Competing in Australia's fastest racing series - Formula 4000

Winton Round 2 - June 4th - 6th 2004
Winton is so much like Mallala it's unbelievable. We have done a huge amount of work to find our problems but there was nothing that seemed to be the cause. We'd soon find out..
Practice 1
Brake lockup like you wouldn't believe. The handling of the car was really poor and our times were way off. We'd eliminated all the sensible likely causes and now we had to start on the unlikely before we proceeded to the downright unreasonable.
Practice 2
We were well into the insane now. I'd resorted to replacement of the most unlikely parts and suddenly we had an answer. It was all to do with our previous choice of brake pads and our current disk manufacturer. The change to the cars handling was immediate when the parts were changed. It took us many hours to return the car's set-up to the original settings before we'd made all the changes to address the braking problem. I was ecstatic that the car was behaving again though and surprisingly lots of the other handling problems abated once the brakes were fixed.
We undid all the changes to the car and went to our Winton baseline. It wasn't perfect but it would have to do. I took the opportunity to make an enormous mess of qualifying. I got tangled up with another car and every time I backed off I got behind someone else. Then there was a red flag. I tried for one last flyer and ran wide on the second last corner. This was the recipe for ending up in 9th on the grid with a car that was capable of much, much more.
5 slow laps to bed in a new set of pads and confirm the car was ready for the races. I was having fun with the car though and we had great balance through the fast corners.
Race 1
We carried the onboard camera for this race so we were guaranteed some great pictures. 9th is on the dirty side of the track so I tried to brush off the exact part I wanted to use on the launch for the warm-up lap and put it back on the black stripes for the start. Luckily there was a problem with one of the other cars that left an empty slot ahead of me. Just as the lights went out Mark West raised his hands in P5. I got a screamer of a start and nipped outside Mark just off the grass and went into turn 1 in a nice P5 position. I tried pretty hard to close on Terry ahead of me, but pushed onto the grass on turn 4 twice which dropped me too far from him to catch up so I settled for trailing home in P5, and second in Silver Star. All in all it was a great feeling to have the car performing well again. Oh and the camera, it was facing forward when all the action was behind. Still it should make a good clip to put on the web site.
Race 2
Got a reasonable start and kept P5 for the first couple of laps. I could gain on Terry on the fast parts of the track but lost him on the slow corners where we suffer from understeer. By the fifth lap one of the gold star cars caught up so I spent the next ten laps keeping him there and rolled home to another fifth position and another second in Silver Star.
30 Silver Star points, and 16 Gold Star points. This leaves us in the lead of the Silver Star with 70 points and equal fourth in the Gold Star
Thanks to Steve Davis, John Mahoney, Kreston Tognolini, Garrett Gerhardt, Rebecca Peters and Peter Duldig

The weekend was also notable for two major events.

Firstly the "Just" group of magazines has joined our formula as a series sponsor. They are a terrific group of magazines with a stunningly high readership and we welcome them aboard Australia's fastest category. Buy the magazines and support those that support us.

Secondly a group of delegates from our Chinese series attended the meeting. They had a good view of the races and we are told there will be a larger delegation attending the Oran Park meeting. We are looking forward to the trip to China and we are getting a lot of interest in the opportunities that this provides for Australian companies wishing to gain a foothold in the worlds largest economy.

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Formula 4000
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