Tag Archive: Pembrey


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

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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

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

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
Vez

Hi guys

I went testing on the 4th of October at Llandow. It generally went well. It was cold, but dry, I didn’t really get any heat into the tyres, so it was a little twitchy round the corners at times. Also didn’t know how done in my air filter was. The first couple of sessions out, the car didn’t really pull out the corners as well as it has done, and was a little hesitant to get up to top revs, Tony took the air filter off and… WOW! What a difference it made, the revs ran smoothly throughout the whole range, with no hesitation, plus I seemed to have so much power I didn’t know what to do with it all – which was interesting with limited grip. The new air was ordered and fitted to the car ready for the race meeting. I had lots of fun and came away with a big smile on my face 😆 I was hoping it would be the same for the race meeting, but…
llandow-testing-04-10-16

I had an early start on the Sunday, having to get up at 4am 🙈. Got to the race track in good time, but trying to find where the Welsh Sports and Saloon Car Championship guys were, well, was interesting, as we happened to be spread out all over the inner paddock.

We had a mixture of intermittent heavy rain ☔ and sunshine 🌞 equalling rainbows 🌈 (and not just in the sky).
Well racing didn’t go to plan, I was all geared up, and feeling really pumped up for a great day of racing, but my little car decided otherwise. The head gasket blew on the 2nd lap of qualifying. I first knew something was wrong when smoke started filling up the cockpit and then looked out my wing mirrors saw smoke coming out the back of the car as well. I managed to get back to the pits, very slowly mind you, and Tony lifted the bonnet and told me it was terminal and that the head gasket had gone. I slowly drove into Parc Ferme, then back to my paddock space. The worst thing of all was that the car was feeling good before the problem occurred.
This resulted in the end of my race weekend 😔 and any chance of scoring some decent points. It was so frustrating, especially as I had had such a positive test session.

On my way back home, me and my dad decided to stopped off at Coate Water for a nice walk in the sunshine, to enjoy the afternoon, after such a disappointing day.

Lots to do over the winter to get the car reliable and competitive, though I will come back (hopefully stronger) and fight hard in 2017 💪.

Take Care, Keep Smiling and God Bless
Vez

Round 4 – Pembrey (21-08-16)

Hi guys

I went testing last Monday at Llandow 🚘 and it was pretty successful, the car was running nicely, handling well, no major issues, just a couple of hiccups though with the exhaust falling off (easily fixed) and I had a small spin though the grass, which I’m still not quite sure what exactly happened to cause it.

On to round 4 of the Welsh Sports and Saloon Car Championship. We were guests at the Vintage Sports-Car Club Meeting for The Welsh Speed Weekend. There was 29 cars on the grid for our championship this weekend.

Qualifying – Position: 29th; Lap Time: 1:21.71
The track being slippery, plus coldish tyres equals interesting session. There was also a red flag part way through and with extra oil was put down on the back part of the track which made it even more interesting. I didn’t have 100% confidence to push as hard as I would have liked due to the conditions of the track. At the end of the session I lost all response of the rev counter and speedo, which was a little worrying though. The weather was nice though, dry and sunny ☀.

Race 1 – Position: DNF
The rain came down 💧☔ so we decided on putting on my pink rimmed front tyres, as they have a bit more tread on them. They gripped beautifully ☺.
The alternator let go early on, which lead to no power and only just had enough grunt to pull into the pits, after about 2-3 laps into the race 😔. Also forgot to open up the back windows to let some air in and my windscreen misted up badly, so couldn’t see properly.
Trying to race when not being able to see and then driving into the pits was very interesting indeed 😕.

Race 2 – Position: NC
Another wet race 💧, though the rain was starting to ease off a little by the end. Had two batteries (car battery and battery pack) to run my car, it worked! Car behaved beautifully 😊 but my rain light decided not to work and I was shown the black with orange disc flag, so had to come in have it fixed before being allowed back on track, losing 3-4 laps in the process 😕. Though I saw the chequered flag, I wasn’t classified as I hadn’t done enough laps in total – only completed 7 laps, while the leaders did 14 laps.

A frustrating day, the wet weather didn’t help, but I think we have finally got all the niggles now, and the grip I had with the pink rimmed tyres gives me some confidence if it rains again in the final race meeting at Pembrey in October.

I will be out testing again soon. Hopefully to iron out, once and for all, all the problems I’ve had, and means I can have a race meeting without any issues and can have some fun 😊. Please let me have a good finish to my season 🙏.

Take Care & God Bless
Vez

Hi guys

Well I was back out on track this weekend at Castle Combe for my second race meeting of the year (the third of the Welsh Sport and Saloon Car Championship). We had a 32 car grid!

It was a gorgeous warm sunny day ☀, well mostly, we did have a few spots of rain in the early afternoon, though it only lasted 5-10 minutes.

Qualifying: Position: 32nd; lap time: 1:44.693
It didn’t go well, I only managed 5 full laps during the 15 minute session, as the misfire materialised again (yep the same one I had in testing at Llandow), reducing my power output to basically 3 cylinders instead of 4. I was in and out of the pits to try to secure the wires from the vibration, but it wasn’t lasting 😔.
Got back to the paddock area, Tony opened the bonnet up to see if he could reposition the wires and tying them to a different part of the engine to see if the issue went away.
A few minutes later the water hose split and sent lots of hot seaming anti-freeze water everywhere, which was quickly sorted out.

