Well a weekend of mixed emotions, Saturday I was not a happy bunny – but better on Sunday.. Let me explain…
So after leaving for the circuit at 3:30pm on Friday when school was out for the kids we hooked up the caravan and left towards the hallowed tarmac of Silverstone. Dad had gone at lunchtime taking the race car and to reserve a good camping pitch in the new family camping area. 3 and half hours later I missed the late signing on I was hoping to do to ease my Saturday morning madness!
8pm managed to get the car in the Pit Garage and race wheels and Transponder fitted. Tyre pressures and levels checked ready for Quali on Saturday.
Saturday awake at 5:30am thinking about the day ahead, head out at 7:30am to make sure I know where the Novice briefing is and as luck would have it I can sign on before it rather than after. Remembering to complete my upgrade card beforehand to avoid the ticking off I got last time!
Straight out and after a quick bacon roll that cost as much as 2 packs of bacon in Harrods and its off to Scrutineering with no problems there its time for a quick polish and fitment of the Finishline sponsors and down to the assembly area for qualifying.
Quali was awful, really awful. I couldn’t learn the circuit which is way longer than it felt on Forza on the Xbox. Really struggling to get a line through any bends – especially the Loop. And for the first time I start to think am I enjoying this?
At least I am consistent, consistently last!! Box 31 Row 16, but the car is in one piece.
Race 1 is early in the afternoon and keen to put the qualifying session behind me as my Godson Josh and his brother Dan and parents have come along to watch. The race starts OK and I still seem to no get much acceleration out of the bends as everyone else, soon left behind and the long circuit means I am left on my own to gain experience shall we say. Still trying to learn the circuit, but struggling and every time I get round the last bend (Copse) the car starts to stall as the fuel sloshes across the tank then pick up again. The car is also strats to not push past 80mph on hanger straight and is hesitating a lot. I nurse the car to the end careful to avoind holding up others as I want the points but I am not a happy driver at all.
Fed up I walked out of the garage to no go back and enjoyed the rest of the event in the afternoon avoiding the pits and racing all together (apart from the Ferarri’s) Saturday night after a call to confer with a mate I head back to the car with the clan in tow. We blow back the fuel line to make sure the in tank filter is not clogged and notice that the engine bay and sub frame under the expansion tank are covered in dry lime scale and coolant. Inspection of the tank shows that its suffering the splitting in the middle under pressure and spraying all the electrics hence the hesitation after a couple of laps etc. Not much I can do but cover everything in WD40 to try and disperse the coolant on Sunday during the race.
Sunday and I am a little nervous as the car wasn’t great, a chat with Paul Bryson in the assembly area and its well known apparently to run more fuel at Silverstone because of the slosh effect – doh! Paul also talks me through tackling The Loop and I pay very careful attention.
The race is off and by lap two the car is still not picking up out of the corners brilliantly but its OK and Pauls tips are helping along with now understanding the track after Saturdays debacle. The race finishes pretty uneventful so seeing as the tank is empty once more the WD40 must have done some good and I am a little happier. Now home to try and get the car more responsive on acceleration, and I reckon change the fuel pump because its struggling to start now.