Aintree – 29th June 2019
Steve: 2nd in Class, 6th in Top 12 – 40.07s
Matt: 3rd in Class, 5th in Top 12 – 39.82s
Steve: We had not been to Aintree for 12 years and my last visit was in a Westfield, I couldn’t remember much of the circuit. Although only having 3 corners, it wasn’t until first practice that I remembered that all 3 are quite technically tricky to get correct and if you overdo it, you could be having a very bad day on the horse racing jumps! Both I and Matt were reasonably close to each other in both practices, with barely anything between the pair of us. I would be quicker on one corner and Matt would be quicker on another. The damper changes we had made prior to the event seemed to be making a big improvement to the grip on the bumpy circuit. The left rear wheel speed sensor was reading erratically and we hadn’t noticed that the trigger wheel had been damaged from where the driveshaft broke at Pembrey, so we disabled the left rear wheel speed sensor. I had also done some revisions to the gear change strategy, which helped to speed up the gear changes further. The car and engine were running great, but with the 2 very long straights we were struggling against the V8 cars and the more powerful cars including Nick Algar in his lightweight supercharged DJ, coupled with the fact that he regularly went to Aintree, both myself and Matt knew that we could only go faster by getting the corners perfect. As usual, Matt seemed to be losing speed down the straights in comparison with myself. We decided to swap the rear wing in the second timed run to our lower downforce set up and although the top speed went up by about 4mph, we lost time through the corners so decided to swap back for the Top 12. For the Top 12, the wind had changed direction and we were now going into a headwind towards the finish, this dropped our top speed by almost 7mph from what we had seen in the morning. On Matt’s first run, he managed to finish 3/100th under British Sprint record which gave him an extra point, I was 2/10th behind this (just outside the record). Matt messed up his 2nd run at the 3rd corner and was much slower, my 2nd run was within 3/100th on his first run so he wasn’t able to gain any additional points.