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indigorallye
24-03-2010, 09:46 AM
This saturday sees the first two rounds of the BARC North West Sports and Saloons at Oulton Park, Cheshire.
The championship caters for all kinds of cars including an ex-DTM Opel Astra.
There are the usual suspects in the form of Caterfields, but also the lesser known cars such as Z-Car Minis and a few Vectra Challenge cars.

I am in class F which is for saloon cars upto 1600cc. My class rivals include four Fiestas (XR2's and XR2i's), a 205 GTi and a Banks Europa.

These will be my first races and just to finish will be an achievement.
The car still needs developing in certain areas, namely brakes and suspension. But it is my intention to just get out there and enjoy iy for now.

If anyone fancies popping along then feel free and make sure you come and say hello.
I will be the one in the forty foot Winnebgo motorhome and large marquee with seven mechanics working on the car, or maybe not!
Just look for the blue Rallye, number 78.

First practice- 0900-0915
Second Practice- 1055-1110
First Race- 1330 (20min race)
Second Race- about 1430 (20min race)

Bean0
24-03-2010, 10:03 AM
Good luck mate.

Look forward to some vids :)

Aleksandr
24-03-2010, 02:18 PM
Good luck dude!

Remember these wise words, if you're not first, you're last!

matfurio
24-03-2010, 09:09 PM
see you there Mike!

indigorallye
27-03-2010, 06:18 AM
Well I am sat here eating my Weetabix very nervously! Not long to go now.

I dropped the car off at the circuit yesterday and a couple of minor scrutineering issues were pointed out to me.
So, I need to get them rectified this morning. Nothing major, just my rain light is wired before the cut-off, and my fuel lines need covering in the cabin.
I also had a flat battery yesterday so I had to bring that home with me to stick on the trickle charger.

Nothing is ever simple eh!

Mankee
27-03-2010, 07:14 AM
Good luck matey! Quite a lot of motorsport happening today.

indigorallye
27-03-2010, 05:47 PM
Boo.
Head gasket went in second race.
Full report to follow later.

semtex
27-03-2010, 06:21 PM
how was it going up until then Mike ? Id have loved to come up and watch but we had two parties for Jess and Phoebe to attend :rolleyes:

indigorallye
27-03-2010, 08:41 PM
It was going great mate.
The day started off with a mad rush and bit of panic.
I had to re-wire my rain light and alter the fuel lines. This made me a little late for signing-on, which in turn made me late for scrutineering, which in turn made me late for the driver's briefing.
It all turned out well in the end- thank God.
So, then it was straight into first practice. My objective was to get the minimum of three laps done, keep it on the black stuff, and out the way of all the 'big' boys.
It went very well, the car was running great and handling very well. I was at about 70% as I didn't want to push too hard so early.
My best time was on my last lap and I put in a 1:29:729. The 205 I was gauging myself against did a 1:24:143.
Hmm, five seconds, although he did have a reputed 140 odd bhp.

So, onto second practice. I kept the set-up the same. My objective was to again do the minimum 3 laps, and then raise my level to about 85%.
Off we went again, spending half my time getting out the way of the big boys and constantly checking my mirrors.
I don't think I got one 'clean' lap but it wouldn't have made much difference.
I managed to put in a 1:21:827.
So that's near as dammit 8 seconds quicker. I was chuffed, and to put the icing on the cake I had qualified in front of the 205 (1:22:451).

I kept the settings the same again for race one. Thankfully the weather stayed dry, in fact it was pretty sunny.
I was at the back of the grid with the intention of just completing my first race. That soon changed though! Once I got some heat in the tyres the car was handling fantastic. I managed to carry more speed through the fast sections, and get on the throttle a lot earlier.
Things were going so well I started to close in on the 205. I slipstreamed him for a lap or two, then outdragged him down into Lodge. I nipped up the inside and made it stick. Fantastic. I eventually got my fastest lap time down to a 1:20:170 before the session was red flagged.
So that was the end of my firs race and it was awesome.

Next up, race two. I was starting in front of the 205 and had decided to raise my game again. We set-off on the formation laps and I was felling good.
Then the lights went green and there seemed to be a shortage of power. The car didn't feel right. I made the first corner and then there was a huge puff of white smoke. Uh-oh. I continued but the cabin began to fill with smoke too. So I nipped in to the pits to see if there was anything obvious causing the smoke. A bit of banging, and hitting later I went back out. Things were no better. Initial impressions are that the head gasket has gone. So I made it back round and parked it up in the pits. Gutted.

