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The crucial first test

After a 4am departure, we are inWalesby 6am for a traditional McDonalds breakfast.

 

We arrive at the track in perfect time, surrounded by beautiful scenery, just in time to sign on and attend the safety briefing.

 

And so, Rob heads out first on to the track for a sighting lap behind the queue of cars and returns 3 laps later. Ryan then quickly jumps in and heads out on the track for the second wave of cars rolling round on sighting laps.

Ryan returns with the car 3 laps later and we need to change a few things; the sandwich plate holding the oil sensors and cooling pipes is leaking, so we have to pull that off and just stick to having the filter on its own. This is something we will need to remedy soon as we want to be able to monitor our pressures and temperatures. They both also comment that the standard road tyres we’re starting out on are pretty bad and are experiencing quite a lot of understeer. We bring the pressures down to a more reasonable number, especially on the front. A few other minor adjustments like belts and a few loose electrical connectors and we’re ready to go again.

So, it’s time for me to head out in the car and as the track is now fully open, there’s no time for driving round at 30 on a sighting lap. I head out steadily and start getting up to speed. The car is feeling smooth and tight, but the tyres are definitely letting it down, especially on the exit of the slower speed corners as it struggles to put the power down before being completely straight. I start to get into a rhythm after a few laps, still getting up to speed with the track. Then, as I come through church, I’m holding it in 3rd as I get a better exit and looking for 4th on the exit. I make one crucial mistake….I accidently knock it in to 2nd for the briefest of moments!! I soon find 4th again and I roll up to rocket. As I go to accelerate out of rocket, I can hear the faintest of tapping sounds and I know straight away something’s wrong.

I steadily bring it back in and we check out what’s happened. We’re relatively confident it’s not catastrophic and that we can fix it for pennies, but it means the end to the day before it’s even really begun! We’re all gutted, but we know it’s only the beginning of our adventures and are more than confident we’ll turn it round and have the car ready very soon. We’ve taken the sensible decision to cancel the trip to Brands Hatch. We could probably get the car back ready if we really wanted to, but we’ve just not had enough seat time to risk all that money.

The car will head back inside, we’ll apply even more finishing touches and we should see it back out on track within the month. Watch this space!

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