EK9 Racing in MSVT Trophy this season (2017)

Discussion in 'Racing' started by Sparrowhawk, May 3, 2017.

?

Worth posting again after next race??

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  1. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Member

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    Round 2 - Snetterton 200 Circuit

    It was an eventful day of racing, and a brilliant weekend at the MINI Festival at Snetterton.

    There was wind, there was rain, there was even an outdoor cinema viewing of the Italian Job. And lots and lots of cars.

    Luckily both me and the 9 survived in one piece without much incident - which is more than I can say for my mate John, who's Peugeot suddenly found itself driving at speed with 3 wheels, whilst watching the 4th wheel disappear across Coram Curves!

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    I drove up on the Friday evening, with the car on the trailer, and arrived in the dark at Snetterton. Driving into the paddock I couldn't believe the number of race cars, trailers, and transporters there. Definitely the most crammed paddock I've seen at Snetterton.

    Racing this weekend were the MSV Trophy, MSV Championship, F3 Cup, Z Cars, various MINI series, and even the new Ssang-Yong pickup truck Challenge (which I was very dubious of, but ended up being fairly entertaining!). There were also a series of Sprint races happening on the infield circuit, which would include everything from Porsches, Aston Martins, and Lotus, to an epic Honda S2000.

    Compared to Round 1 at Cadwell, the itinerary was a lot more relaxed for us, with more time between sign on, quali, and the race. My friend Dave had come to be my engineer for the day as my dad couldn't make it and after a morning of getting the last bits done on the car; checking fluid levels, securing the front bumper, adjusting tyre pressure etc - I was excited to get out on track.

    My mate John had his car up on jacks and was fitting his new set of wheels and tyres.. more on those later.

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    I got changed into my race suit, and then just as we were heading for the Drivers Briefing, guess what happened... it started to p!ss down!!

    The rain threw a bit of nerves into the mix. I haven't got much track experience in wet weather, and a few of the other drivers in this series are also rookies so would probably be in the same situation. The first ever time I drove the Civic was in torrential rain at Brands Hatch, and although the car handled it ok, I had been driving pretty damn slowly.

    Worth mentioning here is the tyres I am running. They are Nankang NS-2R, not a bad race tyre considering they don't cost the earth, but also not really a wet weather tyre. Other drivers were considering changing to wet tyres, but I didn't have any! The Nankangs would have to do.

    So at 11:00am we all headed down to the assembly area and sat in our cars, as the rain finally dribbled to a stop.

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    It was pretty greasy on track, and I found myself driving pretty tentatively. The car felt wiggly and a bit understeery in the tighter corners, even going straight on at turn 2. Some of the other cars around me were blasting round at full speed, but it took me three or four laps to gain confidence and start pushing on. After a while I realised the understeer was just down to me entering the slower corners too quickly in the wet, and after scrubbing off a bit of entry speed, I found myself driving more smoothly and therefore more quickly.

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    After about 15 minutes there was a very clear dry line, and I began picking up my pace. I knew there was still loads of time to scrub off of my lap, so I began carrying more speed through the first corner after the long start straight. Turn 1 'Riches' is a tricky corner, with a double-apex.

    I noticed that lots of cars barely braked at the end of the start straight, and seemed to just downshift with a gentle nudge on the brakes and then carry lots of speed in. After a few more laps I was able to start doing this too, and found the 9 was perfectly happy for me to start accelerating once I'd hit the first apex, and then get hard on the gas as I was hitting the second apex. This was a rewarding feeling, I love driving this car!

    The extra momentum made a big difference in my pace leading up to the second corner, a tricky hairpin right which would plague me all day.

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    As the clock ticked down on our Qualifying session I was passed by the Finsport Civic, sporting its new black and orange livery. This is a quick car, and cruised past me on the back straight. I managed to keep up for most of the lap, trying to follow his line and using his braking as a reference to make me more brave on the brakes, as the track was now dry. I got my quickest lap of the session, with a fairly pedestrian but respectable time of 1:33.6

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    Towards the end of Quali I noticed my mate John's car pulled off on the side of the track, just after the pretty quick turn in at 'Bomb-hole'. I slowed down and realised his car was leaning over to the left - oh dear I thought.

