The new car’s first race weekend at Donington Park was a little challenging to say the least…
After having so little ‘go wrong’ during our hundreds of test laps around Blyton Park, our first visit to Donington came as bit of a surprise… the dashboard had a complete ‘digital breakdown’ showing only water and oil temps, no RPM, no gears, no laptimes or shift-lights. Added to which our chosen brake pad material was simply not up to the job when used in anger! Not the easiest start to James’s first race in the new car!
The answer finish the weekend…bin the dash and update the brakes with new design, get new discs and bells manufactured (thanks to BG Developments for getting these done) and change pads to harder material.
So to Brands – what could go wrong – bed the new discs and pads for a lap or two…simple!
Brands Hatch GP
The aim for the weekend – bed in new brakes, finish both quali sessions and both races.
Qualifying One – a literal washout, the only flying laps being spend trying desperately to get heat into the new pads.
Race One – steady progress after a tentative rolling start, with 24 cars ahead going into Paddock Hill better safe than sorry. Spend the first few laps getting used to new brakes and grip levels in the dry with lap times started to tumble towards the end of the race.
Qualifying Two – again shortened with only a few clear laps, matched race one’s quickest lap time.
Race Two – another rolling start with 20+ cars in front of us going into Paddock Hill bend so another steady first few corners before setting about casing down a few cars in-front. All went to plan until running a rumble strip on the exit of Surtees twisted part of the steering arm (new designed part already in production) after which any further progress through the field was hampered by copious amounts of understeer.
Overall – really pleased with progress the weekend’s aims where achieved no major issues, new brakes proved to be a massive improvement, still learning all of the time with James getting more confident and starting to push harder we are gaining data and finding little things that will improve the feel of the car – already looking forward to Castle Combe – bringing a few more updates that we did not have time to get on the car for Brands.