The day started very early with a 5 o’clock alarm! Quick cup of tea and out the door to start the drive up to Blackpool. We arrived trackside for 7.30 a.m. after a quick pit stop at the services on route where we bumped into Craig and Sarah from Deepest Designz racing team.
The day dawned dull and blustery with very strong gusts, we managed to get the gazebo up with all of us holding onto the canopy to prevent the wind taking it but only raised it to half level in an attempt to keep some cover over us but not too high so that the wind caught it – We even arranged vehicles around us trying to make some form of a wind break – this wasn’t too successful and resulted in several sore heads when team members forgot and stood up too quickly, eventually we had to take the cover off as the wind was just too strong and had a very icy feel to it.
We set up the pit tables and whilst Bryn was setting up race control with the NitroXcross equipment I started to get his racing equipment out of the van and sorted – car, starter box and pit buddy, hauler, tyre box set up tray etc., when Bryn came back we had a dreadful moment of déjà vu “where’s my radio?” –Oh No! last time I could remember seeing it was the previous night in the utility room on charge!!! – my heart sank, not another Ledbury!! Frantic searching started and thankfully it was found underneath the shop stock in the back of the T5, big sigh of relief all round.
Bryn had changed his diff oils to a heavier weight and this did seem to prove beneficial to him, his Team Associated RC8B3.1 was handling nicely but still had a bit of a kick out on the rear, so some minor tweaks were called for, he increased the droop on the rear and raised the ride height by 2ml. The track started off super slippery but as the morning went on and with the wind still blowing a gale it started to dry out and there was talk In the pit tent of Mini Pins – but then a short very sharp burst of rain blew in and the track was wet again.
Its been a while, but Bryn actually managed to get out in all 4 rounds of the qualifying sessions and put in some decent times, what a difference it makes having Sue and Kev in race control, no calls of “Bryn Pound to race control” which meant he could actually have some time to himself to enjoy his racing.
- Round 1 6 laps in 319.51
- Round 2 6 laps in 307.06
- Round 3 6 laps in 310.99
- Round 4 5 laps in 245.98 – the engine moved after a coming together
B Final started 9th – Bryn got off to a good start and was up to 6th position in the first lap but then poor marshalling saw him drop down to 12th position but he managed to get back up to his starting position by lap 4 and finished in 10th place completing 17 laps in 904.45 secs pitting for fuel at 10 mins to try and keep clear from the rest of the pack.
- Car Team Associated RC8B3.1
- Engine Ultimate M3T
- Fuel Sigma
- Tyres Schumacher Spirals – Silver
- Diffs 10.7.5 Team Associated Diff Oils
- Shocks 37.5 front 35 rear Associated Shock Oils
There was a good atmosphere all day at the track and the food was superb, supplied and cooked by Liz – thank you, much appreciated. The entry was disappointingly low again, but the hardy racers that attended put in some good competitive racing. My only complaint is the speed that cars come into the pit lane, please drivers remember to slow down, personally I think all tracks should have speed restrictors fitted to the end of the pit lane – fuel bottles were knocked off as cars launched up the ramp onto the pit lane, ending up slewed across the pit lane resting on the supporting sides, a car ripped Nina’s coat it was that close and could have easily caused more damage to her, it was quite scary at times and I’ve been pitting for over 10 + years – just remember if you injure the pit crew you’re stuffed!
Nina and I were kept on our toes all day as we were pitting for both John and Bryn and at least 5 other East Shrewsbury drivers as well as helping-out any other drivers that need fuelling etc., Just having enough time between rounds to grab a quick cup of tea and then back out up to the pit lane to start it all over again.
The finals proved a challenge for us as we realized that even we couldn’t start 5 off at the same time in the B Final and that wasn’t including our two East Shrewsbury members that bumped up from the C final so it was call in all the favours and get bodies to put them on the start grid, we could then take over the fuelling for all of them, fuelling at 5, 7.30/8.00 and 10 mins just getting them in the right order and the right fuel, thankfully its only Craig and Sarah on different fuel.
Some good results for both John and Bryn and well done to East Shrewsbury BRC we will have some good points there for the club championship as we had the largest entry from any club.
Then it was time to pack it all away back into the T5 and start the journey back home, we got in just before 6, so long day but good fun with lots of laughs and banter as usual from our gang especially when John donned his green tutu and wig!
John “Tolstoy” Green
We arrived bright and early to what would turn out to be a very windy day of racing with the odd rain shower. We put up the team gazebo and unloaded our cars ready to set up but quickly realised that the wind would be far too strong for the gazebo, so the cover was quickly removed. Anyway, not to be put off we persevered and drivers briefing was called and the usual rules and regulations were read out. At this point it was raised that our ESBRC member would be sporting a lovely pink tutu with matching hair if the target of £250.00 was reached. Fortunately, it was raised and Craig being a man of his word took to the rostrum in said tutu and wig. Just to show support I joined him with wearing my own green tutu and matching wig – what the hell its Christmas and it is all for a good cause. Back to the main event, the track looked good and welcoming. I did drive at this circuit last year on the astro track, but I haven’t raced since the layout has been changed. It was wet to start with so that would confirm the tyre choices for the day as even with the strong wind the track did seem to take a while to dry then the rain would come in again.
