Tag Archive: testing


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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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 comin week.

Take Care and 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

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

Finally…

Hi Guys

I’ve finally managed to get out testing with my little race car! 🙂 The test was done at Llandow, which is a great little circuit for a shake down test.

The test session went well; The car handled nicely, it felt planted, stable and solid. It responded well to steering, braking and quick changes of direction. The only issue we came across was a fuel pick-up problem; we don’t carry much fuel in the tank – about 1/4 full  – due to weight, but if the fuel level went to low and with sloshing around in the big tank, the pick-up couldn’t always suck up the fuel especially when going round quick right handers.

Other than that the only things that need looked at are the battery – it’s old and pretty much came to the end of its life; and the sensor for the V-Tec. Hopefully these will be sorted out for race day.

The weather was good too, blue skies, bright sunshine, dry, though a little chilly.

Overall a good day testing. Bring on the race meeting! Which will be next weekend at Pembrey.

Holiday!

Hi There

Well last week I went on my first proper holiday in about 7 years! I went to Guernsey on my own. I was hoping for a really fun and interesting time and possibly meeting up with people and making some friends during my stay – well everyone who had been to Guernsey before had said it was a great place, easy to walk around the whole island and good for meeting new friends. All I can say is don’t go on your own as it can become quite lonely, and it isn’t easy to walk the whole of the island – my legs hurt after a few days, and it got to the point I could barely walk without being in pain, or sit for long periods without cramping up. There were some good points and some disappointing points (not saying bad) during my little ‘adventure’. The weather was pretty much like it was on mainland UK.
Good points: food was good; nice scenery; the museums were good and quite informative about life in Guernsey
Disappointing points: some of the ancient sites were very badly looked after, or there wasn’t really any information about the sites when I was there looking at them. I’m classifying my down moments as disappointing not bad due to the fact that in the guide to things to see in Guernsey didn’t live up to what was actually at the sites of interest;

I saw a fair bit, but I still didn’t see much of the island even so. I went to the German Occupation Museum; the Little Chapel; the German Military Underground Hospital; the Folk & Costume Museum; the Candie Gardens; Saumarez Park; Petit Bot Bay; most of the north part – Fort Pembroke, Fort le Marchant (which is also the rifle range), Fort Doyle, La Varde (Passage Grave; one of the slightly not well looked after areas), the Millenium Stone, Les Fouaillages (one of the overgrown not looked after areas), La Platte Mare Cist (another not well looked after areas), Le Dehus (Passage Tomb); Castle Cornet; Clarence Battery; Icart Point; the Cliff Top Shop; I did try to look at the Moulin Huet Pottery, but it was closed; coastal walks. I also went over to Herm quite a pleasant little island definately somewhere where you can just lose yourself, not worry about anything and relax.

It was an experience, and I’m glad I did it, on the basis it proved I can, and if I did it again I will have a better understanding on how to do things. As a friend of mine said “you can have an opinion on something unless you have gone out there and done it” it’s pretty much true for everything in life, to live and experience things you have to go out there and explore.

I’m back at work again and I’m still trying to get my head rounds things, and trying to be less tired. I think the emotions of what I went through (I know it sounds like a went through hell, I didn’t but it was still a challenge at times), and having to be responible for looking after the house now my parents have gone on their holiday (which isn’t a problem in itself, just that I’ve not had to cope with being away myself first, then returning to a pretty much empty house afterwards), and also not having a car as mine needs a new engine, so having to drive my mum’s, which is weird.

I did my body pump session yesterday, after missing last week I was a little worried about how my body would react to it again, but I haven’t felt any ill effects from it, which is good 🙂

I know I haven’t really gone into much detail about my holiday, but I have to say after a while I just kinda went into automatic pilot mode, so didn’t really take in much as I probably should of, I suppose it was my way of coping with the loneiness.

In other news; I should be out testing my race car in the next few weeks, I’ll keep you posted on that.

I think that’s it for now. (Don’t think I hating on Guernsey I’m not, just if I did it again I would go with others).

Take Care, God Bless & Explore 🙂

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

 

Social Event

Hi ya

On Thursday after work I went karting (a work social event) – a 2 hour team endurance, there were 10 teams in all; it was great fun, it made me realise how much I missed karting as I haven’t done any for about 5-6 years, the event gave me a chance to air out my karting gear, which was cool 🙂 I’ve got a slightly bruised back though 😦 as the padding wasn’t much use; the team I was in (Gotta Get Out My Way) came 2nd overall, got beat by a group who goes karting almost every weekend or something like that, but came 1st in the Crown (the company I work for) employees standings.

Today’s testing in Llandow didn’t happen due to bad weather :(, so I’m gutted not to get out to bed in my new brakes, but hopefully next week if I can get a dry day, fingers crossed.

If the weather’s nice tomorrow I may go for a cycle ride, then go looking for a new bike as mine at the moment is (getting) a little worn out – had it for ~12-14 years so it hasn’t done bad really.

Think that’s it for now.

Take Care & God Bless

Vez

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