We do rolling starts for our races, and each one this weekend was poorly executed, as the field was strung out instead of being nicely compact, a little frustrating, but you just have to deal with it the best you can, and the organisers have to do what they have to do to keep the racing on time as best they can, I don’t envy them. I can understand Race 2, as we were pushed for time, but even so the back of the grid were still coming round Bobbies as the front were going over the start line 😕.
Race 1 was shorten by 2 minutes as well, but so were most of the other championships racing on Sunday as they were running late, due to an incident earlier on in the day.
castle-combe-circuit-map

Race 1: Finished: NC; Lap Time: 1:49.273
Though I saw the chequered flag I was not classified, as I hadn’t done enough laps. On the green flag lap the car was fine, but the misfire came back at the start of the race. I came into the pits to see if the issue could be sorted to at least give me enough power to go round at a reasonable pace, but it wasn’t to be in the end 😔.
Got back to the paddock and had the coil packs changed, in the hope that would fix the problem.

Race 2: Finished: 21st; Lap Time: 1:40.234
Better race 😄, even though the race was shorten by 5-6 laps, due to the lateness of going out on track and with the track having a 6:30pm curfew. I actually got to race with another car for a most the race! Still with a slight misfire, but nowhere near as bad as before.
We believe the misfire issue could be due to the battery dying – well it is 3 years old – and it struggling to provide the correct power to the coil packs.

Overall mixed emotions from the weekend, mostly frustration, but that second race has given me hope for better things for the next race at Pembrey in August.

I’m staying positive, as we may have finally found the problem to my issue. When a new battery is found, I will be back out testing, to confirm if it is or isn’t the battery, fingers crossed that that is the problem and I can enjoy the remainder of the season 😊.

Until next time.
Take Care and God Bless
Vez

Hi guys

Finally I’ve got back on to the race track!

Went testing in this beauty on Tuesday (10th May) on a damp Llandow track. The car felt good, it was running smoothly and I was happy 😊.
Llandow Testing (10-05-16)

Pembrey  Race Meeting – 15 May 2016

The weather was beautiful and sunny 🌞 for most of the day, the clouds did start to come over and the wind started to get up, but not totally hiding the sun, in the afternoon.

Qualifying: Result: 21st out of 24; Lap Time: 1:21.935
Just getting back into the swing of things, after not being at a race meeting for 13 months (Castle Combe April 2015), and getting the feel of the car on the Pembrey track again (18 months since I last raced at Pembrey October 2014).
The car felt good, and was responding well. I was slower than I would of liked, but that was probably just me being a little race rusty I suppose 😉, but I wasn’t last on the grid 😊💪.

Race 1: Result: finished 18th; Lap Time: 1:21.710
I started ok, had a good little battle with Holly for about half the race, until her engine let go 😔. My car started was starting to develop an issue, it wasn’t running as smoothly as it should have been or producing its full power output, though I came home in one piece and finished the race 🏁😊.

Race 2: Result: DNF; Lap Time: 1:20.876
Managed to make a goodish start and overtook a couple of cars off the line, but that’s where the good part ended, coming out of the hairpin my car wasn’t revving properly and never recovered, I came into the pits and got my mechanic to check that everything was still attached as it should, when out again found that the issue wasn’t any better, came back in and had to retire – DNF for me 😔 – one of the coil packs had decided to give up the ghost.
On a positive note though, I somehow managed to go 1 second quicker 😊 which means that I know I have the pace to run with the pack when my car is running smoothly 💪.

So mixed emotions for the day, but staying positive for the rest of the year. Fingers crossed all will work out and I have a good year 😊.

So new plugs and coil packs for the next race, plus some new brakes as well. I’ve got a couple of months now until the next one, and hopefully get out again for another test session.

Next race is at Castle Combe in July 😊

Take Care, Smile and God Bless
Vez

Delayed Start To Season

Hi

Well, my race season hasn’t got off to a good start. Electrical issues strike again, so I didn’t manage to get out for my test session or the first race meeting of the season :(.

My mechanic and some of his mates spent a lot of time trying to find the fault, and came to some conclusion that it was a component part that was the problem, Tony ordered the part on the Friday hoping it would arrive in time for the race meeting on Sunday, but it made a no show, so hence no racing. Gutted I couldn’t be there racing with the guys in the Welsh Sports and Saloon Car Championship for the first round :( I think my car has a phobia of race tracks 😉.

Though hearing of what happened in race 2: launched cars, a almost roll over, flying wheels and a smashed windscreen (due to the wheel, with its front hub, brakes, part of the driveshaft and suspension still attached), not what you want to be seeing at a race track, and especially at a race start. I’m kind of glad I wasn’t there, otherwise I might of got caught up in it and I’d be back to square one again. Glad to know that everyone involved in the accident are ok, if a little sore and shaken up.

I hope I’ll get some good luck soon, I’m sick of all this bad luck, here’s hoping the new component part is a success and I can get out on the track :).

Below are the dates for the rest of the 2016 season.
2016 WSSCC Race Dates
Well that’s it for now, roll on May for the second round of the championship at Pembrey. Fingers crossed that I’m out and ready to race 🙂

Take Care and God Bless
Vez

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