The second round of the AMOC intermarque championship was held at Oulton Park. Oulton Park is a circuit I don’t have much experience of and therefore we weren’t expecting a great result, just to come home with as many points as possible.
Friday testing was predominantly dry, so we had some good running, and I was able to get back up to speed with the circuit layout. The car ran well and reliably.
Saturday morning was very wet, before the qualifying session we had to make a decision whether to run wets or dry tyres. We went with dry’s and for the first 3 laps it was very slippery, several of my competitors went with wets, the 355’s pitted though when they realized they needed to dry tyres to go quick. With our dampers on wet settings and our tyre pressures probably set a bit too high, we didn’t manage to qualify well.
I lined up 11th on the grid, around some very fast cars, I knew I needed to move forwards in the pack, to make sure I didn’t give away too many points to my competitors. I had a flying start and by the hairpin I was up to 5th position, and holding onto the back of the leading pack. Over the first 15 minutes I settled into a rhythm not far off the back of the leading group, and then the rain came. Once it rained I tried to stay out as long as possible hoping it would pass over, as I didn’t want to lose too much tyre pressure in the pit stop whilst it was still wet. Eventually I had to pit, the 2 Astons in front fell back during the heavy rain, the 2 ferrari’s changed tyres and lost about a minute to me and the other Porsche was slowing after the pit stop. This left me with a very large lead, but on dry tyres in the wet. I was unaware I was leading, I could see no other cars in front or behind and found it very difficult to judge my pace, I had some very close near misses, and lots of instances where all 4 brakes were locked. Eventually I was caught by the 2 Ferrari’s and Aston, and so did another class B 911. This meant I fell back to 5th overall and 2nd in class. At the chequered flag I was just relieved to bring the car home undamaged in conditions like that.
In the end it was a very good result considering it’s not my best circuit, but we were painfully close to our first AMOC podium and I’m sure it won’t be that far away.
Now we have had two rounds of the championship I am tied 3rd overall and equal 1st in class on points, and Porsche have around 14 points lead in the team’s championship.
The 2014 AMOC Intermarque season kicked off at Silverstone on Saturday. After we cruised through scruitineering we got the car back to garage and noticed brake fluid coating the inside on the left rear wheel. After bleeding the brakes the night before we must have had a weeping bleed nipple. After some investigation we had found a nipple that had worn the thread on the caliper and would no longer tighten. We tried some PTFE and plumbers tape, but this didn’t work. We found a similar sized bolt and forced it to fit into the hole in the caliper, and this worked and held fast throughout the day.
So after a brief panic with brakes, we had a very good qualifying. We qualified on class pole by about ¼ of a second, but after setting this lap time, we had fuel surge coming out of right hand turns. So the next problem of the day was a broken fuel gauge. The gauge was showing a full tank but it clearly wasn’t. So we had to guess the amount of fuel to put in for the race.
The start of the race was good, we didn’t make up any positions in the first corner, but over the first couple of laps we started to move up the order whilst maintaining the class lead. We had a great first half of the race, holding on to the back of the eventual winner and second place. After about 15 minutes the tyres started to go off and we started to lose lap time. We lost time to our competitors during the pit stops, and coming out the pits we were right up behind Steve Atkinson the eventual class B winner. The tyres were well past their best at this point and we were only going to go backwards from here.
We finished 9th overall and 2nd in class, which considering the bolt jammed into the brake caliper and the dodgy fuel gauge was a good result for the day, but our competitive spirit means we are never satisfied with coming second.
Next time out in Oulton Park on 10th of May. See you there.
The first round of the 2014 AMOC Intermarque championship kicks off next Saturday at Silverstone on the 1.6 mile national circuit. If you want to come down to watch it costs £10 on the gate for a ticket that gives access to all the open grandstands and the paddock. We are in garage 9b so come along and say hello. The intermarque qualifying is at 10:40 and the race is at 3:30.
I traded my BMW 320d for a C63AMG Mercedes and its just awesome. The sound is the best bit. Within 2 minutes of leaving the Norwich MB dealership I put my foot down just a little and I had two people pull along side at the next traffic lights and give me a thumbs up.
This year we will be competing in the AMOC Intermarque Championship. The goal is to defend our class B championship win in 2013, Porsche to win the teams championship again and with some luck and a good run of results we may have a chance at the overall championship. We will be using the same 964 C2 as 2013.
There has been some regulation changes for 2014, the main aim is to try to slow down the really modified cars, so it should give us more of a chance to get results. The 2014 regs can be found here:-
We hope you can join us at some of the races this season. Below is a list of dates for the AMOC intermarque, I’ll update the calendar page with news of test dates and any other racing that we will fit in with the other cars.
April 5th Silverstone AMOC intermarque
May 10th Oulton Park AMOC intermarque
June 7th Donington Park AMOC intermarque
June 28th Brands Hatch AMOC intermarque
June 29th Brands Hatch AMOC intermarque
August 2nd Silverstone (Out-round BDC) AMOC intermarque
Sept 27th Snetterton AMOC intermarque
Coming into the final round of the championship we had a chance to win class B and the Porsche team could win the teams championship. We did an afternoons testing the day before to get up to speed with the circuit, and make sure the car was ok after the long summer break. We had a good afternoon and managed to scrub 2 sets of tyres in for the following day.
