Tag Archive: racing


Round 3 – Mallory Park

Hi Guys

Sorry for not posting for such a long time, but in all honesty I haven’t really done much since October, certainly on the racing/testing front.

This weekend was pretty special (and emotional) for me, as the last time I was going to go racing up at Mallory Park was 10 years ago, it didn’t happen (can’t remember the reason why), and on the day of the race meeting my nan died . So when the opportunity came up again for this year, I was determined to get to race there.

Race season so far:
Round 1 of the season at Pembrey in April was a no go for me as my MG decided to have an oil leak, which couldn’t be fixed in time.
Round 2 of the season again at Pembrey (but on the new configuration) in May ended up being a no go as well, due to my MG having a water leak, and again couldn’t be fixed in time.

By now I was starting to feel downhearted that I wasn’t going to have a good season or have a car to compete in, but I was hoping so much that the car was going to be fixed and ready to race to at Mallory, even to manage a test session before the race!

There was only two weeks between the May and June meetings though. The closer the Mallory meeting was getting the grimmer my prospects of going were becoming and that I wasn’t going to make it again, as my MG was not wanting to play yet again, this time as the engine was getting to its operating temperature, it was distorting the cylinder head and causing a slight leak.

On the Friday on the race weekend I got the news that my MG wasn’t going to be race ready, I was devastated! I’ve been waiting so long to make it up to Mallory Park. I seemed destined not to be able to race there .

Then a light came on at the end of the tunnel, as one of my fellow competitors (Andrew Williams) offered his car for me race. You are an absolute star . After getting the go ahead from Alan (series co-ordinator) and Robert (series secretary), Andrew and I then proceeded to get things sorted for Sunday.

Round 3 – Mallory Park Race Meeting
When I arrived at the track, there was blue sky and the sun was shining , though it was a little chilly.

mallory_park

I got signed on at 8am and got the car to scrutineering not long after, it seemed to take forever, I was still in scrutineering at 9am, and I had to go to a newcomers drivers briefing at 9am before qualifying at 9:30am. A bit of a rush to get changed into my overalls and down to the assembly area, but everyone managed it!
Mallory Park  Mallory Park 2
Qualifying: Lap Time: 1:04.752 – Position: 18th
I was tentative to start with, as I’ve never been on the track before and I was driving someone else’s car. I was just starting to get into some sort of rhythm when a red flag came out, so when I got back out everything had cooled down so had to build the momentum back up again, by then the chequered flag came out.
Not quick by any means, but I was hopeful I could improve and make up some places in the races.
Though when I was talking to someone, and mentioned how slow my time was compared to everyone else and that I was driving an 1800cc 160bhp car, he said that I was doing brilliantly, especially as I had never been to the track before as well, so I felt a bit better about it .

Race 1: Lap Time: 1:04.342 – Position: 13th
It started to spit with rain, but not enough to make the track wet thankfully.
Finished 3rd in class out of 4.
Managed to get two cars off the line, then had a little wobble at the first corner, which lost me the places, I ended up in the wrong gear and wasn’t able to get the acceleration needed to power out the corner.
Managed to go a little quicker, not as much as I thought, but looking at the lap times of everyone no one really went quicker than their qualifying lap, so though a little frustrated, I’m happy enough that I went quicker.

Race 2: Lap Time: 1:03.716 – Position: 11th
Slightly heavier rain just before the race, but stopped as we went out on track. The track amazing was pretty dry and grippy.
Finished 3rd in class again
Managed to get pass a car off the line, but lost it again, as I had quite a slide going into the first corner , I really thought I was going to get hit by the car I’d just overtaken, but managed to hold it together and got decent acceleration out the corner down the back straight, managed to keep a car behind me until we got to the John Cooper Esses though.
I was getting more confident going round the track by now and started to push that little harder, mostly Gerard’s Bend; John Cooper Esses and Devils Elbow.

I got three trophies  – two 3rd in class and a Driver of the Race in race 2 which are the first I’ve got since 2012! I was quite surprised by the response by my fellow competitors – it was a good one – when I was called up for my trophies, especially for the Driver of the Race trophy. It really made my day to know that I was respected and how much they believed in me and were happy for me.

