The weekend started on Friday this time round. We had reserved two spaces for a test day as I’d never been around this circuit before apart from a few laps on a simulator. The day was quite mild and cloudy, however it had rained overnight.
My out-lap was quite important to get a lay of the land and the conditions for the 30 minute session ahead. The circuit was very tight. This is quite a disadvantage for the BMW as we have quite a lot of weight and relatively small drive out of corners. Through the small number of the fast corners, I could tell the car was one of the fastest out there. The track was a bit greasy and it was an untimed session, so no data could be gathered. However the two 30 minute sessions proved invaluable…
The next day… The skies had opened up and sprinkled a good amount of rain to level the field for us. We had two sets of qualifying and a race that day. With another race the next day.
I bumbled out of the pits behind a Cortina and a Mini. Instantly I saw an advantage. Looking back at my footage, I had overtaken more than five cars on the opening lap whilst finding the levels on grip of the track. My second lap was relatively clear and I managed to get an okay lap time which I could definitely improve upon, considering the tyres were still cold and the conditions were developing nicely. On the third lap, it was a bit quicker in places and I was definitely more confident, however, I encountered traffic in multiple places. I knew in my head that we could get to the front of the grid so I set about doing it. The fourth lap was better, so with much more confidence I was around 1.5 seconds up.
However, on the straight going into the final corner, I felt the engine stop! I looked down at the gauge and I couldn’t get the engine to rev. Then, I heard a massive bang and I could hear bits coming off the engine. NO! THIS CANT BE! But it was. We retired from the weekend as a con rod failed. Looking at the classification, the 38 car field managed to do 9 laps, I only managed to complete 3. My second lap was good enough to place me 7th. 2.8 seconds off of pole. This time I might have achieved pole!
But that’s racing.
Thanks to the HSCC, HRDC, and Masters for a great event. Thanks to Retro Engineering, despite the mechanical failure, the car felt great and we could have achieved a lot with the package we had. However, it wasn’t meant to be. Thanks to the marshals for their swift response and safe recovery of the car.