October 14, 2009 blog

Thruxton – a tail of two wheels…

Thruxton was a single day of racing with the qualifying in the morning after the ‘Church break’ and then the two races in the afternoon, with the last race being at 17:45, so this one would be interesting as the light could be fading. The next interesting factor was the weather, as it was forecast to be raining at the end of qualifying, and during the first race.

First thing in the morning Sean and myself walked the circuit, this was more to get an idea of where we would be going, and as we had time, it was a nice 45 minute walk.

The circuit was looking to be very fast with one small slow part the chicane, so out we went at 11:00 to qualify on the currently dry track, I got a couple of good laps in and was surprised when I got the times, I had actually qualified second out of the class ‘D’ cars. At the end of the session it had started to rain, and was getting slippy.

The first race was not until 14:30 and during this time (between qualifying and the first race) it was raining constantly, so as it looked I was going out for my first wet race. Accordingly I pumped up the tyre pressure so I could get the heat in them quicker, this worked well and I had a very close race with John Brabin and we traded placed a few times over the duration of the race, the only issue was when he attempted to pass me at the chicane he touched my rear wheel on the passenger side (this put me sideways across the track) lucky for me the car was still moving forward and I was able to save the slide, and continue with the race, about a couple of laps later (I had re-taken the second place) he did it again, but the other side, so I was sliding again. Again I saved the slide, and proceeded to chase him down and looked to overtake him again, although the race finished one lap later and I think I could of passed him if only I had one more lap.

The second race was at 17:45 and although the rain had stoped, the track was very greasy and slippy, on the first lap one of the other competitors, Ralph spun in-front of me, and was on the grass, so I was taking it easier as my car was moving about a lot more than in the first race (I had forgotten to lower the tyre pressure back down) so the ones in front of me started to pull away, but I was not confident in the conditions that we had, and I did not feel like breaking the car on the last outing. As the race finished I was in forth position, as Ralph had recovered and passed me a couple of laps earlier.

Overall I have finished the first season of my racing in forth position out of the 7 people that were out racing in class ‘D’ although for most races there was only 4 or 5 of us on the track.

The whole year has been an immense challenge, and very enjoyable. I am hoping to continue improving the car over the winter months by changing the rubber bushes to either poly bushes or solid bushes, and I will be looking at working with a couple of other companies that will be able to assist me in either supplying parts, services or knowledge to enable my car to be competitive next year.

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