Race report from rockingham, and a video…

podium
This weekend started off bad, and got worse then got better and towards the end was the best of the year so far.

It all started when I went to pick up the van (10 mile bike ride to the rental company), and was informed that the van I was due to rent was not taxed (it was taxed but the tax disk was not in the vehicle), but they found me a nice Volkswagen Transporter (I have wanted to have one of them for over a year). So I made my way home and started to load the van up, and get ready to leave for the weekend. When I went to check my lights on the trailer, I discovered that they were not working, I immediately thought it was the trailer, so started to check bulbs, connections etc, but it looked to be all working correctly, so I changed my focus to the van. After speaking to the rental company, they gave me directions to locate the fuse for the rear control box for the towbar electrics, and I discovered that this did not have power, so I put in a lead from the battery to the fuse of the control box, this gave me lights on the trailer, so I could leave (3 hours behind schedule now).

I arrived and setup next to a fellow class D driver in the inner paddock of Rockinghams circuit, and proceeded to unload the car from the trailer, so I did not need to do that job in the morning, then I proceeded to eat something and we had a relaxing evening talking to other drivers at the circuit.

We got up the next morning, and prepared ourselves for qualifying, I managed to qualify 5th out of the 6 cars, but I was only 2 tenths behind the 4th in class car, so I was happy with the result.

For the race, I was positioned on the outside of the track, so would be running around the outside of the first corner, so I decided that I needed to try and get a good start to get myself up to 4th from the start, but my start was not that good, as we had a class A car spin on the banked bend, so I backed of when other did not. So I entered the second lap in 5th position in class, but was still in touch with the 3rd and 4th position cars.

I felt that on some laps I was catching them, but others I was loosing ground, I had a lucky break when car 74 span on the exit to Tarzan and I managed to get close enough to make a overtaking move (not something you would see in formula 1) and made it stick, so finished the first race of the weekend with a 4th position.

We got weighed in scruiterneering and my car was at 1128kg which is one of the lightest that its been, and the petrol light was not on, so their could be still some weight to be removed. That was it for the saturday, so the scruiterneers got us to remove the engine cam covers again so they could remeasure the cams on the M42 engined cars, and take the model numbers from the cams on the M44 cars. After the cars were back together we started to relax for the night, and get ready for the next race.

The sunday morning came, it was a colder night, so we hatched a plan to locate the diner on the other side of the track, and get a full english breakfast, 5 of us made the trip over, we did get a little lost, but eventually located the diner, and settled in for a hearty breakfast.

race-winnersOur race was the second one the day so we were on early, so after breakfast it was time to check fuel levels, and tyre pressures, then get ourselves to the assembly area. I got a much better start and held my own but on the 2nd corner I managed to get my car up to second in class when two other cars in class D touched wheels, shortly after I was passed by the race winner so I was then in third, I managed to keep this position for the whole race, even with the guys behind me trying to get past. On the last lap I did get nudged by one car and my rear diffuser was knocked loose from the rear bumper, but I managed to keep my composure (and it in gear) and finished the race with a third in class. It was one of the hardest races I have been in so far, but also defiantly one of the most exciting and interesting.

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