Well its been a quick few weeks and I am more than overdue in publishing the blog posting from meeting number 6 of the SMRC championship from Knockhill. I think I am getting quicker at these things honestly, alright I am useless really. Anyway back to the subject, the meeting itself looked to be a turning point for the Strong Broo Racing team I follow through the championship after some progress on the continued saga of the ride height and setup of the car. The weekend was a special one in memory of David Leslie with a number of interesting cars turning up for the weekend. The race meeting however turned out to be very eventful for all the wrong reasons in the end and one that I am sure all who attended would prefer had not happened.
Following lots of work in the lead up to the event on the setup and a few late nights by the highly skilled, streamlined, well oiled Strong Broo Racing Team mechanics. Yes I am talking you up there on purpose guys :) The car had its new fixed ride heights and setup in place resolving the ongoing saga of sinking, it also had a new set of gear ratios in place to provide better response. There was a lot of expectation for the results that would be produced. Come time to put this into pactice though on testing day with some final adjustment and testing of the rear anti-roll bar there were some interesting results. Firstly the ride height definately seemed to be solved, that was the good news, the car setup was getting close to the ideal, however the rear anti-roll bar proved to be confusing as to its benefit resulting in removing and fitting it a number of times. Oh and that late night fitting the new gear ratios, well the ratios proved to be a mathematical mystery with 2 plus 2 don't equal 4 somehow. So the results of the testing day turned out to be an early morning before race day putting the gear ratios back to the previous setup and deciding that the rear anti-roll bar may be making the ride comfortable for Neil but not actually resulting in a time increase.
Qualifying went reasonably well and everyone seemed pretty happy with a 6th place, yup there was those settings for the anti-roll bar being discussed again along with a few running repairs on an exhaust that had started to blow a little before first race could begin.
Race 1 arrived and all seemed to be going well, a personal best brought a 5th place result for Neil and the team, though admittedly everyone is seeming to be going quicker and getting personal best results so it is probably going to take more progress in the future.
In between watching the Formula Ford events I decided to watch some of the other interesting racing going on during the weekend with some of the BMW, Saloons and Mini events.
Oh and if you want to know what a race driver enjoys looking at, it is flash cars, in this case a BMW i8 hybrid sports car, a car that has a specified 135 MPG rating. Neil also had a visit from his favourite fan club :)
Race 2 of the day was looking good to bring another hgh placed result, all was set and I was looking forward to it as I watched the cars all head round on the formation lap. I would not however see the Strong Broo Racing car again for race 2 due to an accident early on the first lap resulting in some damage to the exhaust being hit from behind. The result was a lot of physical manpower to remove the damaged exhaust, weld the cracks to get it all back in place and be able to take part in the third race of the day.
After all the work removing the exhaust, welding and fitting things together it was time for race 3, the big race of the day. Again I placed myself around the track to find a postiion for a good set of pictures and again I was not going to get any pictures of the car after the formation lap. The first I knew of a problem was a complete failure of the tannoy system, the radio had gone dead and everything seemed to have stopped working, then out of nowhere came some cars, but not any of the normal cars I would expect to be leading the race, it was a number of the cars from the mid to the back of the grid. Confused I headed up to the pits area to find that there had been a failure of the starting process and the result of this was to find that Neil with the whole back of the grid had started the race following the lights while the front of the grid had not moved believeing the lights were not meant to be on and seeing marshals still on the track. Unfortunately although most of the cars had managed to avoid each other in the confusion, the cars had parted in front of Neil as he accelerated off the grid revealing a stationary Matt Chisholm and an accident he could not avoid. Matt ended up in hospital on a spinal board and Neil ended up with neck pains amonst other things as well as leaving two very damaged cars behind. Thankfully both drivers are all right without the injuries being extremely serious but this was an accident that could have been far worse. I am really hoping that the next meeting is more eventful for the all the right reasons