May 2017

23May

I've pulled the data from the ECU logs at Snetterton, and compared with the speeds that I carried around the corners when there a year ago, and you can see the difference in my increased corner speeds, which has come from simply gaining confidence with the car.



This is a comparison of the two EcoBoost cars from Snetterton. I think you can see who has the most power :D


22May

I've added a couple more wire ropes to support the diffuser, and a quick spanner check of the car reveals no problems from Snetterton. Once again, analysing my progress in 2017, I guess the greatest performance increase since the start of the season, has to be down to the conversion to the paddle shift system. I'm now so much more relaxed in the car, the stick shift worked OK, but taking your right hand off the steering wheel midway through a corner, really prevented me from pushing, and Pete had a really big performance advantage from using his paddle system from Rockingham. At Croft I was learning how to use the paddles as it was my first time out with them enabled, but all the practice paid off at Snetterton.

Speaking of conversions, I still need to get back to DJ with the measurements for the position of my rear wing, so we can get some support brackets cut out. I'll try and get the drawings made this week. In June I'm at Pembrey, and then Aintree the last weekend, then Blyton in July, followed by Knockhill in August, so there's a big break between Blyton and Knockhill, which I'd like to fill with some more events. But the calendar looks a bit sparse, and I cant make the trip to Kirkistown at the end of July due to other commitments. I'll have to see if I can get some go karting organised to keep me and the kids occupied during the long summer holidays.

21May

Preparation for Pembrey in two weeks continues, with my first attempts at tyre cleaning. The Avon tyres pick up a lot of rubber from other cars, and the surfaces of the tyres regularly need either surforming, or heat gunning, which is the treatment I decided on. This may look a bit odd, but everyone does it, and it really restores the tyre's performance. And at £1100 a set, they're worth looking after.

I'm quite pleased with the results, considering it was the first time I'd seriously had a go at the heat gun technique. Basically, the paint scraper is dragged across the surface, but it must follow the heat gun, which blasts the surface with 450C hot air, and softens the rubber's top layer to allow the scraper to remove the dirt and old rubber. If the scraper is run across the surface for a second time, you'll find that it doesnt remove anything, which goes to show that the first pass is enough to clean the tyre adequately.



20May

I've spent a long time comparing my PB 86.35s run log file with Pete's file from his 87.22s run. Its evident that my launch control is working perfectly, as the pace off the line is far far quicker than Pete's. I've created a quick video that shows both the cars side by side on the track map (which now works again on my car) and you can see I (Green dot) easily pull away, however Pete (Red dot) almost catches me on the hair pin, so even though I braked a lot harder than Pete, he appears to be able to brake later and arrest more speed. I am left foot braking, and generating huge brake pressures with no wheel lock, but I need to look at the pad material in the front brakes, and see if I can replace them with something that produces more friction.


Other news, I just bought a Dell Precision T7910 workstation off the Manor F1 auction site. It's a 12 core, 32GB, Xeon PC, with 256GB SSD and 24" monitor, and this will be used to build a racing sim, so I can practice some of the circuits from home, using rFactor. Collection should be next week.

Photographs from Snetterton can be found here

16May

Snetterton Report

Rounds 3 & 4 of the British Sprint Championship

A very succesful weekend at Snetterton. On Saturday, with traction control issues, I recorded a new PB and qualified 11th for the Top 12 run offs, but finished 12th again.

On Sunday, Northampton Motorsport were in attendance, and they turned off the front left wheel speed sensor, and I turned traction control down to 5, and on my 2nd timed run I did a 0-60 in 2.2s and a new PB of 86.35s, which put me in 14th place for the Top 12 run offs, so sadly no points on Sunday. The car was incredible to drive, I learnt so much more about how far to push, and the changes I made to the aero at the rear really worked.

On Saturday, I finished within a second of Pete Goulding's EcoBoost (the sister car), and I was pleased with my Top 12 finish, scoring another point in the BSC championship. On Sunday hoever, I beat Pete, by almost a second, to which Pete said he 'couldnt match that'. I'm so pleased to have finally got to the point where I have absolute confidence in the car, and I have mastered the paddle gear changes, and stayed calm enough to drive the car hard, but put in what was almost a perfect lap for me. And to #beatpete with the same aero, is also a bonus, as when the DJ aero is fitted, my car should be unstoppable, with some far higher placings in the BSC championship. It is just the lack of downforce that is preventing me from keeping the power down on the corners, as can be seen from the video's.



This happened too, an accidental car release on my third timed run on Sunday. They red flagged both of us and I was allowed a re-run. Could have been nasty, but these things sometimes happen.



Next event is Pembrey on June 3rd/4th.

6May

#7 days to Snetterton

I'm car #16 at Snetterton next weekend, and I've almost finished prepping the car. I've made a few more aero tweaks that I'll be trying out, and the news from DJ is that my rear wing might be ready next week, but mounts for the front wing need to be resolved, so I'll have to take a trip over to N.Derbyshire with my spare front FIA crash box, and a spare lower rear wing element so they can attach the mounts in the right places to match my cars requirements.

I've entered the Aintree sprint on 24th June, hopefully the weather will be better than last year when the meeting was cancelled after the first timed runs due to the rain. I'm of course at Pembrey the first weekend in June, on the 3rd and 4th, on two more rounds of the BSC championship. And in July I'm at Blyton for the weekend, on the 8th and 9th, which are again BSC rounds. But I fancy another go at Aintree, as I've unfinished business there.

2May

#12 days to Snetterton

Checked the car over today, first time I'd had the covers off since Croft. No issues found. The oil in the gearbox is still clean. The dry sump tank for the engine only had 3.0l of oil in it, even after turning over the engine on the starter, so I added 1 litre of 10W60 to bring it up to 4.0l. I made a couple of support stays for the diffuser, to try to prevent if from moving, and these run from the gearbox downwards, at an angle of 45°. I also refilled the PB bottle to 3000psi, and I checked the water level in the header tank, and all it needed was a splash of water to bring the level back up. Finally I drained the fuel tank, and it still had 2l of fuel left, which is what was in the tank when I finished my final run off run at Croft. That means I used around 1.5l per lap.