    The new wheels and tyres had not worked out well and one of them had come flying off as the car turned in. Scary stuff!

    I qualified 24th out of a large grid of 31 cars. This sounds fairly bad but actually I was pleased, with it being my first real experience of driving a car in anger in the wet. It also meant I knew there was still a couple of seconds to trim off of my lap, giving me plenty to think about during the race. John had qualified right up on the 6th row of the grid, but now had the small matter of a missing wheel to sort out.

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    After a seriously impressive turnaround, involving drilling out the damaged studs and re-threading them, Dave, John and the rest of Johns team managed to get the Peugeot ready for the race in the afternoon. It did mean a trip to the Dunlop stand to buy a new set of tyres, but after all the work to get the car ready it was the right decision!
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    The rest of the afternoon passed by very quickly, with the only racing I really saw being the SsanYong challenge. My friend Matt is a photographer and had come along for the day, so we decided to head down to 'Russel Bend' to watch this slightly unusual new series in its first ever race.

    Our chosen spot turned out to be the right one, as towards the end of the race one of the two-tonne trucks came flying off the circuit and straight at us, smashing into the armco just two metres away and then bouncing off into the tyre wall. The driver was fine, and the truck seemed to survive the huge impact reasonably well. Not the most scintillating racing I've ever seen, but the drivers definitely looked like they were enjoying it.

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    And so onto the race. I decided that my main concern was to avoid contact in turn 1 and turn 2. The race organisers had made very clear that these corners encouraged contact, and with the high speed entry to turn 1, and then very slow hairpin at turn 2 I could see why.

    I decided that I would aim for the outside line and not get caught up in fighting over any track. The race is 45 minutes long, and risking ending it after just a few seconds is simply not worth it. With two very long straights, the finishing positions at this track would ultimately be sorted out on those straights.

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    Waiting on the start line I felt much more aware of my surroundings than at the first race. Cadwell Park had been a bit of a blur, and the lights had come on almost before I'd had a chance to ready myself. This time it was different and I found myself looking around at the cars next to me on the grid, and taking in the excitement. Anything could happen!

    As the 5 second board was shown, the engine noise built and I had a massive surge of adrenalin. I dumped the clutch as the lights went out and away we went. The 9 is superb off the line and I took a slightly outlandish move around the outside of the car in front, with my wheels touching the grass as I went. Into turn 1 I kept left, passing one or two cars on my inside. Turn 2 appeared quickly and again I kept left, keeping out of the way as 1 or 2 cars outbraked themselves and ran wide. The cars that I had passed at turn 1 came back on my inside but I was happy to let them go as we all made it safely through turn 3.

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    After the first lap I had somehow made up about 7 places. Job done! Well, there was still 45 minutes of racing to do, but I had passed my main aim of the day which was to survive the first lap, and could now enjoy the rest of the race.

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    The race was more action packed than round 1, with lots more overtaking, especially on the long back straight. I found myself overtaken a few times in the opening few laps as the cars I had overtaken on my first lap passed me again. I was still clearly off the pace, but I felt my confidence growing with each lap and my speed was definitely going up.

    I found myself entering turn 1 much faster than I had in qualifying, and also started speeding up through the legendary 'Coram' towards the end of the lap. Coram is a long long right hander, which almost doesn't have an apex (or at least I couldnt find it). Left to my own devices I was going far too gingerly through this turn, but as I followed other faster cars I started to push much harder through here.

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    Chasing one of the BMWs I picked up more time by being braver through Coram. I had a great battle with one of the Fiesta ST's with both of us overtaking each other and then being overtaken again. I had slightly more speed on the straight, but he was clearly a better driver through the corners and we had a great time. I really enjoyed the back and forth, and also appreciated the amount of space the drivers were giving each other. We were racing, but no one had their elbows out. I was having a blast!

    In the pit stop window I saw that alot of cars seemed to come straight in. Just as I was thinking of coming in for my mandatory 2minute stop it started to rain again, so I decided to stay out and grab another couple of laps before the track got wet.

