To Finish First, First you’ve got to Finish

Saturday, March 7, 2020 was actually a very special day for us.  Why you may ask?  Well, its been quite a while since I can say that I actually entered a race and actually finished both heats and the car is still in one piece but needing some engine adjustments as is the norm in motorsport.

On the Friday before race day I went out after lunch to test the setup we had made to the car since the Passion for Speed event held in February.  Mostly I was happy but never entirely satisfied always wanting the little extra edge.  I came back in after posting a best time of only 1:38.263 but honestly felt that the engine was lacking that crisp edge.  Well, we decided to make further changes once the car had cooled down in the hope that it would do the job.  I had to wait until just after 4PM before I would find out so back into my baby-grower I got (as if it wasn’t hot enough already) and again went out to test for the second time. Lo and behold on lap 3 I managed to post a 1:36.976 which I was satisfied with.

Saturday started off nice and cool but it wasn’t for very long before the mist had burned off and soon the sun was baking once again.  Qualifying was off at 10h00 but for some reason I could only manage a 1:37.623 which still gave me pole for class E.  

Race 1 was only off at 13h40 which by that time it was well into the high 27 degree temperature.  We had by then tried different jetting, different ignition timing but in the end we landed up back at square one with the same settings that we started off with.  Although I managed to get away at the start and kept ahead of Neil Mouton in the Alfa Guilia, on every right handed the car would bog down and Neil would drastically close the gap to me which meant I had to do it all over again on the next lap. This carried on for the full 8 laps but in the end I managed to beat Neil by a mere 1.01 seconds to the finish line while posting a best lap time of 1:37.052 in the race.

We had some work to do for race 2.  Try as we may with the fuel pressure regulator, we could not get the fuel pressure to stabilise at 4 psi.  So we changed the fuel pump.  Still no change.  In the end, we borrowed a fuel tank, replaced the pump, raised the tank level and readjusted the fuel pressure which then seem to work satisfactorily for some odd reason.  We again checked the ignition timing which was still exactly the same as before race one and that was as best as it was going to get.

Race 2 was underway at 16h10 and again I was able to get ahead from the line, through turn 1 and also through turn 2 but going into turn 3 its literally died on me.  Coming out of T3 it caught its breath again but by now Neil Mouton had passed me and was already 2 cars ahead of me.  I put the bit between my teeth and peddled that Datti to my absolute hearts content.  Generally I am a fair late braker but there were times I honestly thought I had over cooked it and ran too hot into T2 and T5 especially.  I eventually caught Neil going on the outside of T2 in traffic and coming out of T3 had made up 2 place and moved from P23 to P21.  I could hear the engine sounding off by lap 6 but I managed to hold out for a second class win on the day which brought a smile to my dial, something I had not done for quite a while.

Totally knackered from the heat and with my boet also not feeling well by late afternoon we decide to rather head home, have a cold one and relax after a great day all said and done.  It was an absolutely and thoroughly enjoyable day to have been back with a class win at long last.

Till next time then.

Thanks ‘Boet

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