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Donny Focus

posted 22 Aug 2014, 07:21 by Kieren McDonald   [ updated 22 Aug 2014, 07:29 ]

It has been quite a while since I blogged – work and other commitments just seem to always get in the way J So what’s been happening...we have had Oulton Park in July and IMM in August!

Oulton Park was utterly frustrating – there were big hopes returning to a fantastic circuit the Mini 7 Club last visited in 2012. The Cheshire circuit really is a fantastic location, providing race driver a superb challenge and close action for its spectators.  There is always a good friendly crowd and marshals at Oulton so we are always eager to make their day worthwhile.

One qualifying session and 2 championship rounds were contested in only one hectic day – end to end, it did not go to plan for BigMacRacing #88. It all started with qualifying, no hanging around, there was a pace setting lap to set but that was not to be. Whilst getting into the rhythm, learning the circuit and feeling the car, an issue started with gear changes becoming progressively worse; the sound of a crunching gearbox never a good thing. Concentration was placed on shifting through the gears as best as could be done and then exiting corners smoothly. Effectively the lap times were suffering – although 7th & 6th qualifying positions for Race 1 & 2 respectively wasn't too poor considering.  Once back into Parc Ferme, there was no clutch at all so #88 was pushed back to the paddock ready for some investigation.

Investigations involved bleeding the clutch, adjustments, replace master and slave cylinders, clutch plate off to check things out, replace plunger and bearing. With only one day, time was extremely tight and work continued as we listened to the se7en’s compete for top positions in the 1st race. Race 2 came up fast and the last attempt was nearing an end to fix the problem – to my amazement, clutch was engaging and last minute jumped into my race kit, rushed out to assembly on a high ready for Race 2. I had a good feeling, was determined to bring rewards to everyone’s efforts to get me out. Lining up on the grid, everything felt great, mid way around on the green flag lap, horror – clutch wasn't engaging correctly again so I pulled into the pits rather than line up on the grid! Gutting for everybody involved, shame a season best couldn't be attempted for those involved.

Oulton was very disappointing and hasn't helped with the championship – dropping from 3rd, down to 4th – still great but what could have been. Huge thanks to Shaun Tarlton, Dave Yardy, Paul Clark, Darren Thomas for all their help over the weekend yet again. Also thanks to Matthew Barrington for his great photographs. What a great club and people to be around – thank you all, wouldn't be able to do it without you!!

Oulton behind, next up was IMM 2014 - I've never attended and this time I would be there with #88 on the Mini Spares stand; and what a stand it was – it looked spectacular.  The event was great, the Mini Spares raffle car was built there and then – not any old raffle car, a brand new mini! I caught up with plenty of fellow racers, there was something for everyone and it had the friendliest atmosphere I have experienced.

What an event – there was The British Mini Club stand was opposite the Mini Spares stand, which was great as #88 displayed their new vinyl. Mini Spares really showed their popularity, demonstrating great service to a loyal customer base from across the globe. 

Mini Magazine’s stand was besides too and they displayed many of their cover cars – what a spectacular sight – check out the pictures on and My first IMM, but hopefully not my last!

Donington is next on the calendar – thankfully over a full weekend, consisting of qualifying and 2 races. Track, Road & Race is on the case with some new quality parts from Mini Spares, getting the job done so that it’s perfect for a highly anticipated event. Will you be there? Come and say hi!

Check out all the in-car video footage from throughout the season!
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