To summise, I am thoroughly addicted. I need more racing in my life and I can't believe it has taken me this long to get going.
The car needs work (headgasket and weight loss) which I can crack on with before my next race.

That's it for now. I'm knackered and want my bed.

Mankee
28-03-2010, 05:50 AM
That's really unlucky about the engine, but sounds like you had an awesome experience.

Aleksandr
28-03-2010, 09:17 AM
Well done dude, shame about the head gasket but onwards and upwards!

philmh
28-03-2010, 10:15 AM
Sorry to hear about ya head gasket, sounds like your having a lot of fun. All the best for your next race...when and where is it? :)

Benji
28-03-2010, 10:51 AM
Should we stick some cams in while the head is off? :)

Congrats btw, spoke to Wayne, he's also over the moon 2nd in Class in his 'Capuchino'.

indigorallye
28-03-2010, 07:51 PM
Should we stick some cams in while the head is off? :)
Congrats btw, spoke to Wayne, he's also over the moon 2nd in Class in his 'Capuchino'.

Going to stick the compression tester on it this week, see what the score is.
If it is the head is it worth going for the bigger valves too?

I thought Wayne's was more of a Latte than a Cappucino lol. It looked awesome, sounded awesome and went very well too.
I had a good chat with him in Parc Ferme and the work that's gone into it is phenomonal. That man has serious car building talent.


Video added.
This is the first couple of laps of my first race.

YouTube- NWSS Round 1.wmv

peteb
28-03-2010, 08:41 PM
Well done - looks great :D:D:D:D:D

indigorallye
28-03-2010, 08:49 PM
Well done - looks great :D:D:D:D:D

Cheers Pete.
Round 2 wasn't so good though:

YouTube- North West Sports & Saloons Round 2

Gareth Y
28-03-2010, 08:58 PM
Well Mr Nash, first of all well done. The official fan club of me, mark and Bris got quite excited first race when it was obvious that the 205 was holding up you and couldn't wait to see if u had past it lap on lap!!! Send me through the dates for the races ur doing as i have loads of leave to use at work, so can be your team management....see me as a Anthony Hamilton figure!!! Ha ha. Plus you have me thinking bad thoughts... Well done mate especially for beating the 205!!!

Benji
28-03-2010, 09:04 PM
If you've got time Gaz, bring the old blue over on a trailer for us :)

Cris B
29-03-2010, 11:40 AM
Well done Mike, I'm quite jealous :)

indigorallye
31-03-2010, 12:16 AM
Plenty of photos here. (http://www.mattsayle.co.uk/gallery/2010/motorsport/BARC%20Oulton%20Park%2027th%20March%202010/)
I may order one or two ;)

Dave P
31-03-2010, 01:01 AM
Well done. :)

My observations... remember to use all the track, dont back off so much around other cars, dont be scared to get up close & personal with other cars... your not driving on the road, ie, be more aggressive. ;)

indigorallye
31-03-2010, 08:04 AM
That's all well and good saying that, but when it's your first race, yo're being watched by the MSA observers and you have had the 'gypsies' warning about driving behaviour then you would tend to go a bit easy.
I certainly didn't want to end up ruining the battle at the front.
One of the other novices came away with points on his license for a minor indiscretion- they were watching us like hawks.

peteb
31-03-2010, 12:31 PM
Take it easy till you know more about the car at speed etc etc fricking obvious

semtex
01-04-2010, 09:38 PM
Well done. :)

My observations... remember to use all the track, dont back off so much around other cars, dont be scared to get up close & personal with other cars... your not driving on the road, ie, be more aggressive. ;)

totally agree, your car is now a tool so dont worry about the odd knock or rub here and there , fairplay mike im impressed though i will definately be up to watch at some point , do you want to use the bullet cam inside the car to save weight ?

indigorallye
02-04-2010, 07:38 AM
I disagree. It ain't touring cars or stock hatch and it was my first race. My objective was to finish, not piss anyone off with a 'bit of rubbing'. It is a none contact sport. And as mentioned earlier, the Msa observers were watching us like hawks.

Dave P
02-04-2010, 12:02 PM
I'm totally against any form of contact during circuit racing, i wouldn't encourage that at all.

You were just being overly cautious then?

semtex
02-04-2010, 12:27 PM
Im not saying bang into them

indigorallye
02-04-2010, 12:38 PM
As per my 'report' I decided before the race to go out and push to 85% max. I wanted to keep out the way of the quicker cars.
We were also told that repeated '2 wheels off' would incur a talking to, whereas repeated '4 wheels off' would incur a little more.

