Pembrey – 2nd June 2019
Steve: 2nd in Class – 116.63s
Matt: 3rd in Class – 119.67s
Carole: 1st in Class – 131.48s
Zoe: 5th in Class – 142.43s
Steve & Matt: On Saturday night, we had changed a few settings on the car and fitted the wet tyres because we knew the weather was going to wet most of Sunday. On arrival at the circuit in the morning, it was only damp in a few places but mostly dry around the circuit. Just as we were about to start though, it started to drizzle and it wasn’t really quite enough for full wets, but it looked as if it could get heavier at any moment. Matt went out again first, managed ¾ lap before a ball joint failed on a prototype throttle linkage Steve had been working on. There was about an hour’s work to strip the car down, weld the part up and put it back together. This meant that T1 would be Steve’s practice run and Matt 1st Timed Run, since not driven on the Pirelli wets before and it now quite torrential the rain Matt took it steady and posted a reasonable time, being Steve’s practice run, he did the same and the grip seemed to be fantastic. Both our timed were a little slow as far as the qualifying pace was concerned, but Matt went out and posted a good time for T2. Steve felt the car was really good but since this was his one and only run to qualify had to hold back, just enough to ensure a safe run. When he finished, the clock stopped at 116.63s which was 1/100th second behind Steve Miles who managed to post a great time to achieve FTD. We then prepared the car for the Top12, the sun was now out and the track was very rapidly drying, so we were making wing settings for the dry runs. Unfortunately, we then discovered that the AiM data logger was giving us errors in one of Matt’s channels and would give us different rake readings each time the data was opened. This meant yet again we had got the aero balance wrong, but it was too late to work out what we should be doing. Matt was first to the line again for the Top12 and unfortunately this time sheared the driveshaft on his start, this was a much longer fix and insufficient time to repair it within the Top12. Colin rushed around and got a spare driveshaft out and quickly put the car back together so we could prove it in the 3rd timed runs (which don’t count to the awards or any results) that the car was ok. Matt was designated again to drive the car, a few calculations were made and we changed the aero settings to what should be correct, Matt managed to then go round on cold tyres in a time that would have been quick enough to take the class records. He said feel and balance to the car was much better with the further improvement to the gearchange software and acceleration fuel strategy. Although we had a weekend that was up and down, it was a good weekend and if it wasn’t for the power of the 2.0L XE engine and the grip of the Pirelli tyres, we probably wouldn’t have won class or broken the car! Watch slow motion start line video
Zoe & Chris: At the end of the day, because we were expecting rain on Sunday, all the tyres were switched to wets. The circuit layout was slightly different and with the ever-changing conditions, it was difficult to make a further step forward in the set up of the car. Chris was still putting in good times winning the class and managed to qualify for the Top12 finishing 10th in 117.26s. Zoe was also taking chunks out of her time, although she spun on a semi-damp track in her 2nd timed run. She was really getting to grips driving the car but just pushed a bit too hard on the exit of a corner, however, she was still keen to get out and do her 3rd timed run to get more seat time in the car and got her time down to 142.43s.
Carole: Sunday started damp with heavy rain promised by 10 am. Not having any Pirelli wet tyres, I needed to use my Avons which meant making changes to the car ride height again, so I ran the first practice on the slicks. For the first timed run, it was definitely too wet for slicks so we changed the car settings and put on the wet tyres and had a well-timed run. Later on, it dried up so back onto the slicks and I improved my time achieving a PB for my last run. A great weekend of racing.