BARC Goodwood sprint - Sat. 17th August 2002
Onwards and upwards, today had to be day to break the 100secs barrier (standing start), my best to date is 101.15s, norm in the 102's with S03's all round. A £600 upgrade to the car was about to be proven (oh and new puck clutch pad & cover) all sorted to the max at Rotechniks.
Mistake #1: no sleep after a balmy night (1.5hours max) Mistake #2: Sat 5:30am, hardly see through my eyes, dead tired, still had to get petrol, jet wash car, check tyres, inspect engine/car overall (excellent race prep Phil, NOT!)
Well I did get down there by 7:45, sign on, prep car, passed scrutineering, passed noise test 93DB (w/Racing CAT). Anyway, the batch numbering for this sprint seems to have got a smidge better and we get out on the convoy fairly rapid, come back in and line up for practice.
Practice (1 only): Lights: Red, Green… 4,000 rpm held off the line, great pickup, 100 mph into Madgewicks d/apex, good grip, RX-7 rides the crest mid corner as if it wasn't there, nice, exit ok. Lacking top end puff now, as only 125mph through Fordwater. Hmm, what the deal?, no time to think about that as I am now upon the infamous “No names/St. Mary's” combo - 120mph into No names, stable drift, grips, get right, settle car, brake hard, 95mph late apex for St. Mary's, car running out good on the off camber, uphill exit keeps us on circuit and were off to Lavant d/apex corner. Over to left shed a little speed, 75mph? smooth turn in, clip outside apex, out of revs in 3rd, snatch 4th at apex and fly up Lavant Straight, still not pulling top end (fuel pressure/mapping check?). In the not so far distance, the armco of Woodcote d/apex, OK pass old b.point at 1st tarmac change, make a bet on midway to the 2nd (LATE!!!!) tarmac change and brake hard (hmm, ABS stays quiet, mmmm!), trail brake entry, back steps out, o/lock, held, stabilise and nail the drift through the 2nd apex (best corner for a while that was) faster than usual up to chicane, not going to wreck it now, brake and conservative 2nd, right, left and mash it to the line.
Well, that was a 97.60secs, comprehensively sub 100secs - Triumph!, my £600 upgrade was proven - Dunlop D01J Road legal cut slicks tyres. Fitted Monday, impressive on the street, proven outstanding on the track.
Race #1: Couldn't get 2 gear changes, tried to hard to make up time (Mistake #3!!!!!!) went with 3rd through chicane too fast, ran onto grass, flirted with flowers bordering armco, eased it back onto track as I saw the concrete bump/strip coming, too much lock when grip hit back on circuit, tank slapped, heading for wall, braked like a man possessed, needed more brakes, barrier coming way to quick, :censored::censored::censored::censored:E! - Pulled the h/brake, it was as if I passenger awaiting the train to stop, but stop it did, approx. 3“ from wall before paddock/track entry. Phew, I wiped the brow of my Helmet as I looked up at the spectators 10' away, who were clapping, smiling for a great escape and not wrecking my pride 'n joy.
Race #2: Well with the previous shenanigans, out of the points with no time I had to make this one stick, but was sure I could get class win if I kept cool, let the car run and DID NOT TRY TOO HARD!. Well the long and short of it was equivalent to my practice run but with 3rd again through the chicane, taking a better line/less entry speed saw me crossing the line with an impressive 96.57secs.
A serious big-up to Rotechniks for again! getting my car sorted and Options Motorsports for getting those amazing tyres from Japan in 3 days.
In closing, the RX-7 got a load of interest, as was my tyre choice by the other competitors, hehe. So S02/S03 you are relegated to the dustbin as I am now a D01J convert. Oh and a well done to Glen Keirl in his Big Cat (Jag) for getting 2 PBs aswell.
Next stage on the car for Phil is to add a HKS T51R, MoTeC M800, larger Injectors, various sensors, etc. now at Rotechniks, to be fitted after Brighton Speed Trials, now that should make the car EXTREMELY rapid!
Curborough Sprint Course - 6th October 2002
Not in the best of moods, seeing as my major Motec/T51R upgrade planned to start on Monday 7th October, was quite rudely cancelled by Rotechniks at 3pm on Friday afternoon - I trundled up to Curborough at 5:30am, my mind not at all on racing.
This was my last sprint of the season, it saw a overcast day & cold but dry (ish) track. This was my 1st sprint here and although I had a problem with the car reving out at high RPM (fule/ign mapping?). The track is very short, tight and but fun was to be had.
I managed to get a 2nd place (36.27s) from 8 in class, being .48secs off a well driven 3L Turbo Scimitar on Intermediate slicks.
Pratice 1 - 36.60s Pratice 2 - 36.40s Timed 1 - FAIL (ducked out for safety, 4 wheels on grass) Timed 2 - 36.27s Timed 3 - FAIL (tried too hard, to make .5secs & 4 wheels on grass again)
No damage to car or me!
With 64ft times of 2.71-2.75s, it was hard to get the tyres warm enough on the quick burn out before the start line, but everyone had the same problem.
PS: The overall CCC title came down to Steve Macklin (Formula Ford) having to beat Keith Sollis (Formula Ford) to take the title away from Neil Armstrong (Evo 6 - Class 6), but this didn't happen so Neil wins by less than a point - My hat off to you again sir!
I take 1st place class in Class 11 (Mod Prod >2L) and will end up 8th overall out of 100 or so, so I am well chuffed.
Next season should see some more cars running in my class, Mod Prod >2L, that is going to be welcomed and should provide some excellent competition.
Till next time PhilipGrx7