Category: Racing


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

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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)
20180729_193202
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

Hi Guys

I went testing again at Llandow on Thursday in my Ford Focus.

Well that was an interesting test session.
I’m getting more confident in the car now, the handling, balance and the power out of the car still is good, but my session was cut short due to the clutch/driveshaft breaking .
These things happen, and yes I know it seems to of happened a lot to me in recent times, but being on such a tight budget and prepping a new car can have an effect on what can be done at any one time and take longer to rectify problems.
I hope I can get these niggly little problems sorted out during testing, so by the time I make it to a race meeting all will be good to go.

The next time I’m out in a race car will be at Donington Park on the 29th in the Peugeot 106 that I’m hiring out from Tyrone.

In other news:
I passed my Taekwondo grading today  I’m now a red belt!  I was so nervous beforehand.
20180721_132919Though I have sustained a slight injury to one of my toes on my left foot – I bruised it during some one-step sparring. I’m just hoping it calms down enough for me to go racing next weekend.
I would also like to say well done to the others grader for passing their grades.

I think that’s it for now, and I will post again after my race meeting.

Take Care and God Bless
Vez

Test Session at Llandow

Hi Guys

I went testing at Llandow on Thursday in my Ford Focus.

The handling and balance of the car was pretty good – good hold on cornering, good power out the corners and down the straights and no heavy nose diving under braking.
Though I did end up overheating the brakes slightly and the exhaust gasket was starting to go, so had to call it a day a little sooner than hoped, but I still managed to get a good idea of the car’s potential.

Need to adjust the seat to a more comfortable driving position, bleed the brakes and replace the exhaust gasket.

I’m looking at a couple more test sessions again at Llandow in the Focus, to give me confidence in the car’s reliability, before going out racing in it, hopefully the last two Pembrey rounds, and the potential Castle Combe round.

So I’ll be racing the Peugeot, which I tried out at Donington Park at the French Car Show, at Donington Park on the 29th July.

I will post about my test sessions and race meeting when they happen.

Take Care and God Bless
Vez

French Car Show

Hi Guys

I was invited up to Donington Park yesterday to the French Car Show by Tyrone and Fabio to try out their Peugeot – which they are hiring out for racing.
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As it was a track day style event there were time slots for going out. I was in the 1-3pm time slot.
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Before being allowed on track I had to sign-on and have a drivers briefing.

Blue Band-Drivers Briefing; Pale Blue Band-Entry into Event; Yellow Band-Sign-on

It was a hot day ☀️ 🌡, so getting all kitted out in my race suit and helmet was a little warm. I had two outings in the Peugeot, once in the first hour and once in the second hour, though I was out only for a few laps each time, it was enough for me to get a feel for how the car handles and get accustomed to the track again, after 8 years!
Donington is a great track, as it has undulations, it flows from corner to corner nicely and a track you can really push on.
First session out, Tyrone did a couple of laps with me in the passenger seat, so I got a feel for the car and track, then I got in the driving seat, with Tyrone in the passenger seat.
I’ve been so use to power assisted steering, that it was a bit of a shock when I found the Peugeot didn’t have any, though I slowly got use it.

Letting the car (Tyrone and myself) cool down before going out again, as it was so hot out there.

Second session out, I got straight into the driving seat, with Tyrone in the passenger seat. I was getting a bit more use to the car and how it handled, so was able to push a little harder, but I still had to watch out for the other cars on track – some going slower and some going quicker.

I want to say thank you to Tyrone and Fabio for allowing me to drive the Peugeot, it was fun to get back out on track and especially on one I love.
I had an enjoyable day, even if I did get all hot and sweaty.

I will be out at Donington Park at the end of the month, for my first race meeting of the season.

In the meantime I will be having a test session in my Ford Focus at Llandow in the coming week.

Take Care and God Bless
Vez

Frustration 😠

Hi guys

Well what can I say, another failure to my car to end my chances of racing again this weekend. This time one of the brake lines split as it was being tied down on to the trailer 😡.

I’m gettin pretty pissed off about this now 😠, I’m beginning to think I’m not going to get out racing this year, and if it doesn’t improve then maybe I just need to take time out and stop racing for a bit, without having to pay for a car I’m not going to race.