Gareth Y
02-04-2010, 12:39 PM
Its difficult to tell from the video, but from personally watching the race the speed differentials between the different classes is immense. You had a full ex works german audi A4 touring car against a virtual road car 106 rallye. It would be stupid, let alone costly to try and play games for the sake of a bit of male ego of i kept him behind for a corner by cutting him up. You are constantly looking in your mirrors which takes the focus of your driving. This was all compounded by the fact it was the small circuit.

Also most people will have done track days, where you pull over and you always get a knob on them coming up the inside and thats bad enough........now times that by 30 cars all wanting the racing line and alot faster than you and totally out braking you....very difficult for a total novice.

Mike's only real competition was the 205 which he passed.

The season is long and no points for smashing the car up by pushing 100% on its first outing for car and driver.

Dave P
02-04-2010, 06:39 PM
No one's playing games Gareth, its a race, your allowed to go up the inside & round the outside of folk on the brakes!

After the start Mike was reeling in a yellow XR2 also sporting a novice cross on its boot lid (same class?) but by the end of the clip you couldn't see the XR2 as it was so far ahead. :(

Mike should aim to be in front of that fiesta next time out.

Maybe i'm just a lunatic driver and see things differently from other folk? :confused:

Gareth Y
03-04-2010, 09:40 AM
No one's playing games Gareth, its a race, your allowed to go up the inside & round the outside of folk on the brakes!

Exactly, you have answered my point I was trying to make, so for my mikes first race that very fact is very daunting....especially when the cars that are going up the inside, round the outside etc etc consist of a 100k audi a4 and various other nice moto's id be rather cautious aswell as to smash into one of them, cause them to go off etc etc would be a very costly mistake.

The race itself you have to use racecraft to work out when to let the faster cars go as you can loose so much time messing around with them...so call it games, tatical whatever you want....its a big part of the race and can affect you position massively.

Dave P
04-04-2010, 02:10 PM
I think Mike has the mental capability not to smash into any other cars & his car doesn't have 100k race car magnets fitted to it so dont worry... these more expreienced drivers will easily find their way past him with minimum fuss.

I'm just saying he needs to be less cautious and more aggressive on track.

indigorallye
04-04-2010, 06:13 PM
I think we are all pushing against an open door here.
I do need to be less cautious in future races, however my lines are all good so I don't need to use more track.
I also think that aggressive is the wrong choice of word; maybe more ascertive would be a better choice.
Either way I am looking to be with the XR2 next race.
In respect of the xr2, I am not quite sure what happened. I was with him early on and could have had him into lodge. But then once he got past the 205 he was away.

For further info the 205 ison twin 40's and running 'decent' power.

I do have a copy of the time sheets which I will post excerpts from later this evening.

Race 1, the XR2's fastest lap was seven seconds quicker than mine. He was 1:13 and I was 1:20.
That's a lot of time.
I don't know the spec of it, but will try and find out!

Gus
04-04-2010, 06:59 PM
Good start Mike, shame about the HG, but you have to expect teething problems :(

kiwi
04-04-2010, 10:00 PM
I think for your first event it was a case of a steep learning curve and you done well, i can imagine it was about geting your head around all the rules and regs first and the fun bit this time actually came last in the pecking order. Next time out im sure you will be looking to improve on your previous performance. Hardened drivers like Dave P im sure will have some advice for you, its up to you whether to take it or leave it. Welcome to the world of motorsport, i hope you have a large bank balance because i can bet your already thinking about your engine! LOL :D

indigorallye
05-04-2010, 06:30 AM
Cheers mate. I have been in motorsport before when I was sprinting & hillclimbing my old Rallye.
I don't know if Dave has done any circuit racing but it is a world apart from sprints.

kiwi
05-04-2010, 09:16 PM
Where are the regs for this championship? Can you enter one-off events? I fancy trying a bit of circuit stuff to see if i like it.

indigorallye
06-04-2010, 01:30 PM
I am in a north-west championship. The regs can be found on my website. Go to www.106maxi.co.uk, then click Championship, at the bottom there is a link to the regs.
I am sure that BARC run a south Wales championship too.
In mine you can enter one offs and registration is free.

kiwi
06-04-2010, 04:14 PM
There is a Wales section but they only do sprints and hillclimbs at llandow and pembrey both of which are not very exiting circuits.

indigorallye
06-04-2010, 05:21 PM
Www.wrda.co.uk