I'm trying my hand at designing the rear wing support brackets, using Sketch Up 2017, which is very easy to use, and after a few hours spent teaching myself how to use it, the results are pretty good. The idea is to machine triangular sections out of the bracket, or get them laser cut, but I cant do that until I'm 100% sure that the wing is sat in the right location.
Mygale EcoBoost 1 - 2 at MIRAAfter checking the final results from the weekends' MIRA sprint, I noticed that several of the times credited to drivers were struck out. Today I checked with MAC, and they confirmed that these were 'disallowed' times, presumably for track limit infringements. The good news for me, is that Stephen Miles' time of 45.16s was disallowed, which moves me up in to 2nd in class, and, more importantly, 2nd overall behind Pete Goulding in the sister car. So that's our very first Mygale EcoBoost 1 - 2, and long overdue it was too. I'm sorry for Steve, as we were all denied another go at beating our times, due to the rain, and although I've finally beaten him (which has taken me 2 years) I'd rather do that fair and square than through a disqualification.
#ibeatsmilesI've overlayed Pete's data on mine, for both our T1 runs, and I'm really pleased that I'm now lifting and braking in the same places. I messed up the corner after tower, and I can see on the data Pete grabs time off me there. Pete also made a better job of the final bend, and was WOT about a second before me, which also cost me. I've made notes on what to do next year, and hopefully we'll have another dry attempt at beating our PB's at MIRA again.
MIRA ReportThe Midland Automobile Club event at MIRA (Nuneaton, Leicestershire) yesterday was a bit of a mixed bag. They said we'd get three practice runs in the morning, and then move to timed runs in the afternoon, which was the same format as we had in 2016. But last year, the event started wet, got wetter still, and only our last runs were in damp but drying conditions. This year, the rain wasnt forecast until midday, so it was suggested at the drivers briefing that we might just do two practice, and one timed run before midday. They said they'd think about it.
After walking the course, off we went then, for first practice, my first time at the track with 313BHP, and paddles, launch, traction etc, and I recorded a time of 46.07s, which was 10s quicker than my PB set in 2016. I was also quicker than Stephen Miles, and just behind Pete Goulding in the sister car, Pete having benefitted from driving at the track a few months previous, in the dry.
Second practice, I tried much harder, and went much quicker, but when I checked my time it showed a 64ft time of 5.08s, with a run of 48.73s. Here we go again. I had this same issue at Blyton. Somehow, they'd started the clock 3s before the green light came on, and my 64ft time of around 2.0s had had 3.0s added to it. I spoke to the CoC, and he said he'd make sure the start line marshals tightened up the procedure, and made sure the car didnt roll forward at the line. I know its only practice, but its meant to be practice for the drivers, not for the start line marshals. I arrive in 1st gear, hold the car in 1st gear, and launch the car a second after the lights have gone green. I'm not doing anything to make the car move forwards to break the timing beam light before the green light comes on.
News then came that the third practice run would indeed be changed for the first timed runs, and we quickly added fuel, cleaned the tyres, and watched the weather radar. "The rain is due in ten minutes" was the cry from Smiles' trailer, and looking skywards, there certainly seemed to be black clouds heading our way. But I joined the queue on slicks, as did everyone else, and all the single seaters quickly formed a line stretching down the paddock, all hoping to beat the weather. Rain started falling. At car 113, I was the last single seater out in the batch, so just my luck, everyone else would get a dry run and I'd get soaked. As the queue moved forwards, the rain was falling, and my visor had to be wiped dry. I could see the drops landing on the bodywork, but, in the short space of time, I was hoping the circuit wouldnt be too wet. Then a red flag appeared, and that added a delay of a couple of minutes, the rain was still falling, and the tension was rising. I convinced myself that the track wouldnt be too wet, and it stopped raining as Smiles shot off the line. Then the Dallara, followed by Pete, and now it was my turn. I made another great start, drove as quick as I could, made a right mess of the corner after tower, with the tyres screeching, I kept it on the track, and wrestled the oversteer on the last corner. But was it enough?
The time keepers at least got the 64ft time right this time, and I'd done a 45.27, which was 0.11 slower than Smiles with his 45.16, and Pete Goulding beat us both with a 44.08s, with the Dallara in fourth. We then watched the black clouds roll in during lunch, and there was a very heavy downpour which totally soaked the track. After lunch, I didnt bother venturing out again, but Pete did with a set of freshly cut intermediates, but he was 6s slower than the FTD run before lunch. And then several more showers came, and I decided I couldnt improve, so I loaded the car back on the trailer.
So I was 3rd overall, and just a tenth behind Smiles, which I'm very pleased about. Another dry run and I'd have sorted out the couple of mistakes in T1, and I'd have been in the 44's, if not the 43's. I hit 138MPH on the approach to Tower, and Smiles' Van Diemen only made 124MPH, which shows the difference between our 1.6T engines and the SBD 2.0 Duratec. We've far more torque, but zero Aero, so next year with the new wings fitted, we should be far quicker, and I'm hoping for some better results. I'm not unhappy with knocking 11s off my PB though. But FTD would have been nice.
I was lucky enough to visit Base Performance Simulators a couple of weeks ago, where I learnt the Knockhill circuit in both directions on their 6-axis simulator. I video'd the session too, and felt the sim wasn't that far off the real thing, and when I compare my real Knockhill footage with the sim video, its amazing how accurate the sim is.
Watch for yourselves.
Aintree ReportAintree was another action packed day on Saturday, with sunny skies, a dark contrast to the weather this time last year. We had two practice and two timed runs before lunch, and four timed runs in the afternoon, with barely 35 mins between each run. I did OK, with a 42.99s, which was 0.4s slower than my PB in June. Now I'm home I can see from the video and data where I was unnecessarily slow, but on the day the pressure was such that you barely had time for a pee and any car prep was at a premium. My thanks again to Liverpool Motorclub for putting on such a slick, well run event. I was 2nd overall, behind John Graham, but then thats not surprising as there was only the two of us in the over 2.0 class.
This video shows all six timed runs. I reached over 150mph on several runs, and the car was once again, perfect.
My next event is the Midland Automobile Club MIRA (Nuneaton) sprint this coming Saturday.
These are the two fastest runs from Knockhill, both setting new Forced Induction class records in the BSC. I also beat Ashley Suttons flying lap time, from when he raced his EcoBoost at Knockhill, which I should, as I have double the horsepower, but its still a box ticked for me :D
And so its a return to Aintree again this Saturday, alas, the new aero wont be on the car, as the rear wing support still isnt stiff enough and I dont want to lose the rear wing at 140MPH. So I'll be concentrating on carrying more speed around the corners, with the standard Aero fitted, to see if I can close the gap to John Graham in his Gould GR55.