Competition returns

So, last weekend we returned to Silverstone for the start of the new season. Traditionally RGB races at Silverstone (which up to now have been held on the August bank holiday weekend) are held in climatic conditions that more resemble the depths of winter than a summer, even an English one. However, this weekend was to work out well. It got a bit gloomy on a couple of occasions but that was it. Amazing…

However, I’m getting ahead of myself. I’d booked the Friday test day and we travelled up to Silverstone by a different route to usual and arrived at much the same time as we would have done by the normal route. I’d arranged to share Bob’s garage and was rather surprised when we got there to be told by the people on the gate that Bob was already there. However, all was revealed when I saw Bob, and realised that he’d metamorphosed into a physiological form that looked exactly like Colin Chapman. Odd that.

However, it was great being back in the paddock and much chatting went on and we retired for the night.

During the test day I set about fiddling with ARBs and so on and got somewhere on the times. Prior to this day my best time was 1:04.62 which was actually a Fury time. (Last year’s RGB race was washed away, see above.) After the testing I was about a second quicker than that. Looking at the logs a lot of this is just down to the increased engine power so perhaps that’s not too surprising. It’s still the case that I’m not carrying the amount of speed into the corners that I did with the Fury. I’m not totally sure why this is the case. I do need, though, to work on the braking rather more than I am at the moment.

Back to race day, though. It was rather gloomy but didn’t look as though it was going to rain. I was pretty much at the front of the qualifying race (that is, who gets into the assembly area first) although that’s not really an issue at Silverstone because of the nice wide track.

Qualifying was mostly uneventful. I don’t think I got everything out of the car that I could have done though. And, as such, I qualified in about the middle of the grid with a time of 1:03.37. Yes, quicker again but an age slower than the fastest class R boys were going.

The race was quite fun, though. I got a pretty good start and was right up behind Tony’s new Wolfe. This is a home designed and built car that has got my “I must design my own car” juices running again… But, I just couldn’t get near it. Time after time I came out of Becketts just behind him but he just pulled away on the straight. It probably helps that he’s down to weight limit and I’m still about 30kg over. In fact, before the race I borrowed Bob’s corner weight scales (lust, lust) and that showed that the front and rear bodywork on my car, although admittedly with the lights, weighs over 30kg. Compared to the waffer thin bodywork on things like the Spire and the BDN that’s awful. I keep trying to persuade Jeremy to make me some light bodywork and he’s not really interested.

However, the bet thing was I was in a race. I ended up spending most of the race swapping places with Colin and Al although that had the side effect that Tony got away. You can’t see it on the video due to the lack of any rearward vision (I’ve plans to sort this) but Colin, Al and I crossed the line with just 0.24 second covering the three of us. Luckily I was the first one over… 🙂 Here’s the video:

So, it was back to the paddock and after a nice Indian takeaway, eaten in the palacial surroundings of garage 5 at Silverstone, we retired to bed.

The following was it was actually sunny. Odd, I thought we were at Silverstone? Our race was quite early and I lined up, hoping for a better race. I decided to alter the angle of dangle of the spoilers on the car to try and get a little more straight line speed. That may have been a mistake.

I got another half decent start but after that I just didn’t get in touch with things. Only by a tenth or so but all the same I was going backwards. Worse, after a few laps the brake pedal got longer and longer necessitating some alarming lines, that you can probably see on the video. As a consequence I just had to back off a bit and try and get the car back. Here’s the rather boring video:

So, not a bad weekend but I’ve got some stuff to do to the car. That started today when I changed all the brake pads, changed the brake fluid and changed the oil. Hmmmm, probably an expensive weekend.

What I really need, though, is to lose some weight out of the car. Wish I could work out how, other than making some moulds and making my own bodywork…

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