BTCC Cotswolds 21/4/13

First race of the series, and a good result by my standards.

I decided to enter boosted rather than blinky, simply because the boosted entry in the BTCC (effectively the national warm-up) is much stronger. I’d rather race in a field of 70 than a field of 10. I also think that 17.5 blinky is too slow on a big outdoor track, any class where you are at full revs for half the straight is underpowered and turns into a motor war.

Conditions were good with a dry track at the start of the day, cool temperatures and a bit of shade meant the first round times were a bit slower but I still managed a 17-lapper in every run and broke into the 17-second barrier for individual laps for the first time.  Made a small mistake on my fresh-tyre run in Round 3 which cost me a couple of seconds and a bit of track position, and I lined up 9th in the B-final – a result I was very pleased with. Finals went alright, I didn’t get a particularly quick start in either of them but managed to take advantage of attrition and mistakes to move up to 5th in the first leg (after a dramatic last lap that saw me up into 4th for the length of the main straight before I succumbed to a classy passing move) and 3rd in the second leg. That left me on 8 points overall – and would you believe that I was tied with the winner! Unfortunately all of the top 5 were tied with the winner, and with qualifying position as the tiebreaker I ended up 5th and out of the trophies. Again.

Good banter and a good day out was had by all (in the end)!

This is my setup from the day. I ran the car with the flex chassis and heavier damping at the club meeting the week before. The harder chassis and lighter damping seemed more responsive, perhaps more confidence inspiring, and the body change to a Blitz TSX from a battered Blitz XFR may have also helped – but I doubt the changes made any significant difference to my laptimes, I was still the best part of a second a lap off the fastest in the class. Frustrating, but I’m just going to have to learn to deal with it – I’ve always been about a second a lap off the best, and I doubt I’m going to get much quicker at the age of 37!


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