Aug 9th, North West Sports & Saloons, Round 9, Anglesey

“…way beyond the limit and the track, the aggressive outside kerb spat us out across the grass.”


Practice & Qualfying

Using what we had learned from the previous days racing, a couple of set-up changes were made for Sundays morning practice session. The fuel surge which was the biggest problem that had inflicted our performance was actually the easiest to fix. The solution was we just ran a lot more fuel than was required!! Not exactly rocket science or desirable because of the large amount of added weight but a simple way round the problem.

Out on the track the car was transformed, the small suspension changes we had made meant corners could be attacked without sacrificing the all important corner exit speed. And now with no sign of the fuel surge consistant lap times could be racked up. Speed was growing as confidence was building.

The trouble with racing is how do you drive on the limit if you don’t know where the limit is…the answer to this came to me as I speared off at the exit of the first corner while trying to take it in a higher gear than normal…way beyond the limit and the track, the aggressive outside kerb spat us out across the grass. Still managing to hold it in parallel with the track and still going forwards at a fair rate across the infield we then hit a dip in the soft ground which launched the car into the air. Luckily this was a short haul flight and we touched down with a thud, still on its wheels and still going forwards amazingly in the right direction! As I rejoined the track I made a mental note to myself not to do that again!!

Back in the paddock, a quick check over the car didn’t turn up any ill effects from my air time…that was until I noticed that the engine cooling fans were oddly quiet?? When I looked down to where normally two electrical fans sat all I found was four broken wires, unknowns to me I had scattered the fans across several square foot of infield..oops!! On reclaiming the broken bits and pieces it was obvious the fans where beyond salvaging. But by now my friends where so caught up in the race atmosphere that one of guys agreed to let me borrow the fans off the vehicle that he had driven up in allowing us to race on!…thanks Ben!

Back out in qualifying the lap times continued to drop, the Corkscrew section of the Coastal track that had been included for Sundays racing just suited the car so much more than the hairpin of the previous day. And the time sheet was evidence that we were getting a lot closer to the competition!


Anglesey 09/08/09Lesson learnt from the previous day meant I was determined not to be bullied at the start. This time around I actually managed to gain a place at the second corner by going round the outside of one of the Westfield racers. With the much lighter and nimbler kit car on my tail it was now going to be interesting to see how long I could hold him off. Two laps of trying to keep him at bay and then inevitable he sneaked back through under acceleration onto the back straight, but the Beyond Racer was close in tow!!

For the next 6 laps I hung on the back of the yellow target in front and we exchanged fastest lap times, but every time I got close he had the edge in the braking and the acceleration zones. I stayed in contact ready to pounce if a mistake gave me an opportunity, but it wasn’t either of us that were going to decide the outcome of this tussle. Coming out of the cambered hairpin we both engulfed a slow moving racer that was limping back to the pits, with the Westfield clear of it by mid corner I would slingshot past it at the exit. All of sudden the injured car in front came to a complete stop on the racing line that I was already committed too. With nowhere to go I had to take to grass, still accelerating the car began to broad slide, not so bad I thought as at least we were sliding towards the track. But as soon as the car hit the track the sudden weight shift spun the car 90 degrees. Desperately trying to counter steer, I just couldn’t hold it so I pressed the brake and clutch for damage limitation and to ensure the engine didn’t stall. I was now a passenger sliding backwards across the infield, grass cutting again!!

The car came to a halt with no damage done and I rejoined the track with the spin costing around 6 seconds, but on the plus side we hadn’t lost a position as there was a sizable gap back to the next car, so not the disaster it could have been! Back up to race speed and I was now just really enjoying being out there and I didn’t want to come in when the chequered flag was finally waved! I was really pleased with the progress made, really proud of the whole team, and I think the weekend efforts can be summed up by the marshal who came over to us as we were packing up. In a serious tone he questioned me “how many times did you soil your pants??”…and then breaking into a smile he continued “because I soiled mine every time you came round my corner!!”. Suffice to say Beyond Racing made a big splash at the North Wales Coastal track!

For the complete qualifying and race results click here!

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Next Event

Mallory Park, National Raceday 18/04/10

Trackside with Beyond Racing