Time Attack 2021 Round 2 – Brands Hatch
We attended Rounds 2&3 at Brands Hatch in the Mighty Micra! Full of enthusiasm from Round 1 at Cadwell Park, but also anxiety as Cadwell had been the only circuit i have ever driven in real life. No matter how many video games or Sims you play. It will never prepare you for your first time round/ down Paddock Hill.
Since Cadwell, we haven’t done a massive amount to the car. I did source and fit a new gearbox with an ATB LSD, which dramatically changed hour the car drove. It was fantastic.
I used the first free practise session on Saturday to learn the circuit and slowly build up speed and confidence in the circuit. Unfortunately, just 2 laps into this session, i hit the kerb pretty hard into Grahams on the passengers front wheel and knocked the hub into 5+ Degrees of camber which massively knocked out the tracking.
This was due to us preparing everything at the last minute as per and not properly torqueing the shock to hub bolts up after being Geo’d. This caused me to struggle through some corners with understeer for the remainder of the weekend. We did out best to correct the issue, but as unprepared as we are, we didn’t have any form of tracking instruments to fine tune it.
I was also suffering from some brake fade, which was due to a carrier bolt yeeting itself loose and causing the caliper to fall forward and got told off as we the tyres were rubbing going through surtees resulting in a small cloud of tyre smoke. We fixed this by increasing the damping rate and getting the grinder out.
The track was just too busy for a small, underpowered car like the Mighty Micra as we relied on Momentum to get around the circuit rather than power. The usual 4 sessions were reduced to 3 sessions due to, in my opinion, an overly packed event. This meant 2 classes of much faster cars were now in with the usual 2 classes i run with. Leading to 4 disciplines of speed in the same session. Which resulted in 31 cars on the Brands Indy Circuit. For (Comparison at Cadwell with 4 Sessions with 13 Cars in my sessions)
I just felt like i was in the way constantly… And being the nice person i am felt compelled to be out the way which impeded any fast laps i attempted. I honestly felt i was just out there to be a mobile obstacle for the others to avoid like some sort of gymkhana event. I was so disheartened by this and just wanted to go home. But… Time Attack (And Motorsport in general) Isn’t cheap and i couldn’t get my money back, and we here… So we persevered. It become obviously pretty quickly we were massively off pace and a podium just wasn’t going to happen in the Dry. I went to bed that night and prayed for a downpour as hopefully that would level the playing field and allow me to climb some positions as i favoured the Wet weather at Cadwell.