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    Brands Hatch Mini Festival

    Brands Hatch Mini Festival

    Friday Test day, good to get back into the car and dial yourself both into the car and the circuit. 

    Luke managed a couple of very slow laps, before returning to the pits with a serious lack of power.
    On inspection the team found our turbo had decided to destroy itself, on further investigation they noticed metal in the oil, meaning a complete engine change was needed, and to add insult to injury our gearbox also needed attention and parts replaced.
    Our mechanics worked into the early hours of the morning finally having the engine in place around midnight, unfortunately when they tried to start her up nothing happened, the new engine needed a different wiring loom, so back to work they went, finally finishing at 1.30 in the morning.
    Saturday arrived and straight into qualifying we went, needed to bed-in new brakes, new engine, and tyres, Luke finished 16th, not great but first time out this weekend, and had lots to do.
    Race 1 - Car still not up to speed and Luke finished in 17th. Not a great day, the car still seemed a bit off the pace, we guess due to the spare engine not being as good as our usual.
    Sunday Race 2 - Some more changes to the car over night saw Luke drive a great race, fighting his way through and finishing in a fine 9th place. 
    Race 3 - Our prayers were answered, it was now pouring with rain, a great leveller, meaning our power problem would not be such an issue. Starting 9th Luke made a fantastic start and saw him race through the pack in two laps he was up to 5th, looking super confident and much faster than the cars infont of him. 4th place made a mistake and Luke seized his chance and went through, unfortunately getting pushed off the track, worse still giving Luke a puncture in the process. Race over. 

    This was not how we planned the weekend, still even with an old spare engine, in the rain, he could have gone all the way, surely our luck has to change soon.
    Onwards to Donington we go.
    A massive thank you to those who turned up in support, and especially JD Fireservices, Credo Financial, MyLifeRaft, HRX, Saxon Motorhomes, Coms Case and Inaga, whom without there help none of this would be possible. A special thanks to our race team, these guys grafted all weekend for us, as they always do. 

    Brands Hatch

    Brands Hatch

    The team gave our car the once over after Oulton Park, it was discovered there was a fault with the Turbo, Luke was 20bhp down on the competition. This explained a lot, this problem was quickly fixed. Also for the Brands round we refreshed our livery and added some new partners to our team, Inaga a fantastic local restaurant and a warm welcome to Draper Tools. 

    This race meetings headline act was the German Touring Cars, state-of-the-art racing machinery, insuring there would be a bumper crowd for us. We had warm up and qualifying on Saturday and 2 races on Sunday.
    Warm up saw Luke quickly get to grips with grand prix track, great pace, finishing 3rd fastest. 
    Qualifying did not go quite to plan and both of Luke's hot laps got baukled by slower cars, ending up 8th. 
    Race 1 - Luke made a good start and maintained position for the first few laps, then started to fall back, fighting to keep up with the cars around him. Finishing in 10th position, once back with the team we discovered the power steering had failed, the ECU was not working causing a small power issue. 
    Race 2 - For this race we were carrying the on-board camera for channel 4. A good start saw Luke stay with the lead pack, better still fight his way through into 6th place, finishing a respectable 7th. A good weekend, but could have so much been better without the issues. Look forward to the next round in 2 weeks time, the 25th and 26th
    The next round sees us again at Brands Hatch, this time its the Mini Festival and we are the main event, with Qualifying and race 1 on Saturday and 2 more races on Sunday. 

    Oulton Park Round 5

    Oulton Park Round 5

    ts been a long break since our last race meeting. 

