It’s All in the Preparation

It’s been a busy week.  The weather got the better of our plans due to icy run off areas so our proposed test day at Donington was cancelled.  A very last minute decision was made & off we went to Bruntingthorpe to continue learning about our beloved 169.  Excellent performance from both drivers and a few more laps for me.  Consistently decreasing lap times were posted by our drivers & I had a little bit more time driving to learn how late you need to brake in a Fun Cup car – this I would suggest is the next challenge for our drivers.  It should see a significant reduction in lap times.  What struck me by the end of the day was how the drivers were beginning to understand the platform of the vehicle & beginning to work out how they might like it to be adjusted for their own needs.  I’m fascinated to see if we can find a suitable set up for all 3 drivers that won’t punish the tyres too hard over a 6 hour race. 

Information was gained on fuel burn for our two drivers present on the day as well as some good solid feedback on vehicle characteristics.  Both filled in a subjective vehicle evaluation crib sheet asking 15 questions about the behaviour of 169 when cornering.  These sheets are used extensively by the motor industry to evaluate vehicles – for racing drivers they tease out their thoughts & subjective feelings about their car, acting as an aid for engineers to understand in which direction they need to go with vehicle set up.  It’s always easier with 1 driver rather than 3!  

A couple of days later found us at Millbrook.  Perfect practice makes perfect pit stops.  The percentage reduction in pit stop time was considerable over the day.  The day was an opportunity to familiarise ourselves with the challenges of getting in and out of a Fun Cup car in the shortest possible time.  Big thanks to Paul Playle of Playle Autoimagery for cataloguing the day for us with some great pictures.  All 3 drivers attended – that in itself posed challenges as you’ll see at Oulton Park – we have a variation of height & build.  Lots to think about when setting seat position, tension in belts & simply getting in & out quickly.  Paul Rose suggests a quick time is 12 seconds – we’ll be doing our best to match that.  Also recognising the need to have process to our refuelling, our two dedicated refuellers joined us for the day to get familiar with the dump churns & to perfect & hone their skills. 

What’s really struck me about the whole journey so far is the camaraderie, the team spirit & the need for all team members to have an input into the workings of the team.  We’ve approached the pre season with a good spirit & professional attitude.  As anticipation mounts everyone is enthusiastic for the first race.  169 is now with our trusted graphics provider, Trevor of Hi-Design.  Working his magic with the original base colour, we’re excited to see her new look ready for the teams race debut ….. 7 days and counting.

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