Having a reliable car so I could focus just on driving the track was a big help. Again I want to say a massive thank you to Andrew Williams for allowing me to race his car . Also I would like to say thank you to the Welsh Sports and Saloon Car Championship a) for allowing me to race someone else’s car, b) for all the support I’ve got from everyone involved in the championship – officials and competitors. Thank you so much for being there and believing in me.

Overall I had an enjoyable day racing.

Here’s hoping I can enjoy the rest of my season. Still got three more races in July (Pembrey), September (Oulton Park) and October (Pembrey).

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

Where has the time gone, I can’t believe it has been 6 months since I lasted blogged!

What have I done in that time, well going back to last year a couple of things;

November 2015
I went with my mate Elz to see the Rapha Supercross at Kings Cross – which in the end was cancelled due to bad weather – but I did take these photos of the outside part of the circuit

and the Revolution Series at the Lee Valley Velo Park, I have never been to a velodrome before, it was great fun, and I enjoyed myself a lot, the atmosphere was buzzing! 😊

I went to see a Lost Innocence gig at The White Swan in Aylesbury, and I have to say these guys are amazing! – and I’m not just saying that because my brother-in-law plays the keyboard for them – I would definitely recommend going to see them if you get the chance. They are a covers band, and they do covers of Within Temptation, Nightwish, We Are The Fallen, Evanescence etc

December 2015
I did a Taekwondo grading for my green belt, which I managed to pass and gain yay J I was pretty nervous, the higher up I go the more nervous I seem to get, I think it’s due to having to remember more stuff and each pattern/form gets just that little bit more complex.
Green Belt Certificate (12-12-15)
January 2016
Went to watch my mate Elz at Dalton Barracks for a CX race. Well impressed with her performance, especially as she was suffering with a cold. Met a couple of her riding buddies too, Toria and Caroline – great guys! ‪#‎amazingride ‪#‎soproud 😊

At her next CX race I actually helped out in the pits for her – very muddy, but a lot of fun. I’m so proud of her, she is doing great! 😊

February 2016
Panto time – Beauty and the Beast 🎭
We performed three shows, all three went well, with the obligatory minor hiccups of course, though very funny ones 😄 The cast were all amazing and the backstage crew did a great job too!
The audience, on all the nights, were great with all the interactions of the show as well. The whole production just seemed to flow and – though a lot of hard work was put into it – be quite relaxed.
Well done to all the cast and crew for an awesome show, you guys are amazing!

Now that I’ve got up to date with what has been going on in the last 6 months. It’s almost time for my race season to start. I’m racing in the Welsh Sports and Saloon Car Championship again this year, as it’s such a relaxed, fun and friendly group to be with 😊

I’ve got a test session next Thursday (21st) at Llandow, which is leaving it a bit late I know, as my first race of the season is on the 24th April at Pembrey. Hopefully all goes well, and I can ease myself back in to the car before the race, instead of going in cold.
I will keep you posted on how the test session goes and the first race.

Take Care and God Bless
Vez

No Racing Again… :(

Hi Guys

Sorry for the delay in reporting about my race weekend last week. Though I think you can guess from the title of this blog post that I didn’t race.

The car had been fixed up from all the accident damage, but when my mechanic Tony went for a test drive in it to prove that it worked and handled ok, he found that under heavy braking it snapped to the right. During the 2 weeks leading up to the race weekend he tried to figure out what was causing this by changing various parts, but nothing seemed to make a difference, eventually it came to be the diff/drive shaft leading into the gearbox that was the problem, so with a week to go Tony went to find another gearbox, the first one he found 3rd gear didn’t work – not useful; on Saturday afternoon he collected another gearbox (which I’m assuming is working), but on his way back to his workshop his truck decided it was going to break down, this was the reason why my hopes of finally racing died. I’m grateful for Tony’s hard work at trying his best to get me out, as he wants to be at the race track as much as I do to go racing. Words can’t describe how gutted I was not to be out racing – for the second time this year.
Here’s hoping that nothing else goes wrong, so I can do a test session in September so I can get some seat time before the last race of the season in October at Pembrey.

