Category: Racing


Hi Guys

After having to postpone two test sessions – one due to weather; one due to my mechanic’s truck breaking down – I was going to go to Mallory Park without having tested my car to see if the problem I had at Silverstone had been sorted.
Only to be told that, on the day before going to Mallory, that I wasn’t going to be racing due to, after having brought new parts to fix his truck, fitting them and taking it for a test drive to make sure everything was working, his truck broke down again on his way up! – he hadn’t gone far 🙄😔

Well after that fiasco, I did manage to go testing at the end of September. I had a good day testing at Llandow, the car was handling well, even in the cold, damp conditions, the revs were running smoothly throughout the whole rev range, I had my fingers crossed for things to still be good for Pembrey on the 6th October.

Well, I made it to Pembrey for the season Finale. We had blue skies – with a couple of clouds – the sun was shining, and I was feeling relatively positive for the day of racing.20191006_074213

Qualifying: Position: 16th of 17th; Best Lap Time: 1:26.741
The track was a little damp in places still, but there was remarkably a fair amount of grip.
I went relatively easy to start with, to built up my confidence, and I gradually built up speed as the session went on.
The only issue I had was at the hairpin, with 2nd gear not having the grunt to come out of the corner like I have previously – and on a similar corner to one at Llandow, ie. speed into, round and out of the corner – so was having to play dropping down to 1st and quickly back into 2nd to get the revs to come out the corner.
Now I needed to think of how I was going to deal with this issue, either continuing with dropping down a gear or to try to carry a bit more speed into the hairpin.

Race 1: Position: DNF; Best Lap Time: 1:23.654
I got a good start, overtook a few cars off the line, had a good battle for a couple of laps, and managed to knock off a few seconds off the lap time, then…
…the gear linkage detached itself leaving me with no gears, so I had to pull off and end my race 😞.
It was an easy fix, so was ready again to fight again in Race 2.

Race 2: Position: 15th, 3rd in Class; Best Lap Time: 1:24.970
Had a reasonable start and had a bit of a battle with a few cars for the first couple of laps, then…
…the ‘hiccups’ started again when I revved beyond 5000rpm 🙄. The car then stalled on the back straight, I managed to restart it and the problem seemed to go away, but a lap/lap and a half later the problem came back.
Managed to finish, but not in the way I wanted – racing with the others, though I did get a trophy for my troubles 🏆20191006_180828

The annoying thing is, I know the car has the legs to fight with the others, I just need to get these niggling issues sorted out. We are thinking it could be an oil issue, with the oil we are using not coping with racing conditions.
A bit of work over the winter to be ready for next season.

Take Care, God Bless
Vez

Hi Guys

Well I made it out again for my second race meeting of the year – fourth round for the Welsh Sports and Saloon Car championship.20190812_114042

This time I was out at Silverstone on the International circuit – which has changed since I last raced on it. We were in the garages, which made a nice change, though trying to get the cars in and out made it interesting.

The weather was dry with sunshine and cloud, the wind was on the strong side and quite chilly at times.
Qualifying: Position: 23rd; Lap Time: 1:40:27
With this being my first time on the new configuration of the International circuit, I wasn’t expecting quick laps times, but I was thinking I was going to be a bit closer to my competitors.
The car was handling well and I was starting to get use to the track layout and build up speed when in the last couple of laps my car decided to cough and splutter, reducing my straight line speed.
We thought maybe it was due to lack of fuel, as I haven’t really raced my Ford Focus until now, we didn’t know how much fuel it was likely to use and on such a big circuit.
We fill up and waited for Race 1.

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Race 1: Position: 19th; Best Lap Time: 1:38:38
The start was a bit of a mess with us strung out instead of closely packed for a rolling start. Hey ho.
I was getting the hang of the track a bit better and the car was cornering well, but it just didn’t want to accelerate coming out the corners or down the straights, it was worst than in qualifying 😒, and started earlier on in the session, so it wasn’t a fuel issue after all.
I continued on and managed to finished in survival mode.
After the race Tony (my mechanic) had a look at the plugs and connections and found the solenoid valve for the can was stuck and wasn’t moving as it should be.
That was all cleaned up and moving and he also changed the coil pack.
Fingers crossed that was going to solve the problem and again waited for our next race to come round.


Race 2: Position: 18th; Best Lap Time: 1:40:33
The rain started as we were in the assembly area, not heavy, but got slightly heavier as the race went on. Oh what fun, being someone who doesn’t really like racing in the wet I wasn’t relishing the race, but my car actually handled pretty well in the wet.
My start wasn’t the greatest – wrong gear for accelerating quickly 🙈, even with that blunder I still had quite a good battle with Roger for a few laps… then low and behold the ‘Bucking Bronco’ was back 🙄, no acceleration again!
Again I battled on and managed to finished in survival mode rather than racing.

