Well as promised in my great catch up plan, here is the posting for meeting 5 of the SMRC Formula Ford championship. I was hoping to produce lots of wonderful images for this after the failure last time due to doing my pit crew thing. Err yes, maybe I should practice a little more it seems! I also have this feeling that maybe next year I should look at trying to find the money to move from having a £1 million PLI to a £5 million version, if it is possible and not too much more expensive because that fence is getting right on my nerves. Some nice shots just get ruined having to try to filter out the fence or missing the moment as the camera focuses on the fence itself :( Oh well back to my amazing story telling abilities, honestly I have told you they are amazing right?!? Fingers crossed as well that my memory of all this is right. Note to self, do these blogs fairly soon after events.
The weekend was looking to start well, Strong Broo Racing was returing from the triumphant last meeting after having achieved 2 newcomer trophies and Neil believed he had found the problems that had been plaguing the car for most of the season. Some adjustment to droop etc I believe, though I am not 100% sure that was all it was he changed, it was going to be a good weekend though. It all started well on testing day, the car seemed to be going well and although the tyres were beyond the limit, the comment I think was they were nearly on the canvas, the car was going well and Neil's times were good. Race day was looming and looking like it could be good.
I was all set to arrive on race day and take some pictures with a good days results ahead, what I arrived too however could not have been further from the plan. We did have a plan right guys??!?!? Having been delayed I arrived at the end of qualifying to find lots of problems and the remains of some decimation. Fergus was finishing loading his car onto his trailer ready to head home early, well minus a wheel that is. Seems there had been a collision during qualifying and his wheel had broken free from the car taking a big chunk of the suspension disapprovingly along with it. This was followed by finding Neil and Scott looking rather confused at the Strong Broo car and scratching their heads at the apparent drop in performance of the car. Not long after that we find Neil's legs sticking out from under the car as it had developed squeeling sounds traced back to stones in the flywheel that required him to remove them from underneath the car!. Brave man with the weight in that thing, I struggle to lift it up without receiving a face full of the handle from the lift usually. Thankfully that was all resolved and the car sounding normal again, it was time to attempt race 1 but there was a niggling feeling something was still not right. That would turn out to be a niggling feeling in the gut that should have been listened too.
Race 1 came and as it happens was over before it even started for Neil. Before reaching the green flag lap he developed more problems and the car cut out, refusing to start again. So unfortunately he was out before the green flag had even dropped this time. There was a rather forlorn sight of a race driver watching the race from the sidelines with the marshals and kicking himself for not having changed the coil as he had his suspicions it was not right and causing some of the performance issues in quali. The unhappy sight of the car being towed back at the end is never a happy one.
I stayed out and watched the Mini race after that episode, I was not sure it was a good idea to go back straight away as I was not sure what mood Neil would be in. Always enjoy a nice mini race though, they can be fun little cars to throw around the track. Fairly good race and enoyable to watch, stopped off on the way back to watch the podium ceremony.
When I did finally arrive back and show face I found Neil with the coil already out and in the process of replacing it and crimping new leads on. In good spirits considering the bad start to the race day he was preparing himself for the second race of the day and what he would need to do to recover the weeekend.
Race 2 had some good improvement, Neil managed to achieve a respectable 5th place in the end, very good as this came after having to start in last place due to the failure to start the first race. There is however lots of things to be looked at now and car setup to be decided upon before we head to Meeting 6 for 2014.
Lastly before I finish up, the most important thing, I wonder what the cake will be at the next meeting? If you visit regularly you will know all about the cake :)