That’s it for this post, just thought I update you on my (not happening) race weekend.

Take Care & God Bless

Vez

Hi Guys

Sorry I didn’t post in July, I don’t know why, but I just didn’t seem to have time.

Well I decided that I would make July the month that I would cycle everyday except for 2 days – 1 of which is when I do my body pump. I did well, I managed to cycle on most days – admittedly my rides weren’t long, between 8-12 miles long, though I did do a 21 mile ride. There were also a couple of occassions where I didn’t ride my road bike – once I took my very old mountain bike out for a spin, due to having some meetings to go to and the roads to the places I needed to get to were pretty rough, the other time was when I was at the Vulpine Cycle Fete in London (The Lion pub in Hampton Wick), had I was made to go up against Matt Stephens (Former British Pro Cyclist) on the fixed gear static bike challenge (can’t remember what the actual name of it is), but I have to say I didn’t do too badly against Matt, I was only 5.5 secs slower, which considering I have never done it before, and I lost my rhythm at one point (I know I can’t really make excuses for not doing better, as I’m generally not that good) but I gave it go anyway 🙂

I also had a week off work just to chill, but some how ended up doing more stuff then I was planning, not that I’m complaining as the weather was beautiful, and I also spent some time with my best mate Ellie, which included having a swim in a private outdoor pool 🙂 well nice!

The last week of July I came down with a horrible cold, where I started off with a very sore throat, which then turned into going partially deaf (which at one point was quite painful), coughing so hard at times that I almost vomited, and having my nose alternate between being blocked or running :(. I’m now fine after a couple of weeks like it.

Now we are into August, all my weekends seem to be booked up with something going on.
The first weekend I went to a BBQ with some work collegues, which was nice and chilled, we had a couple of light showers during the day, but it didn’t stop us from sitting outside and enjoying the day 🙂
The weekend just gone I was helping out at the village summer teas – which happen every Sunday during June-September. I also managed to get back on my bike again and did a 17 mile ride.
This coming weekend I’m racing at Pembrey, which I will report back about. Hopefully everything will go well this time! But this week I’ll be testing my car at Llandow to give it a shake down.
The weekend after (the bank holiday weekend) is the Uffington White Horse Show, which I’ll be helping out at, doing car park duty and also manning the Church stall selling homemade cakes, jams, marmalade etc.

I think that’s it for now til after my race meeting, not long to wait now 🙂

Take Care & God Bless

Vez

 

Weekend Rounds 2 & 3…

Hi there

I’ve been having a few problems with trying to get on here recently, so I’m sorry about not keeping up to date as I was planning.

Where to start…
I suppose I’ll start with the last weekend in Sept. I went to Essex on the Saturday to celebrate my aunts’ birthday. It was quite a long journey there and back – being ~3 hours both ways, but it was good to see both my aunt and uncle – who I don’t see very often. The event was pretty chilled and relaxed, having a BBQ, chatting, and for a little while just reading my book.

My trip to France (for work) during the week was interesting – even if parts of it were pretty dull and boring at times, but at least I know what it’s like to be in one of the factories. I left Tuesday afternoon and came back Thursday evening.

Last weekend I did a bit of shopping on Saturday, brought a very pretty little headband, a couple of hoodies, and a electrical appliance – I know that doesn’t sound particularly exciting, but it was a useful buy.
On Sunday I went to the One Family Service – which is a informal church service and it has refreshments afterwards 🙂 I then spent my time watching the BTCC at Silverstone, it was again all pretty clean racing, but the championship isn’t half hotting up :O

I’ve been going on my rowing machine from time to time, went to body pump last night – I didn’t ache as much as I was fearing (having missed last weeks session) so that was cool 🙂

This weekend has had a change of plan, as I won’t be off racing due to not being able to find the right diff for my car – gutted isn’t even half what I feel :(, but these things do happen, so hopefully the changes we (me, my mechanic, and my parents) have agreed to do during the winter will give me a fully working car for next year :).
With me not racing that doesn’t mean I haven’t already got other things to do, so lots of fun planned 🙂

I’ve also been watching Strictly Come Dancing, lets see how it all unfolds in the coming weeks 🙂

I think that’s it for now, hopefully my computer will be nice to me and let me post again on a more timely and frequent manner.

