Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Mixed Results

So much has been going on since you last heard from me.  Ive been at one race meeting or another for the last goodness knows how many weekends and I have clocked up some serious miles in the process.  At one point in time Id been to 4 meetings in 10 days in 3 different countries!

m going to split this into a two part blog: first one is about my own racing and the second will be about all the other adventures Ive been on of late.  Ill begin by telling you how the season has started for me whilst I have last nights events still fresh in my head.

The season kicked off for us at Ipswich, a track that, thinking back, I can
t actually remember the last time I finished a race at!  The meeting seems like ages ago now but it turned into a complete disaster.  The first race was a non-finish after getting taken out onto the speedway track and snapping a bottom arm on the passenger side of the car.  There were only two formulas racing and this was followed by a blind panic to get the car ready for my second heat.  I just made it out onto the track as the gate was closing.  The next two races werent much better really but I did manage two points finishes.

Things certainly weren
t due to improve at Northampton either.  I was staying up at Robert McDonalds for a wedding and we left early to come down in his van.  We pulled up into the pits just as the cars were heading out for practice - but good old dad had everything sorted and I literally stepped out of the van, put my overalls on and strapped myself into the car.  The car felt good in practice but things headed downhill from there.  Once again I was starting from the yellow grade and the first race got going pretty uneventfully.  I was struggling with the car coming out of the bends and had cars starting to back up behind me.  As you would expect I ended up getting spun thus putting an end to the first heat.

The second heat started relatively well but as the laps went on the car got worse and worse to drive.  I presumed I
d got a puncture and pulled off into the centre once again.  Back in the pits all became apparent though.  The bolt that attaches the wishbone to the hub had come undone and wound itself down into the wheel, in theory opening it up like a big tin opener.  We presumed it was just “one of those things that happens occasionally” so bolted it all back together, put another wheel on and headed out for the final.  It just wasnt to be my day though because the exact same thing happened in the final!  The thread in the hub had stripped completely and the bolt just kept falling straight back out.  All in all it was a completely disastrous day.

d made several changes ready for last weekends Birmingham including a trip back to Tooveys for some upgrades to the engine.  It came back a completely different weapon and even from the first lap in practice I could tell it was fast.  I had several runs in practice changing things to try and dial out some of the understeer and then Robert jumped in and had a run round too!  There have been some fast guys drive my car over the years and it doesnt get any less tense watching someone else going round in your pride and joy!

Birmingham has always been my favourite track and I absolutely love racing there.  The first race was a bit of a challenge though as the sun was really low in the sky and you had to pretty much guess where the pit bend was, just braking when you saw the car in front do the same!  It was a good race though - without any major drama and the car was flying.  I crossed the finish line seventh.  The time between the races was spent changing Robert
s diff for the second time in as many weeks!  The second heat was a good race too, the sun had gone down and you could actually see where you were going again.  I really enjoyed the race and crossed the line in fifth so collected some good points again.

I enjoyed the final more than any other race I have ever been in; the car was absolutely flying and was going round like it was on rails.  For the first time in a long while I was actually going forward and gaining places.  At one point I even got onto the outside of Gary Woolsey and was trying for the lead.  It wasn
t to be though and just like at Northampton the car suddenly went off.  There were only a few laps to go though and I managed to limp the car home collecting a sixth place in the process.  Back in the pits we soon saw the problem, the bottom arm had snapped clean in half and I was lucky not to have stuck the car in the wall let alone finish!

All in all I had an absolutely fabulous evening.  It was great to finish every race in the points and brilliant putting all the doubters to bed about the Duratech!  We certainly have a long way to go yet but I am really enjoying it.

We have a few little jobs to do ready for Bristol next weekend then we
ll be ready to go.  Its the only track on the Hot Rod calendar that I havent visited and the only one except Tipperary that I havent been to this year.  Its good to visit new tracks and Im really looking forward to it.

ll be back soon to tell you all about my other antics - from Johns surprise new Tigra to twenty of us crammed into Glenns truck on the way back from Ballymena

Thanks as ever for reading.

Until next time.


No comments:

Post a Comment