Race report Kyalami 18 Sep 2010

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Race report Kyalami 18 Sep 2010

Postby muller on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:00 am

Free practice
We headed to the track nice and early to miss the Allandale traffic. At the track we setup and waited out turn to practice. I had made a few changes to the car and was very keen to see the effect it would have. From the start the car felt brilliant and within a few laps I beat my own PB for the track setting a 1:56.9. One of the corners I found extra speed was turn 13 (the new kink that replaced the old bus stop). I was on another flyer but on the apex of T13 the back stepped out, I tried to hold the slide but I was simply carrying too much speed and the tail came round. There was nothing I could do as I watched the inside barrier get closer and closer until I hit it with a thud, the LH front wheel taking the brunt of the impact.

The car was still driveable so I limped back to the pits but could feel the handling was off. Back in the pits I examined the car realized I was very lucky, the only damage was the steering arm that was slightly bent. I borrowed some toe gauges and reset the toe, because the arm was bent it meant that I only had ½ of steering left and 1.5 turns right – not an issue on the track but a real pain in the pits.

For the next session the car simply was not as good as before, no matter how hard I tried I could not get below 58’s and the car simpy would not turn in. Back in the pits I reset the toe and swapped to my race tyres.

Next session out the car was sublime, can’t believe the small toe change I made had such a big impact. The lap times tumbled and soon I was into the 56’s again. At the end of the session I parked the car for the day, since I did not make any changes I would just be chasing laptimes and risking another accident.

The Lotus challenge race is very close this year with myself and Derek tied for points in the class B championship and only 5 points behind the overall leader – Glen Clark (in class C)

Saturday qualifying
With such a big field I expected traffic to be an issue so pushed hard from the start to get in a few good laps. On about the 3rd flying lap I left my braking for Nashua a bit too late, the back stepped out and I slid off the track sideways into the gravel. For some reason I could not get any gears and I started to get seriously worried, after a bit more stirring with gear lever I found a gear and got out of the gravel. For the remainder of the lap I could hear stones and gravel fall off the car but no apparent damage was done. A few laps later I saw a 56.2 pop onto the lap timer and felt very satisfied, it was difficult to get a clean lap in, there was a lot of yellow flags out meaning one cannot pass slower cars. Back in the pits I saw that Hendrik (driving Jeff Gables car in class X) posted a 56.0 while Derek was a few hundreds behind me.

Race 1
Race 1 start was a very hectic affair with a few slow starting class A cars in front mixing the field up, after the chaos settled onto the back straight Hendrik was in front of me and behind me Ettiene had gotten the jump on Derek with a lightning start. I tried to keep up with Hendrik and at the same time opening a gap to Ettiene and Derek. By the time Derek passed Ettiene I had opened a sizeable gap, but could not relax, I kept pushing to maintain the gap and ended an uneventful race about 3sec behind Hendrik and 8 secs ahead of Derek, result 1st in class. Meanwhile Glen Clark in class C had a difficult race finishing 4th. This meant We were now tied for the championship while I was 2 points ahead of Derek.

Race 2
Our race start was delayed as Marshals cleared the oil dropped by Willie Hepburn. I got a good start again slotting in behind Hendrik while behind me Ettiene got the jump on Derek again, however this time Derek got past quickly and both of them wasn’t very far behind me. A few laps in there was oil flags in the bowl and I quickly found the cause, someone had dumped oil all over the racing line, I battled to keep the car on the track but managed to keep everything together, this allowed Derek and Ettienne to close the gap. Coming onto the pit straight I hit oil again and the car drifted while while I battled to control it allowing Derek past. Into T2 there was waved yellows with marshals moving Gary Hulberts car out of the way. I don’t think Derek saw the green flags because he was very slow out of Nashua allowing me to get past very easily on the drive to Sunset. Over next lap or so it was clear that there was oil over most of the track making things VERY interesting. There was a lot of yellow flags out as cars started sliding off the track. I was trying to be as cautious as possible while still keeping a good pace. Coming onto the pit straight I hit the oil slick as I started to accelerate and the car spun around before I could even react. I did a perfect 360deg spin, got the car into first gear and sped off to catch Derek and Ettiene who passed me.

It took about a lap to catch up again and I seemed to have better traction out of the corners – I had a little look into sunset but just could not commit to a risky move on a slippery track. Out of Wesbank I got a good drive and tried to slingshot past Ettiene into the bowl, but had to be cautious on the brakes because of the oil and stayed behind Ettiene, despite my compromised line I got much better drive than Ettienne out of the bowl and got alongside for T13, this time I kept my nose in and managed to retake one place. I started to close the gap on Derek – I could see his undertray was dragging on the ground and this must have hurt his top speed. I had a look into the bowl but Derek closed the door in my face.

Suddenly my car started to make some grinding noises coming somewhere from the back – the noise was quite rhythmic and got worse with speed. I racked my brain trying to figure out what it was so I could decide what I needed to do. Over the next few laps the noise got possessively worse and my attitude changed from chasing Derek to keeping in touch with him and getting the car home. I was convinced what I was hearing was a drive shaft that got damaged and was about to let go. I crossed the finish line a few car lengths behind Derek, result 2nd for the race and first overall for the day.

In parc ferme I opened the rear panel and saw 2 perfect driveshafts, but I could also see the tarmac underneath my car! My undertray had come loose and was grinding on the ground (spectators told me afterwards the car made a huge racket as it came past). Seems my qualifying trip through the gravel damaged the tray and it finally failed in the race)

This result put me and Derek and on level pegging again with 1 more race to go! In class C Glen Clark took 2nd place meaning that all 3 of us are tied for the overall championship. Zwartkops the 16th of October is going to be an epic race weekend! I’m going to be trying as hard as I can, but I will not be upset should I lose the class B championship to Derek, at most of the tracks we’ve been separated by fractions of a second.
Anton

Race car 1: Birkin IRS 4AGE 20v (TLR class B - B10)
Race car 2: Birkin IRS 4AGE 20v (TLR Class B for SO - B20)
Road car: erm.. who cares
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muller
 
Posts: 1452
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 4:57 pm
Location: Benoni

Re: Race report Kyalami 18 Sep 2010

Postby muller on Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:03 am

I'm not going to bore you with my first race footage, here is an edited version of race 2 though

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAyfvJee_DQ

Here is a very short clip of Lauren saving a big slide in turn 13, a few spectators commented afterwards that they don;t know how she managed to keep it all together

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXc1tw4aQC8
Anton

Race car 1: Birkin IRS 4AGE 20v (TLR class B - B10)
Race car 2: Birkin IRS 4AGE 20v (TLR Class B for SO - B20)
Road car: erm.. who cares
User avatar
muller
 
Posts: 1452
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 4:57 pm
Location: Benoni


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