Oulton Park 18th August - "Tales Of Woe"
Having spent quite a bit of time investigating the source of my major oil leak - lost 5 litres out of a total of 6, fixed that and washed and refitted the under trays, was ready for Oulton park double header. Nearly didn't make it as the local electricity boys dug up the lane to the farm where my car is stored and only finished filling it in at 1700. I was due to collect he car at 1600 but being delayed at work fitted in OK.
Made the 1 hour drive to Oulton without incident, got a good spot on the paddock and stopped for a beer with Jason to celebrate his 21st. Laid out some "towels" for Simon and set of back to the workshop to load the truck for Saturday.
Had a bit of a panic at scrutineering, was right down the queue with all the minis when i spotted the LMA boys were jumping the queue and got in front of a couple of super Tourers - first and only time !!!, finished with scrutineering just in time to hear call the assembly area - got my kit on and off we go.
track was a little wet and all the tree lined areas were very slippy, went round at a safe pace and tried to stay on the track. not a blistering time but managed 10 seconds off last year's time and near to my target of 1:10. so a 01:14 in the wet.
came back into parc ferme with brown smoke pouring from the rear of the car.. one of the marshals came running over with the fire extinguisher... here we go again... its was just the new exhaust wrap burning itself in. hence brown not black smoke. smelled of burning fibre glass which is a bit worrying as my car is made of the stuff as well. Then the engine cut out... thanks to a helpful chap in the paddock I was able to push the car back to the other end of the paddock for more electrical fixing... was turning out just like Snetterton all over again.
managed to fix the electrical problem - same thing as last time, gonna send the cut-out box back to Demon Tweeks and get a new one... this is getting to be a major pain..
Having qualified 21st had some work to do to get any sort of points, had a terrible start after 2 green flag laps, at least the windscreen didn't mist up - worked out how much open window i need to stop it misting up. On the first or second lap all sorts of carnage ensued.. the red Clio of Sullivan and one of the Vectras had a big accident coming up the hill and the Vectra was still spinning across the track as I got there, a quick swerve to the left and I was out of the way... It was very hard the get the VX's power down as my tyres are not really a wet tyre, more of an intermediate, every time i tried to apply power out of a corner the back end twitched all over the place, so i was not making very good progress and even got passed under yellow flags going up the hill - more on that later. Race got red flagged at approx lap 6 and we had to sit on the start line for at least 30 minutes while barriers etc were rebuilt and the ambulance carried someone off to hospital.
restart - not great, second lap after the restart the car was misfiring badly and i was having to apply the power early in an attempt to get any speed out of the corners, the one time it worked properly it spun me around and i clobbered the two big stacks of tyres on the exit of Fosters, had to make use of the part of the track we would usually use for the full circuit chicane, waited a while for the lead cars to go past and the got waved on by a marshal. went round for 4 laps with the front end hanging off and banging on the ground. Fell off 3 more times in the next 2 laps, suspect there was oil on my front tyres and i had lots of understeer. Finished where i started 21st.
Spent next hour or so sticking the front end back on with cable ties and gaffer tape.. and had to go the clerk of the course - to give my view of the yellow flag incident - other driver got 2 points on his licence.
Track had started to dry out but most of the guys except the Super Tourers had chosen to go out on wet tyres, my choice of intermediates should have worked well as there was dry line but not all the way around. Started almost at the back and made reasonable start as we went out from the assembly area as our rolling lap, chased Simon for two laps and was able to catch him up pretty easily, and passed him on the entry into lodge. Went round for another lap or so gaining on the yellow fiesta of Mark in the distance, then the engine made a big bang and lots of exhaust noise, thought the turbo had blown - left over damaged from Snetterton, came in to pits expecting to see oil and metal falling out of the back of the car, switched off and got out... nothing leaking, just a lot of noise - the hose had popped of the bottom of the intercooler so no boost.. well I need some points for a 4th in class finish i thought and went out to do the rolling road block routine at the back, only had 3 or 4 laps to do at "golf speed".
Managed to get round and finish, then to add insult to an already disappointing day, didn't get classified and i had done 1 lap less than 80% distance... bugger...
08/25/2007 08:40 PM