Monday, 27 January 2014

Its about time!

Its been quite a while since I've written anything here. The reason? I've not been doing anything! Sad but true. My last race meeting was at the start of December and there has been nothing until the weekend just gone (26/01/2014).

This was all supposed to change with the first round of the SEQ 1/12 Tour. Unfortunately, the weather played its trump card - intermittent showers - simply the worst weather to try and predict or get anything done. It had been going so well. It stayed fine for the 2.5+hour drive and right through nominations and drivers briefing. However 3 laps into the first round the computer decided to throw its hands up in despair and while they were fixing it the rain started. For the next hour or so it rained, stopped and then rained again until the organisers had no choice but to call off the meeting...

... and it never rained again while I was there!

I did get some practice time which was useful (still tyre testing) and then as the weather held, the organisers decided to get some general racing happening so the day wasn't a complete waste. There were 2 heats and a final but I decided to save my gear and also get home a bit earlier so only raced in one heat. The rain had washed the molasses away (the host club uses it as traction additive) so the grip was a bit lower than I had previously experienced there. Even so, I was faster than last visit and if not for a silly mistake would've probably manged 23 laps (at one stage I was on for 24 but that didn't last long). As it was I did 22 laps with a fastest lap in the high 19 second range (19.806). This is still some 3-4 laps and about 1.5secs/lap off the fast guys.

As usual with me, consistency is the real failing. Take away my slowest lap and my average comes back to 20.442 from 21.817 and my consistency goes from 2.42 to 1.91.  This is still dreadful but with a fastest lap of 19.8 a consistency of 0.5 or 0.6 would get to 24 laps.

So the simple conclusion from the weekend is I just need to drive better and I don't really need to worry much about fancy setups or hop up parts. Chatting to a couple of people over the day, I've started thinking I might actually have too much steering and that using such a low dual rate (around 30%) I am actually making the car slower/harder to drive. I also need to rethink my driving style. I did notice that when I focused less on corner entry speed and more on carrying mid-corner speed, lap times improved and the car felt nicer to drive.

So next week is a local club meeting. I might take the car along just to get a bit more stick time and maybe try a few setup changes, but given there is no locals running 1/12 there probably isn't much point to that. Next 1/12 meeting for me will be at the 2nd round of the 1/12 tour at Logan on the 22nd Feb. After that there will be a little break for family commitments and then some plans to got to Tamworth for the QLD vs NSW where the F1 might get a trundle as well.

Until next time...

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