End of the 2018 UK Season and Spa
So that’s our first UK season done and dusted. We’ll do a proper review of the season after Spa, but it’s been quite an experience for us at least. Please let us know your views: what was good; what wasn’t; what we can improve and anything else you’d like to see. Please email us at email@example.com
The A1M turned out to be as awful as anyone could possibly have feared, although closing one of the UK’s main north south arterial routes on a Friday and a Sunday was an interesting approach to road management. But wasn’t Croft wonderful when we got there? Cold too – maybe there is something in the phrase “the Frozen North”? We haven’t been up there for a couple of years, and Tracey (the new circuit manager) has really sorted the place out since then. Smart, nice new lavatory & shower block (better than at home, one person quipped) with lashings of hot water. Talking to Tracey, there’s a lot planned at Croft over the next year or two, with a new building, improvements to the entrances: we look forward to seeing it all.
One of the key topics for the weekend turned out to be wheels. Or rather Wheel Failures. We had been planning a piece for this newsletter about lifing wheels; and how it is not a good idea to use the older wheels for racing. Typically, small nicks in the holes turn into stress fractures, which result in wholesale failure. You also find, if you turn a GoPro on the wheels, that the older wheels flex a lot more than new wheels, the welds and steel both fatigue over time, so the handling on older wheels isn’t as good, as well as the risk of failure going up dramatically.
What was new at Croft was the failure of some new wheels, and failing through the body of the metal, not at the holes. All wheels that failed need to be sent back to Citroen for investigation; please can the owners of those wheels get them back to us and we can forward them on to Citroen; we will report back when Citroen do. A common feature to all three wheels was significant dents to the rims, suggesting heavy kerb usage. We can’t emphasize enough that using kerbs in endurance racing is a pretty sure-fire way to end your race early. Not just from a wheel damage perspective, but the shock loads that it also imposes on the suspension, drive shafts etc can all lead to premature failure. It may feel racey; and it may even be faster for a few laps, but its not good practice in longer enduros.
What did you think? We were really pleased with the way that the four heats and final went. Driving standards were high overall, although track limit breaches were reported eighteen times by the marshals. The racing seemed to be good as well right up and down the field.
We will be running a couple of sprint events next year: probably one on the same weekend as an enduro (as per Croft); and one on a separate weekend, so that we can all see how it works and how popular it is.
You may not have noticed it, but for the first time this season, BARC supplied four track-based observers to report on track limits and driving standards. This will be standard practice next season, so that there is 100% consistency on reporting throughout the season and throughout each meeting. However hard we, as directors, try, we can’t be everywhere all the time, but we are determined to ensure that we maintain the highest level of driving standards possible in the series.
We are delighted to announce that the decision to disqualify Car 414, Team Green Racing and Car 384, Area Motorsport has been overturned on appeal; and replaced with a fine. This is consistent with the penalty applied at the touring cars meeting at Knockhill the previous weekend and, in the Club’s view, the correct penalty under MSA regulations for a safety infringement.
The final results are to be restated and published shortly.
Our season finale is in less than a week now. It is, we realise, too close to Croft, and we will ensure next year that we don’t have races in such close proximity. It only came about this year because we had a date at Donington that was cancelled shortly before we announced the calendar for the season; and that was all we could get at that point. We will endeavour not to do that again.
The final instructions and supplementary regulations for the wonderful season-closing race at Spa have been published and you can find them here; and we are hugely excited about it. For those of you who haven’t been before, wrap up warm, its always very cold at night there – we’ve had one year where it was minus ten degrees and we all carried on racing. It is a brilliant weekend and one we look forward to all year.
It’s going to be one of the biggest grids ever at Spa, so we should see some pretty exciting racing. Look forward to seeing you out there.
The C1 Racing Team