Day two of the Time Attack double header from brands Hatch.
Following Saturdays track running, it was time to strip the car down and give it a good check over in preparation for Sunday. Unfortunately, we had developed a crunch between fourth and fifth gear. To give us a fighting chance of making it though the day we decided to change the gearbox oil.
Jonny had also picked up a vibration which turned out to be a worn ball joint and a failed passenger side driveshaft. These where swapped for new ones and the car was ready to go the for following morning.
After the work carried out Saturday evening, the Sunday morning warm up was a great chance to make sure the car was okay and to ensure we had not missed anything during last nights checks.
The circuit was still slightly damp from overnight rain so Jonny had planned to do a few sighter laps before returning to the pits. The forecast was predicting the weather to pick up later in the day and with Jonny nursing a broken gearbox there was no need to take any risks by completing more laps than necessary.
Much like the warm up, we decided not to over exert the car during the 15 minute practice session. Jonny spent 10 laps figuring out the best way to work around the gearbox issue before boxing.
Jonny did manage to post a very respectable time of 54.818 during this session and had noticed traffic management appeared to much less of a problem. We put this down to many of the drivers not wanting to put much mileage on the cars.
It was now time for the first point scoring session of the day. The plan was simple, maximize the 15 minutes session, attacking straight from the off. By lap 5 Jonny had posted a 54.252 despite the gearbox issue. Leaving him not just 1st in class but 1st overall!
Two laps later, Jonny decreased this benchmark to 53.831 before posting a 53.357 moments later! That time was good enough to keep Jonny top of the leader board. Scoring maximum points and registering a personal best in the process.
We have known what this car has been capable of for a long time and it’s pleasing to finally see this come to fruition!
It was now time to get serious, a podium was on the cars but Jonny had the top step in his sights. Other than an ever failing 4th gear the car was looking good after final checks and Jonny was confident he could work around any issues.
Jonny head out early, getting to the front of the queue to be first out on track. The idea was to go on maximum attack from the off. However, the car developed a misfire while winding up for the first hot lap causing Jonny to pit for replacemnt plugs.
While in the pits the session was red flagged. Usually this would be a blessing allowing more time to work on the car. However, it was clear that this was more serious than a broken down car.
One of Jonny’s competitors had been involved in a huge accident, ending up upside down after colliding with the armco near the pit exit. Thankfully, everyone involved was okay but it did result in the session being cut short. This meant Jonny didn’t have chance to get back out and set a time.
Overall, it was a very positive weekend. The first true signs that the car has the pace to regularly compete for podium positions. The next round will take place on July 17th at Oulton park. Jonny placed on the podium on his last two visits to the Cheshire based circuit so the omens are good for a great result. Lets make it Three in a row!