Silverstone Round 1 Sports 2000 Championship (8-9 April 2017).
UWTSD students turned up Thursday to be bright and fresh for the testing Friday morning. We had a beautiful, bright and sunny weekend, the first race weekend of the season. With a massive grid of 35 cars, the competition is really heating up.
Initially things didn’t start well for the team. During the testing on the Friday we had clutch and alternator problems and a rear wheel coming loose on track, this gave us some work to do! The team was working hard with the assistance of Clive to overcome these problems so we could continue testing. With earnest effort from the team we managed to successfully overcome the problems, it was welcome relief to find no such issues going into qualifying on Saturday.
Saturday started cold, freezing even! Qualifying went smoothly, starting race 1 in 6th, not bad considering the problems in practice! Thankfully the car was running smoothly with no mechanical problems.
We had an exciting first race. The race started well. With a solid start and first few laps, Tim was in 4th. However oil was dropped by one of the Pintos which meant the final sector of the circuit had been catching drivers out with several spins, and Tim was one of them! The next lap on the same corner a lapped car in front of Tim braked to avoid contact with a spinning Giles Bilingsly, catching Tim by surprise! Luckily, damage was minimal & both cars continued. Performance was unaffected and Tim brought it home in 6th, a great result from difficult circumstances.
When the car came in the team inspected the damage. The car was wounded, with a hole in the nose cone, but nothing that a bit of gaffer tape couldn’t sort out. The team got creative whilst repairing the front body work and the car ended up with a pair of eyes. The team decided to also re-name the car ‘Lightening Bertie’.
Sunday was windier, and getting hotter. With the race starting at 2pm, the sun was starting to take its toll, with a few red lobsters in the paddock.
Finally the cars lined up on the grid, whose positions were decided by the finishing positions in the first race, so Tim lined up in 6th. The 35 cars took a very long time to line up, then even more delays as marshals sorted out issues on the grid, all the while engines getting hotter & hotter, not to mention some drivers tempers! Another formation lap and then lights out! Tim got a great start and squeezed through to third position on the first corner! He built a solid gap and was looking very comfortable. Towards the end however, Bacon began closing in. A spinner rejoining the track in front of Tim made matters worse. Within a few laps, Bacon was back in front. Last lap, Gibbons takes the win… but Bacon goes into the pit lane! Bacon gets the last step on the podium only to get a DNF for not taking the Chequered flag on the circuit, handing Tim 3rd! The first podium finish!
Great drive from Tim, and a good start to the season! With many new members of the team, we can build on these solid results of 6th & 3rd, and are looking forward to a strong season!
Photos Courtesy of KJG Photography – www.kjgphotography.co.uk