Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Racing at Barbagallo

Been a bit busy, time for an update. We had to be at the track pretty early for sign-in and drivers meeting on Saturday, even though our first race was not until after 11. Sunday we could sleep in a bit with no morning meeting.

On the start grid for Race 1
I was a little concerned with the first race since I last did a standing start in 2010 at Goodwood. Missed seeing the grid number 14 on the pavement, so started a little deep. I got a little wheelspin even though I was trying to be careful with the gearbox. Lost a few places on the start, plus more on the first long straight. Those Ford-engined Juniors are quick. I worked my way back up to a battle with Robert Buckley (Golford), Ian Phillips (Lola Mk2) and Max Pegram (Gemini Mk2). I finished 16th with a bit of attrition up front. No issues with the car at all.

Race 2 (8 laps): Starting in 16th. Bogged a bit at the lights. An Elfin stalled from 9th, and no one hit him. Got by the Gemini on the outside going into 1. Passed the Lola on the exit of the last corner as he went wide. That put me in 13th at the end of lap 1! The Gemini and Lola were fighting amongst themselves so I was able to get away. They started to come back at me by the end, but ran out of time. Three of the others that had jump-starts got 30 second penalties and #3 Lynx also had an issue on lap 5 so I ended up in 12th.

Sunday was a sleep-in day without a drivers meeting. It was good to see traffic backed up getting to the circuit. That meant there was a decent crowd trying to get in. The downside was we could not park in the infield near the garages.

Race 3 (8 laps): Starting in 12th. Decent start. Got by poor starting #150 Elfin, #26 BT6 & #167 Golford before Turn 1 (9th), which put me right behind JR. At the end of the 1st lap, #150 had recovered, #61 got by (previous race jump start penalty), down to 11th. #150 stopped on the next lap (10th). The recovering #3 Lynx gets by (11th), but I can still see JR and his battle as they slowly pull away. #39 Koala also goes by mid-way through the race (previous race jump start penalty). So I finish in 12th again.

Race 4 (10 laps): Starting in 12th, right behind JR. Everyone brought their A-game this time. No bad starts in front of me (#36 BT6 was too good, getting a jump-start penalty). A big slide going onto the back straight made me lose touch with JR. #150, #26 & #23 get by after a couple of laps (15th). Then #40 (16th) and #69 (17th). I was finding it slippery with the high temps of the afternoon. Then #167 (18th). On lap 7, someone blew an engine in Turn 1 and laid down a strip of oil. Two others went off into the gravel trap (15th). Being careful through Turn 1 allowed the Lola to get back at me (16th). If you hugged the inside of Turn 1, you could stay out of the oil. If you went even a little bit too fast, you would slide out. On the 9th lap, I got balked by a backmarker in the yellow flag zone, which allowed the Gemini back to me. He went down the inside of the last corner, but I got him back on the exit. I managed to hold him off for the last lap.

End result was a 4th overall in the Rear Engine Drum Brake class.
 After the awards were handed out, it was time to load the container.
Loading up
Now it is vacation time. We are staying in Perth to see the sights until Friday. Then we fly to Adelaide for more time off. We have to be at Sandown in Melbourne on Thursday Nov 3rd afternoon for container unloading.

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