Time Attack 2021 Round 7

Following on from our last outing at Donny (brakes failed – terrible day overall) we investigated the brakes.
With nothing obvious at fault we decided to flush the brake fluid out of the system using some recommended fluids. The brake fluid that came out was pitch black in colour – odd as we changed it at the start of the season thrice to ensure the 20yr stuff was flushed out.
A quick test hit on the road and the brakes were in peak form again. Result!

We must of boiled the fluid at oulton resulting in the loss of brakes at Donny. Another amateur hour moment for Team GizFab – but we are using this year to get the feel for how circuit motorsport works and what maintenance is needed on the car. We will be adding a brake fluid change for sure every 2-3 rounds going forward.
Something that may seem obvious for some I’m sure. But we are open to the fact “we have no fuckin clue what we are doing…”. I keep meaning to get the sticker made for the Van….

On top of that we changed the oil and added some white line ARBs to improve cornering. We also installed some faster rated dampers in an effort to rectify the bouncing/ suspension oscillation we have been battling all year. (Spoiler alert. It didn’t)
Race day. Knowing that we are not currently competitive enough for a podium. I set myself some different objectives. Mainly to get that sub 1 minute lap time. The sessions today were quiet in comparison to earlier this year with peaking 19 cars in session. All at similar speeds.
Still feeling a bit uneasy about the brakes. I used the warmup session to gain some confidence in the car once again. Session cut short due to red flags. But enough seat time to get the feeling for the car again. Happy with that.

Before session two. We took the front end apart to add some more tension to the belt as it was slipping just before red line and remove the air dam/ splitter for testing purposes as I was curious how different the car would feel. (Spoiler alert – no notable difference)
We did our PB in session two. 1.00.33. Just 3 tenths off that lap time I was chasing. With a couple of cock ups I was confident that both me and the car had it in us to do it. Car performed faultless once again.

Round 3. Braking later and later into park seemed to be where I could gain the time I was looking for. With my solo on numerous laps showing all 5 green lights going into druids. 5 tenths up! Result! But I just couldn’t seem to string the remainder of the lap together and it was frustrating! I retired a few laps short of the finish due to fuel starvation on right hand corners (a trait the car has that we’ve not found time to fix yet)
For that 4th session. I decided to remove the wing. Everyone is telling me it’s worth 0.5 seconds. And that’s all I needed…
Going the 4 session I used the first lap to aggressively warm the tyres and brakes up. Then straight into the fast laps….I then did 7 solid “fast laps” with no cool down laps.
All I will say is. People who go on about wings not working on FWD cars are wrong. The car felt completely different without the wing. It felt fast and loose. And loose is fast (thanks Harry – days of thunder)

But. It was also un nerving. The car cornered like it had never done before. And it was just unsettling. With the wing the rear feels planted all of the time with no real need to think about what it’s doing. With the wing remove the rear felt slippy but controllable. I was getting more and more used to it as the session went on with what I could count 3 brown trouser moments but keeping it on the black stuff.

We ended the final session On a 1.00.66. But rather consistently might I add…

Feeling rather down that I didn’t succeed in reaching my target, but my god did I try…
I can only conclude that if I had started the day with the wing removed. Would I have gotten used to the new handling style? Maybe some damper and ARB adjustments would of rectified it. Would that have got me my sub 1 minute lap time? Or wouldn’t it have mattered. We won’t find out till next year.
Next is two finally rounds at snetterton. Another circuit I’ve not done before. I have some plans to give the engine a final send off if we have time.
Thanks for reading!