Oulton Park 14th April - First Outing in the VX
VX on site on Friday for testing, quite a lot of work went in the week before to get to this stage:
- collected side panels from paint shop - still tacky. spent 2 hours fitting them, then dash board and windscreen. left 18 hours to dry. - midnight finish.
collected rest of panels - still slightly damp. finished fitting them 01:30 Friday morning.
Collected car, loaded tow truck etc, away to circuit 07:30 Friday - arrived about 09:30 ish. you will note in the photo above - still not fitted wing mirrors, still waiting for drivers side glass and fire extinguisher switches to arrive,
got switches on Friday lunchtime - now able to go testing - can't really go out on track with an unsafe car.
First afternoon session went out, managed 3/4 of a lap - no brakes - very scary. took 5 or 6 pumps of the pedal to be able to slow the car down.
Thanks to Simon for assistance bleeding the brakes in order to make second session... so basically testing consisted of one 15 minute blast...
Saturday - Race day.
Anne-Marie collected wing mirror glass Friday - fitted it Saturday - ended up holding it in place with trusty gaffer tape, first job when back to workshop - fit wing mirrors properly, maybe even fit interior mirror as well.
08:00 off to scrutineering - having parked car at front of queue Friday night, scruit seemed to like to swing on plastic bodywork... good job its well glued in place, commented that the front of the car was a little grubby - still covered in barn dust, promised i would get round to cleaning it before next race.
Gave me sticker for new helmet, and then I promptly dropped it :-) - no damage. - thanks to Stuart and crew for helping to push... its lighter than the golf but still takes a bit of pushing on your own... All electrics etc passed scruit.... first major milestone passed - still gotta sort a few things out...
Spent next 20 mins putting stickers onto now dry-ish paint work, apologies to Margaret at LMA for dodgy sticking - was a bit rushed and some of them went on wonky.
Practice / Qualifying:
Went out last in the queue as it takes me a while to get in the car, and its a bugger to get started... best place to be as its gonna take a while to get used to the car, all new...
Pootled around at the back getting used to the handling, and the extra power compared to the golf - and the noise behind my head - gonna start wearing ear plugs...
Qualified last I think... but 15 seconds faster then last year...
Got very hot and sweaty - "its like a real race car" someone said..
Caused a bit of confusion in the assembly area, spaces for 30 cars in there, let me in early even though i was number 32 on grid...
Never mind got out on track and lined up at back of rolling start, gonna have to learn how to do these properly, got left a bit behind as usual.
Went round gaining confidence in the cars handling and more importantly the brakes, had decided to go out with the ABS switched on.. had been having problems locking up the brakes in qualifying and had gone straight on at the chicane at one point.
About six or seven laps in started getting lapped by the fast boys, and managed to wave most of them by, got a bit out of shape on the entrance to Druids and ended up going for a trip through the gravel trap, narrowly missing the Clio of Matt Speakman, and back on to the circuit, applied way too much power and made a big cloud of tyre smoke as i did, gonna have to get used to that, the VX only weighs 720 kg and at the moment is pushing approx 200 BHP, to lighting up the back end and sliding all over the place is a problem.
Managed a few power slides coming up deer's leap, gave the marshal a giggle as i approached the hill sideways...
Never mind got round in one piece, no mechanical issues, apart from the nose of the car scraping on the ground under heavy braking, gonna call the guys as Plans Motorsport about that on Monday, and see what they suggest, gonna put the bigger brakes on the rear, and possible raise the nose a bit / bigger springs maybe?
see you all at Rockingham
04/16/2007 05:00 PM