Thurxton Tin Tops 1/6/2013
Well I did hope to have my throttle bodies fitted in time for my first race of the season but ran out of time in the end what with getting married and the mrs being away for a week in May.So the car was back on the std manifold and still with all the std panels and glass. It seemed to go well enough though.I'd never driven Thruxton before the race day but I had done lots of watching of videos on youtube so felt I had at least an idea of the lines to take and gears to be in for each corner.
Qualifying seemed to go OK. The car ran fine and my youtube watching had paid off. The circuit is very fast, you drop to about 50 for the two chicanes but apart from that you are pretty much flat out and over 100mph. I couldn't quite take church flat out, I had to have a little lift from just less than 120 down to about 110. I was also shifting up to 5th for the back straight as due to the slight curve the car was just sat at high rpm in 4th without really gaining any speed, so I thought I'd give the engine an easier time.
I missed the second part of the Cobb chicane twice and got the driving standards flag. My fastest lap was my last lap with a time of 1:34.110 and an average speed of 90.12mph.I also got shown the black flag with orange dot which means a mechanical problem but when I pulled in they said it wasn't for me so I went straight back out again.
After qualy I was checking the car over when Stuart the series coordinator told me that I had been asked to go to seem the clerk of the course. I didn't really know what it would be for as I thought the driving standards flag would not normally mean a visit to the CoC. In the end he just wanted to "draw my attention" to the rules for going 4 wheels off - 1st time nothing, second warning, 3rd 5s penaulty, 4th drive through and 5th exclusion. I don't know if that is new for CSCC this year as I have not noticed it before. All reset before the race anyway. After all that I discovered I had qualified 10th, my best result so far! On the last lap of the qualifying session.
I had various bits and bobs to do before the race. Put some more air in the tyres based on the pressures after qualy. Also needed to free up my extinguisher pull as it had seized. I added an extra gallon of fuel to mitigate the risk of fuel starvation with the long high speed right handers. I'd not had any problems at Mallory but thought better safe than sorry.
Qualy had also been my first time out with my HANs device. I had been worried it would be uncomfy as it digs in to my shoulders a bit but once at racing speed I didn't notice it, so that was good. It didn't affect my head movement either which was a surprise as you can't turn your head as much to the left or right, but it didn't seem to affect me when driving.We practised a few pit stops. I have to get out of the car differently now or my HANs device gets stuck on the cage and means I can't get out. It didn't seem to slow us down to much though.
We were out for the race straight after the trucks which have a reputation for leaving water/oil behind so we'd been warned in the driver's briefing to be careful.I lined up in my grid slot on the outside of the track. One of the clios from last year had qualified 6th and he was right in front of me. The red lights came on and we were off. I got a good get away but the clio in front didn't and I had to lift off as I felt I was boxed in although I'm not sure I was looking at the video. That meant the rest of the pack came back at me but I think I only lost one place, to a golf. I was now right behind the clio and in 11th place. In front of me were a golf, a clio and an integra (class B one though). The four of us seemed pretty evenly matched. I was hanging onto the back of them although they were pulling away slightly on the straights. The 3 cars in front changed places a few times but we were all still together by lap 7 when the pit window opened. There was only 4 seconds between the 4 of us. Me and the other clio came straight into the pits so it was a real head to head battle. We did a slightly quicker stop and nearly took the other clio in the pits and I was now right behind him. At the first chicane he went wide which allowed me to get a really good run on him on the exit but his extra straight line speed meant I couldn't get past. I could tell he was struggling a bit for grip though so I kept on it. At Church the real high speed corner he went wide and then onto the grass allowing me to get past no problem. After that I pulled away and didn't see him again during the race.
Things were fairly quiet for the rest of the race. I started to catch the class B integra at one point so nailed some good laps. I was using quite a bit of the kerbs and got another driving standards flag. Not really sure why as I hadn't gone 4 wheels off, but I was getting some air off the complex kerbs so maybe that was why lol. I kept off the kerbs after that to avoid a penalty. I also had a couple of high speed slides at Church while passing back markers, one was particularly scary lol. Kept it pointing the right way but lost sight of the teg after that. Leader lapped me with about 3 to go. I also started to get fuel starvation around Church on the last few laps, so it was a good job I'd put some extra fuel in. Next time I'll know to add more!
I finished 6th in the end. I only passed one car for position on track, the blue clio. My fastest lap was a 1:33.194 on lap 14 with an average speed of 91.01 mph. Really enjoyed the race and the circuit. The car behaved itself. I just need to find time to fit the throttle bodies, plastic windows and fibre glass doors, boot and bonnet in the next 5 weeks ready for combe on the the 13th of July lol!
Thanks for reading.