So another year starts again, in less than 3 months we need to be ready for round 1 at Croft on March 19.

The car is about back together, just some finishing touches.


 



 
 
A new front bumper and a pair of wings, wonder how long they will last?
Anyway, 2 weeks to go, entry is in, been sorting tyres out, van is ready, roll on Croft.

Last weekend before Croft, got car weighed and cross weights set. It just needs a clean now and we are ready to go.

 




Round 1 Croft 19 March 2017.


We arrived at Croft on the Saturday afternoon and got setup in between Guy and Kirk.  There were 15 cars in the Super National class which included 2 x Lotus Exige, a Clio V6 and a 2.4 Ka, all of which are multiple SN championship winning cars. So for us to get into Final was going to be quite tuff especially as there was also Guy in a quick 206, Vince in his E36, Slav in the rejuvenated Fiesta, Gary in the Astra GTE, Todd in the rapid Mini.

      
 
The heats went by without any drama, being 5th 7th and 7th overall. That got me into Semi 1 and I needed to be in top 4 for final.  Tristan and Ash were likely to be at front leaving Guy, Todd, Slav and myself fighting over the last 2 places.  I was fourth with Todd very close to my backend,  then coming out of the hairpin I was on three wheels, the sudden loss of pace was such that Todd had nowhere to go and ran into the back of the BM.  The nearside rear wheel studs had sheared clean off.
 
After recovery into paddock area I got on with fixing it so that we could get it on to trailer to take home, we were then noitified that Lynchy had blown the engine, Todd could not make final, Guy broke his gearbox and we were 8th on grid for final if we could be ready. There were many helping hands from fellow competitors( whom I thank enormously) to get car back out for final, thank god for cable ties and duct tape.
 
        
 
 



If someone had offered me 4th in Final at the start of the day I would happily have said yes please, Paige won with Ash second and Tappy third.  I closed in on Tappy and was tight to him for last 2 laps but could not get him to leave a BM sized space to get past. 

A good result considering the opposition and the Semi incident, roll on Lydden at Easter.
 


Round 2 Lydden Hill Easter Monday April 17


A drive south for this the second event of the year and it looked like we could have dry weather hopefully.

Yet again, with the high level of competition, just getting to the final would be an achievement.

Practise went fine as did the heats, no dramas, I was 3rd in heat 1 and 2 and 4th in heat 3.

 


 


So we make it to Semi Final 1 and are on front row in second.  Joker from the start line and then head down to try to stay in top 4 to get to final. We made it back up to second, even taking a deliberate hit in the side at the top of hairy hill, I turned into the hairpin and then got hit in the side as I was used as a brake which resulted in a bent front strut and body damage all down offside. I managed to keep second to chequered flag and into final.

 

 

In the final we were struggling with the bent strut but managed to stay in 4th place to collect more points, overall a good weekend but the poor driving standards from some people really getting disappointing, especially when the officials do nothing about it!

 


Not sure what or where will be next time out, if there is one!

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Well after some time there was.  Between April and August work has been manic with little or no time to get car repaired after Round 2. Also we had to move units as the guy who owned the unit we were in decided he wanted us out. We found a temporary place for the cars and then foung another unit but it would not be ready til end of August. 

Anyway I managed to get car repaired and looking something like and put an entry in for round 6 at Lydden.

  

Practise went ok, Heat 1 I was a little slow away from the start, Heat 2 was better and Heat 3 was stopped on lap 3 when Todd had a nasty accident. On the restart I thought I had overheated the tyres as I had very little grip, it wouldn't turn in and when it did I had massive oversteer!!  When I got back to the pits and stopped there was a pool of oil under engine.  It turned out that the oil cooler had developed a small leak, this in turn was also getting onto tyres, hence the limited grip.

  

So with oil cooler replaced, engine topped up with oil we were into Semi 2. Luck ran out again when the nearside rear wheel studs sheared again on the entry to Devils Elbow. Game over and an early bath.




Some video footage:

 
Heat 1 In Car
 

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Next up was final round of British Championship at Croft circuit in October. Our local circuit and we usually go quite well here, weather was on our side being fine although damp early on.

Heat 1 and a return to sheared wheel studs again.  We must find out what is causing this issue.
Picture thanks to Tony Harrison:


 
The next two heats went ok and that was us into the semi's. 

 





In the semi we took off after Tristan in the Clio with Tony trying to keep me out of 2nd, he then spun at first corner.




The final was held on Sunday morning for some reason, before the heats for the Grand Prix.  So if anyone had any issues in the final there would be no time to sort them out before the GP started.

We had a tardy start and then got a little wide into second corner which let 3 cars by as I could not get back to inside line. After following Tony round for a few laps I went round the outside of him into the hairpin, as I turned in he just ran into side of me and broke the wheel, steering rack, crossmember. Another damaged filled incident which put me out for rest of day, entry fee for GP wasted again!


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I also had an entry in for the final round of the BTRDA championship at Croft in early November, I had to withdraw as I did not have time to repair the car to be able to compete, not happy is an under statement.

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