July 18, 2006

Rebuild starts

Well, it's time to sort myself out and get the rebuild underway. In fact, I've already done quite a lot. The car needs a long front, new nearside sideskin, some work on the rear basket and lots of parts including a manifold, engine brackets and mounts etc.

Whilst it's apart I'm probably going to get a new rear panel (bashed after three seasons racing), a new scuttle (damaged when the car was rolled) and probably an offside sideskin as I may as replace all the aluminium!

Posted by charles at 4:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 30, 2006

Race 5 - Cadwell Park

Well, what is there to say. My season ended on lap 1.

Cadwell (16Mb Windows Media File)

I went for a gap, it was tight, Roger couldn't avoid contact with Jamie just as I went past and I hit the rear of his car. Game over.

Posted by charles at 10:47 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Races 3/4 - Snetterton

After the last two races, you'd think I was due a bit of luck. Not so.

Race 1 - Qualified 16th, Toby span in front of me on lap 1 and after avoiding action we rejoined last. I finished 25th out of 35.
Race 2 - Started 19th, had a misfire on the green flag lap. Retired at the end of lap 1.

MST have:
Race 1 Qualifying
Race 1 Grid
Race 1 Results
Race 2 Grid
Race 2 Results

Posted by charles at 10:46 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 22, 2006

Race 2 - Silverstone (Roll!!)

MMM got the car fixed and it was off to Silverstone where I'd qualified 5th last year and so was positive going in. After all, it couldn't get much worse, could it?

With more than 40 cars again setting out for qualifying I wanted to make sure I got the chance to put in some good laps so after working out I was in the queue about 6 cars behind a fast group I set out to catch up with them and did so. I put in a 1:09 which was OK and felt a bit happier. On my last lap, I put in a 'good' lap of 1:08.661 which put me 5th out of 39. Happy. Carl Bennet was on pole with a 1:08.085, Andrew Vickers in P2 with 1:08.264 and Chris Rome and excellent 3rd with 1:08.388.

MST have the full qualifying times and the grid.

The lights went out and I got an OK start. What followed was one of the most hectic races I have ever experienced - Silverstone National always creates these sorts of races because of it's long straights and incredibly wide circuit which often means five cars abreast. At this point I normally try to give an event by event commentry but this time I won't bother - watch the video! At the end of lap 1 I was in 7th but only a second behind Carl who was holding the lead. At the end of lap 2 I was in 8th but closer to the leader (Charlie) with a gap of 0.93 seconds! Places swapped continuously with the first 10 within 1.5 seconds of the leader and no gap between cars > 1 second until position 26. At the end of lap 6 I crossed the line in second (having been 5th at the end of lap 5) and briefly overtook Mike Solan to (briefly!) lead! As we came out of Copse on lap 7 I got engulfed and a number of cars came past me. As we then turned sharp right at Maggots/Beckets it got very tight and a little oversteer took me very close to Andrew Ennis, our wheels overlapping. He was under pressure on the outside and I was faster than him out of the corner which turned into a bad situation as my rear wheel hit the back of his rear wheel. My car was flug into the air ("bollocks, this is going to be expensive"), flipped over it's nose and landed on its cage ("keep your arms inside the car") and then landed back on wheels ("sh*t, someone's going to hit me"). Luckily no-one did. Andrew was forced to retire with a puncture but fortunately I didn't make contact with anyone and somehow, ended up by the barrier.

Watching the rest of the race was rubbish, seemed to take ages and just wound me up. (Andrew Vickers won, Charlie in 2nd and Carl 3rd). I was then checked over in the medical centre for the next half an hour and eventually signed off by the paramedics. Many, many thanks to all of them.

[pictures courtesy of Paul @ Race Pictures]


Video of the whole race - as you can see, it was pretty hectic!

Silverstone (80Mb Windows Media File)

..and a smaller one just of the crash.

Silverstone Crash (10Mb Windows Media File)

After having both my helmet and roll cage inspected by Keith (our scrutineer) it was clear that I needed a new cage although my helmet was OK having not hit anything hard. So, it was off to MMM for a second race in a row - and the Snetterton double header is just one week away.....

MST have the full results.

After two crash free seasons, two crashes in two events and my first DNF in a Championship race :-(

Posted by charles at 7:14 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 25, 2006

Race 1 - Castle Combe (Crash!)

Here we go again, and I was so looking forwards to getting racing again! We were at Combe in the Academy but as it was a sprint, we didn't even do a full lap and missed out Camp which is definitely a bottle corner, looking a lot tighter than it really is but having the pit wall oh so close if you get it wrong.

Testing was wet, and I was feeling comfortable with the car when suddenly, as I went into Camp for about the 5th time, the back came out and I couldn't catch it. Once off the circuit there was only wet grass and I knew I was going to hit the wall which I did, rear nearside first and then the front. As I got out and the session was stopped I could see the chassis damage :-(. First accident of my racing career and I was gutted.

Then things started to look up. Andy Mc from MMS said that he could put it back together if we could find some welding gear. A quick visit to a local race team later and the car was on a trailer being taken down there. I was out again for the afternoon sessions and despite the fact that it was pulling left, the car seemed good. Thanks again to everyone at MMS and everyone else who offered to help out.

Qualifying on Saturday was tough. Although it was dry we had 43 cars out which made it very difficult to put in a good lap. The best I could manage was 19th with 1:21.618. Simon Powell (1:18.700) and Andrew Ennis (1:19.599) were on the front row.

MST have the full qualifying times and the grid.

The race was wet and I wasn't looking forwards to going round Camp again. As the lights went out the spray appeared and I couldn't see anything. I got trapped on the inside and saw a couple of cars on the grass, as well as wings on the circuit, and by the time I got over Avon Rise the red flags were out. As it happened, Simon Powell had spun early on and had been hit hard by Ben Rockey. They weren't the only casualties and a few drivers decided that it wasn't worth taking the start again given the conditions. 35 cars took the second start but the visibility was no better. I managed to make up a few places until I caught Keith Chanter and decided that I was too far back to go past and would happy sit there and take my 12th place gracefully. Charlie Hunt took the win with Trevor Newman in second and Andrew Ennis in 3rd.

Castle Combe (28Mb Windows Media File)

MST have the full results.

After the race the car went off to McMillan Motorsport and back to Arch for some new chassis tubes :-(.

Posted by charles at 6:21 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)