yosser

Going racing - what could go wrong???

59 posts in this topic

As some of you know I've jumped in with both feet and decided to go proper car racing this year :o. As a couple of folk have asked how things are going etc I'll keep this thread updated with progress, if it all goes horribly wrong then maybe I won't!

Like a lot of you, car racing is something I've always fancied having a pop at. It's never really been the right time, and/or I've never had the right chances, but that changes now.

I'm not getting any younger and, frankly, I've been to too many funerals of people my age and less. I figure if I don't do it now I never will.

Saloon car racing is really where my interest is and earlier this year I got wind of a Fiesta ST which was going to be available to hire this season. It's owned by a guy I know called Chris Milford and he's off to race for Team Hard in the VAG Trophy this season. His car is a good one and he got some decent results last year, including a win. We came to a pretty relaxed and easy arrangement, including him coaching me as and when he can, and I'm going to try to race the whole season in the car.

To get a race licence you need to get a 'go racing' pack from the MSA. Once you've digested the basics it's time for a rudimentary medical and then the ARDS test at the circuit. The test was no problem, our examiner on the day spent a lot of time going over all the relevant things we needed to know and answering questions. A short driving assesment and a written test later and you're a racing driver in waiting! 

Next step was to buy all the gear. I went to Turner Autosport who are not that far away from me. I wanted to try things on rather than buy mail order. They had everything I needed and gave me a good deal on the whole package, the prices were just as good as buying online.

All the gear and no idea I needed to get some seat time pronto. There was a test day organised for Friday 10th March, one week after getting my licence, so I booked that. It was just for a couple of classes of racers and was afternoon only. Nice and quiet on track, 6 x 20 minute sessions with about 20 minutes between.

Actually driving the car was pretty intense. I'd never driven it before so was starting from nothing. I think I made a reasonable progression and by the end of the day was lapping about 2 seconds off a winning pace.

I did spin a couple of times, purely down to my own mistakes, but I'm glad I did in a way. One less first for me to have. The car has fantastic grip and awesome brakes. I know I'm not braking hard or late enough, that's something for me to work on. I need to concentrate on getting my lines right and developing some consistency and confidence before I actually have to mix it in a race situation.

On that note, testing is booked for this Saturday (18th) so I'll be looking to get some improvements then if I can. It'll be a busier session with more cars from more classes, so with a bit of luck I might be able to learn something from others on track as well as from reviewing the in car footage between sessions.

Until then.....

FiestaST.jpg.7561572fef43198d20b9cff7b472c4fa.jpg

 

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Ace looking forward to seeing your progress good or bad

 

will you be travelling around to differant circuits throughout the season and if so what ones on what dates we could maybe organise a T5D5 fan boy cheering section for you :D

yosser likes this

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Brilliant mate, wish you every success. Enjoy.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Once you are ready T5D5 cheering section would be great.


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26 minutes ago, tingy said:

Ace looking forward to seeing your progress good or bad

 

will you be travelling around to differant circuits throughout the season and if so what ones on what dates we could maybe organise a T5D5 fan boy cheering section for you :D

All the racing is at Knockhill with the exception of an away round At Oulton Park on the 17th June - I hope to make the away round. 

http://www.scottishmotorracingclub.co.uk/2013-championships-fiesta.html

 

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Well if you do manage to make it to the Oulton Park round then il be in Cornwall so enjoy it and knockhill is in another country so im out :lol: 

 

good luck and get an in car cam mounted, maybe even embrace your inner extrovert and start doing vlogs from the events they are all the rage atm and if you can make it interesting enough you might even earn a bit of extra cash from doing em

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Not quite sure about a vlog, but in car cameras are compulsory. I've just bought a Chinese gopro copy off Amazon so I'll give that a try at the weekend, the problem is that my laptop is so bloody old that I can't get smooth playback. There's money to spend at every turn..... 

Edited by yosser

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Really looking forward to hearing how you get on, good bad and ugly. 

 

Huge credit to you.

 

 

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Best of luck, I'll pop up and watch some. 

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Nice one Nick

All the best mate and if your ever down Snetterton there is always a Bed 20 mins from the track if you want a decent nights sleep before or after racing.

 

Cheers Greg

Edited by Gregs T5R
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25 minutes ago, Gregs T5R said:

Nice one Nick

All the best mate and if your ever down Snetterton there is always a Bed 20 mins from the track if you want a decent nights sleep before or after racing.

 

Cheers Greg

Thanks Greg, not sure if I'll make it down there but I appreciate your offer :thumbsup:

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Great news fella, look forward to the updates - including champagne moments from the podium- sure you won't let us down!

Good luck for the season & if I can get a pass to make it to the oulton race then I'll be there.

Morgan

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Sadly cant make Knockhill but will keep tabs on your plans. Best of luck.


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12 hours ago, Gregs T5R said:

Nice one Nick

All the best mate and if your ever down Snetterton there is always a Bed 20 mins from the track if you want a decent nights sleep before or after racing.

