Tag Archive: Pembrey

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 ūüôĄūüėĒ

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 ūüėě.
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 ūüôĄ. 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 ūüŹÜ20191006_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

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 ‚ėÄÔłŹ 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 ūüė䬆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 ūüėĒ.
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! ūüĒ•ūüė≤
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 ūüėĒ, but if I’m going to do something I might as well do it in spectacular style ūüė鬆I don’t do things by half.
Got a pretty rear bumper from the flames though ūüėÖūüėČ
Not the start of the season I wanted, obviously, hopefully we can get it fixed it time for the next race meeting in May Рthough 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

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 ūüėČ).
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 ūüėé.

It got pretty warm inside the car in the race ūüĆ°

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 Рno contact Рracing 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

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).
Final race meeting of the year is at Pembrey in October.

Take Care and God Bless

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 Рpartly 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)
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

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 Рgood 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

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

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 Рthe Ford was still in full road legal state, so couldn’t push as hard or for as long as I would of done normally Рbut 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

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 ūü§Ē.
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 РI 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
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 Р1:22.264        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 Рone 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

Round 4 – Pembrey (23-07-17)

Hi guys

I went testing at Llandow the week before the race meeting at Pembrey. Well, it was a bit of a short lived test session really, as the left-hand driveshaft broke after a few laps. The car was handling well up until the point of breakage.

I made it out for my second race meeting of the season  and I was back in my little car as well.
There were grey skies at the Pembrey Circuit when I got there and it pretty much stayed like that for most of the day, until the last race of the day when the sun finally managed to shine through.

Qualifying – Lap Time: 1:37.295
It started off wet, but started to dry out as the session went on. My windscreen misted up badly at the beginning of qualifying and it got to the point where I couldn’t see particularly well, so I came in to get it sorted out, it was fine for the last few minutes of the session.
I was also driving on the new part of the circuit (the bit between the paddock control gates and the¬†Senna Esses)¬†for the first time as well, making it even more interesting – more tight twisty corners – being on 17″ tyres instead of my usual 16″ tyres made coming out of corners at the higher pace¬†more of a challenge due to the lower revs.
2017-07-24 10.55.18I only had the 17″ tyres so had to¬†do my best and deal with it.

Race 1:
The first race had a red flag part way through, so we kinda had results for the before and after the red flag.
The race started off dry, ended up wet.
Lap time first part: 1:29.965, Position: 20th, 5th in class.
Start 1: I got a pretty good start off the line, just started to get a good feel for the new layout and how the car handles in the dry when the red flag came out for an incident at the hairpin.
We had about a 5-10 minute delay before restarting.
Lap time second part: 1:26.563; Position: 15th, 3rd in class.
Start 2: Before the green flag lap, my mate Andrew Williams had an issue with his car, with it steaming and leaving a watery puddle on the track , and he had to retire from the race. I got another pretty good start and managed to keep a car behind me for a few corners before it powered its way pass.
I was feeling pretty good, then the heavens opened, my windscreen started to mist up again, thankfully it wasn’t long before the chequered flag came out.
Overall an eventful first race though I improved my lap time by ~3.5secs and somehow managed to get another 3rd in class .

Race 2: Lap time: 1:25.237, Position: 15th
Weather and track stayed nice and dry all race, blue sky and sunshine – got a little warm in the car.
Made an alright start, though I did manage to get into the wrong gear (5th instead of 3rd) heading down to the first corner, I then¬†ended up hitting the back of Andrew Williams at the hairpin. I may have done some damage to my radiator and oil cooler though there’s definitely some cosmetic damage.
I managed to get into some sort of rhythm, going faster in certain areas and braking later – though sometimes a bit too late and locking up, probably a bit too much rear brake bias. I’m still getting my head round the whole brake bias lever thing and knowing where it is quickly so I can easily change the brake¬†bias when needed.

Overall today, after a unsettled qualifying and first race, the second race was more enjoyable
I also came home with another trophy (3rd in class, race 1)

I think I’m slowly getting my race car to how I want it, but¬†it’s not quite there, whether it’s due¬†to the¬†fact it has come to the¬†end of its potential of improvement in the speed department or the fact I just can’t afford the upgrades it needs for it to be good, I just don’t know.
Maybe a change for next year will be good.

My next race will be at Oulton Park in September.

Take Care, Keep Smiling and God Bless

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