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    My pitstop went smoothly, although I worried I may have cut it a little fine. If you are in the pitlane for less than 2:00 in total, you are given a big time penalty. Checking the data after the race I found that I went over the pitlane exit exactly 2:01 after I had entered.. probably cutting it a little too fine!

    After the stop I had a great race with a couple of Clios, and also found myself being overtaken by some of the leading cars. The Big Bear Motorsport Seat Ibiza is absolutely rapid, and went round me at Coram. I followed him up the start straight and into turn 2 where he then went straight on as I sneaked back up the inside! But it was a fruitless move as he came storming past me at the back of the circuit 30 seconds later!

    The following lap I saw one of the BMWs go straight on in the same place at turn 2. I could also feel my tyres starting to slightly go off, so I guessed this was happening to the faster cars. I managed to catch up with John's 306 after the driver change, with his team mate at the wheel, and gave him a big grin and a thumbs up as I passed him on the straight.

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    As the final lap approached I saw the fast Finsport Civic coming up behind me. I mounted an effort to keep him behind me for the last lap but he came by and lapped me just as we crossed the finish line and the chequered flag. What an absolute laugh that was, I was grinning like mad as we slowed down and waved to the marshals on the warm down lap.

    I had finished P.16 out of 29 finishers. An improvement of 8 places on my starting position on the grid. I was pretty pleased with this, and even more pleased to have completed my second race. It was a massive learning curve driving the car in the wet, but after a slow start in the morning, I had clocked a best lap of 1:30.4 during the race. A massive improvement of 3 seconds off my best qualifying time.

    All in all the race had been huge fun, with more overtaking and being-overtaken than I had possibly expected. And it was all good clean fun. As we packed up after the race, Dave, Ben and Matt headed for home, but Johns team convinced me to stay for a beer, a bbq, and to watch the Italian Job on the big screen out on the track. A good way to end a great weekend.
     
    EK9 Matt, Kipper, B16Swt and 5 others like this.
  2. SpikeEK

    SpikeEK New Member

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    Good write up man with a good result did you have an on board camera by any chance?
     
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  3. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Member

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    Hi mate. Yes we do have to use an onboard camera. I've not done anything with the footage though. If I have some spare time I might edit it down and put a bit on YouTube
     
  4. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Member

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    As promised, some pics of the inside of my car. The main weight-saving at the back is the fibreglass bootlid, which can clearly be seen here. The metal one weighs so much, and with the addition of polycarb windows, the weight-saving is huge.

    There are also some portions of metal cut from the body of the car, which may not seem like a lot but it does start to add up.

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    In addition to the removed metal, you also get a good view of the rear of the roll-cage. It is by SW Motorsports, and is a superb bit of kit.

    FullSizeRender (1).jpg

    Any other bits of the car people would like pics of, I'll be happy to post them.
     

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  5. ellb123

    ellb123 Member

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    just read through the whole thread and its a cracking read mate!

    Looks like your starting to really get in to it, are you planning on doing every race this season?

    If you've got time id be interested on a full spec list of the car, looks like its more than capable
     
  6. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Member

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    @ellb123 Thanks mate. I will get the full spec of the car up at some point.

    Yes I'm planning to do all of the rounds in MSV Trackday Trophy this year.
    The only one I may miss is Donington in August because of a prior commitment, undecided at the moment.

    The full calendar for the races is:

    Race 1 - APRIL 22 - CADWELL PARK [Q.13 / P.9]

    Race 2 - MAY 13 - SNETTERTON [Q.24 / P.16]

    Race 3 - JUNE 3 - SILVERSTONE

    Race 4 - JUNE 24 - ROCKINGHAM

    Race 5 - AUG 12 - DONINGTON [missing]

    Race 6 - SEPT 2 - BRANDS HATCH

    Race 7 - OCT 28 - OULTON PARK
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2017
  7. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Member

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    My friend Matt got this great shot of the car in the last race at Snetterton.

    Silverstone is just a week away now. It's the national circuit, the one the Touring Cars use. I've not driven it before, so will be similar to Snetterton in that I'm expecting to qualify quite far down - but hopefully can pick up my pace throughout the race.

