Arrived at Castle Combe at about 7pm and setup camp, had a bit of a chat with a few of the other saloon guys and then went for a wonder around the circuit as it was a nice evening and headed off to bed. It poured it down in the night and thankfully the tents still waterproof :p
We got up early (7:30 lol) and I cleared the Lupo out of a few accessories still in there and then went and signed on, took the car up to scrutineering (had to push it because it was before 8:30am) and Jay nearly passed out lol guess he’s not used to exercise that early but a sausage sandwich sorted him out. Car went through scrutineering without any problems and then we pushed it back which was much easier as its a bit of a downhill slope. Then before I knew it qualifying was upon us so warmed the car up (not that anyone could hear it), put the gear on and then took it down to the paddock. Out we went and cars started flying past, took it easy the first few laps to let the brakes and tyres warm up a bit and then it started to rain, the car was oversteering and I wasn’t confident in the brakes oh and I couldn’t get 4th gear so I put the laps in and managed a 1:42:11 which isn’t the greatest but for my first ever outing in the car but I qualified 29th out of 30, I’m not going to complain!!
So back into the paddock get out of the car…annoucement…David Rose to the Clerk of the Course, oh dear, then realise I didn’t attend the drivers briefing as it was my first ever race at Combe :s Then I was told I apparently crossed the line when I exited the pits but I wasn’t the only one there were quite a few of us and I just followed the guy in front, so just a lil word of caution 🙂
Back to the car, up on the ramps and we could get the car into 4th by slamming it in and couldn’t get to the linkage without removing everything so I decided to leave it and thought that as I could slam it into 4th I could survive…had to pop to the petrol station to fill the jerry with some lovely super unleaded and grab a few snacks and then back…..thought we’d check the tyre pressures…40 PSI!!! IN THE WET :s oh dear. Wouldn’t have helped at all….so lowered to 28psi..8 hours later….time for the race 😀
Starting to get a bit nervous now……get my gear on again, warm the car up and down to the paddock, kinda worried now!! See the Young Guns are on there last lap so get in the car and turn the cameras on, belt up, get the helmet on and sit there waiting….pull out onto the grid on row 15 next to Peter Weston in his MG ZR….out for the green flag lap and I can’t get 2nd now 🙁 so follow everyone around warm the tyres and brakes up a little and form up on the grid, get a thumbs up from Peter, 5 second board…lights on and out!! Initially I accelerated quite well and tried 2nd gear and no luck again so into 3rd and away everyone goes….I tried to keep up but no chance. I was also taking some strange lines which I know are wrong but I guess its just nerves. Anyway coming down the back straight into tower try 4th and nothing 🙁 it just won’t go in. Try again after coming out of the esses into camp and still won’t go in so decided that I would just “cruise” around in 3rd gear. Scarily I started getting lapped after lap 4!! Kev in his Leon was flying and shortly followed, shortly followed by Tony in his Audi TT and Mark in the Astra and a few others 🙂 I tried 4th a few more times but it really wasn’t having it 🙁 So overall finished 25th (5 guys dropped out) and just glad to have finished the whole race.
So next race is in 2 weeks so not much time for improvements so will adjust brake bias more towards the front, lower the suspension as it sits a bit high which will hopefully improve handling a little, get the gearbox sorted out which is hopefully just the linkage and hopefully that would put me up a lot closer to the back of the pack 🙂
I’ll get some videos and pictures up tonight when I get home!