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2012 Rounds 2 & 3 Race Report - Donington

posted 5 May 2012, 06:56 by Kieren McDonald   [ updated 3 Nov 2013, 13:04 ]
I have been a little slow getting this blog written with work & family commitments...but finally here I am typing away!

Well what can I say - we shouldn't have been racing, I had requested a refund on my entry fees and we had made alternative plans for the weekend....that was until I had a call from Dave Robinson (Kat 7 Racing) mid afternoon Friday with the offer of borrowing his spare short engine!!  A few phone calls later, we decided to go for it - an unbelievable number of people offering their help to assemble and install the engine. Greg collected bits from Rob Selby and then onwards to collect the car, tools and parts for me to take straight to Donny and get cracking! By the time Simon and I arrived at the circuit, Greg, A L Motorsport (Adam & Leon) were already covered in oil assembling the engine!  A few issues had to be overcome and yet more people came to the rescue to lend a hand, mainly Endaf Owens and Mark Wanstall who were brave enough to handle the drills! I don't know how they did it but the engine was assembled by 1am!!

An early start and everyone was cracking on again to install the engine and try and get it started. It wouldn't fire and then an issue with the starter button...further help from many people including Dave, Mark and Ashley's father helped getting it going just in time for quali...unbelievable!!

The decision was to take it very easy, do the 3 required laps and come in to check things over so that's exactly what we did. Engine seemed to be running fine so I went back out to do a few more laps, taking it very easy with the revs and braking/cornering; everything was so rushed so safety and taking it easy on the engine was key! It didn't seem to be handling great, which we expected seeing as the setup had not been looked at since replacing the ball joints and track rod ends. The temperature was very low too so was affecting the power output. The main thing was we got around and the engine seemed to be running fine.  The main focus was to give the car a thorough nut and bolt check ready for the 1st race! We qualified 14th for both races so amazing taking everything into account!

It was dry for the start of the 1st race.  I was caught napping on the grid - the race seemed to start a lot quicker than normal so I was determined to catch back up and make some moves going down Craner for the 1st time. I did exactly that - taking one position back going into Redgate and then carrying a lot more speed down the inside of Baker into Craner until he turned in on me, leaving me no choice but to come off the power and veer to the left onto the grass - luckily I avoided the collision and collected it back up and back onto the circuit! From then it was a bit of catch up, and the heaven's opened later in the race making it very slippery. I was still struggling with not having addressed the setup and also lacking power with the low temperature. Generally my head was a bit all over the place so I wasn't driving at my best with the chaotic lead up to the race :-) I crossed the line in 12th place - a race finish - wow!

We managed to look at the setup - the tracking was miles out so that would have been making it difficult during quali and the 1st race. Another thorough nut and bolt check to make sure all was ok but not much time till the 2nd race, with it being on the same day.

It was chucking it down in the lead up to the next race so no question about it...wets! I got started ok this time but still the engine temperature was down. I had to pump my brakes for each corner and generally I drove a very cautious race, making sure we completed the 2 races! We managed to finish in 9th place so was excellent considering the lead up & conditions!

2 races completed - only achieved due to the sheer kindness and dedication from everyone in the club - you should all feel very proud of yourselves - a huge thank you from us all at BigMacRacing! :-D

Dave Robinson has been kind enough to lend his short engine once again to allow us to compete in Round 4 at Castle Combe on 07th May - a massive thank you Dave!

Congrats to the podium winners for the Se7en's and Miglia's - full results/timings can be found here & the se7en's championship points table can be found here.

Check out the in-car video footage from Donington Park!
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