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The Club's First Racer! - Part 5 - Croft

On 21-22nd July Mark was in the 4th round at Croft.

Here is his latest update...

Overall I would say I was content with the weekend, but wanted to do better after the progress i'd been making and the result at Silverstone. It was clear in this race that the Super Tuner cars were so far ahead there was no chance of catching them, so I just had to look at the Production class competitors which i'm in. I took a lot of confidence in the lap time I put in during Race 1, I just didn't manage to put those times in consistently. Race 1 I could / should have snatched 3rd in class but the mistake cost me.

In terms of the car, it felt good although the tyres are well past their best having done 6 separate races, 3 qualifying sessions, 2 track days and a test day. Sacrificing the spare set of wheels so the girlfriend could have a lift up with us may not have helped the car perform  The Dixcel brakes were perfect again and I got the bias adjustment sorted nicely. What is clear is that it's still too far too heavy compared to the other cars and this doesn't help cornering speed. Some drastic plans are underway for this and a new limited slip diff! 

Onwards and upwards! 

Click below for the full article!

Croft was another new circuit for me. I decided to book a trackday to prepare for the race, and managed to get booked onto the Hondas On Track day on the Friday before the race weekend. I also wanted Andy from Veysport to try the car to give me some feedback, which hadn't been possible at the previous test days as he had no race license; not required for a track day though.

A long trip from Poole to Darlington began, and 6 hours later we got to the trusty Travelodge on the A1 (not somewhere I would recommend!) Thursday night ready for the track day on Friday.  

The only other S2000 on the day was Razzele but was great to meet him and his yellow supercharged S after all these years!  The trackday went OK but I was finding the circuit a bit tricky to work out and the car was setup too stiff for the bumpy Croft circuit. Mark B turned up for some timely advice, looked at my footage and showed me some tips on the track map. This was a big help and saw lap times tumble a long way. Andy and I softened the car up and got it somewhere near manageable.  Mark has been a great help over the last few races, offering advice on my footage and giving race tips from his experience in other race series.

Saturday - Qualifying

I was hopeful for qualifying looking at last years times and the times I was putting in on the track day, but ended up 11th our of 14. Just wasn't fast enough! What was clear looking at the lap times, was that there were 2 new local entrants along with the regular Tuner / Super Tuner cars which were much faster!

Sunday - Race Day

I was pleased to see a number of S2KI members turn up to say hello, as well as some family and friends it always makes things a bit more interesting!  It was great to meet Chris R, LifeCrisis, BerlinaBob and Razzele (again!).

Race 1 got underway around lunch time and I was surprised to see the massive amount of spectators lining the grandstands and grass banks. Got onto the grid for the start and was determined to get a good one for a change, which I did! I spent the race fending off Rich in the red DC2, and trying to catch up the pack. For the majority of the race I was 3rd in class position, and had caught the rest of the production class pack up, but on the last lap I ran wide coming out of the Chicane, went on the grass and lost the place! I almost passed him coming out of the hairpin onto the start finish but Icouldn't hold it. I was really kicking myself as I'd defended well and drove quick enough to catch up the pack. I also put in the 4th fastest lap time of the whole race which was promising.

Finished 4th in class and 10th from 14 overall.

Video of Race1 (my visor needed fixing!)


Next on the Calendar was Croft - another new circuit for me. I decided to book a track day to prepare for the race, and managed to get booked onto the Hondas On Track day on the Friday before the race weekend. I also wanted Andy from Veysport to try the car to give me some feedback, which hadn't been possible at the previous test days as he had no race license. Not required for a track day though.

A long trip from Poole to Darlington began, and 6 hours later we got to the trusty Travel Lodge on the A1 (not somewhere I would recommend!) Thursday night ready for the track day on Friday. The only other S2000 on the day was Razzele but was great to meet him and his yellow supercharged S after all these years! Trackday went ok but I was finding the circuit a bit tricky to work out and the car was setup too stiff for the bumpy Croft circuit. Mark B turned up for some timely advice, and looked at my footage and showed me some tips on the track map. This was a big help and saw lap times tumble a long way. Andy and I softened the car up and got it somewhere near manageable. Worth noting that Mark has also been a great help via PM over the last wef races, offering advice on my footage and giving race tips. 