Now I won’t say no if an opportunity comes up to race with someone else, who can give me the chance to race and race competitively. My problem lies in the fact I’m on such a tight budget, but I’m willing to pay just a little more if it means I get out to race.

So instead of racing this weekend I spent time with my best mate @elzrocks – even though she was going to be coming with me to the race meeting anyway, and watch me race for the first time.
We went out on the bike, not on the road bike, but on a mountain/cyclocross bike and riding around on the Ridgeway; we did some baking, tidying up and a couple of pub visits 😊.

We went to have a drink at the Fox and Hounds – our local – on the Saturday after I was told about my race car.

I had fun being on a mountain bike again 🚵‍♀️ – even with the handle bars being extra wide! plus it is a borrowed bike, so not quite the right fit for me. Learning a new skill is always fun, if a little scary at times, but I enjoyed myself, and just being out and about in the countryside with my best mate and is the best therapy one can have.

We tidied up her parents’ house and shed – from what I can tell they were quite happy with what was done. I was tidying up my parents garage, we got somewhere, not quite as far as I would of liked, but it’s a start.

We did a bit a baking, Elz and I both enjoy baking 🍌🍞🍪, though Elz doesn’t get much chance to bake herself, so baking together at mine was a lot of fun. We made a chocolate banana cake and a rocky road cookie slab. Both were very tasty 😋.

20180610_114535

This isn’t the whole of what we made, by the time I got a chance to take a photo, we had eaten some, plus Elz had cut up some to take back to her parents.

We went to The Swan in Radcot to have dinner on the Sunday, the food was really good, and the atmosphere was chilled, relaxed and very pleasant 😊.

So not the weekend I was planning on, but I still managed to enjoy myself.

Onwards and upwards, and lets see what next month will bring in terms of racing.

Take care and God Bless
Vez

Third Time Lucky

Hi guys

Well, as I said in my previous post – ‘barring any late onset problems with my new car, I will be out racing with the guys again’ – as you may have gathered I didn’t make it to Oulton Park in May . As an annoying little problem cropped up

Basically what happened was, as Tony was putting my car onto the trailer it started to leak fluid from the clutch/gearbox area. Now he had driven it around to make sure it was working and yes everything, at that moment, was sound, but obviously in the loading process something got dislodged or something and created a crack which lead to a leak.
Tony did try to find a replacement for the defective part, but unfortunately the part wasn’t available in time to fix the problem to be able to go racing.

I can’t tell you just how gutted I was, just that I was so looking forward to racing back at Oulton Park and wanted to cry .

This coming weekend is the third race meeting for the Welsh Sports and Saloon Car Championship (WSSCC) and hopefully, third time lucky, my first. The problem from May has been fixed, so fingers crossed I will be at Pembrey.

I really do hope I will be posting about the race meeting in a few days time.

Take Care, God Bless
Vez

New Season 2018

Hi guys

Sorry about the long gap between posts. I haven’t done much really, certainly not on the racing front so far.

The season so far consists of a test session at Llandow in March, trying out a Ford Focus to replace my MG ZR; and missing the first race of the season at Pembrey.

The test session at Llandow went well, beautiful blue skies and sunshine, and managed to get a good feel for how the Ford handles – the Ford was still in full road legal state, so couldn’t push as hard or for as long as I would of done normally – but I still did a reasonable session in it.

The first race meeting of the year was at Pembrey in April. I ended up missing it due to having sold my MG just before and the Ford wasn’t yet ready for racing. I kind of knew this might happen as my MG was put up for sale in February/March time and someone became interested in it quite quickly, and not long after that put down a deposit on it.

My first race meeting of the year (second one for the Welsh Sports and Saloon Car Championship (WSSCC) will be this coming weekend at Oulton Park, barring any late onset problems with my new car, I will be out racing with the guys again.
Fingers crossed all will be well.

Race dates this year:

  1. April 22nd Pembrey with Trucks
  2. Saturday May 12th Oulton Park International Circuit
  3. June 10th Pembrey with Citroen C1s
  4. July 29th Donington Park National Circuit
  5. August 19th Pembrey with MSA Time Attack
  6. Oct 14th Pembrey with Trucks

With a possible race meeting (non-championship) at Castle Combe in September.

Well that’s it for now, I will post again after the race at Oulton Park.

