Another weekend of red hot racing!
I didn’t expect to come from Dubai with pale skin and return with healthy tan (well.. sunburn really) but that’s what happened last weekend. Fortunately for all, the Mother of all Marquees (MOAM) was used as sunshade rather than monsoon refuge. Will the Race of Remembrance at Anglesey be so kind in November?
Congratulations to McAttack Racing (347) on their win in the 5hr race on Saturday, completing 197 laps in total. In the end a 24 second lead over the battle-scarred Old Hat Motorsport (321) car sealed McAttack’s victory and their superb best lap of 1.25.452 was also the fastest in the race, although a little shy of their own staggering pole position time of 1:25.015 in qualifying.
Third place went to Kraken Motorsport (411) who were another 47 seconds behind the Old Hats. Once again a combination of consistent speed, lack of contact, efficient pit work and cunning strategy paid dividends. Special mention must go to the Bengineering (309) team: after curiously claiming the circuit was boring after qualifying they went on to take a very respectable 4th place, beating a number of teams with much shinier race support vehicles.
The 2hr race on Sunday was a similarly close affair, with just 19 seconds covering the first 3 finishers. Victory went to Old Hat Motorsport (321) completing 80 laps in total and with an impressive fastest lap of 1.25.902 Second went to the snappily-titled “Gala Performance With Amigo Motorsport” (380) team just 15 seconds behind, and third to the Absolute Alignment (346) car driven faultlessly by C1 Racing pioneer Chris Dear. Just outside the Top 3 was Ben Atkinson in the Bengineered Bengineering (309) car.
All in all a really fun weekend of tight racing and yet again we saw evidence of the inherent fun and reliability of the C1 platform. Cars were driven flat out in hot and harsh conditions, yet we counted just two mechanical failures during the seven hours of racing. A driveshaft and a buzzed engine, but we can hardly blame the engine for protesting at being over-revved on a downshift.
Driving standards have improved… but are being watched
The Club felt that driving standards were much better in the 5hr race at Pembrey, and better still at the 2hr race on the Sunday… Had the naughty drivers gone home, or had you noticed that track limits and contact were being spotted by the pink-clad DSOs and being reported? Whatever the reason, we’re happy to see an improvement – it will be good for the club longer term, and of course will keep your costs down. The directors will continue to be involved in the racing to watch developments and retain a frame of reference for the feedback that we receive from other drivers. We believe this is important. One thing everyone MUST do is read the driving standards policy here.
Some of you have confessed to NOT having read the document. You cannot win if you don’t know what the rules are. The DSOs noted hundreds of track limit violations and reported tens of the them. This resulted in a number of driver cautions, black flags and drive-through penalties.
The feedback from the director participating in the race was that driving standards were broadly excellent. There was not excessive blocking, and contact seemed largely due to mistakes and/or running out of talent rather than mal-intent. Over the course of the year, as drivers gain endurance racing experience, we’re sure that the contact will continue to improve. We’re still a bit puzzled as to why there are drivers telling us about bad driving and not being able to provide evidence. Get a camera in the car then we can follow-up on examples of deliberate or incompetent contact! Any post-race comments on driving standards please drop a line to us at email@example.com with the subject line “driving standards”.
Scrutineering will get more sophisticated as the year goes on
As well as the general car observations over the weekend, we checked a number of things on the first three cars and others at random. Plugs, filters, ride heights, camber, tyres brake pads were all checked this time around. Different things will be checked each time and we are conscious that we want to check a number of items on engines, gearboxes and ECUs. Any cars found not to have adhered to the technical regulations will be subject to the procedures that we have published. If it is particularly egregious we will issue a public censure of the team. At Pembrey all the cars were found to be within the regulatiion and no formal advisory notices were issued. We have come up with some clever ways to check internals and other more subtle cheats, so don’t be tempted. You have been warned.
HuTag…. better try harder!
We must apologise for the HuTag failure at the 5 hour at Pembrey. Seemingly no amount of running around, extension cabling or number of wifi repeaters could make the system work reliably on Saturday. We felt particularly bad having asked you all to cough up to buy the tags. We had a new set of technical issues that weren’t present either on the Friday test day or when testing with dummy tags. The system was working again on Sunday but we decided to implement a hard copy back up just in case of a new glitch, given the issues of the previous day this seemed to be the prudent approach.
The TSL guys at the circuit and back at base worked hard to provide a solution that was then proven to work during the Sunday race. We believe TSL has sorted the issue now so please bear with us. The longer-term benefits to getting this right are pretty obvious: no messing around with driver change forms (which is better for the crew and drivers) and easier identification of the driver in the car (which is better for everyone, particularly the fans who want to be able to follow their friends or favourite VIP drivers). In future, please be prepared to take direction from the marshals manning the exit lights, and importantly, be aware that the HuTag exit light is NOT the same as the pit lane exit light. The latter must be obeyed in all circumstances. Sadly one experienced driver innocently fell foul of this at Pembrey and received an 20 second penalty as a consequence. In future we will increase the physical separation between HuTag lights and end of pit lane to help avoid a similar situation.
Do you want to party?
It doesn’t seem like many of the C1 Club members need much help pulling together an impromptu party, but would you like the Club to organise an end-of-season / Christmas party? We have a pretty diverse mix of people, but perhaps some manner of dinner dance would work, and would give us the opportunity to hand out prizes. We note that some of you are keen to identify a 2018 C1 Challenge winner. While the rules around being a Challenge stop the Club from crowning a winner, we cannot stop the regular members of the “Unofficial C1 Racing Drivers and Fans” Facebook page identifying the same. Drop your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line “2018 end of season party”.
Looking forward to seeing you all at Snetterton on the 4th August.
The C1 Racing Team