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Goodwood Regis Sprint

Steve & Matt will be sharing the 1440cc Hayabusa powered SBD DJ Firehawk CT004

Steve: 2nd Overall – 76.69s
Matt: 3rd Overall – 79.33s

We were looking forward to testing out the SBD DJ at Goodwood since it is a circuit that Steve knows really well. He had made a couple of changes to the front suspension set up to soften it slightly and thought the fast corners at Goodwood would be ideal to try it out, but no idea what the result would be. Steve went first, reasonably cold start to the day and the first corner off the start line which is extremely fast felt really very good and the SBD DJ is not fussy on tyre temperature in the same way the SBD Dallara is. The car felt quite composed except for when there is a change of direction after speed has been taken off, then it has a tendency to lift the inside front wheel. This would quite often be the case on a hillclimb car when the rear suspension is set up for traction out of corners, but not ideal on the faster race circuits. After practice he got a warning about noise as it had tripped one of the noise meters at St Mary’s. Steve had been working on the gear change set up, which made the gear changes smoother but unfortunately this increased the noise during the shift, so for T1, Steve changed the set up and we didn’t have any more issues. Matt is always nervous of Goodwood due to the very high speed corners and needs to be perfectly comfortable in the car before he will push hard.

On T1, Matt went first and was suffering with buffeting at high speed, which was putting him off and because he slightly uncomfortable in the car, he was noticing the rear instability on turn in more, so this made him nervous in turning in to the high speed corners. Although Steve felt the instability, it was only after braking and not on corners that you turn into under power so was able to live with it better. Although we had reduced the wing settings to minimum, the larger wings that the SBD DJ runs were creating good downforce but limiting our overall top speed and we were getting on for 20mph less than what the SBD Dallara would do. The length of the straights out way the corner speeds.

Come T3, Steve felt that the grip the car had into the 1st corner meant that he could take it flat, which is not something that could be done in the SBD Dallara and although we could see from the logging trace, there was a tiny wiggle in the throttle pedal effectively the corner had been taken flat, which is something that Steve has never been able to do in the past, so this shows the potential of the car. We are going to be working on the aerodynamics to reduce the drag and on the engine to increase its performance. We were pleased with the final time even if it was quite along way behind what the Dallara could do, but the aero and mechanical grip will be a great benefit on the slower circuits. Just waiting for a few parts from DJ for the suspension, which will hopefully be ready in time for Goodwood again in a couple of weeks.

Really pleased with the 1440cc Hayabusa engine in its first build, it is super smooth and the improvements to the gear change are a huge step in the right direction. There are further updates that Steve will be testing at Goodwood in 2 weeks time.

Well done to Pete Goulding on FTD and if Steve hadn’t overdone it at Lavant Corner it might have been a bit closer.

Steve at Goodwood, April 2023

Matt at Goodwood, April 2023

Pictures by Kim Broughton