VR2U Racing was last out on track on 27 October 2019, ironically at Silverstone, 10 months ago! So much has happened between then and now, not least of which is the current covid pandemic. However, a positive consequence of the enforced isolation was having time to work on the car and a great deal was accomplished such as: removable bespoke airdam and splitter; ram air fed front brake discs; programmable and mapped ECU; bespoke rear ‘fastback’ cover for the engine bay; bespoke engine cold air intake system; rebuilt front and rear suspension including powder coating all components and refitting with polyurethane racing bushes; stripped and rebuilt drive shafts; etc, etc! As the photos show, the car looks different with far more purpose and poise.
As a consequence of all the changes that have been made, it has totally transformed the car’s handling to the point where we are virtually back to square one with respect to the set up. Frustratingly track time has been hard to come by with track days being fully booked months in advance so progress has been slow. Subsequently, when it came to qualifying for the first race of the year at Silverstone International, I was struggling to set a competitive time with a tail happy car and ended up 32nd out of a total of 47 cars, 9th out of 11 Class C cars; not very inspiring! Having said that my qualifying lap time beat my previous personal best by 0.34 seconds which was at least heading in the right direction!
In the break between qualifying and the race Dave managed to free off some stubborn adjustment rings on the coilovers and made some changes to the ride height in the hope that it would stabilise the back end of the car. The race started with a rolling start, a first for me and the first few laps were encouraging with a couple of Class C places gained. However, one of those was eventually lost although I enjoyed a clean and close battle but have to confess to being disappointed at not being able to retain the place.
Overall the car felt more stable so the adjustments we made were beneficial. I managed to shave off a hefty 0.83 seconds off my qualifying lap time, which again, was a real plus. Unbeknown to me, however, the front offside damper had failed and whilst I was unaware of this at the time, it would have undoubtedly had a significant effect on the cars handling, especially in the left hand corners.
Due to a couple of incidents leaving a few cars stranded in the gravel, a safety car was deployed and a good tactical decision to pit early paid off. I eventually finished 17th overall, 6th in Class C. I was just a few seconds behind the next two Class C cars but a significant way off the front 3 runners so there is work to be done to achieve a podium finish. As ever, it was fantastic to have such excellent support from Dave and his mechanical expertise is legendary. I would have been struggling to change the car’s set up if he hadn’t been there and been so willing to get stuck in.
Unfortunately the next planned Roadsports event at Anglesey in September has been cancelled due to Covid so the next race will be at Snetterton in October. I am looking forward to this and hope to be able to improve on the Silverstone result with a podium finish always being the main aim.