 

Cheers Greg

 

12 hours ago, yosser said:

Thanks Greg, not sure if I'll make it down there but I appreciate your offer :thumbsup:

What the Premierinn in Thetford, or you offering a spoon and cuddle at yours.

Nick, good luck, have fun, take care, shame it's so far north. I did trackday at Oulton which is a brilliant track, but was a major trek to get there and back, especially in Puma.
 

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Today was the last pre season test day, weather was typical knockhill - pish. 

The first couple of sessions saw me lacking confidence in the rain, and not really knowing how much grip I had available. That and my inexperience led me to have a couple of spins, nothing major but I did spin through the infield grass with enough style to actually get mud on the inside of the windows.... 

The afternoon sessions were better for me. I think the penny has dropped a little and I'm relaxing more, that's meaning that I'm driving more instinctively rather than thinking about it. I think the key is going to be being able to get the car round quickly without needing to think about it too much, that leaves mental capacity free to deal with racing. 

Although there are no more test days before the season starts, I'm hoping to get a passenger seat fitted and go out in the car at a track day with Chris (the cars owner) giving me some guidance. I think that would help me a lot. 

In other news, there's an exciting sponsorship deal in the offing. More details to follow, I just hope they realise their logos are unlikely to be seen due to all the mud I'm likely to be carrying........ 😁

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Congratulations Nick on doing something a lot of us would like to do but won't get round to doing it.  Grass track was the most I ever did.  All the best for the season and please keep the updates coming. 👍

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Best of luck Nick for the racing season hope all goes well

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This time next week my first race weekend will be over 😮

 

I've not been back out in the car again, there's a test day next Saturday before Sunday race day and I'll be out then. Need to get the corner weights done before then. 

I have made some minor modifications to the car, in the shape of my name in the window, my race number (54), and adding some sponsors logos! 

I'm delighted to say our very own Chris has been generous enough to provide me with some sponsorship for this year and I'm happy to carry the logos of Fabrication and Site Services on the car. 

Hopefully I can get some coverage on motorsport TV for them 😁👍🏁

 

 

IMAG0013-1683x947.jpg

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Your name looks wonky also that windscreen needs welding :D

 

seriously though are you allowed to race with a crack in the windscreen?

 

Do you qualify and race on the same day?

 

nice one Chris and good luck Nick :)

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There shouldn't be any issues with the windscreen like that, it looks like a large number of saloons in different classes have cracked screens. Par for the course it seems. As long as it passes scrutineering I'll be ok.... 

Qualifying is Sunday morning, first race about midday, second race about 5.

Edited by yosser
Typo

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Best of luck nick, just reading about it is making me nervous, you must be crapping it!

 

nice one Chris!

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Yesterday was my first race meeting, here's how things panned out..

The weather was good, dry but quite cool. Testing on Saturday had been a bit warmer and the tyres were going off really quickly - probably also in part due to me not being smooth enough and overworking them.

Qualifying on Sunday morning was really frustrating. I made the mistake of thinking I had time to pass a couple of slower cars when I really should have backed right off and got some clear space. The result of that was my qualifying time was at least a second off what it should have been, that might have seen me 2 places up the grid. As it was I qualified 7th (8 in the ST class) so that wasn't great.

Race 1 was also a bit frustrating. I got a great start but didn't capitalise on it. I needed to be more robust/forceful with my positioning and I could have been up a couple of places in 1 lap I think. Anyway, I kept at it and held my position. Any chance of moving up disappeared after losing time running a bit wide through gravel on the exit of McIntyre - somewhere I'd visit later on too....

I was determined in race 2 to make up at least one place. I made up that one place on the third corner of the first lap, I'd learned I needed to be a bit more forceful and I was. As the race progressed I was holding on to those in front and slowly but surely opportunities came my way. A couple of guys had a tussle, I passed them. One caught and passed me back, but he then retired. Another guy tried to pass me then turn in on me a bit early, I held my line, kept my foot in, and off he went into the tyres. I did get called in to the stewards for that but it was judged to be a racing incident - which it was.

I think I was in 3rd or maybe 4th place and willing the last lap board to come out whilst trying to hold off a car behind me when I made my mistake. The thread title say "what could go wrong?" - I have an answer for that now.

I took too much kerb on the apex at McIntyre (right hander 90 degrees) and got the car on two wheels. I realised that I had got so far up that it wasn't coming back down so I had no alternative but to go with it, steering left to try to ride it out. i ran out of tarmac and entered the gravel trap on the outside of the corner on two wheels.

I think the car rolled twice but I don't know. Hopefully pictures and video footage will emerge, I imagine it'll make the TV highlights. It was bad enough that the race was red flagged and I got a nice ambulance ride to the medical centre where I had to remain for observation for a while.

So, I now have the full motorsport experience :D Right now I'm more pissed off that I threw away the chance of such a good finish than I am about destroying the car, although that balance might change. I don't know what'll happen next, but I'm not giving up just yet. The car is probably not as bad as it looks and will be repairable. That work will start this week I hope.

 

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