I came 3rd in class for both races and got a trophy for each 🏆🏆 (though one got broken before the trophy ceremony unfortunately, but I will be given a replacement), so a positive end to a hard day’s racing.20190811_175346

Only a month before the next race meeting, which will be at Mallory Park, so fingers crossed the issue can be sorted out in time.

Take Care and God Bless
Vez

Testing at Llandow

Hi Guys

Today I did 4-5 short sessions.
Not as smooth as last time out, the car decided to run lean and the top end revs were lumpy. We tried a few small tweeks which could be done at the track, unfortunately it didn’t cure the problem.

The handling was still good though, so there was a positive, even if a small one.

Fingers crossed we can get it fixed for Silverstone on the 11th August 🤞

Take Care
Vez

Testing Session

Hi Guys

Today I went testing at Llandow. I did two sessions and did quite a few laps.
During the first session the car was a little lumpy on revving, but it still handled well – cornering, braking etc. It also overheated a bit due to an air lock.
During the second session the car performed a lot better, it ran very smoothly and still handled well.

I was going to go out again, but a pinhole was found in the dipstick tube, so decided to call it a day to be on the safe side.

I will be out again on the 1st August.
Fingers crossed it goes well ready for racing at Silverstone on the 11th August.

Take Care
Vez

Hi Guys

After having a great test session a couple of weeks ago at Llandow, I was feeling very positive for racing on Easter Sunday at Pembrey.

Having got up at 3:30am to travel to Pembrey. I got to the circuit just after 7am ready for signing on and scrutineering, the sun was shining ☀️ and the skies were blue, the car was ready, the other competitors were calmly getting ready. All was going well and the feeling of quiet confidence was good 😊 waiting for the start of qualifying at 9am.

Then came qualifying; as we were the first lot to go out on track on Sunday, the track was still a little on the cool side, so grip levels were a little less than prefect, I got 2 “flying” laps in and as the grip levels were improving…

… the engine let go!

And an early shower for me 😔.
I lost piston 3 and it dumped all the oil out the exhaust pipe causing a big smoke screen and a big flamethrower out the back! 🔥😲
I parked up off the race track and smoke engulfed the cockpit very quickly, so I put the handbrake on – for some reason, unbuckled, turned the ignition off and got out the car, leaving the door open to let the smoke out. I then walked away took my helmet and gloves off and waited for the rescue team to arrive. I then got towed back to the paddock and two of the scrutineers had a look at my car.
Well gutted 😔, but if I’m going to do something I might as well do it in spectacular style 😎 I don’t do things by half.
Got a pretty rear bumper from the flames though 😅😉
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Not the start of the season I wanted, obviously, hopefully we can get it fixed it time for the next race meeting in May – though it will depend on availability and cost of parts, but if not, the next race meeting in June. I really want to race at Silverstone and Mallory again, fingers crossed my car is playing ball by those race meetings.

Remaining Race Dates for the Welsh Sports and Saloon Car Championship:
May 12th – Pembrey
June 9th – Pembrey
August 11th – Silverstone International
September 14th – Mallory Park
October 6th – Pembrey

Roll on some good positive vibes.

Take Care & God Bless
Vez

Testing – 8 April 2019

Hi Guys

After almost a year of not driving/racing my Ford Focus, I went out testing today at Llandow . The weather was chilly and overcast, though it started off dry it did start to drizzle in my last outing before lunch.
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Testing went well, felt great to be back behind the wheel of my race car.
The car handled fine and was running smoothly throughout the rev range, always important, especially coming out of the tight corners.
Have managed to get the seat into a more comfortable driving position, get in! no more neck ache.

Feeling positive for the first race meeting of the season at Pembrey on April 21st.

I will post about the race meeting when it happens.

In Other News:
I went to see Nightwish in December, they were epic, even with their new lead singer Floor Jansen. The balls of fire gave off so much heat, I could feel it from quite away from the stage! 🔥
It was so good I was lulled into going to sleep part way through or it could just be my age 😅

I’ve been for a couple of runs and bike rides, when the weather has been nice.

I did the sound for the Panto – Goldilocks and the Three Bears; it had a circus theme to it. It went really well, even though I had a lot of music and sound to play throughout the whole thing.

