Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Donington, one track, one race.

My first race, my first wheel to wheel dose of fantastic chaos, and I loved very second. Calm, collected, and focused, I set off to take my 11th place position on the grid for the green flag lap. A few minutes later, again, head clear, nerves calm, I lined up in my spot, looking down the grid to the lights... nothing... lights are on, revs up, in 1st gear, lights ou-GO!

With a great start, I take 3 cars on the pit straight, and a fourth through the 1st corner, a 5th going through McLeans, who I could have taken earlier, but as it was the first lap, of the first race, I decided to give him the space to move around. Nigel, in the white car, fires up my inside through Coppice, and gets a little lead down the straight. Then everything unravels, Double Six, car # 78, spins in the esses, and sets off a chain reaction going down the grid. Nigel, # 28, goes off into the gravel just in front of me, and 4 cars end up crashed and damaged in the mid-pack. Michael gets hit by Ian, and Tristan gets hit head on by Michael, both passengers in the whole event. (for this crash video go here : ). The Safety Car boards and yellow flags are out as soon as the first car span, before I pass through the craziness. We then have 3 laps of following the safety car, to allow the marshals to clear the track, and to calm us all down. Then we're off again, and I take my 6th car, #78, going into the Melbourne Hairpin. With open track at last, I focus on the lead four, and just drive to catch them... then the checkered flag comes out. In the 2 laps that I am fighting with Double Six for 5th, I close on the lead four cars by 2 seconds. Then in my last lap, I close over a second in clean air, sadly it wasn't enough to catch them in one lap!

7 laps, 3.5 of actual racing... it's not long enough. I think there was enough time for the organizers to allow us a bigger window, but the Le Mans guys had priority.

Just as a note, you guys who drove home with cars that need... operations... Seriously bad luck guys, I know, from the videos, how carefully each of you were driving in order to not crash. I hope to see you all on the grid at Brands, and believe it will be a lot less eventful.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Race 1!

Well, it was an epically insane day for all, and an eventful one for a few, and a good one for me.

I started 11th, and finished 5th, going from 11th to 6th in half the first lap. 5th was good enough to get me into 3rd in the championship, so since the start of the season I pull up from 5th, to 3rd, and with that I am very pleased.

A big post is coming in the next few days with my video of the race, I just happen to be having some crazy internet uploading issues at the moment. It wont be long!

I'll leave you with a picture of me sitting calm and collected in the assembly area before heading out for the green flag lap, video wont be long, I promise.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A grand day out!

Yesterday my dad, brother, and I went to Hullavington Airfield for a day of hooning around in the Caterham. They hadn't driven it before, and had only briefly sat in it for short trips to the shops. Now though, they got to DRIVE it! It started off dry, so I took the opportunity to test out the new uprated brake pads (installed 5 minutes previously), test out driving with my new HANS, and see if the suspension adjustment made a good or bad difference. With that out of the way, and the brand new pads "feeling funky" I took my brother for a blast, and had them bed in a bit more with extra weight in the car. After that, my dad took over the wheel, and took to the track... amazingly I stayed calm and took on a teaching role. He drove it quite successfully, no spins or major mistakes, it was the slowest I've ever been around a track, but it wasn't about speed, it was about driving the car.

My brother went a bit more mental with it. He used some more of the power range, going all the way to 6k rpm, yet still 750 rpm below the engines rev limiter. He took some more chances, but he did know the track a bit better having had a ride with me before his turn driving. Still not pushing the car, but I believe he enjoyed every single second of it!

With both of their main drives out of the way, I went out again by myself, it had now started to rain, fairly heavily, so the track became... stupendous fun! I took my dad out, this time he was passenger, in the serious rain, getting completely soaked, but having all the fun in the world! He has said a couple time "Tor goes as fast in the wet as I would comfortably go in the dry", so suitably entertained :-D.

One last drive for my brother, where he span, and a final drive for me, and the day was over. Completely soaked, an hour of rain sodden roads to drive home, I was left to drive the distance by myself... as you'd expect.


Taking my brother out,


My dad driving!

Brothers turn!

It was a little wet inside the car...

Strapped in and ready to go!


It was a fantastic day, I loved every minute, and I think they did too.

New decals

These need showing off, badly! This last week the Torminator decals were made up for the car. Also made were my lead sponsor Koliada, and my own logo (the one from this very blog designed expertly by my brother).

I think they all look fantastic!




I also finally got my hans device, and made the trip to Arch Motors, Caterhams only hans fitter, to get the shoulder straps relocated to fit me and my hans. It's also where old, tired, and rather crashed Caterhams go to be reborn, repaired, and otherwise fixed... so many bent frames, sad looking pieces of aluminium and fiber glass... but, then they leave shinier than ever.