Thursday, 25 February 2010

Brands Test a Success - Eventually

Having no sleep the night before due to the excitement of achieving a childhood dream of driving the Brands Hatch Circuit in a car, we arrived in plenty of time to get a Garage in the pits.

After signing on and driving my sighting lap in a group of 5 behind an instructor, I set about driving the car in the dry for the first time.

It took until mid way through the second session before I found my braking points. In the third session I pushed the car hard and was not totally convinced with the brakes. I set about bleeding them with Josh Bell (my co-pilot for the day) where things did not improve throughout the morning. I was then joined by a number of friends in the afternoon, Mac Engledew, Aaron Dalrymple and a valued client, Rod Germany who all helped in trying to sort things out. We also used 21 PSI in the tyres where later I learned that last years competitors would have used between 26-30 PSI for the cold conditions. This would have only helped to gain grip earlier in the session, but would not have cured the Brake problems.

My long standing sponsor, Richard Grimes of Sidelines Automotive, turned up with the brains and quizzed me all afternoon after each session before I realised that I had made a significant change since our last outing at Bedford Autodrome.

I moved the brake pedal to enable me to practice 'heel and toe' which seemed to change the dynamics of the brake feel. After moving it back to the original setting, the last two sessions went really well, the only problem this time was that it was now snowing.

The car performed well during the day, the engine felt strong and I learned a lot about the track, even though I could only drive really hard in the afternoon.

Thank you once again to everyone who attended the day, assisted with the mechanical elements and took the 'mickey'. Special thanks go to Richard Grimes again and Rod Germany who attended but worked harder than I am sure they were expecting.

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