September 19, 2004

Academy Event 6 - Race, Mallory Park

Event 6! It all seems to have come round so quickly, and the remaining two events come over the next three weeks. Anyway, back to the Mallory race.

I arrived about 08:00 and managed to pick up my signed video form at signing on which was really good news. It was only when I got back to my car that I realised that I'd left both the power and video lead behind, so there was going to be no filming. That turned out to be a great shame.

I got the car up on stands to remove the rear wheels and bleed the brakes and what with the briefing in between and qualifying starting at 09:55 it was all a bit of a rush. Paul Jepson had arrived with a broken windscreen and Caterham set about fitting a replacement but unfortunately Paul missed the start of the briefing and was fined - not a good start to his day.

Qualifying was fairly uneventful, although the times were closer than previous events. Slipstreaming other cars to get around the circuit was vital to setting the best times and I was reasonably happy with my 16th position, especially as my time of 55.827 was a couple of tenths better than my best time in testing the previous Wednesday. Adrian 'Wag' Wagstaff set the pace on his home circuit with a 54.679, closely followed by Adrian Agyros with 54.753 and Luke Dimsdale with 54.890. Championship leader Paul Jepson was down in 7th with 55.178. Less than 1 second covered the top 12 qualifiers, and 3.5 seconds the top 25! Fabian put in a good performance to qualify 10th after his massive crash at Snetterton, but Andrew Blight was suffering from a poorly engine and was down in 20th. An investigation revealed an inlet side flooded with oil but no definite cause. He decided to run anyway :-). See the full grid here courtesy of MST.

Onto the race and we went round for the green flag lap, butterflies building. I lined up on the grid beside Darren Faraway with John Bickell and Chris Rome in front of me. Lights on and then out and start! People around me seemed to make reasonable starts but I managed to get past John Bickell. As we raced round the first few corners traffic made some overtaking possible and I squeezed past Chris Rome, moving up to 14th. Darren who had started alongside me on the grid was up to 10th. At the front Adrian Agyros was leading with Wag in second and Chris Sedwick up to third from sixth. Positions swapped for the next couple of laps and by the end of lap 3, Adrian was still in the lead but with Chris now in second and Wag down to third. Paul Jepson was up to 5th and I was holding 14th. Chris took the lead on lap 4: into lap 5 and Patrick Scharfegger and Wag had a coming together. Paul took evasive action to avoid a serious accident and unfortunately ended up in the tyre wall near the esses. I was up to 13th. On lap 6 the yellow flags were out but only one was being waved and there were a few overtaking maneovures depending on when people saw the flag - including myself overtaking Jonathan Alpine. Sorry! Up to 12th.

On lap 7 Adrian was back in the lead with Chris second and Luke third. James Sykes got past me and I was now down to 13th with John Bickell right up behind me and Jonathan behind him.

On lap 9, Luke took the lead up from 4th on the previous lap. Chris was still second but Jamie Bashall was now up to third. I was still in 13th but finding it increasingly difficult to hold off John. However, on lap 10 I got past James again and was back up to 12th.

On lap 11 I wasn't as quick running up to the Esses and James came past me, closely followed by John Bickell and Chris Rome in the run up to the hairpin. I was down to 15th! Some very close exchanges followed [great that Chris had his rear facing camera going] and into lap 12 I managed to slipstream past Chris. Luke was holding the lead with Chris Sedgewick second and Adrian third, with Jamie having dropped to 4th. As we came round the hairpin and through Devil's Elbow I was so pleased to see the chequered flag as Chris was very close. He made a last minute dive out of my slipstream but I was able to hold on as we crossed the line.

What an absolutely fabulous race. I didn't even care where I'd come, it was such great fun.

Luke finished first, Chris second and Adrian third. Despite his engine problems, Andrew managed to pick up 5 points with a 16th.

See the full race results here again from MST, or the full booklet with a lap by lap breakdown.

Updated results are available to download here.

I've now moved up to 12th, but have Jonathan Alpine, James Sykes and Andrew Blight all within 4 points of me! Conversely, Darren is 11 points ahead so it's going to be a challenge to keep my place.

Posted by charles at September 19, 2004 11:19 PM
Comments

Charles

Thanks for the text yesterday.

What an excellent write up - sounds like you had a great time!!!

Cheers

Guy

Posted by: Guy at September 20, 2004 4:53 PM

Hi Charles,
I have been eagerly waiting for your excellent race report as I thought I may get a mention. I also had camcorder problems and was very disappointed not to have any footage of such a great race, perhaps Chris Rome's footage could be available. I emphatically agree with your quote "it doesn't matter where you finish it was great fun". One last noteworthy point - none of our little of racers group suffered any contact damage.
Regards John B. (see you on the grid at Oulton)

Posted by: John Bickell at September 20, 2004 7:29 PM

Thanks John and Guy. Yes, true to mention that unlike Snetterton there was only one DNF (the unfortunate Paul Jepson) and much less damage. Patrick and Wag probably have a bit of a bill though :-(. Cannot wait until Oulton now!

Posted by: Charles Elliott at September 20, 2004 8:14 PM

BTW John - Chris' rear camera was definitely working as I got a sneak preview of the footage!

Posted by: Charles Elliott at September 20, 2004 8:16 PM

oh it was working alright...Check here:
http://caterham-academy.co.uk/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=630
:)

See you all at Oulton....
Chris

Posted by: Chris at September 20, 2004 8:24 PM