Aug 8th, North West Sports & Saloons, Round 8, Anglesey

“I felt as nervous as I did at my first race, I was the new boy in the championship with a new team, the car wearing a new livery, a new circuit to learn…”

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Qualifying

They say ignorance is bliss….not normally something I would agree with but sitting in the assembly area waiting to ushered out on track to qualify I was just trying to clear my head of thoughts of “did I remember to tighten that wheel nut?.. did I remember to go back and double check that suspension bolt??”…. To be honest I felt as nervous as I did at my first race, I was the new boy in the championship with a new team, the car wearing a new livery, a new circuit to learn as Anglesey had undergone a complete renovation since I lasted competed here in 2006, yep it was like first day back at school…I just hope I’d done my homework right!! All these thoughts vanished as the engine rev’s raised in response to the marshal waving us out on to the track. It was like flicking a switch, all that was on my mind now was concentrating on learning as much as I could in the next 15 minutes of free qualification.

Anglesey 08/08/09It’s surprisingly how quickly the confidence builds, and every lap braking was left later and later as I was drawn further into the curves. The car felt solid, and it was only until I started pushing hard towards the end of the session that the front tyres began protesting against the increase in corner exit speed. Before I knew it and to the tyres relief the chequered flag was issued, signalling the end of the session. On the cool down lap, the realisation that we’d successfully finished a whole session set in, finally after all the effort of the last two years we were actually going to go racing! It was the final countdown to the launch of the Beyond Racing project!

Race

After a great effort from the team to try to fix an elusive oil leak in the interlude the race soon came round, and before I knew it I was hard on the accelerator and releasing the clutch in response to the fading red lights of the start gantry. It was a great start, but being a little race rusty, I was too gentlemanly around the first couple of corners. Accelerating out on to the back straight I was trailing the two cars I had hoped to have cleared, after that wake-up call I knuckled down to reel them back in…Well that was the plan but unknowns to me the rollercoaster undulations and curves of the Anglesey track had other ideas!

Two laps in and suddenly on the exit of the tight corners of the Rocket complex the engine revs momentarily died and then abruptly picked up again. Just a blip I thought, whilst being more worried about the time it cost me on closing the gap to the group in front of me. Then coming out of the downhill sweeping left known as Peel, the car spluttered again and then instantly revved back up. Obviously this problem wasn’t going away and the most probable cause was that I was suffering from fuel surge.

Over the next couple of laps the occurrence got more regular, and despite trying to just push-on hard, out of frustration I was overdriving the corners in an attempt to grab back some time that was being lost every time the engine stumbled. It soon became apparent that my race had run, and the priority changed from lap times to finding out as much as I could about the car and track so I could attack the race tomorrow. It was frustrating but the important thing was we were still circulating, and despite having to slow drastically for the last two laps to ensure the car didn’t run out of fuel we took the chequered flag, and surprisingly we weren’t in last either! On the warm down lap the frustration disappeared as I was just really happy for the team that we completed race distance despite the teething problems, and more importantly we had flown the flag for everyone involved in the Beyond Racing project!

For the complete qualifying and race results click here!

Total raised for charity so far...


£1026.93

(Including £181.93 Gift Aid)


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Next Event


Mallory Park, National Raceday 18/04/10


Trackside with Beyond Racing