arrive just after 7.00am to a dark and cold venue, The weather promised
to be dry and bright as the day progressed, fortunately for us this was the case as this
week due to me forgetting to pack the pit tent we had no option but to pit
We set up our table and got the gear out in between catching up with everyone wishing them a happy new year. A few drivers were on track getting in some practise as soon as it was light enough. I chose not to as I was still getting tanks of fuel through a newly rebuilt engine. I got my last heat cycle tank through it and that was that practise over. Drivers briefing was just that, brief, and it was announced that qualifying would be commencing at 9.25 sharp.
The track was damp to begin with so I opted for the Hobao angle spike tyres as always.
I didn’t make many changes apart from the diff oils which I was running 7-7-5 which was different from what I was running at Brookthorpe.
The first round we ran was just purely to get a tank of fuel through the engine with it now pulling the weight of the car so I was looking a proper wet fart with no real power, but I just kept out of the way of everyone and feathered it round to the finish. Surprisingly I wasn’t last with a 5- lap run. Even with a very rich engine the car felt a lot better that it did previously at Brookthorpe on the Astro.
We started to lean out the engine a little keeping an eye on the engine temps throughout the rounds to make sure it was running sweet. Once again, I drove my own race against the clock and once again the car ran sweet all throughout the run and we improved with a 6-lap run. Again, we weren’t last. We didn’t make any changes to the car for this run apart from engine tuning as the car felt on point with the Hobao spikes and the speed we’re running at I don’t think any changes would of really made any real impact on the car.
Really started to lean the engine out now to start unleashing some of its power. The sun was out now and warming the track nicely to the point where we switched tyres to the Proline pinpoints. With the engine now having a lot more to give and the package showing some pace we could now start to get in the mix of things. We did just that and we suddenly found ourselves at the front end of the field finishing 3rd in the heat with an 8-lap run. This was a good encouraging boost for me, and I was just hoping to have another repeat of this in round 4.
The final round came and with the sun still shining on us we went for broke. The engine was tuned furthermore to help the campaign and was really starting to sing but just enough to stop it reaching the high note of self-destruction down the main straight. Well it certainly paid off, as one the whole package was on fire, we finished 2nd in the heat and I believe I broke my first ever 9-lap run at Ledbury. This really was turning out to be a great day of racing on the last day of my Christmas break.
We would end up qualifying 3rd in the D final after the last 2 rounds which I think helped me jump up the table somewhat.
The D Final
We started off and made a great start and kept ahead of the usual first corner pile up behind me and 1st place man kind of just sped away. I pushed him for several laps when I made a small error and with a late Marshall ended up down in 4th place. I kept my cool and started to catch up 3rd place and just pushed and waited for the mistake to come, which it did, so I made my move and went for it. I then set about catching 2nd place man which I did and stayed there for pretty much most of the race. We came in for fuel and this would see me drop back to 3rd place but still with a comfortable lead over 4th place and in the final bump up spot. After the 15mins was over I came into the pits elated that I had bumped up into the C final.
The C Final
We started off for another 15 mins with me starting in 12th place. By the end of the first lap I had made it up to 7th place then 6th then into 5th before sitting in 4th place for most of the race chasing down hard on Steve Price. We even had a pit crew race in the pits as I followed him in the pit lane hoping to get the jump but today wasn’t going to be the day but I chased him for another 2 laps forcing him to drive defensively as I was just hedging my bets on making my move when I was getting a little too over confident and the car grip rolled on a corner. With the Marshall not looking I was there for a while, so I dropped places. I wasn’t fazed I just got on with the job and started chasing again to claw myself back up to 4th place. I had a fight with an electric car who decided to cut the track for position but Karma always wins and he crashed so I passed him and went.
After the 15mins I would end up in 4th place overall which I was more than happy with especially as I couldn’t feel my fingers so that wouldn’t have helped my driving too much.
My Team Associated RC8B3.1 was absolutely fantastic to drive and was spot on all day even with the engine running in being undertaken at the same time.
I would like to thank the best pit crew ever on her fantastic efforts both in and out of the pits as always you are irreplaceable even in your current condition – (The Boss Nina G)
I would like to say a big thank you to the sponsors for their continued support
- My 3.1 set up
- Ride height
- F 23mm
- R 25mm
- Shock oils Associated
- F 37.5wt Yellow springs
- R 32.5wt Blue springs
- Front black anti roll bar
- Rear Grey anti roll bar
- Factory team 1.2 & 1.3 tapered pistons
- Shock lengths
- F 103.5mm
- R 120mm
- STD Kit wing
- Diffs Associated oils
- F C R
- Rear weight 35G
- Hobao angled spikes
- Proline pinpoints
at the next round
John & Nina G