Take Care and God Bless
Vez

WSSCC Awards Evening – 18-11-17

Hi guys

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

DSCF2688
Just before heading out

It was a lovely evening and seeing the guys outside of the race track environment was pretty cool – even when I’m a socially awkward person, due to my anxiety – the food was great too .

I was surprised at getting a trophy  – 2017 Presidents Award  – but it was nice to be acknowledged for my ‘never give up’ attitude, after having a few disappointing years of the car not handling as it should. This year, hopefully, was a turning point of some good luck coming my way and I pray it continues into the 2018 season .

Well that’s it for now, hoping to do a test session soon, I will keep you posted.

Take Care & God Bless
Vez

 

Hi Guys

I got to the track at 7:15am after leaving home at 4:30am and it was still dark! It did brighten up though thankfully.
Pembrey - 15 Oct 2017
(Sorry about the quality, I took the picture from inside the car with the window up).

The weather, though grey and cloudy, was dry all day . I was happy with that, as it meant I could focus on driving in consistent weather/track conditions.

We had four sessions instead of our usual three sessions, which was interesting and it also meant less waiting around in-between sessions as well .

Practice – Lap Time: 1:26.340
As we don’t usually have a practice session, it was nice to get some extra track time.
The car felt good, plenty of grip, handled well round the corners and powered out of them nicely too.
Though the last couple of laps I started to get fuel surge, not great, as we put in the same amount of fuel in as we usually do but ended up with less in the tank after the session then we usually do for a session of the same length. There was a bit of a worry that I wasn’t going to have enough fuel for qualifying and the two races.

Qualifying – Position: 31st of 32; Lap Time: 1:27.382
The session went well, and I seemed to still have good pace in the car. Though somehow I went a second slower 🤔.
Sorted out the fuel issue, but gained a brake issue by overheating them on the last few laps of the session .
It was fingers crossed that I could get it all sorted out for the two races.

Race 1 – Position: 31st; Best Lap Time: 1:18.538
I had a reasonable start, managed to get passed a couple of cars off the line and got stuck in going round the hairpin, which resulted in damaging my left wing mirror, from contact, but with no lasting damage thankfully.
The car was handling well, no fuel surge and no brake fade, yay .
Had a little rub from one of the leaders as they were coming through to lap me, but again no actual damage – I now have white paint on the left side and red paint on the right side of my black car.
Massively surprised  but happy with knocking 9 seconds off my qualifying time  not sure where I managed to find that lap time, but it certainly surprised a lot of other people as well.

RACE 9 – LAP ANALYSIS (our first Race)
P31   53 Verity BANKS
LAP  LAP TIME       DIFF     TIME OF DAY        MPH
1 –   1:45.281      26.743  14:05:31.715       50.99
2 –   1:28.013        9.475  14:06:59.728       60.99
3 –   1:18.538                  14:08:18.266 (1)  68.35
4 –   1:35.777      17.239  14:09:54.043       56.05
5 –   1:19.779        1.241  14:11:13.822 (2)  67.29
6 –   1:38.105      19.567  14:12:51.927       54.72
7 –   1:34.097      15.559  14:14:26.024       57.05
8 –   1:21.843        3.305  14:15:47.867 (3)  65.59
9 –   1:32.699      14.161  14:17:20.567       57.91
10 – 1:22.264        3.726  14:18:42.831       65.26
DIFF = Difference To Personal Best Lap
This is taken from http://www.tsl-timing.com/event/174121 (Welsh Sports & Saloon Car Championship PDF) where you can find all the results from weekend.

Race 2 – Position: 30th; Best Lap Time: 1:24.304
I had a brilliant start, passed multiple cars, got round the hairpin with no contact this time.
Had a great little battle with Alan Smith for much of the race, hard but clean racing.
Unfortunately the red flag came out for the car of Martin Davies after he crashed heavily into the barriers at Honda Curve – one of the fastest corners on the track!
Thankfully he got out his car by himself, but had been taken to hospital for a check up. I have heard that Martin is back home now . Hoping he is ok and hasn’t sustained any serious lasting effects. Wishing him a speedy recovery .

Overall for me, I had quite an enjoyable day, with setting some of my fastest lap times around the track and having some little battles . It has definitely the most fun I’ve had for a while behind the wheel of a race car.

I’m now looking at what I want to do for next year. I have a few options, though it will depend on finances as to which is most viable.

Take Care and God Bless
Vez

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