Competing in Australia's fastest racing series - Formula Holden

Eastern Creek - Sydney - Round 2
Under the circumstances this was a good result on a track we have only had one limited run on before. We closed a little on the Doc and this time we still have four wheels on our wagon

Some photos of the car and crew ...

Practice 1
This is a track that I can't seem to get the car to flow on. We got really bad understeer in some parts and snap oversteer in others. Not much point in changing the car at all when the thing isn't flowing. I concentrated on getting the layout of the track back after a break of two years and bedding in some new parts.
Practice 2
Time for a more committed run. We had juggled tyre pressures a little which made the car better to drive but it still seemed to be pushing terribly on left handers (useful on a circuit with 7 left hand turns and only three right) and it was getting worse as the session went on. The right front tyre was changing colour too so either I was overdriving it or it was going flat. I decided to keep going and not waste the time in the pits and get it checked in the inevitable red flag stop when someone overcooks it. The biggest excitement was when I looked in the rear vision mirror and all I could see was flame. I picked a fire marshal and stopped for a visit but we couldn't find any evidence of anything burning. I began to doubt that it had happened at all until one of the other drivers mentioned that he'd seen it too. Post session we found that the tyre was leaking air and overheating but couldn't find any faults or evidence of the fire or what caused it.
We made some aerodynamic adjustments as we were running a little slow on the back of the circuit and had plenty of speed on the straights as usual. This took a chunk off our lap time and I was pretty pleased. We did the whole session avoiding Terrys car which was parked across on of the apexes in a place where you have to brake around a curve so I took it reasonable gently and we qualified 9th (as usual)
Race 1
Our first race was the first run of any cars on the track on Sunday so I was expecting the track to be green and cold. This was definitely an opportunity to spend some money on new parts. We would play this one pretty carefully. The clear blue sky had just one cloud in it. On the warmup lap I notice liquid running down my visor and I figured one of the cars ahead must be blowing it out the overflow as they often do. At the start I took the opportunity to do the single worst start of my life, a real shocker. They were going by me like there was no tomorrow. On the way down to turn 2 I sat behind Rohan and tried to get the tyres warm. Over the next couple of laps Rohan got by the Doc and basically drove away. I managed to get past him on the straight too in spite of the rain getting heavier. Then I had a run wide on Turn 2 and Roger got by again. The conditions were getting downright unpleasant now and the fact that our engine runs so poorly was making the car impossible drive at all. I passed Roger again on lap 10 but had snap 180 spin between turn 3 and 4 and once again he got by. I managed a nice reverse flip using the cars backward speed (should look good on TV) but could get up to Roger again so finished third in the Sliver Star class.
Race 2
At last, a good start. Passed Roger and Rohan on the way to Turn 2 and that's the way it stayed. Kept it clean and straight and utilised the laps to whittle some more time off out best lap speed. Rohan gradually got smaller in the mirrors until I was instructed to ease off and conserve our position a few laps from the end by the team manager. First in our class and eighth overall was a good result.
We were pretty pleased with a third and first in class and we have managed to make up some points on the Doc.
We were up to our ears in Gerhardts this weekend. Barbara kept us fed, Gil and Garrett pushed the car and worked on it. Rebecca oversaw and arranged to make sure it all happened and was as usual the race spotter from on top of the grandstand giving me advice over the radio. Rebecca also as usual shared the driving on our 20 hour drive home.
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