Pembrey – 1st June 2019
Steve: 2nd in Top12, 1st in Class – 93.82s
Matt: 3rd in Top12, 2nd in Class – 94.82s
Carole: 2nd in Class – 110.48s
Zoe: 3rd in Class – 115.57s
Steve & Matt: Matt went first, said the car felt nice. Steve drove second but was slightly slower even with the warmer tyres. We were keeping a careful check on the aero balance of the car, since this was the first time to Pembrey with the new aero set up, so we adjusted the wing setting for the 1st timed run; the car didn’t feel quite right but Steve managed to post a fast enough time to be leading class with Matt 0.9s behind. We looked at the data and we both puzzled by the fact that the information from the logger was showing the changes we had made did the opposite to what we had expected. It was then at this point we realised, that the front damper pot had come unscrewed and wasn’t moving, so the information we had got from the previous runs was irrelevant! We took the best guess, Steve went slightly slower and Matt went slightly quicker, but not fast enough to beat Steve’s first timed run. We both qualified well for the Top 12 and Matt starting first smashed a tripode on the left-hand driveshaft, thinking this had ruined our Saturday we still rushed the car back to fix it so we could at least test it in the 3rd timed run after the Top12. Fortunately for us, but unlucky for Simon Bainbridge, a suspension part broke on his car on the track causing a high speed off, which took a great deal of time to recover. This gave us sufficient time to replace the joint and we both got out for our 2nd Top12 run. Matt did well with his one run and achieved ??? overall, Steve managed to get a good run fast but safe and secured second overall with a 93.82s. We were pleased with Saturday even if a bit fraught at times.
Zoe & Chris were running the 1.6L EcoBoost SBD Westfield, with the same setting that they had run at Blyton. There was further upgraded software, which improved the gearchanges and Neutral finding for gearboxes where the Neutral is a half gear selection. We gave the software a quick test on Friday evening and found that the Neutral selection on the Sadev ‘box currently used in the Westfield now works about 3x faster than it had done previously. The faster downshift strategy could only be tested on axle stands to prove its functionality, this also seemed to be a nice improvement. Come Saturday morning Zoe and Chris went out for their practice and although posting some quick times, we could see that the Westfield struggling to put the power down, not only in the corners but even on the straights. Pembrey is quite a bumpy circuit and shows up any shortcomings in the setup. Changes were made throughout the timed runs, but due to the number of other issues in the paddock, Steve didn’t have sufficient time to give it his full attention. After making some damper setting changes, we could see that it wasn’t having a significant effect and changes the spring rates on the rear of the car. This made a step forward, but it still wasn’t perfect and Chris was struggling to make full use of the power. Despite this, Chris finished 1st in Class with 105.56s (New British Sprint Championship Class Record) and Zoe, 3rd with 115.57s.
Carole: One of my favourite events but on the Sunday we were doing the Club circuit which I have only done once before and it’s definitely a challenge. Saturday was the first outing with my new Pirelli slicks to replace the older Avon’s I had been using. This required some minor changes to the ride height and change the camber settings but this was all done at the circuit early on Saturday morning. First practice went well, the new tyres needed the first run to bed in, but I definitely felt confident in the way the car had a good grip. After watching my video I could see where improvements could be made for the timed runs and on my last run I achieved another PB time.