I would ave to wait till after the next qualifying session as they were trying to catch up on time as there had been a previous delay. So on the flat bed it went, now I know how a driver feels when everyones watching as there cars loaded up onto the flatbed and being filmed as well lol!! Got back into the paddock and we checked the car over and couldn’t figure out what was wrong standing still so started the engine which is where every now and then we could hear the crunch. Sounds like big end bearings which isn’t that big an issue but not something we could fix then and there so that was it 🙁
I did a 1:28.922 in qualifying on my 2nd lap which put me in my “normal” position which I was quite happy with but unfortunately had to head home 🙁
Thanks to everyone for all there help and support this year and everyone thats helped out at the track. Would like to say thanks to South West In Car Tech and Infinity Exhausts for there sponsorship!
So I had another race today, started off with qualifying this morning at 11am, had a good session and managed to put it some good times the best being 1.28.000 which put me in 5th in class (7 total) and 26th overall (28 total) but with a 1.2 sec improvement on my personal best around Combe and VERY close to Jamie in his Alfa.
The start of the race was delayed due to a previous accident where a Aston Martin climbed the tyres out of Quarry and sat on top!
In the actual race I got a really good start and managed to get around Jamie and a few others but they had the straight line speed so most made it in front of me out of Quarry and out of the Esses but I managed to keep Jamie behind and we tussled a bit and with him behind me I put in my fastest lap on lap 3 and got a 1.27.2!!!!! Next lap I overcooked it a bit in the Esses and Jamie got the power out and took the inside line into Tower and had the inside line for Bobbies I followed him really closely for another lap and then came in to Bobbies too quickly and span, and knocked my wheel on the corner of the rumble strip (you’ll hear the bang in the vid) and then you’ll see in the vid me “testing” my steering coming out of quarry after the spin, there was something wrong for sure with the steering… For the rest of the race I seemed to struggle a little bit but still put in some decent times. After the race I got pulled in and got pulled over to be sound checked :s apparently I’d been hitting 98db on track (100db limit) but I’m well under for the normal sound check (88db, max of 105db lol). Driving around the paddock the steering felt quite “sloppy” and then when I pulled into my gazebo and got out found that I’d taken a chunk out of my drivers side wheel, so I’m guessing I’ve knocked the tracking out or broken something as well.
Anyway overall I had a really good day and very happy with the Lupo even though I may have battered it a lil bit 🙂
Had my 2nd and 3rd races this weekend just gone, towed the car down to Castle Combe on Friday night with some help from Mark at South West in Car Tech! Dropped the car off and setup the gazebo over it and headed back home. Got to Combe for 9am on Saturday morning and before I knew it we were out qualifying. The car felt a LOT better than the first meeting, I think 2nd and 4th gear helped a little 😛 I immediately did a 1:34.895 and it creeped down as I went on and ended up qualifying 33rd out of 34 with 1:31.199, which I was over the moon with as I didn’t expect to gain that much time.
1st Race – I got a decent start and managed to get in front of Pete Weston in his MG ZR and he pushed me a bit for the first few laps but then had issues with his power steering so I had a lot of room to myself for most of the race. I’ll get my in car footage up tonight but it was quite a straight forward race, I managed to keep it on the track and improve my best time by another second and I finished 26th out of 28. Which was 6th in class so I got my very first championship point!!
2nd Race – Well this race had a bit more happening :s You’ll see from my in car camera http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUyZHH4ga5M that there was mayhem off the start, Geraldine Duff turned over after hitting the back of Ricks Civic (watch the whole video for the rear camera and to see how close Russell came to hitting me!) and then in front of me as I went up to the rise cars went everywhere. Thankfully everyones ok although I think a few are feeling a bit stiff but I wish them a speedy recovery and to see them soon hopefully!!
Anyway after the restart I had a nice gap in front of me and an Jamie in his Alfa to the right, I got a good start and managed to get past Jamie and around the outside of him at Quarry but his Alfa 156 has a little more power in a straight line so he had the straight line speed and to my surprise I saw a Fiesta ST behind me, I managed to keep Kelly behind me but after the 3rd lap it was obvious she had the straight line speed and there was nothing I could do. I did manage to pass Kelly again on lap 8 as she went wide to let others through as we were being lapped but I just couldn’t keep her behind me. So overall I finished 23rd out of 25 which was 5th in class so 2 more championship points!! I also managed to set another personal best time of 1:29.384 which I’m really happy with!!