Next Race - ???

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Donnington 2012 - the last race

The previous race was Brands Hatch. The race was one of the wettest races I've ever been in. Its open cockpit and you expect to get a bit wet if it rains but it was like sitting in a bath. I couldn't see much. Nobody could. So I just circulated and finished. I can't say I enjoyed that one. But as Phil Liggett once said "You don't here the winner complaining". Precisely.

Donnington 2012 in June I thought might be my last race. I was thinking of doing the later Donnington race in September but that would be close to the date when Poppy was due.

I love Donnington and going out onto the circuit you always feel you are on a proper circuit. Then its down to business and practicing. I was very rusty and I remember Craner was flat but I was lifting a little on the last bit. I knew I shouldn't be doing that but its hard to sometimes keep you foot in. A few more laps and I would have got it. As a result I was 27th out of 35. I was looking forward to the races and some overtaking.

The first race got going and it lasted a lap for me. I was coming down the main straight when I lost all power. I made it around Redgate but there was no power and I pulled off. I think a wire had fallen off the coil. An easy repair so I was going to be out the next day. I had a forward and rear facing camera and with a bit of editing I got a neat but limited sequence of action.


The second race was 2 short races. This is what has cheesed me off about Vee. Lots of red flags. The first flag I missed and nearly went into the back of James Conyers. Then in the second part I spent too long behind James. He has a good engine and I don't so it took me a while to get past and time I got past the others had gone. It could have been a lonely race but if the group ahead started battling then I am sure I would have caught them and joined them. Anyway its all academic because someone crashed around the pit entrance and another red flag...



Results on 750MC website

This is a photo taken at my last race with my family. The person missing that helped the most is my trusty mechanic Ian who was the one taking the photo.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Taking a break...

I was out mountain biking going down a rocky descent when my front wheel got trapped and I fell off. I fractured my hip. I was whisked (well it took the ambulance crew 2 hours to find me) away to hospital and they operated and put some screw in. 3 days later I was back home. I've already done 6 weeks of hobbling around. I am not sure how long it will take to recover. Life and racing is on hold...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

3rd in class

17th overall. Good race full of overtaking. I was slow off the start and got mugged. Then grabbed 4th instead of 2nd and got mugged again. A little slower lap time probably due to not doing the tyre pressures. Tweeking the carb for tommorrow and hoping for a little more speed and another trophy .


Snetterton

Just finished practice. 19th out of 30. Not found too many people liking the new circuit. Nice new tarmac - super smooth.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Brands race report

An enjoyable day racing. It was quite a relaxed morning with scrutineering in the garage at 10:20. Practice kicked off an hour later and I think the marshalls had had one too many coffees and were energetically waving flags all the time. Mostly yellow and blue but then a red one at the end. It was difficult to get a clear lap and I tried to latch on to passing cars of the top guys to pull me a long.. My cockpit timer was still configured for silverstone - so it would wait 1 minute before checking for a timing beam and since the lap around brands is less then a minute I was getting lap times of 2 laps. So I had no idea what I was doing. A time of 56.68 was ok considering the last 3 laps were all under yellow at MacCleans because a car was parked with driver in on the outside.

Mid race tweeks involved putting in the right amount of petrol. I pumped about 10 litres and put back in exactly 10. We also lowered the car, gave it a clean, fitted some shoter air intakes and got the camera working. For the race I got a good start and passed a couple of people further up the field who must have started in third or did the classic 1st to 4th change. After we sorted outselves out I was following Lee Levett going into Paddock Hill Bend and I could see in front 2 cars spinning. Lee started to spin which made me think there must be oil on the track but my car stayed rock steady and I slowed a little while Lee did his spin and exited the track. Another half a lap and the red flags were out. So having made up 5 places in 1 lap it was back to square one. On the restart there was a huge gap in the grid on the right hand side. I think the spinners had been allowed back into the race but not in the original grid slots which is a good decision. In the past drivers who have stopped a race then have got a second chance by going back to the original grid slots was wrong and unfair for the rest of us. On the restart I passed another 1st to 4th gear type starter but was passed by a green car and that's where I stayed for the rest of the race. We quickly pulled away from the group behind me and I came close to overtaking a couple of times but I didn't get alongside in a good place to make it stick. Showing my slight lack of racecraft and also I am not good enough on the brakes. Both I need to work on for the next meeting at Snetterton. I finished 17th and I improved my lap time to 55.48. I was also under my qualifying laptime for almost every lap and I did 5 laps within a couple of tenths of my fastest lap - so good consistency. Throughout the race I could see a group of 3 in front and my target for snetterton is getting into that group.

In the scrutineering after the end of the race we had to remove the restrictor plates - why bother. If I am finishing 17th and breaking the rules then I am very poor at cheating. Anyway we duly took them off and checked.. Got the ride height checked and finally the weight. Without driver 391 (minimum is 375) and with driver 488 (min is 465). 97 kilos for the driver - that will come down as the summer comes and I do my other hobby - cycling both on and off road but I am 6ft 4 tall so there is a limit to how much weight I can lose without looking like a bean pole. Since it was London Marathon weekend I'll mention that I did the marathon and soon after completing it I joined a gym and I found the gym assessment the other day - I weighed 12.5 stones or 80 kilos. So with helmet and overalls that would come up a couple of kilos to 82, so I could take off 15 kilos which would bring me down close to the weight limit. Food for thought......who mentioned food !!! Also be looking at how much petrol was left in the car to get an idea of fuel economy and maybe save a kilo or two there.