Round 2 Locost Series at Cadwell Park

Round 2 got underway on 8th May at Cadwell Park, North Lincolnshire.

Simply qualifying for Locost #74 went very quickly from being a straightforward affair to a nightmare…..

We arrived with plenty of time to spare having stayed locally in a small hotel.  It wasnt long before our scrutineering session and as the car was offloaded from the trailer we realised the brakes were pulling badly to the left.  To top of it, it was rather wet, and a locost is not the most weatherproof places to hide out when the weather is inclement.

We deicded that we probably had a sticky caliper on the front left, so set about stripping it off to get the spare one fitted.  Time was against us and I hurried down to race control to explain we would probably miss our qaulifying session, to be told if we didnt make our alotted session we would end up on the back of the grid.  Pressure was therefore on the complete the repair in double quick time.

We watched as all the other Locosts in Session A went to assembly, and presumed we had missed the session.  As soon as the brakes were back together, the problem appeared to have been resolved and I headed down to join Session B, resigning myself to having to fight from the back in the heat.

Luckily, as I approached assembly I could see that session A were still there as the previous session had been red flagged due to one of the cars spilling oil on the entire circuit.  However, I was stuck behind a queue of Session B cars, so could see where I needed to be, but had no way of getting there.  Frantically waving to get the attention of the locosts ahead that I needed to get through, they were ignoring me, presumably thinking I was trying to jump to the front of their group to be out first.  Luckily a service vehicle came off the track into the paddock area with the oil-dropping racer on the back of it and the locosts parted to let it through.  I took the opportunity to dash through the gap in front of the flatbed, much to its annoyance, and made it into assembly as they reopened the track.  Grabbing my helmet and doing up belts, i was the last one out onto sircuit by some way, but I had made it.

The qualifying session was fun to say the least.  There was as best can be described, an oil slick over the entire lap.  After about 5 minutes of very gentle throttle application it became clear that it wouldnt be possible to press on throughout a whole lap as the oil was everywhere and the rain was spreading it fast.  Sideways quickly became the order of the day and the session for me resembled more of a drift day than a race day.  I decided to be cautious rather than try to banzai a good quali time, and eventually came in 15th place out of 20 in the session – my worst qualifying to date!

By the time Session B went out, the rain had ceased and a nice dry line was appearing, oil having dissipated.  Consequently the grid for the heat was made up of alternate cars from each session, not the usual combined times overall.  That put me down in 17th for the heat, a little further back than I would have hoped to say the least!

As we made our way to assembly for the heat, the pressure was on.  First 15 would make it to the final, with the remaining cars knocked out.  At 17th, I had places to make up.

A good start followed and moving up to 12th on the first lap, I was confident of a great result.  The following video tells the story of the Heat, enjoy!

I was relatively happy with the result, putting me in 23rd for the final.

Unfortunately the race was to be a short one, and the camera failed to record, just when something interesting happens!  A good start and chasing Max Lees into the bustling first corner saw cars everywhere and a lot of damaged Locosts.  With nowhere to go on the narrow circuit, I unfortunately hit Max relatively hard ending my race with a bent wishbone and top ball joint.  My first DNF.  Better luck at the next race!

Approaching the Mountain at Cadwell Park, May 2011

Commencing the climb up the Mountain at Cadwell Park, May 2011

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