Time Attack 2021 Round 6

Today was just one of those days that we love to forget…

First time at Donny. Spent the first session getting to know the limits of the car on the track. But right away something felt weird about the car. Mainly the fact the front wheels decided they wanted to replace the front wheels several times. The rear of the car felt really loose which is a stark comparison to a oulton when the rear felt really stable.

2nd session didn’t go much better. With an average lap time of 1:30, we had a clear sight for a 1:29 or a 1:28 if I could gain some confidence back in the car. I realized I was carrying a but to much speed into a couple of corners without realizing why. For whatever reason I had not noticed the fact the brakes were getting less and less effective. My brain had simply processed the brakes were being pressed and assumed I was slowing down. When you get to know your car well. You just “know” the pedal has been pressed long enough. The session however was cut short due to an incident with 6 minutes remaining on the Green Flag. 

for Session 3, we adjusted tyres pressures, damping and wing angle. One of the 3 changes, or maybe all 3 combined made the rear end atleast predictable, but still feeling a bit disconnected. 3-4 laps in going into turn one the brake pedal went to the floor, with the closing speed I had already started to turn into T1 and a split second double-press of the pedal Unsettled the car sending it to the right. unfortunately a bit to much oppo lock, and not changing down to 2nd gear and flooring it, snapped me left into the gravel trap. Something clearly not right so I entered the pits and ended the session.

A strip down of the brakes found nothing obvious other than a very VERY small weep from one of the calliper piston seals. But nothing really concerning. We bled the brakes and found the fluid to be dark in appearance.

We concluded at this point that we must of cooked the brake fluid at Oulton (the brakes were on fucking POINT at oulton. Didn’t skip a beat) so we did what we could with what brake fluid we had left and bled all four corners with the pedal not really improving.

Session 4 came and immediately down the pit lane the brakes did not feel good at all. I thought maybe getting some heat into the pads would improve things. Which they did to start with. But the brakes deteriorated pretty quickly. I decided not to waste the session and see what I could do with the brakes in the current condition. Double/ triple pumping The pedal gave an “OK” pedal (not great, not terrible…) but no real confidence in the brakes overall. Started a hot lap and was doing okay, not really any traffic so no real danger of tangling with another car.

Coming down the last straight into Roberts. Pedal went to the floor. On the 2nd/3rd press we just went over a dip in the circuit (you can see it as your driving down, there are two distinctive humps in the circuit) which installed the car and I had to abort going right towards esses. That was the end of that session. Too dangerous to continue.

So. Lesson learned. Every round has had a lesson to be learned. From Every nut and bolt that rattles itself loose. Tracking and camber that forever changes and now brake fluid which must be changed every 2/3 rounds.

Whilst I remember… we started to develop a misfire in session 2 which progressively got worse as the day went in. Plugs checked and appeared to be fine but a new set went in anyway. Will have to diagnose a bit more into that, maybe HT leads, dizzy cap or rotor arm.

Bit disheartening, but atleast we are learning whilst the car is at its current power level.

Back in the workshop and touch it in a couple weeks time maybe. See how it goes.

Brands hatch next month? Who knows….

keen of The double header at Snetterton though.

Thanks to Neil Young, Ash Gedney, Luke Broughton & Alexey for team support today.