    IMG_4045.JPG
     
  8. Kipper

    Kipper Well-Known Member

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    Car seems has a lot of potential to explore and it seems your heading in the right direction, Nice to hear someone having so much laugh out loud fun whilst racing, I would be exactly the same. Looking forward to next report.
     
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  9. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Member

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    Only two days til Silverstone now. We are racing on the National Circuit, which is fairly short, but also quite a wide circuit - should be plenty of room for overtaking (and being overtaken of course!). Really looking forward to driving on such an iconic circuit for the first time.

    To get me in the mood, my mate Matt has just sent me some nice pics from Round 2 at Snetterton, so I thought I'd post a couple on here...

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    Not sure why but really like this, brings back the feeling of pre-race adrenaline - and memories of rushing around getting things done last second

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    Love the way this car sits, with the 15" Slipstreams it just looks at home out on track.

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    This MR2 was rapid and ended up winning the last race.

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    Now on to Silverstone. Hopefully can qualify slightly higher up the grid this time, but still only in my 3rd ever race so will try not to push beyond my limits.. even if the car is well capable of more!
     

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  10. Buckyy

    Buckyy Active Member

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    Mouldings give it that sleeper look lol

    Great write up serious car :)
     
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  11. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Member

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    Round 3 - Silverstone National Circuit

    It was another eventful weekend at Silverstone.. we really enjoyed ourselves, but this time without such a happy ending.

    We set off after work on the Friday evening, excited to be visiting the home of British Formula 1, and looking forward to finally driving on the UK's most iconic circuit. We've been to Silverstone before to watch the Touring Cars, but driving on it was something else. I had read mixed reviews, some saying it was great fun to drive, others saying it could be dull. I'll say first off that I thought it was absolutely fantastic.

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    We arrived just after dusk to find that John and the Lionheart Racing team had already set up camp. We would be lodging in their rather nice awning for the weekend - to keep off the rain that was expected Friday night. The awning is quite a bit of kit, and made the weekend much more enjoyable. My Dad and I immediately found ourselves scouring eBay for something similar!

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    The day had a similar itinerary to Round 2, meaning that after a hectic morning we would be able to relax a little before the race in the afternoon. This hopefully would also mean having a chance to watch one or two races. The car had performed well at the first two rounds, so I was reluctant to change anything. As a novice I think messing around with the car too much is counter-productive, as I'm far more likely to go faster simply by driving better. My Dad had wanted to soften the car off a little, but I had insisted we keep it the same so that we 'knew what was what'.



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    After an early start and the usual 'signing-on' at silly o'clock, both of our cars got through Scrutineering with no quibbles, and we made it (after a run down the paddock) in time for the race briefing. There was a bumper grid of 35 cars at this round! As usual emphasis was put on fun racing, rather than overly aggressive racing - which I can happily say was adhered to by everyone again on the day. After the briefing there was a brief stop to wolf down some breakfast, and then it was time for Qualifying.

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    As a newbie I was still managing to get out of sync, and as well as almost missing the briefing I also found myself frantically getting into my car to catch up with everyone else as they disappeared off for Quali. I also managed to get lost (I know, who gets lost at a race track?) ending up in the pit-lane, rather than the assembly area (half a km away) with everyone else. Some signs or directions would have been handy!!

    But as the Marshals filed us out onto the circuit, any worries disappeared and the Silverstone track came to life. Some of the fast cars were absolutely hacking round right from the off. I've got used to this now, and make sure to keep out of the way as I'm going around the circuit for the first time, trying to match up what I've learned from Youtube and videogames, with whats happening in front of me. The circuit is mega!

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    Once I'd completed my initial 3 laps (needed to be eligible for the race) I start to push on. The big right hander 'Copse' at the end of the start straight is very fast, with some of the better drivers barely braking at all before turning in hard. I found myself breaking quite a lot at first, worried about running wide on the exit. But as my confidence grew I realised just how much run off there was on the circuit, and started to push more. This did lead to one hairy moment as I missed the apex and left the circuit completely on the exit.. but there was plenty of room for error and I was enjoying learning my limits in a slightly safer environment. An error like that at Cadwell Park would have ended in disaster.