    For round 5 we are back at Oulton Park, this time on the shorter Island layout, a great circuit but not easy to overtake making Qualifying very important. 
    This race meeting was a one day affair, qualifying first thing then 2 races during the day. 
    We tested the day before, settling Luke back into race mode, and finished the day very happy, on the pace.
    Qualifying - As soon as the session had started yellow flags were waving, within 5 Min's the red flags came out temporally halting the session. Luke running 3rd at this point, though we knew everyone would go faster. With the session back underway on his first flying lap the car in front of Luke went off, then directly on right in front of him putting an end to that lap, then another red flag, session stopped. 
    We had now dropped to 10th with 4 minutes to go, two flying laps would be possible, it was important to makes these count. Off they went and Luke quickly set to work pushing on as he started his first flying lap, unfortunately pushing too hard, he had a moment round the back part of the circuit and damaged his tyres, session over for us, leaving us in 13th, not how we had panned it.
    Race 1 - Using the last of our good tyres Luke started well quickly moving into 11th, putting pressure for the whole race on the car in front, eventually finishing in 10th. Not a bad result but had qualifying been better so would the race.
    Race 2 - A good start turned into the first corner and the car suffered a loss of power letting 5 cars past us, this sorted itself out and I am glad to say didn't happen again, but the damage was done and Luke finished in 13th, on very old tyres compared to everyone around him. 
    We finished both races, not exactly as we hoped, and are now sitting 9th in the championship. Next we move to our home circuit, Brands Hatch, for round 6 and two weeks later round 7. We know what to do, and we will do it, come and watch it happen!

    Silverstone

    Silverstone

    Round 4 took us to Silverstone, two races on the Grand Prix circuit. 

    The longest lap in our season, with the longest straights will make qualifying interesting. 
    Qualifying went well with Luke posting 4th fastest only to be pushed back to 5th at the last minute. Still very happy with that, knowing our race pace is always better than our qualifying.
    Race 1 - An ok start saw Luke slip to 6th and get caught out drifting on cold tyres, there was a long way to go so no real problem. Battling back into position Luke unbelievably, once again got hit from behind, this time sending him into his unsuspecting team mate, finishing our race and hindering his. Luke got the car back to the pits but the damage was done and our race was over. 
    The damage was much worse than we first thought, our amazing team set to work through the night to get Luke onto the grid for Race 2 on Sunday. The guys sneaked in an hours sleep at around 5am then back on it at 6. Fantastic team effort.....really above and beyond..
    Race 2 - Luke starting 23rd certainly had his work cut out, but was looking forward to the challenge ahead. Unfortunately two cars collided on the warm up lap delaying the start by 5 minutes, then to add insult to injury the second warm up was the start of the race the time was now ticking by, and by the time the grid was ready to go we only had 9 minutes left. Once the race was under way so was Luke and with the bit between his teeth he started making his way through the pack, unfortunately another accident brought out the safety car and another delay, so in the end we had a lap and a half of racing which saw Luke go from 23rd to 11th, a superb effort, such a shame we didn't get the full race distance, who knows how far we would have made it.
    Surely our luck has to change, we wont give up, with the support of the team, our amazing sponsors and friends we head to the next race meeting at Oulton Park with huge expectations.

    What a weekend

    What a weekend

    After the last meeting Luke's car needed a new shell, meaning a compete car re-build, which our team completed in time for the next meeting, round 3 at Snetterton.

    Friday's test was more of a shake down checking the car over and making sure everything was in working order. This was needed, we had a few issues during the day, all being resolved as the day went along.
    Saturday and Qualifying didn't quite go to plan, we still had a brake issue to resolve, Luke qualified in 11th position. Not quite as we had hoped but at least we thought the car was now up to speed.
    Race 1 - Luke was chosen as one of the camera cars for the channel 4 programme, which means you will be able to see Luke charge through the pack to a fantastic 5th place.
    Race 2 - The top 6 cars were reversed putting Luke in P2, a front row start. Both of the drivers in front of us in the championship had had issues meaning we were looking in great shape. A good start saw Luke slip into 2nd behind his teammate. Luke getting pressure from behind but it was all under control or so we thought, when heading down the back straight Luke got literally smashed off from the driver behind, and absolute kamikaze manoeuvre putting both cars out of the race, not only a dangerous move which could have ended a lot worse, it cost Luke a podium, and the lead in the Championship.
    It was looking like a win, and moving into the lead of the championship, but even though it finished with a DNF, we still showed fantastic pace. If anything this was spur us and our fantastic team on for the next round in two weeks time at Silverstone