I supported my sister in her 5 mile run around Blenheim Palace – completing the OX5 run in 55 minutes, beating her previous time by 6 minutes. So proud of her 😎 💪
20190324_114058We will both be doing the 10k Inflatable Obstacle Run at Bicester in September.

I’ve also been doing a lot of baking.

Battenberg Cake; Chocolate, Honey & Banana Muffins; Banana & Raisin Tea Loaf; Oaty Banana Muffins with Nutella; Mocha Swirl Blondies; Ginger & Dark Chocolate Cookies; Banana, Chocolate & Coconut Loaf.

I’m also still doing my regular fitness classes as well.

That’s all for now. Roll on some warmer weather and a good year of racing.

Take Care and God Bless
Vez

WSSCC Awards Evening – 17/11/18

Hi Guys

On Saturday I went to the Cardiff Copthorne Hotel for the Welsh Sports and Saloon Car Championship Awards Evening.

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Before heading out

It was a lovely evening and very relaxed – more so then last year, as I was more aware of what the evening was going to be like, so my anxiety levels were lower.
I was sitting on the same table as the Luffarelli family – who were the kind people to allow me to race their Peugeot 106 in the last three race meetings this year.
The food was really good too .

This year I finished third in my class overall, even though I only did half the year – what could of been if I had managed to do the whole year. I’m starting to run out of space to put all my trophies – though I’m not complaining, as I still want to do well and continue to build on my improved performance.


That’s it for now. Hoping my Ford Focus is going to be ready for some test sessions during the winter, so I can start the 2019 season in April.

Take Care & Blessed Be
Vez

 

Season Finale – Pembrey 14-10-18

20181015_144332Hi Guys

The weather played a big part this weekend for the Pembrey Autumn Truckfest Race Meeting, as on Saturday, Storm Callum made quite an entrance and flooded out the circuit, but after a lot of hard work, they did manage to get some racing in though, after the lunch break. With the weather forecast looking better for Sunday the meeting was still going to go ahead.

I got to the track just before 8am, it was still raining, but not heavy. I got signed on and scrutineered, and then waited for qualifying to start.
Before Qualifying
Qualifying: Position: 17th of 18; Best Lap Time: 1:28.489
It was overcast, but it had stopped raining by the time we got to qualifying. The track was a little damp, but I had a fair amount of grip in the Peugeot 106.
We were on the new configuration (Clubmans). The tight left/right is quite tricky to negotiate and it isn’t the widest part of track.
I started off cautiously, which is normal, as the track conditions are different each time we go out, but I got quicker as the session went on.
The performance in qualifying gave me confidence for the two races.
Track Layout
I think I started a new trend  well I certainly got a fair bit of attention for wearing these beauties (I didn’t race in them though 😉).
Boots
Race 1: Position: 13th, 3rd in Class; Best Lap Time: 1:22.161
The sun came out  and blue skies.
I got a good start, overtook Alan at Hatchets, then had a fun hard battle with Blake until I got brake fade and overheated wet tires about 3 laps from the end . Though it was good to know the Peugeot had the legs to fight, so that was a positive 😎.

It got pretty warm inside the car in the race 🌡

I had new brakes fitted and the dry tires put on ready for Race 2.

Race 2: Position: 13th, 2nd in Class; Best Lap Time: 1:24.160
The sun was starting to set and it was becoming a little on the chilly side by the time we started our final race.
With having new brakes and the dry tires fitted, I had to do a little bit of bedding in, so that made an interesting race.
I got another good start. This time I had a hard, race long battle with Alan, with a few squirrelly moments, due to the cooler temperatures, thrown in. The setting sun made it a bit difficult to see at times, but everyone was in the same boat.

Overall a positive day with some hard – no contact – racing in both races, two trophies  and the car still in one piece .

I want to say a massive thank you to Tyrone and his family for allowing me to race their Peugeot 106 in the last three rounds of this year. You guys have been amazing  and very supportive, Thank You!

Well that’s it for racing this year. Not sure quite what is going to happen next year, but I will keep you posted. Though I will be out testing over the winter.

Take Care and God Bless
Vez

Pembrey (Round 5) 19-08-18

Hi Guys

It was a little drizzly to start with, but it did cleared up a bit, with the sun making an appearance. We were guests to the Time Attack race meeting.