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    As well as enjoying the track itself, there were also some lovely new cars on the circuit. A couple of Ginettas had joined for this round, and I enjoyed following them round as I learned the best lines through the complex towards the end of the lap.

    After Copse is a tricky fast corner/chicane called 'Maggots' that requires a lot of learning. John had explained it was best to brake in a straight line as you are entering the corner, but I was finding it hard to shave off enough speed before turning immediately into the right hander of 'Becketts'. Running wide here not only cost you time in the corner but also affected your pace up the back straight. I struggled with these two corners throughout Qualifying.

    Apart from at Becketts, the car felt sensational. I wasn't sure what was different, as we were running the same tyre pressures as last race. But the car just felt more planted and less twitchy. At Snetterton I had struggled a little with understeer, but today the car felt alive and I was getting awesome feedback through the tyres. It gave me loads of confidence and I was having an absolute hoot.

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    After the back straight you break hard into the left hander of 'Brooklands', a great place for overtaking after getting the run on a slower car on the straight, and then comes the agonisingly slow right hander of 'Luffield' which seems to go on for about three or four minutes. I noticed that the more experienced drivers were able to carry a lot more pace through here than me and I made it my aim to keep up with them through this turn and into 'Woodcote' and the main straight.

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    As Quali came to an end I managed two or three laps behind the big BMW and the faster 2.0 Civic. I wasn't able to keep up with them, but knew that in trying I had managed my fastest laps of the session.

    Coming back into the paddock my dad gave me the good news, I had qualified 10th out of 35 cars. I was really happy, and I couldn't stop telling him how amazing the car had been. With a wry smile he told me that he had ignored my request to leave the car alone, and had adjusted the coilovers to a softer setting when I wasn't looking. Sometimes dads just know best.

    After the initial buzz of being in the top 10, I soon realised this meant I would have to start the race on the 6th row of the grid. My usual plan to 'keep out of the way in the first few corners' was not really an option with 25 other cars behind me. So I decided I would just get stuck in.

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    After a few tweaks to Johns car, we were both ready and so decided to go and watch some of the other races. This wasn't to be as I noticed that my car had a strange buzz coming from underneath. Crawling around underneath we realised that the new decat section of pipe that we'd had welded, was not bolted on firmly and had actually shaken off one of its bolts during the morning session. After a while wriggling around under the car we finally had fresh bolts on and me and dad made it to the grand stand just in time to see the end of the Toyo Tin Tops race.

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    After this is was back to the paddock to get ready for the race. Which didn't pan out quite how I'd hoped.

    I managed to give myself enough time to get ready without panicking, and get into the car and round to the assembly area in plenty of time. Dad reminded me as usual to take it easy, and I set off feeling confident. I knew the car was fast around here, and my plan was to keep in the mix for the opening few laps and end up with my first top 10 finish by the end of it.

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    The start line was an intimidating place, with so many cars in my mirrors - I felt a few pre-race nerves for the first time as I sat on the grid. When the lights went out everyone got away cleanly, I had given a few too many revs and felt the clutch slip slightly as I pulled away and a Clio squeezed past me on the inside. Round Copse it was all still clean but very close, and as we hammered towards Maggots we all somehow managed to brake and turn without hitting each other.

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    I managed not to run wide through Becketts as the familiar blue Civic of Ginger Panda Racing held a big slide through the end of the corner. Coming down the back straight I was behind the Clio which had overtaken me at the start. For the next lap I followed close behind, making sure not to do anything stupid.

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    After a good battle I managed to finally get around Becketts the fastest way and got the run down the back straight, overtaking politely on the inside before Brooklands. I had the nice blue and yellow ST of Team Norfolk ahead of me, and set about lining up for an overtake, desperate to keep up with the lead pack.

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    On paper my car was faster, as I this was a Class C car. But the guy driving was clearly more talented as we spent the next 6 or 7 laps locked in a very fun and (I think) very respectful battle. On the main straight I pulled level but found myself on the wrong side for the turn into Copse, so backed off. The following lap I still hadn't passed, so again pulled level on the straight - on the inside this time. Reaching the breaking zone I lost my nerve a little and braked early, not wanting to cut across his line through the corner. After what felt like an age I finally made a move at the end of that lap. The car was sticking to the track like glue, and gave me to confidence to carry more pace as we exited Luffield. I overtook on the inside as we sped through the fast paced right at Woodcote into the main straight.

