Saturday 29th June 2019, Ballymena.
- Car: HB D819
- Radio: Sanwa M12s
- Engine: Novarossi Rolling
- Fuel: Piranha
- Tyres: Schumacher Spirals / Mini Spikes & Pins
- Oil: XTR – Ronnefalk v2
Round 3 of NIMCC 1/8 Off-road Summer 2019 Championship – with 4 from 6 to count.
Following a poor round 1, the previous round (round 2) was much better, finishing 2nd overall. This was the aim (or close enough!) for round 3, but it didn’t quite go to plan!
The weather was yet again problematic! A wet track (horrendous shower from 8am until 10.45am, with thunder and lightning, and the threat of more alternative in the afternoon actually lead to a shortened race meeting) although by the 2nd round of heats the track was virtually dry!
First day out with the Novarossi Rolling – which had been bathed in the EBIS by Bryan (thank you again Bryan) – and it needed its break in finished before having a race tune set. Thank you to Alan who sorted out the break in and settings throughout the morning.
I fitted a new flywheel, clutch, etc and got it dropped into the car after a few laps in the car before removing the OS. No issues putting it in, though like the OS, it needed a fair few shims – both shimming out and shimming in on the crank.
The first job, once linkages were set and a new filter was oiled and installed, was to idle the engine for a full tank (and a little), before getting it onto the track. A full tank through it while very rich, and things seemed good. In to the pits after a tank for cool down and then a quick tweak and back out.
This was pretty much repeated throughout practice, with the engine only just doing 7 mins or so before the start of heat 1. But it was spot on, and as it was wet there wasn’t too much risk of pushing it too hard!
Disastrous start to the day! A wet track and with silver spirals fitted, it was probably important not too push too hard – but yet I still tried to drive faster than I am capable of! Nothing other than me caused this! Spent more time hitting jumps wrong, upside down or generally just off the racing line throughout the heat! Managed 12 laps, 5th overall in round 1 and some learning to take from this.
The track was a mix of wet and dry. Mini spikes were what I opted for here and it seemed to work well. Started well, but a roll after taking the double after the main straight, near the end of the heat, left me a long way away from our busy marshalls (we didn’t have many!) and this cost me quite a few seconds – but most others also appeared to struggle with roll being on spirals, so I got off with this and took 2nd overall in round 2, with my only 13 lap heat of the day. Car felt super here and generally very easy to drive.
The track was now pretty dry, though slippy in a few spots. I just about managed to change tyres to (Yellow) mini pins (I felt it was a tad too dry for large spikes and silver compound) before this heat kicked off, but since realised that I hadn’t changed the ride height, camber link positions (up on the shock tower to allow it to absorb the roll better) and the droop was quite high – all this resulted in a pretty edgy car and a very nervous me trying to keep it clean – but it worked well!
I knew at this stage I needed to take 2nd or at least 3rd to finish inside the top 3, which I’m sure was putting more pressure on myself than was required to keep it clean and tidy!
Drove well and set 5x 30.x second laps throughout the heat with a fairly respectable average lap time, until the last 2 laps!! Buggy 1 below:
Ended up with my last lap not registering, leaving me with a 76.5s lap at the end instead of 2 laps, to get me the 13 laps and 2nd place. Not sure why it didn’t count but the lap times so throughout the heat we’re pretty awesome compared to the last 2, so that’s a positive – especially as the car was mainly setup for a wet track!
Unfortunately, due to very low numbers and expected thunder and lightning, we opted for a shortened meeting – with 3 heats run and standings after these to stand as final results (best 2 from 3 to count).
Ended up in P4 on a countback of rounds (the other one of the three that didn’t count in this instance), and this seemed fair enough, with Alan, Adam and Gordy all with more pace and better consistency than I had throughout.
Well done to Alan on another convincing win and also a super quick 27.9s to add to the list of fastest laps around our track with his Novarossi Mephisto powered HB Racing machine.
Thanks to Mervyn with the fuel bottle all day. Much appreciated.
Novarossi Rolling almost completely sorted now after the day at the track, and we move on to the next round of the series.
NIMCC Round 4 – 13th July 2019 @ Ballymena
RCCAOI Round 3 – 20th/21st July 2019 @ Cork