Race day: Going into qualifying we had the advantage of having recent running the day before, so I was confident going into the session. By the end of the first lap the safety car was deployed and the we had 3 laps not being able to go quick. Once we were back to green i got a couple of laps in and managed to qualify 12th. I was disappointed that I hadn’t gone as fast as Friday testing, but 12th was ok considering Snetterton is a power circuit and we are one of the least powerful cars on the grid.
The front row of the rolling start didn’t want to wait the rest of the grid to form through the final corner, so the start was a flat out sprint from thee exit of the last corner, which meant I had no chance to make up positions. By the second and third corners I was able to challenge the guys in front, and this lead to a good fun first half of the race. I overtook Stephen Archer into Agostini hairpin securing 1st place in class. I pulled a small gap but lost this when the safety car came out. I took this as an opportunity to take my pit stop. After the stop the race settled down and I had quite a lonely second half of the race.
I finished in 9th place overall and 1st in class. This was only my 2nd class win of the season but it secured the class championship, and the Porsche team won the teams championship.
So the end of a great season, with 2 championships and a race car in 1 piece.
Last week I bought myself a 1999 Lotus Elise S1. I have already ordered some Nitron dampers and new discs & pads. I also plan on carrying out a service at the same time, as it seems to take an age getting it on the ramp when you have to take off the under tray to do so. Its a far from perfect example, it will be an ongoing project.
So far my initial impressions of the car are mixed, the right rear damper has failed a couple of days after I picked it up, so its handling is slightly strange. The car was not used much in the last few years so me having it and driving it as hard as I can is going to throw up any potential issues, and I suspect it will continue to highlight weak areas. But apart from this I love this little car, its very willing to rev and makes a great noise for a 4cyl engine. It feels just like a race car for the road, even down to the horrible little rattles you hear on a race car when driving slowly, these seem to be cured by driving fast and drowning it out with induction, exhaust and wind noise.
I’ll keep this up to date as things happen with the little elise….
Brand Hatch being one of my favorite circuits and the Aston Martin centenary celebration happening on this race weekend I was doubly keen to get the brake problem sorted out before these races. The brake fade has plagued us this season apart from at Oulton Park when it rained. When the car was plugged into a Porsche diagnostic machine it suggested that the ABS pump had failed, with new ABS pumps at £3k we decided to ditch the ABS. In fact we decided it would be a good idea scrap the whole brake system and start from scratch. So we put in a new tilton pedal box with 3 pedals, with new master cylinders for the front and rear brakes and one for the clutch. We also had all new brakes lines made up and plumbed in, this year we had already replaced the front callipers and braided hoses along with disks and pads all round. So now we have a completely new braking system, so it should definitely work at Brands Hatch.
During qualifying I was struggling to learn the new brake setup (it’s quite different with no servo or ABS), and we also had a lot of traffic on the Indy circuit with 35 cars on track. This lead to me qualifying well down the order in 22nd, with my class rivals in 11th (Steven Atkinson) and 12th (James Neal/Neil Harvey). So in the race I had a lot of work to do.
I made a great start and took the risky outside line into paddock hill bend. This paid off and I made up several positions when the inside line looked like a traffic jam. I made it passed James Neal at Paddock and again around the outside at Druids to take Stephen Atkinson, so up to 1st in class and the brakes are working very well.
I was blocked badly by a 928 into Graham Hill bend and it compromised my exit, so I lost 2 class places to Atkinson/Neal. I made it back passed Neal/Harvey fairly quickly as they didn’t seem to have the same race pace as qualifying pace. After some dicing with some other class cars I made it back onto the tail of Stephen Atkinson in the white 968 and tried to get passed him as quickly as possible. By this point we are struggling to lap back markers, fortunately we both had the same problem, the back markers tended to be big cars with lots of power which make it difficult to pass. Stephen Atkinson got blocked by a 355 Ferrari which allowed me up the inside into Clearways. Unfortunately I was blocked in a similar way at Druids and he was immediately back passed. I lost out in traffic and Atkinson pulled away before the pit stops.
After the pit stop phase I quickly latched onto the back of Atkinson again and proceeded to harass him for the rest of the race. Pushing hard towards the end of the race I hit some oil at Paddock Hill bend and had a scary spin, luckily an Aston behind also hit the oil and spun too, making the impact between the two of us much smaller than it could have potentially been. We both quickly rejoined the race with cosmetic damage only, only to be shown the mechanical warning flag a lag latter as my rear bumper was hanging off touring car style. I had to pit to get this removed with only one lap of the race left there was no time to make up places.
I ended up 4th in class and 13th overall, which was an improvement on qualifying which I was pleased with but it could have been much better. I was more pleased with the lack of brake fade during the race even in the extreme heat of Brands Hatch. See video bellow for the full race (especially the rocket start) and report from the grand prix circuit on the Sunday to follow.