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So to Snetterton, and what I hoped would be a dry race for a change!

Myself and Richy travelled up eary on Friday ready for some afternoon testing so I could get an idea of the track layout. The weather was great and hopes were high for some flat out driving. The sessions were split into 2x50min so the plan was to go out for 15mins, then come back in for a cool down and then back out for another 15 mins.
The 1st session felt really bad with the car oversteering at the first hint of the track going anywhere but straight. I used that session to learn the tack and came in shaking my head.
As per the norm my technical take on the problem with the car was "its just crap, fix it" :lol:
A quick fiddle with the damper settings and I set off for another 10 laps of drifting. This time although it was still a little loose, it felt better and my confidence was starting to build.
For the next session Richy made some changes but refused to tell me what, and just told me to try it and see............christ i'm trusting!!!
What a difference!! the car was so controlable and it just danced across the track even when lifting off mid corner. what did he do? drop the tyre pressures quite a bit on the rear and a small amount on the front.
This saw my lap times drop by a whole second and I was convinced I could go quicker on my final session. On my last 2 laps I was going for it but was help up firstly by another car that was having problems. Then on the final lap I aquired a huge vibration from the front wheel which meant anything over 10mph would see me putting in a claim for vibration white finger :lol:
A quick look by Richy confirmed the inner driveshaft had overheated and gone solid cuasing it to vibrate violenty :-x Luckily, Richy stripped the driveshaft down, cleaned and re-greased it with the cooling down period, all seemed ok and it was back together just as the sun was setting.....result!! At that point we were then joined by the rest of the Nippon/Honda brigade in the form of Jamesn, Paul G, Dixon to name a few.

So on to race day!!!

Qualifying saw a very busy track and not much room for HOT laps so it was a case of just doing your best. With 7 Hondas in the pack including 3 DC5's (ex TGM and the current S1 productiuon cup leader) it was going to be tough going for the rest of us.
As always the Hondas stuck together with the honda qualifying times looking like this........................

6th - Kris Dunlop (Civic) 1.23.400
7th - James Nicholls (DC2) 1.23.462
8th - Nigel Ainge (DC5) 1.25.140
9th - Dixon Cheng (DC2) 1.25.412
10th - Paul Garrod (DC5) 1.25.419
32nd - Kevin Pullan (DC5 ) 1.31.930
33rd Roger sibley (CRX) 1.33.414

Race 1........................

I had a cracking start just creeping into 3rd for a split second although dropping back to 5th/6th as the RX7 and swift nipped back in front through the 1st coner. I held 6th down the back straight and was keeping James and the DC5 at bay which was my aim. The next 3 laps were great with some very close racing and I was convinced I could hold the other Hondas off for a great result. Unfortunately on lap 3/4 there was a small misfire which became worse by lap 5 and was then constant through the rev range. I refused to give up although a slight lack of power meant I was only getting in the other 2 hondas way. I dropped back a few places throughout the race although kept going and tried to keep my corner speed up so I wasnt loosing much time. I managed to finish 7th overall and 3rd honda while still posting the fastest honda lap on lap 2 which isnt bad on slightly cold tyres.

A quick look over the car found the gaps on plugs 1 and 3 had closed up causing a huge misfire which would explain the loss of power down the straights. Obviously this caused huge concern as to the cause of this especially as it had been fine in testing and qualifying. A few checks were done and new plugs fitted to see if it happened again. A quick trip up the road at over 9k and another check of the plugs founf nothing so the choice was taken to go our for race 2 and hope for the best.


Race 2................

Qualifying 7th this time saw me inbetween Jamesn and the very well put together DC5 that took 1st Honda in race 1. Another good start saw all 3 hondas nose to tail for the 1st 3 laps which i'm sure made for great spectating. Stupidly I ran with less fuel than I should of so it was only expected on lap 5 that I started to have fuel surge. I dropped back behind the DC5 and watched while him and James (DC2) had a cracking battle with me close behind ready to pick up the pieces if it all went wrong. Sadly as the end got closer, my fuel got less and less and the to end it all, the misfire re-appeared to the point where it was only running on 3 cylinders at the most and it finally died altogether 2 laps from the end and down on compression.

So sadly i missed out on another 3rd place but its racing and I still had a great weekend regarrdless. There are a few possibilites of the cause of the plug/misfire problem so the car was dropped off at Richy's last night so he could take a look. Oh did I forget to mention the clutch started slipping, the tyres are dead and its only 3 weeks until Brands :shock:

I have quite a few people to thank this time so firstly to Drmikey for his loan of the trailer late Thursday night. Without him I probably wouldnt of even made testing, let alone the race!
Big thanks to Jamesn for putting us up for the night in his motorhome and the evening home cooked meal he provided (and sky TV, comfy bed etc) :lol: Some cracking racing betwwen us and both cars are evenly matched, even down the back straight on the cool down lap :oops:
Great to see some old/new faces form the Honda Camp and although his home track, a very well done to Paul G for taking 3rd Honda in race 2 and driving a damn good race in both races......excellent result for a first timer :cool:

Lastly but more importantly, Richy (performance-autoworks) my trusty sidekick who back in April said he would only come and support me in 1 or 2 races this season, but has ended up being at every race and even becoming my private driver, mechanic and the driving force behind the little Civic and its success throughout the year.
I think the road trips are just as much fun as the racing especially with the right choice of music, which brings me on to the final 2 thankyou's.

Huge thanks the Bruce Dickinson and Ozzy Osbourne for getting us through the endless hours on the road and for making our ears and eyes bleed at silly o'clock in the morning/night.......whart would we do without you :lol:


Thats is all :wink:
 
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