This is my report of my recent race at croft this weekend:
Round 5 Rallycross: Croft Circuit
As you maybe aware I took the car up to croft to complete my second ever round in rallycross. The car arrived Saturday afternoon and I had a nice spot close to the scruntineering garage but still in the main public view. Car was washed and was then checked over to make sure she had enough fuel, oil, water and that he tyres were tight and pumped up, which they weren't. The team next door to me lent me their electric tyre pump as my foot pump broke.
The car was left ready for race day.
Got to the track early had signed on and cleared the windows ready to be scrunitineered. Got the the garage and was turned away due to my outside pull switch rusted itself together.
after 20 minutes of fighting with the cable i had freed it but had broken the handle at the same time so i made a loop using an electrical control block!!! It did the job and I was cleared ready for drivers briefing.
After the briefing was practise i was the first of the second group which was silly as i didn't know the track but after i got waved on 2 super modified cars stormed passed and i could follow them!! The first thing i learnt about the circuit was that it was quite nice until you hit the dirt!!! It was like driving over a ploughed field and with standard suspension and a light(ish) car i was soon being chucked around and i think by the end of the first lap my tracking was a bit out!!! :P 3 laps done at practice and i knew the circuit roughly which was better than before!!!
My heats were the fifth race of each heat, so it gave the car plenty of time to cool down!! My first heat i was second row of a 10 car grid. Lights went out and i was immediately out flanked by 2 saxos. I could keep up with the cars on tarmac but on the gravel everything was quicker plus i was still trying to get the best line around the track. However i did catch the others at the hairpin where i was very close to skidding into another competitor didn't but was still left behind. Finished the race 10th out of 10 but was finding it fun!
Heat 2 was much the same this time i was on the last row. Lights went out and i kept up with a couple of cars but first corner the alfa became very sideways i held it but the others were getting away (again). This time i had found a slightly flatter route on the dirt section and wasn't being thrown around however i did manage to miss the last hairpin and cut the corner and due to a fellow competitor coming off and not joining i finished 9th out 10th and still smiling!!
Heat 3 this is where a lot of drama happened! I had filled up the car with some fuel as i had no fuel gauge and guessed it was better to be safe than sorry and put around 10 litres of fuel in the car. I then lined up i the dummy grid ready to line up for the race and the marshall shouted at me to turn my car off. 1 ran over with a fire extinguisher and a couple of others were checking what the liquid pouring out of my car was, and yes it was fuel, half a tank to be precise. My car had got a little bit excited and done a wee on circuit a bit embarrassing
ops: . The bonnet went up and the fuel hose that i had fitted 2 weeks previous had split pouring petrol on the nice hot engine, my tyres and the track! Once we found out it could be fixed there recovery was called (plus a couple of alfa unreliability jokes were mentioned!!) the other competitors lined up for their race and i was pushed onto the grass awaiting the tow truck. Got towed back to the pits and it was a 2 minute fix and i went and found out that i was still in a final as i had completed 2 races
Final i was in the first production car final which consisted of 5 laps instead of 3 in the heats. We were lined up and a couple of marshals kept checking to see if my car was leaking again! The lights went out and we started this time i was on the inside of the first corner and was keeping up with the other cars second lap in and 2 cars had come off and the race was red flagged we lined up again and this time i had over taken a fellow competitor!!! Until the next corner though fish tailing alfa was slightly slower than a Hyundai coupe so at the back again for me! But I didn't care ever corner on tarmac the alfa was going sideways and it was a lot of fun!!!
Overall I scored 12 points didn't come last overall because i stayed on track and had a really fun day!! Things I've learnt, check your car fully before you go to a race circuit, i need better tyres and to lose 200kgs in weight!!! I would like to thank BTRDA for organising the event and DDMC for running it especially the marshals who pushed my car clear and sorry about the petrol!!!