Monday 30 January 2017

Academy Car - Wet (Track Day) Weekender

Continuing on with my Academy preparation, my race clothing has arrived, but, I'm waiting for my new crash helmet to be painted - which will be ready be ready in time for the first event...  The car still has to pass it's IVA, and once passed it'll be time to prepare the car for racing, with roll cage padding, sealing the boot, fuel sample filter fitting and so on...

Having 'all the gear' and gagging to get out again - I booked up a full weekend of track day action... Firstly attending Rockingham on 28th Jan, afterwards heading up to Donington, camping out, and attending the track day there the day after (29th Jan).

Rockingham International Sportscar Circuit - 28th Jan 2017
Rockingham circuit has a number of different configurations, and the one used for the day was the International Sportscar layout... The day was extremely wet in the morning, and anyone that's been around Rockingham in the wet will know it's slippery as a newt with any moisture on the tarmac.

There was more rain forecast for the mid/late afternoon, but it kinda held off... So the circuit dried out somewhat... The quick banked first corner and first hairpin were still extremely slippery, and also the final chicane was greasy too, but the majority of the circuit had a half decent dry line...

Here are a couple of laps of on-board action:-

I finished up at Rockingham around 4pm, and with an hour or so of packing up, it was then time to head up to Donington Park... Having invested in a VW Campervan for the long track-day and race weekends, Charlotte and I 'camped out' in the paddock for the night - which worked extremely well indeed...

Donington Park National Circuit - 29th Jan 2017
Seeing as we stayed at the paddock overnight, we didn't need to get up at 5am to drive up to Donington Park which was a refreshing change!  However, it was VERY COLD overnight, so cold that there was ice everywhere...   We went for a 'healthy' 'paddock breakfast' and coffee to warm up at the cafe, and then it was onto the briefing - where we were advised that the start would be delayed by an hour due to the ice...  Then around 9:30... The fog came in, so eventually the day kicked off around 10:30 / 11am, but it was very wet...

The grip is somewhat 'limited' in an Academy car in the ice / wet as it is with any car I guess!?  This was about as quick as I could get it to go given the grip / conditions...  Looking back at the video, I can see there's definitely still some time to be had:-

I'm really happy with the progress I've made over the weekend, and also that I got to experience the wildly varying conditions too!

'unfortunately' it's my 40th! gulp! birthday this coming Thursday, and unless I get a 'surprise' track day for my birthday :-) this will have been be the last outing in the car before it gets collected to go to Caterham South for it's IVA prep and IVA - fingers crossed!

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