Bye for now. Take Care & God Bless

Vez

A Monthly Report…

Hi Guys

Sorry about not blogging for like a month, but since recently not much has really happened in my life. Well there are a couple of events that I would like to chat about, other than the usual going to work, body pump and the occasional cycle ride.

August Bank Holiday – White Horse Show
The show went ahead even with torrential rain on the Saturday making the fields rather soggy, but we still had a really good turn out of vistors – not many cars getting stuck in the mud either bonus! – I suppose having the Red Arrows doing one of their amazing displays on the Monday helped. The biggest scare that happened was on Saturday when a bolt of lightning struck Fawler Manor (a listed 16th century house); the top part of the manor was destroyed – they are now starting to rebuild it. It took 9 fire engines to put the fire out and with no fire hydrant they had to take the water out of the ditches! No-one was hurt in this incident, though a couple of people were shaken up a little – the residents at the time were on holiday – what a way to end your holiday.
On Monday I was helping out on the Church stall (selling cakes, jams, chutneys etc) and also doing car park duty – it was a bit cold doing that, but it all went pretty smoothly. I also got to hold the Olympic Torch – that was cool!

Right we are now half way through September – where has the time gone – and so far I’ve had my birthday, which was a quiet affair; tidied my bedroom, what an epic challenge that was, still haven’t completely finished but it looks a lot better now; went to Guilford on Sunday for Stage 8 of the Tour of Britain, I went with two of my mates and we were situated in the team parking area – we had fun…

@elzrocks ‘Call’ @v_girlracer ‘Me’ @rhyswhite ‘Maybe’

I also had my finger nails painted by Ellie – they’re so cool!
    

I’m still looking for a road bike – basically just waiting for a small enough bike to come in to actually try out and get fitted too – I’ve brought a pair of padded cycle shorts which are really comfy and a new pair of cycle gloves (as my old pair have got holes in them).

I haven’t got a free weekend now til November – I’m going all over the country: Wallingford; Essex; Pembrey; London; Birmingham doing very different things in each place.

Not long before my last race of the season at Pembrey on October 14th. I’m hoping this will be my day when things go right and I have a great day 🙂

Right I think that’s brought you guys up to date, I hope to be able to do better at writing on my blog in the next few weeks 🙂

Take Care & God Bless

Vez

Pembrey 5th August

Hi There

Racing at Pembrey at the weekend was on the interesting side, shall we say, for me. Qualifying was done on a drying track, and part way through I basically lost 2nd gear – not altogether it just didn’t want to engage properly – it meant I had to hold it in gear. The two races were done with the problem still there, but it had got slightly worst, as by then I couldn’t even release the clutch until I had got back on the accelerator; race 1 was a wet race, so a very tricky race with not only the gear problem but also not being able to see clearly due to the rain and spray; race 2 was bone dry, so at least I could push a lot harder and for a few laps stay up with a couple of competitors. I managed ok as I finished both races, I felt better in the 2nd race than in the 1st race – I think part of that was due to the weather and track conditions – but struggling with 2nd gear certainly wasn’t ideal as it was a distraction I didn’t need. The pace is there in the car and I know I’m capable of doing well, so there’s some hope in getting the car sorted for the October race at Pembrey and having a good go at having a good fight with my competitors. Overall a frustrating day, but there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

I ached a little from the weekend, had Monday off work to try a get myself rested and relaxed, then I go and do body pump on Tuesday after work, now I ache even more. I don’t know why I put myself through such punishment sometimes, but at the end of the day in general I feel pretty good.

Well I think that’s it for now folks. Time for bed 🙂

Take Care & God Bless

Vez

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