Donington park looked like it may be the first warm and dry race day of the year, and it didn’t disappoint. Temperatures were high and there was no signs of rain so we were in for a good day for the AMOC intermarque.
In the past I haven’t done many laps of Donington park in the dry so I didn’t really know what to expect from qualifying or even what lap times I should be looking for. We bolted on a brand new set of Toyo R888’s and went on the hunt for a quick lap. With 26 cars on a relatively short circuit I didn’t get many clear laps in but I managed to qualify 9th which was not bad, with quite a few cars putting very similar lap times in there was potential to improve my position in the race.
I didn’t have a great start loosing a position to the V12 ferrari 456 of Brooks and Kearney. After a lap to get the tyres and brakes up to temperature I started to attack the Ferrari’s in front. passing the 456 into old hairpin and pulling the same move on the next lap on the 355 of Tim Mogridge. I managed to pull a small gap on the Ferrari’s but could catch the 964 of Neal and 355 of Marrs ahead.
My brake problems from Silverstone started to reoccur before the 15 minute mark forcing me to take an early pit stop to let the car cool down a bit, by this time the 2 Ferrari’s had re passed me. I managed to jump the 456 and other 964 in the pit stops but was just behind Tim in the 355. Now the car had cooled down the brakes were better and I was able to get on with chasing down the Ferrari.
Quickly the race turned into a battle to see who could get past the back markers quickest, which caused the gaps between the cars in front and behind to fluctuate a lot.
I got tangled up in someone else’s accident with about 15 minutes to go. I was lapping an Aston and thought I was safely through when the leading Tiger that was lapping us both made contact with the Aston. The Aston hit my front left wheel, whilst the Tiger hit the tyre wall on the outside. Both other cars were out of the race and the safety car came out to recover the stranded Aston. The contact had knocked my front left wheel at a strange angle which made turning right slightly more tricky but it was now better at going left. During the incident I lost a place to the Neal 964 which now meant I was second in class.
With everybody bunched up behind the safety car it was going to be a made dash to the finish. I managed to get a good run on the 964 on the front straight which got me the lead of class back. By now the brakes had started to fade again and it was getting difficult to fight back. On the start of the last lap the brake pedal went all the way to the floor so I cruised home to finish 7th and 2nd in class.
After testing the previous day I was confident going into qualifying Saturday morning. With rain clouds looming it was important to get a good lap in early. Qualifying went to plan when I managed to do a quick lap on my first flying lap, the second lap was quicker but I got blocked going through the final corner so that lap was wasted.
The rain started to slowly fall and the times only got slower. I had managed to qualify 4th overal and 1st in class which I was very pleased with.
Throughout the day it rained on and off, but by the time we had to go to the assembly area the rain had settled in. We didn’t have a full wet race tyre so we chose to go with our Toyo R1R’s which are an intermediate tyre. Once the race started it was clear what tyres everyone around us was on. The front row V8 cars immediately disappeared off into the distance followed by the green DB4. I managed to get the jump on the red 355 ferrari of Wayne Marrs, and I held onto 4th place until the Jeremy Cooke came past just before the pit stops, he was also on wets and I just couldn’t keep up with him.
After the pit stops it appeared that Wayne had got faster in his 355 (it turned out that they used the pitstop to cure a misfire). Wayne managed to get passed with his increased speed, and I held position until the end. I finished 6th overal and 1st in class, with a good haul of points after the disappointment of Silverstone.
After the braking problems encountered at Silverstone we changed the front callipers, disks, lines and pads and we also changed the rear pads and disks. With so many changes we decided it would be a good idea to go testing before the race at Oulton Park.
We went out for the first session just after lunch, with the aim of re familiarising myself with the circuit. The car felt quick and I started to turn some quick times, but the brakes began to fade after around 15minutes again. We let the car cool down then bleed the brakes and adjusted the way the vents in the reservoir cap were working. I went out for another session later in the day and the brakes were significantly better and I started to feel confident about the next day.
The yellow peril is a Porsche 964 cup car that was modified for British GT, and is now a wide bodied 964 turbo. Over the winter we converted the car to run on a Motec m800 ecu. We also had the differential rebuilt and some other minor enhancements.
We headed to Snetterton for a shake down on 3rd May. The test went well and we put in some fast lap times that we were pleased with. We still have some issues with the brakes, which is slowing us down and its something we will have to sort out before the next test day.
Silverstone race report
Qualifying: The weather was fine and dry, which made a nice change from last year’s torrential rain. Qualifying didn’t go to plan. After 4 laps the throttle linkage failed and I ground to a halt at the right hander of Beckets. On the last of the 4 laps I did the fastest lap I have ever done at Silverstone, which put me 11th on the grid.
I spent the next 2 hours with my head in the footwell trying my best to bodge the throttle linkage back together. With about 30 minutes before the race I managed to get the linkage back together and the floor back in the car ready to race.
Race: Lining up on the grid I was expecting the throttle linkage to fall apart after the first couple of laps. So the plan was to go out and enjoy the start and the hectic opening laps and if I get any further it would be a bonus.
I made a good start and made up a few places in the opening laps. My fastest lap was the 3rd lap of the race, and it was all down hill after that. Having only 4 laps in qualifying and parking out on track meant I wasn’t able to set tyre pressures for the race, we also didn’t take into account the rise in temperature in the afternoon. The tyres pressures were set way too high and after 3 laps the tyres started to go off, as the tyres started to overheat this caused the brakes to also overheat, and after the first 10 minutes of the race I had to start to nurse the car home.
In the pit stop we decided to drop the tyre pressures, they were so high the stop took about 20 seconds longer than it should have. This left me with some work to do after the stop and I set about making up some positions. I worked my way back up to 10th overall and 2nd in class. With a quickly deteriorating car I was very pleased to see the chequered flag.