I'd never done Silverstone before, so i wanted to make the most of testing to try and learn the circuit and hopefully get a reasonable grid position. My aim this weekend was to have a decent grid AND finish position, i don't seem to be able to to combine the two!
First session out and i was susrprised by the track! I was expecting a flat out, boring circuit, but infact, although its very wide and has 2 fast straights and copse corner, the rest of it is fairly tight. So much so that i ended up in the kitty litter after 10 minutes and reg flagging the first session, what a prat!!! I went back out and slowly built up speed and recored a 1.06.48, which i was happy with, and hoped i be able to reduce.
The trip to the kitty litter seemed to have off centred the steering wheel slightly, i didn't have time to sort it out before the next session but a quick checkover didn't how anything obvious, i just assumed the steering rack had moved very slightly on its mounts. The 2nd session was greasy due to some light showers, and the session was close 5 mins early due to 5 formula Vee's spinning off at various corners around the track. I have the same view as Tim on these, i can't see the attraction, they are based on my most hated car, the old VW beetle, they are noisey and stink and usually pump some kind of fluid onto the track!
With the help of John Cutmore, I checked the (well John checked) the tracking, and yes it was out. All the suspension looked fine and the rack was tight so again asumed all was fine. John made the adjustement. Then the heavens opened so i din't bother with the 3rd session as i would have been soaked and learnt nothing. 4th session Again it was slightly wet and i couldn't improve on the first sessions time but the car felt fine. The 5th session came and it was dry so i was hoping for an ipmroved time. But as the session progressed the car just stopped wanting to go round left handers (beckets mainly) and was understeering badly. I wondered if it was just me trying to hard, or flying into beckets to fast, but by the end of the session the car would go round it at all wothout loads of understeer. A quick check under th bonnet revealed the problem, the chassis rail where the lower wishbones attached had snappped and was being held to gteher by a thread of metal! I felt very lucky it didn't actaully collapse on me, 1 more lap and it may have!!
A dragged the car over to Andy Bates who had a quick look and said it was a common point of failure on the fury chassis, but he would be able to braise it up and add some gussets to strengthen it up. So the next 3 hours was spent helping/hindering Andy get the chassis all repaired. I also discovered an engine bolt in the under tray which must have vibrated out of somewhere! Andys knowledge of the blade engine is so geeky that by just looking at the bolt he knew where it had probably come from, surprise surprise he was right, one of the starter motor bolts! Also i notived how bad the nearside front tyre was, i would need a new one before the race!
By the time the chassis was all done and the suspension all back together i couldn't face doing the alignment and needed some beer and food! My trusty side kicks Dan and Steve had had to get the BBQ I invited to them all sorted, and by the time i got back to the tent the food was ready, result!