Qualifying Rnd 1
I chose to go out on the Hobao Angle Spikes with all rows on the tyre all round. To begin with we had to make a few adjustments to the engine as it didn’t have the power to pull out of the pit lane. A few laps under the 2 min practice and a few more adjustments to the carb on the Blok engine and we were soon running around up to speed.
The car felt good, but a little edgy, but I think that was down to running the full spike tyres so after this round I would change them. We would start off with only having a 5 lap run in 302.53 Not blistering but we were still tuning the engine as we did have a cut but after it was restarted the engine ran fine with no issues.
Qualifying Rnd 2
I decided the stick with the Hobao Angle Spikes but this time I used a set that had the outside row removed all round. This was a vast improvement, my Team Associated RC8B3.1 felt a lot more composed and would give me a lot more confidence going into the faster corners so I could carry a lot more speed without any fear of grip rolling. The car would just start to slide a little on the rear end which is how I prefer this the car to feel. We didn’t make any further changes to the car for this round apart from the tyres.
This run would see me start to pick up the pace with a 7-lap run in 323.85 which I was pleased with.
Qualifying Rnd 3
This round I decided to stick with the Hobao tyres with the outside row of pins removed. We did have a short burst of the wet stuff so it would make the track wet again so the car would be able to slide and carry more speed …… Well, that was the idea. Unfortunately, the new engine gremlins would rear their ugly heads with then engine cutting out and not really wanting to start and run properly. We leaned it out a little more, but I didn’t really want to go mad as the engine is still very new and tight. I can only put the engine cuts down to the strong cold wind cooling the engine down too much which may have affected the tune and may have also needed to increase my tick over speed. Unfortunately, I would only get 5 lapis this round in 240. 99.
Qualifying Rnd 4
With the engine tuned up again and everything checked over we went out for the last round of qualifying, we were hoping to get another 7 lap run to try and get a bit higher up on the overall list but it was not to be. Whilst on the 2min warm up I took the main jump in front of the rostrum only to be met with a huge gust of wind which really upset the car whist in the air. Unable to compensate for the wind it brought the car down hard on the rear right wheel which resulted in a broken rear wish bone which would be the end of our qualifying before the clock had even begun.
With qualifying over and the car taken back to the pits and repaired I would end up 10th in the B final.
The B. Final
The car was started up on the box to get warmed up and something didn’t sound right, After a quick investigation it was fond that the clutch bearing had failed and was causing the clutch bell to be fouling the clutch resulting in the engine being difficult to start. I pulled the engine out and replaced the bearings. Fortunately, it was as simple as that with the engine re-installed and fired up all was well again.
We lined up on the grid for the 15-minute final, Go was called and away we went. I managed to avoid the first corner carnage and tried to run my own race whilst it unfolded around me. I was going quite well until I had a cut for some strange unknown reason. The car was recovered back to the pits and restarted and fuelled. I continued, now right down the field, so now would just be a recovery drive to try and make the best of a bad situation. I soldiered on the car felt on point all throughout the final and after the first hiccup the engine never missed another beat for the remaining time. I made a late pitstop and would keep picking off the other cars slowly climbing up the field. After the 15minutes would see me end up finishing 6th.
I was happy with my finish considering our early engine issues so I don’t think it was too bad a day.
the Team Associated RC8B3.1 was really good all day and was a joy to drive, not too many changes to the car again mainly tyres choices and a new rear wish bone.
- My set 3.1 setup
- Ride height
- F 24mm
- R 25mm..
- Shock oils Associated
- Front 40wt yellow springs
- Rear 47.5wt yellow springs
- Diffs Associated oils
- F C R
- Front black anti roll bar
- Rear yellow anti roll bar
- Factory team 1.2 & 1.3 tapered pistons
- Shock lengths
- F 103.5mm
- R 120mm
- Standard rear wing
- Rear weight 35G
- Tyres Hobao angles spikes full and with the outside row removed.
I would like to thank my very cold pit crew (My Wife Nina and the young Cate) I think the running after my car cutting out did help them to warm up from time to time. Seriously Ladies Big thank you to you both for pit duties and tea duties etc.
Thank you to RCM for the tent frame it really did keep the wind out lol…..
Thank you to the sponsors CML Distribution for the continued support.
Thank you to all that donated to get Craig in a pink tutu as well we have raised a lot of money for a very good cause.
As this is the last report before The Christmas holiday,
We would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
John (Tolstoy) & Nina Green