Saturday 24th August 2019, Ballymena.
- Car: HB D819
- Radio: Sanwa M12s
- Engine: Novarossi Rolling + Pipe
- Fuel: Piranha
- Tyres: Schumacher Mini Pins (trimmed)
- Oil: XTR – Ronnefalk v2
Round 5 of NIMCC 1/8 Off-road Summer 2019 Championship – with 4 from 6 to count.
Was looking to get back to it after a tough weekend in Navan the weekend before. I reverted back to my normal setup for NIMCC, but opted for slightly higher front and centre diffs, leaving: 10k, 10k, 3k.
It was warm and dry from the outset, but a little bit of rain left the track a little damp in practice. I was still running mini pins, yellow with 1 row off the rear and 3 row inside out at the front. They felt good.
Practice went well, with no issues, although I played about a little with ride height front links. Opted for longer front links for the first time as the track had started to dry. Had lots of steering, but suspect this was a result of the lack of trimming on the pins – hindsight.
Heat one the track had lots of grip. More than I expected it to have and I opted for new mini pins – 2 rows trimmed inside and out on the front but with only one outer row trimmed on the rear made the car very happy on steering and grip roll was an issue. I suspect I had hoped for the same levels of grip as in early practice when the skiff of rain appeared, but it didn’t take long for a bone dry track. Generally everything else felt good, but I was slower than I needed to be (14 laps).
Before round 2, I had changed to more worn and more trimmed pins. The front diff oil was changed from 10k to 15k to remove that extra bit of initial steering, and it worked a treat. Didn’t make many mistakes here and was generally happy to take P2 in Heat 2 of 3.
The car remained unchanged for round 3 and it was every bit as good. I wasn’t however! A few mistakes cost me here, one of which was caused my a wasp (i’d already been stung twice during practice in the same ‘wasp attack’ I.e. the hateful little b……… flew down the back of my hoodie! #hoodsUpFromThatPoint
Overall qualifying after 3 rounds left me in P3 on the grid. Was very happy and double checked everything for the final (almost!).
An absolute nightmare from P3. Car flamed out on the starting grid. Got it in and started and out 1 lap down on the rest of the field. Started to push hard and while making an odd mistake I had lapped the last car afternoon about 6/7 mins to go into 6th. As I caught 5th place, we tangled and closed the gap. Only to flame out again at 8 mins – high grip, warm day but not enough in the tank to do any longer! Car back in and started. Out again and I had 8 good minutes. Was less than a lap down on Gordon and gaining on that 4th spot when the car stopped again at 16 mins. It didn’t start well and enough was enough!
Ended up being a simple failed glowplug and in hindsight I should have changed it when the trusty Novarossi didn’t start as easily a second it normally does before the race. Extremely disappointed as I needed a strong finish, and was very happy to take P3 after some close racing in quali with Adam and Gordon. But – that’s racing. Shake down, few weeks off and back to it to complete the summer season with Round 6.
Well done to Alan Scroggie for his TQ and win with his HB D817v2. Pushed to the limit on this occasion, with no more than 5s at any point between him and another HB Racing Team member in Andrew McLean. Andrew was out for only his second outing in his new HB D819 with a Novarossi Mephisto Engine, and pushed Alan harder than he’s probably been pushed all year. A great winter series lies ahead if that’s the racing that will continue. Adam Stewart (TLR) took a comfortable 3rd in the end. Well done guys.
We move on to the next race, a number of weeks away on 21st September 2019:
NIMCC Round 6 – Final Round of Summer 2019 @ Ballymena