Saturday - Qualifying

I was hopeful for qualifying looking at last years times and the times I was putting in on the track day, but ended up 11th our of 14. Just wasn't fast enough! What was clear looking at the lap times, was that there were 2 new local entrants along with the regular Tuner / Super Tuner cars which were massively faster! 

Sunday - Race Day

I was pleased to see a number of S2ki members turn up to say hello, as well as some family and friends  Always makes things a bit more interesting! It was great to meet Chris R, LifeCrisis, BerlinaBob and Raz (again!) Apologies to anyone I forgot! 

Race 1 got underway around lunch time and I was surprised to see the massive amount of spectators lining the grandstands and grass banks. Got onto the grid for the start and was determined to get a good one for a change, which I did! I spent the race fending off Rich in the red DC2, and trying to catch up the pack. For the majority of the race I was 3rd in class position, and had caught the rest of the production class pack up, but on the last lap I ran wide coming out of the Chicane, went on the grass and lost the place! I almost passed him coming out the hairpin onto the start finish but couldn't hold it. I was really kicking myself as i'd defended well and drove quick enough to catch up the pack. I also put in the 4th fastest lap time of the whole race which was promising.

Finished 4th in class and 10th from 14 overall.

(yes my visor needed fixing! )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCdxoLjq8hU&feature=player_embedded

Race 2 came around very quickly, but was quite late in the day at around 5pm. I wanted to get the same start as last time and managed it again. Got crowded out on the first couple of corners and lost a lot of ground, which I spent most of the race trying to recover. At this point I was around 8th and had got past the Accord R of Phil, but been passed again by the DC2. I managed to fend Phil off and then got past the little yellow CRX of Dave Roberts, who's car was in trouble. What neither of us realised was that there was a waved yellow flag down into Tower, as a car had gone off and disappeared into a field! I got a ticking off from the Clerk of the course afterwards, but he could see it was unintentional. My pace wasn't great and i'd dropped over 1 second per lap. I suspect the tyres were really dead by this point and the driver was pretty tired!

Finished 5th in class and 9th fro 13 overall.

Race 2 came around very quickly, but was quite late in the day at around 5pm. I wanted to get the same start as last time and managed it again. Got crowded out on the first couple of corners and lost a lot of ground, which I spent most of the race trying to recover. At this point I was around 8th and had got past the Accord R of Phil, but been passed again by the DC2. I managed to fend Phil off and then got past the little yellow CRX of Dave Roberts, whose car was in trouble. What neither of us realised was that there was a waved yellow flag down into Tower, as a car had gone off and disappeared into a field! I got a ticking off from the Clerk of the course afterwards, but he could see it was unintentional. My pace wasn't great and I'd dropped over 1 second per lap. I suspect the tyres were really dead by this point and the driver was pretty tired!

Finished 5th in class and 9th fro 13 overall.

Video of Race 2.

 

Overall I would say I was content with the weekend, but wanted to do better after the progress i'd been making and the result at Silverstone. It was clear in this race that the Super Tuner cars were so far ahead there was no chance of catching them, so I just had to look at the Production class competitors which i'm in. I took a lot of confidence in the lap time I put in during Race 1, I just didn't manage to put those times in consistently. Race 1 I could / should have snatched 3rd in class but the mistake cost me.

In terms of the car, it felt good although the tyres are well past their best having done 6 separate races, 3 qualifying sessions, 2 track days and a test day. Sacrificing the spare set of wheels so the girlfriend could have a lift up with us may not have helped the car perform The Dixcel brakes were perfect again and I got the bias adjustment sorted nicely. What is clear is that it's still too far too heavy compared to the other cars and this doesn't help cornering speed. Some drastic plans are underway for this and a new limited slip diff!

Onwards and upwards!

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