Mallory Park - Welcome to the "59 club"
Memories of last year and some good close racing persuaded us to make the two and half hour drive to Mallory Park Leicestershire with the aim of beating last years time by at least 2 seconds, and if possible get below the 60 second per lap time.
Loaded the car up on Saturday lunchtime in record time, despite having one mashed finger and several Pongo2 bite marks....
Arrived first in Euro Saloons again and got similar spot to last year despite our places in the paddock being full of anglers, lay down a couple of towels to keep a space for Simon, Eff and the caravan. (Moral support team for the weekend).
Went out nice and slow to start to warm up the tyres, had made some changes to the suspension damping after silverstone. - seemed to be working reasonable well, had taken Stuart Jefcoate's advice about tyre pressures and dropped them 10 pounds all round - was aiming for 30 pounds (ish ) when hot.
Was able to take Gerard's flat out in 4th and get the back wheel in the air, seemed to be running really well, all gauges in the green - except the rev counter obviously... managed
1:00.454, average over 80 mph and over 2 seconds faster than last year and close to the elusive sub 60 time. Even managed to pass the Ferrari on one lap - learned later he wasn't 100% happy and went home after qualifying.
Back into the pits and check hot temperatures, fronts at 32 and rears at 30.. so that looks fine.
Qualified in usual place, with Mark Hammersley in other class D car a full 3 seconds faster ... not much point trying to catch him then...
Went round "like a lunatic" trying to break 60 second barrier.... had a few close encounters with several touring cars on hairpin and at one point nearly had Pete Challis in my drivers door, nice one Pete, I had no more road and he just managed to miss me, brown trouser moment passed.... was obviously trashing it a bit harder and the oil temp was up 20°C - still OK though, and my oil pressure was still running at about 1 bar... (those of you who remember the car from last year will know that this was a big problem with last year's engine).
Managed to get
Back to the pits again to check pressures - still OK.
Decide after talking to Simon that I should reduce the damping on the fronts by another turn and i was still under steering out of the hairpin and ending up on the outside of the bend on exit. - see photo above. Checked fluids and all the other bits and pieces.
Off we went, Simon did a sterling job of driving the pace car and the guys at the back were all nicely bunched up. Went round even faster and had the back wheel off the ground for most of Gerard's, tried following some of the faster cars around there and was at several times in danger of running in the back of some of the other guys. - They all managed to pull away in the back straight though. Was trashing it even harder than in race 1 but managed to get lapped by Mark Hammersley on the last lap - bugger, that hasn't happened for a while.
Here we go, did i do it, break the 60 second a lap time that is............................
- target achieved.... yippee, pack up car, race home potless but happy.
(the trophies have changed this year, I don't get one for "turning up"...)
- watch me getting lapped (approx 9 mins in)
12/08/2006 01:27 AM