2nd September - Brands Hatch
Finding that we had probably the worst race times of the whole season at the end of probably the worst journey, we decided to travel down early Friday afternoon in an attempt to beat the M25. That was the least of our problems, got about 1 mile from home and the old trailer mudguard problem reared it ugly head again, different trailer - same problems, - the bolt holding the fold down guard had come loose and i was driving down the M66 with a thing like a bumper-car sticking out the side - pulled over and fixed it with use of large adjustable spanner.
That was the least of our worries, got to the M6 near J18 without major issues and then got stuck in traffic for a good while, then OK until M6 Toll, - then the other end of the mud guard came undone - table tie fixed that, big queue at the tool booths, Friday PM, only one person working on the barrier.
Got to M1 - more major traffic, and the M25... all in all took 6 hours....
Found a nice enough spot on the paddock, close to bar, toilets and power/water. put the tent up in similarly suitable place on camp site, closest to bar and toilet block possible, off for beers and food.
Up early to wander about and try to kick start my aging bones after being sat in the car for 6 hours straight. Half a pack of smokes and a coffee later... awake. Must admit the bacon rolls at Brands are better than most.....
Now for signing on, etc up hill to scruit bay, "bugger it, my race car is quieter that the road car so no point in towing it" drove to scruit bay, no problems as usual... was hoping he didn't notice how bald my NSF tyre is getting on the edges.
Spent a while sitting around wondering what set up to run, wet or dry.... so i messed it up, dry settings on the suspension, and hard tyres - not the best as it would appear as the track dried pretty fast and my lap time were better than last year but not great. 1.03.9 compared to Mark's 58.9 - assume position for butt kicking again. One bit of good news the new cooling mechanism fitted works really well, - (one small fan on oil cooler, and a Norton motorbike fan on front of radiator) - worked a bit too well, was running them in the assembly area before we started and engine didn't get up to temp properly - was running too rich for first 3 or 4 laps and misfiring like a bugger... turned one fan off, let it warm up a bit and things improved.
Wasn't 100% happy with the handling for qualifying so let a few pounds out of each tyre... stuck some more fuel in and "good to go" gave A-M a lift to the pitlane - its a bit of a long walk otherwise....
Back in my traditional place - last row on the grid, managed to get a half decent rolling start - ie didn't get completely left behind on first corner despite watching Mark get his fiesta all over the shop sideways. Was in with a chance for about 1 or 2 laps of keeping up with the other "small boys", but a couple of over cooked cornering manoeuvres soon put paid to that, ahh well - usual routine - pedal around at the back as fast as i can and try not to fall off / get in the way too much.
Managed to keep what seemed like a fairly consistent 1.03 1.04 time around the track, only slipped a bit when drifting off line to let the fast boys through, anyway 3 seconds better than last year, would have been better if i had spend an extra 2 mins and got the tyre pressures right..
11/09/2006 10:03 PM