Hi guys

Sorry for not posting anything for a year. Well here goes with my racing run down of how my racing went this year.

I did two test sessions both at Llandow; 1 in May before the season started and 1 in July which was in the middle of the season.
May Test Session
The test session in May went, weather was good, car felt good, even with the pulley system for the power steering falling off and the power steering not working, add to that the cam belt almost fell off too, after the first trip out onto the track.
I managed to get a good test session out of it even so, tried out 3 different ECU’s and have got one that I feel happy with.
No major damage done, and was still good to go racing on the 17th-18th on May at Pembrey 🙂

May Race Meeting
Racing on the Sunday was ok, it was a slightly cautious start (especially the crossing part of the track). I had an amazing start in race 1 took 3 cars off the line, but then got boxed in and lost them, and the rest of the race was pretty boring after that. Yes me and my car were still in one piece.
The red flag in race 2 was due to two cars crashing into each other and ending up in a dangerous position – both drivers got out by themselves and seemed ok. Another issue we had in race 2 was that a couple of geese decided that they were going to stand around the final corner, which led to yellow flags being waved from the beginning of the race. The race itself was cancelled after the red flag due to the 6:00pm curfew they have at the circuit. This pissed off all us drivers and our series organiser as we had had to wait around for 3 hours between our two races and the 2 hour endurance over ran by 10 minutes, so instead of starting our race at 5:50pm and finishing just after 6:00pm we ended up starting just passed 6:00pm did two laps of racing before the cars crashed and were then told the race wasn’t being restarted due to the curfew. Pissed off definitely, but what can you do. This after having to wait 5 hours between qualifying and race 1. The car in itself felt responsive and handled well, but my problem is that my car is very down on power to my nearest rivals. This annoyed me most as it meant I couldn’t keep up with them and I don’t actually race with anyone. The weather was beautiful hot and sunny with a slight chilly breeze – got a little sunburnt as well.
Well I hope that makes sense, and yes I have calmed down since and just let it be as this can and does happen in motorsport, even if it is annoying, there isn’t a lot anyone can do about it, so best not get hung up on it.
The second race was rescheduled for the Saturday of the August Meeting.

I missed the June Meeting due to engine woes.

July Test Session
The testing generally went well, car was handling well and responding better coming out of the corners. The weather was beautiful and sunny if a little on the hot side.
There was however a small issue with the water cooling system, the water didn’t seemed to be going into radiator – we didn’t know if it was the thermostat or a blockage in the actually radiator that was the problem, and I can’t remember which it was now.

The rescheduled May race
Qualifying didn’t go to plan as one of the coil packs unplugged itself leaving me with only 2 working cylinders. Got it plugged back up again – after finding there was an extra rubber seal causing the problem – but didn’t manage to get back out in time to do a few more laps in qualifying. 18th 1:23.965
Race didn’t go well at all, car decided it was going to be underpowered (V-Tec not kicking in either) and started to overheat at the end, plus the brakes were starting to warp causing a vibration when I went to brake. The race was red flagged with ~5 minutes remaining – Huw had rolled his car on the pit straight run off (he was fine, if a little shaken) – I was 17th at the red flag with a lap time of 1:20.364. The race was restarted and we did an extra 5 laps – this was when my car started to overheat a little – I finished 14th with a lap time of 1:19.932.
We came to the conclusion that it was the ECU that was the problem and was causing the other issues. We believed that the ECU has gone back to a factory default setting.
The weather had been good albeit a heavy downpour just before qualifying, but it dried up quickly to leave a dry track, it then stayed dry for the rest of the day.
Sunday I didn’t compete as I felt my car wasn’t working properly and it was the actual August Meeting.

October Race Meeting – Season Finale
It wasn’t enjoyable. I still had a few engine problems and it affected my performance.
Qualifying – grid position 21st; lap time 1:28.057
Track – drying; Weather – cloudy
My little car didn’t want to rev to its max revs, it was restricting the revs to 6000 and was lumpy at the lower revs. This caused my car not to pull out the corners well. The spark plugs were overly oiled up.

Tony turned the fuel mixture 2 turns down to make it leaner.

Race 1 – finished 15th; lap time 1:21.185
Track – dry; Weather – cloudy
My little car was revving properly, the lower revs were less lumpy. The car pulled out the corners well. Spark plugs were clean. But… my car overheated badly at the end of the race, and as I was coming into the pits the revs shot up when I depressed the clutch to change down the gears, and the water was bubbling away nicely and pissed out all over the floor.

Tony then turned the fuel mixture 1.5 turns up to make it slightly richer.

Race 2 – finished 19th; lap time 1:19.957
Track – dry; Weather – cloudy
The performance went back to how it was in qualifying, except for the occasional proper revving. Though it occurred more in the tight twisty bits and not the high speed back straight or pit straight.

The question is what to do now?
It getting harder to get any sponsors interested, due to the mechanical issues I’m having resulting in my poor performances. If I had the sponsors I could be able to spend a bit more on better parts which in turn would hopefully give me a more reliable car in which to be competitive and gain better results.
I really want to enjoy my racing, and be competitive. I like the Welsh Sports and Saloon Car Championship as it’s a friendly environment.