Qualifying: Position: 13th of 14; Lap Time: 1:23.360; 3rd in class
The drizzle had basically stopped by the time our qualifying session started and with other sessions being out before us, the track was remarkably quite dry.
I was back in the Peugeot 106, and not having been at Pembrey for 10 months, meant I was having to get back into the flow of the track in a car I’ve not driven in around it. I started slowly to get a good feel of the track conditions and the cars handling. I got quicker and more confident as the session went on. The car was handling well, nice and stable.
I knew I could go quicker, as I had done a quicker time before, I needed to mentally get in my head the car would hold going round the second apex of the long left hand corner (Dibeni and Senna Esses), that’s my nemesis corner after I had a big crash there a few years ago.
Pembrey Track
Race 1: Position: 13th of 14; Best Lap Time: 1:19.085; 3rd in class
The track was dry and the sun came out to play as well
I got a good start, but ended up with no where to go, as I gap I was going for disappeared – I didn’t really want to hit the pit wall or the other car, it meant I had to back out and lost the place I had gained.
The car was handling well, I was getting a bit more confident going into my nemesis corner, and was able to push harder through it. It was a bit of a lonely race as I had no one to race with this time , but happy enough to know I was able to push harder, improve and come home in one piece.

Race 2: Position: 12th of 14; Best Lap Time: 1:20.115
Dry track and the sun was popping out between the clouds in the overcast sky, it also became quite hot too.
Got another good start, coming up to the hairpin I saw lots of tyre smoke and a car broadside in the middle of the track  I managed to slow down enough to not hit the car, but I got hit in the side instead, which in some way might of pushed me to the outside line and drive around the spun car. Exciting start and managed to keep 4-5 cars behind me coming out the first corner and for a lap or two. Some hard fought racing.
Again, after the excitement of the first corner and first couple of laps, I had quite a lonely race, as I had no one to race with. Someone slowed up coming out the last corner and I had take avoiding action. Didn’t quite make it back it in one piece with a big dent in the right hand side, but nothing major.
Race Two Damage
Overall not a bad day, it could have been better by being able to race in a pack and battling for position with some of the others like at Donington Park, but it was still fun to have a car which I could race hard in. I did manage to pick up two more trophies though (both 3rd in class).
Trophies
Final race meeting of the year is at Pembrey in October.

Take Care and God Bless
Vez

Hi Guys

Well I finally managed to make it out on track for my first race meeting of the year , racing in the Peugeot 106 hired out from Tyrone, which I also tried out at the beginning of the month.
20180729_142508I love Donington Park, it’s a great circuit, we had lovely weather for racing, not! overcast, raining  and windy . I was dreading racing in the wet conditions, as I’m not much of a wet weather specialist, but I actually quite enjoy myself, as the Peugeot handles very well in these tricky conditions.

Qualifying – Position: 32 of 33; Lap Time: 1:58.295
It was drizzling and the track was damp. I was kind of using qualifying as a warm-up/practice session to get use to the car in the wet, so wasn’t expecting any quick times, though I wasn’t too far away from some of the others.
The car held really well in the tricky conditions, which helped give me confidence in the car. Had a little moment though coming into the chicane, by out braking myself. There were a few people spinning in front of me too.
The windscreen misted up during the session as well, which made it interesting to see. Hoping it will be sorted out for the first race, which in turn will allow me to push a bit harder.

Race 1: Position: 24 of 31 (4 DNF), 3rd in class ; Best Lap Time: 1:54.687
It was still drizzling when race 1 came around, and the track was damp and a little greasy.
Not a bad start, could of been better – though I think some of it was down to us don’t being as closely packed as we should of been for the rolling start – but I still had a good battle with three other cars throughout the whole race. I also got quicker as the race went on . Had to avoid a few spinners mind, and with one I almost came to a stop for, which ended up with me losing a place.
Car was handling well, with a fair amount of grip. My confidence was growing with each lap. No misting up! The only thing was, there was beginning to be some juddering under braking.
It felt good to be on track and actually racing side by side again, even in the wet conditions .

Race 2: Position: 23 of 28 (4 DNF), 2nd in class ; Best Lap Time: 1:40.20
It had stopped drizzling for a while, but as we were lining up on the grid it started again, though only lightly, it then stopped for most of the race, then it came back la little heavier couple laps from the end, which made it interesting. The track was pretty dry though throughout the race.
Got a better start – partly due to a better rolling start, and had a good battle with a few cars for the first part of the race, had a little lonely time for a couple of laps, then had a good close hard fought battle for the last lap or two and managed to hang on to finish in front .
Car was handling well again, with much less juddering under braking, which meant I could really push it.

I had a really enjoyable race meeting at a fun circuit, with lots of close racing, good battles and some near misses.
I came home with two trophies (3rd in class and 2nd in class)
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A big thank you to Tyrone and his family for allowing me to race their Peugeot 106 and looking after the car this weekend, you are awesome .

Roll on the next race at Pembrey in August.

Take Care and God Bless
Vez

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