Tuesday, 7 August 2012

3 Sisters 5th August

It was a long awaited return to competition on Sunday at the 3 Sisters venue nr Wigan.  This venue is only 20 minutes from home, so there was no rush or long tiring journey getting there.

So unloaded, signed on and scrutineered it was ready for action.  It was going to be an interesting day with 14 drivers entered in the class, though the hot favourite had to be Tony Hart in the Renault 5.

Conditions for the first timed run were dry and looking at others on the track, people certainly weren't holding back.

The initial run felt ok, though the track was a little green and slippery in places with all the rain we have had recently, the first corner the back end went a little wayward, but an 85.52 put me about mid field and only 6/100ths behind Phil Skipp in the Astra.  Unsurprisingly the class was being led by Tony Hart in the Renault 5 Gt Turbo.

Unfortunately, just as I was queuing for the second practice the rain began to fall, as such the track became very slippery, with standing water on a couple of the apexes making exiting the corners a little exciting.  A time of 98.79, but nothing new learned due to the conditions.

The remaining cars in practice 2 and lunch break allowed the track to dry completely ready for the timed runs.

T1 didn't go as expected, with observations from my friend Adam and Chris Bennett, that I wasn't making best use of the track, but also I was locking a rear wheel on braking.  Subsequent investigations revealed that the brake bias was set completely the wrong way, this was quickly rectified for the final run.
Time was slower than 1st practice at 86.21.

On to the final run of the day and this run went and felt far better, making better use of the track for one and the car being far more stable under braking with the bias now restricted.
Final time was 84.49, so a good improvement over the first practice.  This left me just over a second behind Phil in the Astra who put in a great performance to take 4 overall with me finishing 8th out of 14.  Winner of the class on the day was Tony Hart, putting in a 79.09 final time.

I'd set no expectations on my performance having not been in the car for so long, so getting used to the car again following the suspension and engine changes was the priority of the day. I'm glad to report that the car performed faultlessly and bodes well for future events.

Other HSA competitors were having a good day with David & Jim Spencer fighting it out for the FTD, finishing so close to each other with a 69.99 and 70.01 respectively.  Tony Thomas showed that he is still trying to get to grips (quite literally) with the G20 Ginetta as he span out on his final run.  Chris Bennett managed to overcome rival Paul Webb in the well attended Formula Ford class.

The end to the day was somewhat unexpected as I reached home in the middle of a thunderstorm, the interior of the car somewhat as waterlogged as the outside.

Next event is on the 26th August at Harewood Hill in West Yorkshire, with out a doubt my favourite venue in the UK.

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