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Brighton Speed Trials

Steve and Carole will be driving the 1.6L EcoBoost SBD Westfield

Steve: 1st in Class – 11.27s
Carole: 2nd in Class – 11.52s

We hadn’t done the Brighton Speed Trials for a few years now and the weather was looking really nice for the day. We arrived nice and early so were able to unload and get organised before a lot of people got there. The Westfield had a nice soft suspension setting and we were looking forward to a relaxing fun day. Madeira Drive had been laid out quite differently from the last time we were there, now it is one way with a wide cycle path and the start line area had been re-tarmacked. Carole went first in practice and although the surface was a bit slippery to begin with, it didn’t seem too bad because normally first thing in the morning, the start line was always slippery. By the time Carole had come back and swapped over for Steve to drive, it was already getting warm and start line was starting to grip. Because of the quick turnaround, there wasn’t time to look at the logging data between drivers. On Steve’s practice run, the car gripped up really quickly and the revs got pulled to almost tickover, which mean the acceleration in 1st gear was really slow so Carole’s timed was 12.83s And Steve’s run was 12s exactly.

For 1st timed run, Steve upped the launch settings much higher than they would normally be. Carole’s run bogged even more than practice but she still managed a quicker time of 11.78s. Steve set the launch settings even higher for his run and the car still bogged down. Both drivers were launching at 5000rpm, but there was so much grip on the start line that as soon as the clutch was up, no wheel spinning would occur. However down the course, the circuit was still much the same as it had always been, very bumpy and uneven and both drivers experienced wheel spin. The traction control was taking care of this, but obviously every time the traction control kicks in, you are taking away power to regain grip which means that your acceleration isn’t as fast as it would have been with full grip. Steve managed 11.27s which was 2/100s off qualifying for the Top 10 run off.

We had one final run to go, so Steve made some major changes to the launch settings with an attempt to launch on full power to see if he could get the car to wheel spin a bit, Steve was chatting with Justin Andrews and he was having a similar problem on his Subaru and wasn’t get any decent starts, which was wreaking his ¼ mile run. Carole went first again for 2nd timed run, she managed to improve significantly to finish 2nd in class and 11.52s but again for her run, the car instantly gripped up and ended up rolling off the line again, which was a shame since we knew there was at least another second to come if we could get some good launches. It was now Steve’s final run and he set the settings to the maximum that we could achieve and the tyre warming felt really good but he did hear a noise. Unfortunately when it came to the final start, the launch was finally amazing but the load on the transmission smashed the crown wheel and pinion so the car rolled off the start line and the day was over!

A bit of a shame, but it was a fun day with lots of spectators, organised superbly as ever by Brighton & Hove Motor Club who we know have great plans to improve the longest running speed event in the country. Looking forward to coming back for more fun on the seafront.