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.
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.