Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Race Report - 03/08/13

Lets get one thing out of the way first -  There was no F1 of any kind :(

I wasn't actually expecting it. No one had mentioned it and I think the one other guy that might be at least reasonably serious about it wasn't able to make this meeting. I had mine there but I'd robbed the motor for an, what turned out to be, a half hearted, attempt to race local mini rules.

I don't want to be too critical of people because everyone is trying their best to make clubs happen etc but I have to say that the rules run last night are a perfect example of why the Australian Mini rules are such a good idea and work so well. Using 21.5T may sound like a good idea, but it doesn't save any money and it opens up too many variables. There was a huge disparity in car speeds down the straight, and some cars were unusually quiet. I know the M05 is quieter than the M03, but they still use the same gears and some of these cars were almost as quiet as a belt drive tourer. I've certainly never heard a mini that quiet before.

I ran one race and started the 2nd but I think some tape that got caught up in the rear hub during the first race may have jammed a bearing so I retired it. I'll also admit that I wasn't that interested given the huge differences in straight line speed, the huge variation in driving quality and also because I was debuting my new project - the Mi1.5.

This went better than I could've hoped. I arrived a little before track set up so I could do a few system checks and get a basic handle on what the set up might be. I am glad I did as I'd forgotten to tighten the locking grub screw in the front spool diff, which of course came loose after about 30 seconds of running. Given the older design of the donor car it took a little bit to access the diff screws and tighten them and get everything back together. By that time people were starting to arrive so track set up started and I lent a hand, despite not being a club member.

After track set up I managed a couple more laps and initial feelings were good on very old Sorex 36 tyres, but there were a few issues as well but I decided not to do anything else until I had fitted the new Ride 34 tyres I was intending to run (these are the control tyres for the QLD Titles as well). I was also using the short lipo's from my F1 and I wasn't sure which position they were best in.

Race 1 - I should try harder to get race results when they aren't printed!
Grid starts for qualifying so its all in from the get go. It works OK and it wasn't a bad race. Car felt good with just a little to much rotation on application of throttle out of corners, but also a little under steer coming into and going through faster corners. Battery position was in the middle. I wasn't going to have much time for a lot of changes but I knew I could move that as well as make adjustment to shock angles, toe etc. I think I came second with laps in the 9s range.

Race 2
I moved the battery back for this one as the only change - unfortunately it didn't stay there. The little carbon pieces that Schumacher provide as part of their lipo mounting kit to help locate the battery on the chassis didn't seem to want to stay stuck to the battery, so I have no idea at what point everything moved. Probably the first time I hit something which I am doing a bit too often for my liking at the moment.

Race 3
I decided to use a full size pack for this race and therefore decided to make a toe adjustment as it was the quickest and easiest to do, and to also go up 1 tooth on the pinion. I was getting a handle on driving the car but It still needed more steering into a corner. The car was better but I seemed to have a bit of a general brain fade for the race and just couldn't stay focused for for than a few laps at a time, making too many mistakes and just generally driving like crap. Maybe the fact that it was about 7C had something to do with it? My fastest lap was less than a tenth from the fastest lap of the race, but the consistency needs lots of work.

Race 4
Back to a shortie pack which I taped into the middle position. No other changes. I was able to maintain a comfortable 2nd place behind a club regular but a whole range of events led to a retirement with a bent suspension shaft.

Overall I am massively impressed with the car. Running a 6 year old Tekin 17.5 probably slows it a little due to lack of timing, which means a compromise in gearing. Add to this the fact this is still only the 3rd time I've raced at the club and I think it was a good result. Also, there is so much potential - I didn't touch the gear diff or shocks from the initial settings. 

One thing that became very obvious is that I lack "race craft" at the moment. I am driving OK (lap times don't lie), but I find it hard to make clean passes on people without spending a LOT of time behind them,even when lapping (though this is not always helped by the other driver/s), and I am making too many mistakes. I think the last 5 years are finally showing...

... and I just may need to buy a new 17.5 before the Interclub and QLD Titles.

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