I won my first trophy!
What a day.
After a long night we got the spare dampers fitted, suspension set-up again and the car loaded on the trailer. By that point I didn’t care much for the race the next day – Too tired and fed up.
Qualifying is hard work. The toughest bit is finding space on the track to do a fast lap time! With lots of cars at different speeds it’s easy to catch somebody, or get caught, and ruin a fast lap. Luckily I had 4-5 laps to myself and beat my personal best to get a 58.5!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Fastest lap of my class (class B) and 14th on the grid of 30′ish. This meant I started on the outside line in a very tight grid formation, in the middle of the pack – quite scary for my first race!
There really isn’t anything like sitting on the grid waiting for the lights. All the preparation leading up to it, all the expense, the fireproof clothing, the tight seatbelts, the chap next to you on the grid (who you just chatted to in the collecting area) – All multiply into a strange feeling of excitement, aggression, nerves, fun and impeding doom!
I can’t recall a lap-by-lap analysis of what happened, because its a bit of a blur. I must have lost 8 places in the first two laps though! I just couldn’t see anything out of my mirrors, and the HANS device and seat are quite restricting. So instead of risking turning into somebody, I just left the door open for cars to stream by…..And I was braking too early for Paddock Hill.
I settled down and made some progress, I started to focus and things stated to flow.
I now know that my car is Damn quick, and I will be the first to admit I have an edge on the straights. It does help with overtaking, but its still not easy!
I finished 2nd in Class and 14th Overall. So chuffed with that!
I was more nervous for this than my first….. I knew what was coming!! My Start was crap. I lost 5 places in the first lap, but kept with them. It was really close, and lots of sliding around on warming tyres. To begin with it feels unatural to be squirming around at high speed a few cm’s away from another car, but it gets easier. About 5 or 6 of us where a really tight bunch for a few laps. Sometimes three into one corner – it was exactly the kind of racing I wanted.
And a big improvement – I angled my side mirrors out so I could see my blind spot better!
Somehow, I managed to pass everyone in my Class, and everyone (apart from Lewis in class C2) who wasn’t on slicks! First in Class B, 12th overall. So happy, adrenaline still in my head.
Its pretty hard to describe what its like racing a car in a tight bunch. I though I would know from years of watching others do it and on-board footage, but it still hits you in the face like a slap. It currently feels like a slap too, I’m knackered!
Thanks to my familly who all contributed time, effort, loans or all three. Thank you.
PS: the new Pagid discs warped too.
Still room to improve the car within the Class B Regulations;
The cast exhaust manifold is not highly flowed – in fact the head ports are not that flowed either! The Gasket was a few mm bigger.
I am still around 60 kg over my weight limit
The car needs to be lower
I need better weight distribution across the rear – couldn’t be achieved with corner weighting.
I need some Caster and solid top mounts – and extra travel on the front suspension preferably.
The hot air from the radiator needs dividing from the airbox better.
The brakes need some cooling.
Maybe some lighter wheels.. If I win the lottery…. or get a credit card or two.