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    By now we had lost the lead pack, but I could see the fast MSDT Celica ahead and knew I must still be in at least 8th or 9th place. I was feeling confident, and ready to build a buffer between the ST and Clio chasing me. I started to plan for the pit window opening, which must surely be coming soon. Then, disaster struck. At first I felt the car lose power slightly mid turn, I was worried it might be oil starvation (my worst nightmare). Then it happened again but this time on the straight. As I snatched 5th gear there was a clear loss of power and I felt the clutch slip. Uh oh.

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    As I changed down the car felt fine but when changing up on the straights there was a very obvious dip in power as the clutch struggled for traction. I wasn't going to finish the race. As the next 2 laps unfolded I found the Clio right up behind me again. Behind him I could see the ST that I'd fought so hard to get past. After a brief battle to hold my place I realised that I was only going to get in their way and pulled over to let them past on the main straight. As the clutch started to slip in every gear at least 10 cars piled past me on the straight, each one feeling like a punch in the gut.

    I nursed the car round to the end of the lap, by which time I had virtually no drive at all as the clutch melted away. Pulling into the pits I cold see the concern on my dads face - I had gone from top 10 to at least 20th in my last lap. I broke the news and he looked even more disappointed than me.

    IMG_4210.JPG

    The pit window had just opened so other cars started to stream in, but after a quick check under the bonnet to make sure it wasn't any other kind of fault, I switched off the engine and got out.

    I would have expected to feel awful at this point, as if something had been taken away from me. But actually I was pretty ok with the situation. These things happen, and clutches do wear out. In hind-sight the clutch had taken a bit of a battering at the start, and also I wasn't heel-and-toe shifting as much as I should have been. Ultimately it was a mixture of bad luck and my own fault, so there was no point in being upset.

    We watched the rest of the race from the pitlane as the BMW of GNB Racing took the overall win, and the MSDT Celica took the win in Class C.

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    It had been a sad outcome, but I had still had an awesome time. The track was fantastic, the car had performed superbly, and for the first time I had kept pace with some of the faster cars near the front. Although no one wants to retire from a race, I didn't feel hard done by and we went back to the paddock feeling pretty upbeat (if a little embarrassed at being towed back by the gigantic recovery truck!)

    Silverstone was a great circuit and we'd hopefully be back next season. Now, thoughts turned to Rockingham.. and a new clutch!
     

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  12. SpikeEK

    SpikeEK New Member

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    That's a disaster, but at least it's only a clutch needs replacing and nothing too serious.
    Well done on your pace and though, flying it for only your 3rd event
     
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  13. EK9 Matt

    EK9 Matt Well-Known Member

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    Brilliant write up's mate, and a bloody good effort! Keep up the good work and get a clutch in it!
     
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  14. jesse888

    jesse888 Ek9+Turbo+Nurburgring= Heaven Staff Member Donator

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    Id take that event as a massive positive personally.
    Litrally a clutch is now all thats holding you out of top 10 finishes....
    Youve clearly come along way from a talent perspective in just 3 events aswell so its all looking up for you!
     
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  15. Ginger Panda

    Ginger Panda New Member

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    shame about the clutch, you did save our day though with the bolt!!
     
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  16. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Member

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    So the car is now sorted and ready to race again.

    After advice from a few different people we decided to stick with an OEM Exedy clutch kit, rather than upgrading to a carbon-kevlar item.

    The thinking here was that with less than 200hp the standard clutch should be sufficient, and it makes sense to keep the clutch as the weak link. It's cheaper to replace a clutch than a gearbox..! Hopefully the new one will last us through the rest of the season - if not then we'll def be upgrading next time.

    IMG_4265.JPG

    Tegiwa sent out the clutch kit same day and it arrived within 24hrs of ordering which was nice. Also fitted a new replacement Honda flywheel spigot bearing, and had the flywheel skimmed. The driveshaft boots also needed cleaning out and re-filling with grease as the clips had come loose.

