Blyton made for a far more attractive days motorsport. This was my fourth round of the British Sprint Championship, and with the prospect of driving two laps of Blyton, in beautiful sunny Autumn weather, I was raring to see if my pace had improved over the year. We were invited to take part in a reconnaisance run, which most of us did, and the start of the 2nd lap proved most interesting, with a complex right, left, right, right, in to a tight left, returning back on the long sweeping left hander leading to Wiggle. I was soon on the pace, with a 3rd in class 5E, beating the Tegra Judd V8, and qualifying 10th place for my first ever Top 12 Run Off.
I filled the tank with more petrol, gave the tyres a quick check, and lined up for my two timed runs to see where I would finish. Try as I might, I couldnt match my fastest 129s run, as I recorded a safe 130s time on my 1st run. I then lined up for my 2nd timed run, and recorded an almost exactly the same 130s run. This placed me in 11th, which I was quite happy with, given the improvements by those around me.
My fastest timed run of the day, is shown below. I know, there is still room for improvement. I'm examining the logs from the ECU carefully, and I reckon its the left foot braking that causing me to lose the most amount of time. I definitely need to either move the steering rack to allow my right foot to brake, or teach my left foot how to work better, as I was braking twice on some corners, as I can see the fluid pressure increase, decrease, then increase again, something I didnt even realise I was doing.
Yet again, it rained and rained all day, ruining another chance to see what the Mygale was capable of. MIRA was the venue this time, and again rain was forecast, but we hoped for a dry afternoon, though it never came. Three practice runs in the morning, helped people find their feet, and I soon realised that I was being far too cautious, as Pete Goulding was a country mile ahead of me. So I manned up, and closed the gap to 5s, and try as I might, every time I improved, Pete did by the same amount, and he maintained the 5s gap all day. I was lying in 2nd place after the first timed run, but for the second timed runs, we were held up for quite a while by a couple of spinners. The rain had defintely started to retreat, and on a damp but no longer water logged track, the Dallara that I was ahead of, improved a second more than I could on my T2 run, and knocked me in to 3rd place. I disconnected the rear ARB in the morning, and it definitely made the car easier to drive in the rain. So a 3rd in class (from 5 starters) and a very soggy set of overalls, and shoes, would they dry out in time for tomorrows meeting at Blyton? The best advice today was to drive in as high a gear as possible. So although 5th and 6th sounded suicidal, the high gear effectively acts as traction control, as the car was less likely to break traction whilst accelerating, when being driven in a high gear. I tried the advice after lunch, and on my first timed run improved significantly, proving that it worked.
Aintree was very wet on Saturday, with the rain arriving at 9:30am, and it didnt stop raining all day.
We ran both practice runs and first timed runs before Midday, Liverpool Motor Club are renowned for their efficiency in running meetings, and we then broke for lunch after 12:30, for an hour. The first timed run before lunch turned out to be the dryest the wet track would be all day, as the downpour really started around 1pm, and the organisers restarted the event at 1:30pm for everyone to take their 2nd timed runs. It was evident that the problem of surface water was growing, and after several 'offs' we had a break for 30 mins to see if the rain would subside. At 2:30, a peugeot 205 went off in spectacular style at Beechers, and the organisers tried in vane to remove drain covers, and even dig channels to encourage the water to drain away, but with little effect. With the rain still falling, a drivers briefing was called at 3pm, and everyone agreed that it was simply too dangerous to continue, and the results were declared after the first timed runs, so none of those who ventured out for 2nd runs were allowed to claim a faster time.
It was disappointing. Even in the rain, the grip from the track was quite substantial, but the surface water made it far too dangerous for the light single seaters, so it was the best decision. I manged to reach 128.7MPH across the finish line, in the wet, which is far quicker than I've ever been before in the car, even at the dry events. With a dry run at Aintree I was expecting to reach 150MPH. I'll just have to try again next year.
Couple of pictures taken by Brian Taylor
Here is a video of my quickest T1 run in the morning.
Rear facing camera of the 2nd practice run.