Friday, April 20, 2012

Castle Combe Test day... one word - EPIC!

The video from Castle Combe! Myself and Tony out on the track in the first session... technically racing, but there are a number of moments that I didn't take to pass him because it was just a little too risky for a test day.

Part 2 of this session will be up, followed by session 2 parts 1/2 and session 3 parts 1/2. Youtube had issues with large files and over 15 minutes of video... so I had to put them in parts. Because the excitement of the conditions comes through so well in the videos, I decided instead of uploading just a few laps from the best bits of each session, everyone would rather see 3x20 minutes of sideways Caterham action :-D.

Here's the course map,
Wow, I mean... wow! It was a great day, who knew sliding a Caterham at 100+mph through Folly was so much fun! I learnt more about the car control and the importance of being smooth with the accelerator and steering input in four sessions than I have in all my previous track days. In the dry, a certain amount of sloppiness still brings in a quick lap, in the wet, nothing is allowed to be wrong, or it just goes to hell. Despite sliding all over the place, my times seemed to lead the board, but only the first event will reveal who really is fastest. I think if I spend more time getting every movement smooth, and using all the track with the correct line, there's lots of speed to be had from these fantastic little cars.

There were many many moments, even in this very first session, where, had points been at stake, there would be some pretty crazy overtaking maneuvers. However, since it was just a test day, and no points were given, myself and most of the others seemed to keep our safe distance from the car in front. There are some points in this first video, where I just come out of the throttle to keep from driving too close, or to keep from being beside him in the braking zone or through a corner. I didn't really feel like sliding into him in the braking zone, or through the corner and causing damage to our cars before the racing had even started.

Through the course of the day, and with feedback from the instructors, my driving (and everybody else's) improved dramatically, and the instructors all seemed impressed with the skill of this years group.

One undeniable fact about this year is, it's going to be very close, very exciting, and adrenaline filled racing throughout the year. I can hardly wait! You know where to come for the videos of it too ;-).

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