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Lydden Hill – 13th July 2019

Steve: 1st in Class, 4th in Top 12 – 66.26s

Matt: 2nd in Class, 3rd in Top 12 – 65.74s

Carole: New Personal Best – 74.46s

Zoe: New Personal Best – 79.33s Watch Video

Steve: We had made some more software upgrades to the 2.0L XE SBD Dallara for slicker gear changes. Also because we had damaged the rear wheel speed sensor pickups due to the broken tripod and driveshafts and couldn’t get the components made in time, Steve had to change the rear wheel speed information to be calculated from the engine rpm and gear. We had used this quite often in the past and could look at the logged data from previous events then simply entered the data into the ECU. This meant traction control was able to work as normal. 

We also made further adjustments to the damper settings and fitted gurneys to the front flaps thanks to John Hansell. The Dallara hadn’t been to Lydden with this wing combination so we didn’t know what the settings needed to be. Matt went out first in practice and said the circuit felt slippery, Steve had the advantage of slightly warmer tyres and thought the car felt really quite good. This was proven by the fact that he was fastest overall in practice and Matt was 3rd. In the first timed runs, Matt was slightly quicker than Steve. 

We looked at the data and added some tassels to the rear wing, John was worried that the angle of attack might be too steep and the wing could stall. The photos that Kim took showed that the rear aero was working perfectly, John felt that we could even go to the last maximum wing setting and it would probably be ok. On the second timed runs, Steve had the advantage of slightly warmer tyres and pipped Matt to the class by 0.08s. 

Come the Top12, we knew we were suffering from lack of traction at low speed, so we decided to test some damper settings in the 1st run and although it gave more initial grip, we lost ability later under power. We had enough time during the driver swap over to set the dampers back. Matt managed to improve his time to just outside the class record and although Steve just pipped his qualifying time, Matt just beat him with 65.74s finishing 3rd and Steve 4th with 66.26s. We have some ideas on how to improve it further, Alan Mugglestone has kindly provided further technical support and agreed with a general idea with suggested adjustments to make. Overall the car felt great, it is just a joy to drive all the time.

Carole: This event a year ago was Bill’s last drive in the car and as such, I did feel he was looking over my shoulder and telling me to ‘put your foot down’! 

So I tried my best throughout the day to do just that with help from Bill’s friend Steve Miles. It was just a single day event with one practice and two timed runs to count. Steve showed me his video of his fastest time from a few years ago, noting the correct lines and braking points. The first practice started with the car performing well and the new tyres giving plenty of grip. When coming in off the circuit and seeing the time clock showing 80 seconds, I was surprised as I had checked my fastest time last year which was a 78-second run. I wasn’t sure the time had been right, but when the times were posted it was correct. So I was happy to be so close on my first practice. 

For the second timed run a few changes were discussed with Steve on braking points and watching the video of my practice run. It is definitely important to have a video, as where you think you were braking and cornering is not always the case when you review it. The run resulted in a marked improvement with a 4-second reduction in my time over my practice and a personal best time in the bag. I was really pleased. 

I still felt I was braking too soon for some of the corners and scrubbing off to much speed and at this stage of the day there was only 1 slot left to qualify for the top 12 runoff and there were 3 of us very close in times wanting to win that last place. The run was good with another 2-second improvement, but it wasn’t enough to win the place, so I had to settle for 13th. 

The day was great overall with some good competition between all of the British Sprint competitors. I am happy with my final result and appreciate all the encouragement and support from Steve and hope to take my new found speed to Castle Combe in a couple of weeks’ time.

Zoe: With only 1 practice on Saturday, I had to get used to the Lydden track again but luckily I’ve been there so many times over the years (as part of the SBD pit crew)it wasn’t hard to remember where to go! Started practice breaking last year’s PB and continued breaking it throughout the day. My best time of 79.33 made me the fastest non-single seater car, excluding the British Sprint competitors, of the day!