    The guys at MNM Engineering did the work in their mega workshop. Some serious drift machines in there this weekend including several serious cars with Toyota JZ engine swaps.

    IMG_4337.JPG

    Among others there were a Skyline, 350Z Turbo, Subaru BRZ Turbo, Mk2 Celica, Nissan 200ZX and plenty of Beamers. If anyone in Kent or the south east needs work on their race car these guys know their stuff.

    Now thinking ahead to Rockingham at the end of this month. Its a fast circuit, and quite unforgiving - but also one of my favourite tracks for watching the Touring Cars so we're seriously excited to be racing there.

    Hopefully a test day at Brands Hatch is also going to be fitted in next week.
     
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  17. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Member

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    No worries guys we were glad to help. Hopefully see you at Rockingham
     
  18. Ginger Panda

    Ginger Panda New Member

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    ready for Saturday mate?

    We've a new washer and bolt set for the linkage, rotate the tyres and we're ready for rockingham
     
  19. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Member

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    Hi mate. Yes the car is all ready to go.

    I'm also getting a little bit of track time tomorrow at Brands Hatch, hopefully that will make up for the time I lost at Silverstone haha.

    See you at Rockingham on Saturday!
     
  20. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Member

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    Quick update ahead of the race at the weekend, we had an excellent Track Day yesterday at Brands Hatch.

    My Dad was there to do his ARDS test, which he passed! So hopefully we will be racing together if not this season, then next season.

    Not sure a track day warrants a 'write-up' but this was without doubt the best I have ever been on. The weather was superb, blue skies all day, track conditions were great, and the nicest thing of all - it was not overcrowded. Some track days have 60 cars fighting for space in the pitlane. Yesterday there were only about 25 cars - which meant no queues to get on track, and absolutely loads of room out on the circuit. It was bliss.

    1.JPG

    We didn't take the Civic, as my Dad had booked 121 race tuition. The Civic is far too loud inside, you can barely hear yourself think let alone hold a conversation with an instructor. So instead we took the Fiesta.

    The car is reasonably standard, with a quick road setup, nothing fancy. The shocks are standard, with Eibach springs to firm up the ride slightly, and the engine is relatively standard, with Pumaspeed mani / induction / exhaust, and also a Dreamscience map. The wheels are OZ Superturismo with Kumho Ecsta road tyres, and we had new EBC discs and pads (yellowstuff) along with braided hoses and race fluid.

    3.JPG

    For such a standard car it was wicked fun, and did really well. We probably put in about 200 laps over the course of the day, and the car handled it fine. There was some definite brake fade towards the end of each stint, and we all agreed that the Yellowstuff pads were not up to much, there was so much dust on the wheels even before lunchtime. Next time round we will be getting Ferodo DS2500 pads. But other than that the car was mega, and really surprised us. For such a hot day it cruised round lap after lap with no issues - even the road tyres held out well under some fairly harsh driving.

    2.JPG

    But the real reason the day was so much fun was the 121 tuition. We got so lucky, as it turned out our instructor was Jake Hill - the bloody Touring Car driver! For those who don't follow TOCA, Jake is a professional racing driver who races in the BTCC for TAG Racing / Team Hard. Not a bad instructor to have! This is what Jake's car looks like..

    Capture.JPG

    Needless to say the tuition was absolutely spot on, and I think Jake took at least 5 seconds off my lap time. Granted this was in a road car, but still the improvement in my cornering over the course of the day was massive. At the beginning of the day he was trying not to laugh at my line through the hairpin at Druids, and in his words my line and technique through Clearways was "..not good at all"! But by the end of the day I could lap consistently getting both of those corners spot on.. most of the time.

    My dad benefited the most, Jake completely changed his driving style and got him to work the car harder. He went from being really tentative on the brakes, to being much more confident and turning in more purposefully. The increase in speed that he was able to carry through was huge. All in all I can't praise Jake enough and for anyone looking at driver tuition he is very very much worth getting in touch with through his website.

    It was brilliant preparation for our race at Brands Hatch in September, I'll be far more confident on the circuit and hopefully in the Civic I'll knock another couple of seconds off the lap time as well.

    Now, onto Rockingham for Race 4 on Saturday!
     

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