Team MCR: Rounds Five and Six Review – Oulton Park

22.09.2015

After the summer break in the Sports 2000 Championship, the team made the journey to Oulton Park for the second double header of the season.

Team MCR: Rounds 5 & 6 Review – Oulton Park

Since the last race in July at Donington, the team had made a few alterations to the car. New lighter weight wheels had been sourced and new dive planes were added to the front bodywork.

Due to the race taking place halfway through the holiday period, the team was small in number but still had high levels of enthusiasm and determination for another good weekend of racing.

The Sports 2000 Championship was lucky enough to be in the garages in Oulton Park, which with the forecasted weather was very welcome. The team arrived on the evening of Friday 21st August and spent a few hours setting up the garage and getting the car ready for a busy Saturday.

As this was another busy double header, it meant the team had a packed day including one qualifying session and two races. The team ran through the final setup and spanner checked the car.

The weather forecast showed the potential for rain in the afternoon but it was dry for qualifying. Tim went out in the car and quickly posted the 7th quickest time, when sadly one of the Pinto cars had a crash at Shell Oil’s Corner. The session was red flagged to allow recovery of the car and for the barrier to be repaired.

After a short delay, the qualifying session restarted. During the red flag, Tim reported that he felt the rear brakes were failing, however, he felt that it was still safe to go back out and gain some more experience of the track, even if the lap times weren’t good. By the end of the sessions, Tim had done a number of laps but had qualified down in 25th position.

On returning to the garage, the team determined that the problem with the rear brakes was the rear brake master cylinder. There was only a short gap before the team’s first race, so it was a race against time to replace the brake master cylinder and bleed the brakes. The team worked incredibly hard and due to some delays in the race schedule were able to get the car ready to go for Race One.

The weather was still holding by this point, so the car lined up on the grid in 25th position ready for a dry race. At the first corner a number of cars spun and went off track but Tim was able to avoid them all.

After just a couple of laps, Tim had already progressed up to 16th place. By the halfway point of the race, Tim had managed to get to 9th.

Unfortunately with less than 10 minutes remaining, Tim had a spin at the first corner and lost two places on the track. Tim wasn’t the first or last driver to have a spin at this point on the track during Race One.

By the end of the race, Tim had regained a place and finished 10th. This was a great race after qualifying down in 25th position and the team were very pleased with the 15 places gained during the race.

On returning to the pits, Tim reported that he was still not 100% happy with the brakes and wanted them bled again. Also it was decided, as the weather forecast now showed the predicted thunderstorms to be arriving in the evening, that a new set of slick tyres was need to help with traction on the track.

During the first race Tim had also discovered that due to the gear ratios on the car, he was struggling to use the 5th gear anywhere on the circuit. Therefore the team worked exceptionally hard to change the 4th and 5th gear ratios between the two races.

Due to red flags and recovery issues during the other races taking places, the timetable was pushed back causing issues due to a racing curfew of 6.30pm at the circuit. By the time the race was started, the race had been reduced to 20 minutes.

Tim started the race in 10th position as a result of his Race One finish. By the end of the first lap, Tim had managed to get up to 8th position and was holding his place well.

One of the championship contenders, Cameron Davies, was working his way up the grid after a non-finish in Race One, meaning he had started near the rear in Race Two. Cameron was able to overtake Tim, resulting in Tim slipping to 9th. With just a few minutes remaining, Tim moved up to 8th and maintained this position until the end of the race.

After all the hard work the team had put in during the day, an 8th place was a good result and well deserved.

The team are now looking forward to the next race in Silverstone on the 13th September and hope to build on the steady results seen in the last few races.

The team would be delighted to see you at any of the remaining rounds of the 2015 season. If you are not able to attend any of the races remember that during race weekends you can follow live timings on the TSL website www.tsl-timing.com and regular updates are posted to the Swansea Motorsport Facebook page or the @UWTSD_TeamMCR Twitter page.

 

Remaining races of the Season

Silverstone GP Circuit

Sprint Race

13th September 2015

Brands Hatch Indy Circuit

Sprint Race

24th & 25th October 2015