Sunday, June 17, 2012

More Donington

Here's the last session of the day, a straight up fight between me and Peter. Part one I'm mostly ahead, hooking up smooth consistent laps, with Peter in my mirrors a lot of the time. The roadsport guys come through whether you're ready or not, so I had my eyes in the mirror making sure I wasn't going to cut into the apex and hit one. Pete finds his way through by getting tow all the way from the old hairpin, and then being brave around the outside of McLeans, to finally overtake going towards Coppice. I later get him back when he goes wide when he suddenly finds two roadsport guys beside him in McLeans, and he doesn't overtake me again until part two. Apologies for the lack of sound halfway through part two, that was an editing error on my part that can't be fixed. You can always do what I do, and make engine noises :-D.

All in all, this session was by far the best. It was the most fun, and looking back at the video it has my best driving in it, smooth, almost laid back, but fast. As you can see by the vigorous thumbs up shared with Peter at the end of the session, it was seriously good racing.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

This is how we do it in the Academy...

We're a bit of a "joke". Or at least, that seems to be the general consensus. Caterham racing is extremely close, not super fast, and always has a yellow flag! I think this makes for fantastic racing, and always pleases the spectators, but when our Donington race is the "opener" for the Le Mans weekend, it's hard to disagree with the "we're clowns, we're the light entertainment before the main event" type of thinking.

This was taken by one of my fellow Academites, Simon. It's of 5 Academy guys, Zoli, Jason, Simon, Nick, and myself, trying to find their way OUT of Chipping Norton... the music just makes this the perfect example of what makes the Academy, and Caterhams in general, so much fun!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Last and final sprint, Snetterton 100 has been completed!

Finally the last sprint is over and done with, we can all move on to bigger and better wheel to wheel racing!

I entered into the Snetterton weekend with my mind set on going faster than I had at the previous sprint, and learning how to control my emotions and brain to stay relaxed and collected while out on the track. To this effect I did exactly what I intended, I drove much better than at the previous sprints, and found the trick to keeping my head on in the heat of driving (something that is needed for real racing, as a loose head will cause accidents). I managed to get myself another fifth place finish, just 1 second behind 1st, and only 0.11 behind 4th, group 1 of the Academy is all about the close racing!

My other goal was to stay within grabbing distance of the podium in the championship points race. With two fifth, and one seventh place finishes, I have secured fourth in the championship, only 10 points behind 3rd, and 13 behind 1st. Ten points may sound like a lot, but it really isn't, with four races left in the season, where anything can happen, it's a very achievable goal (Tristan, I'm coming for you, mate :-D). With the experience I had at the test day at Donington, I am happy with where my race pace is for the wheel to wheel racing, and all four races should prove to be exciting, challenging, and seriously good fun!

Here are two videos from Snetterton.

This one is of my fastest official run around Snetterton last Saturday, it was recorded as a 106.34, fifth place. It was a quick run except for a poor trip around the tight hairpin on the last lap, an unfortunate mistake that cost a fair amount of time.

This is of my second run, the timing equipment didn't work for this one unfortunately, but my video allowed me to see it was an unofficial 105.3, a whole second faster, and two whole seconds faster than the rerun I had that counted as my official 2nd run. Unfortunately, the reason why my official second run was slower, is because I was told I had to rerun after I had weighed in, after I had undone all my belts and taken my helmet off. Because of this, I had lost my concentration, and the lap didn't go as smoothly, with lots of mistakes.

That's the thing about sprints... they really don't show the true pace of people. People who are fast at sprinting, aren't always fast in races, and people who were slow in sprints, sometimes have insane race pace. They did help get everyone settled into the rhythm and atmosphere of a race event, training us all how to keep our heads.

Well, they are a thing of the past, and the next event is a full wheel to wheel race around the Donington GP circuit, something I am seriously looking forward to!