Thank you all who made the Test Day at Rockingham such a success, although the glorious weather certainly didn’t hurt. We saw 57 cars out on circuit (which collectively made less noise than the single rather marvelous Aston Martin GT3 that was running in the other session); pretty good driving standards overall with only one material incident all day; and virtually all cars running in the final happy hour of open pit lane.
The new club breathalyser was in action at signing on, which will be a consistent theme of the season. One person failed the breath test and was not allowed to sign on or drive; everyone else sailed through with a zero-alcohol reading. Hopefully, with Caryl having processed a lot of membership issues and handed out a lot of membership cards, the signing on process will be quicker as the season progresses. Anybody that couldn’t collect their membership card will have it sent in the post by the 27th April.
At lunchtime, Marvin Hall managed to get some great photographs when we managed to get virtually all the cars at the circuit lined up three abreast in the hot pit lane for a group photo. We’ve already posted one, but if you’ve got any good photos of the group shot, please add them. We thought that they all looked great together. We will be trying to repeat the exercise at the 24hr weekend when there should be 91 cars there!
Philip and Meyrick spent a lot of the day hard at work in the scrutineering bay helping teams weigh their cars, so as to be able to get the ballast right; and check the cars over for eligibility, so that we won’t have any surprises at the 24hr weekend. Looks like we have a bit of work to do on the club ramps, which weren’t man enough for the job; although its nothing that a little wooden reinforcement won’t cure.
Scruffybear Pictures were also at Rockingham the whole day to plan camera locations and their other logistics; and to take some footage with their drone and roving cameras in order to make a short promotional clip for Motors TV. That should be out during next week. We are also able to offer customized edits of the footage for your team, in addition to the TV feed; so if you would like to have a full HD program concentrating on your car, please let us know and we can work out pricing for you. It would probably mean that you would get a live in-car camera in your car as well.
TSL joined us as well; and you may have seen them trialing the new driver transponder system at the end of the pit lane. That trial went very well; and the system will be used at all our races this season. This removes the need for the team to fill in any driver forms and materially reduces the administrative burden on teams.
The Touring Car boys were out in force today, including their leader, Alan Gow in his track return; but we also had Rob Austin, Josh Cook and Anthony Reid out on circuit. The team from Rockingham Circuit was also out in their mostly liveried car, although we didn’t manage to coax Peter Hardman into the car – guess he already knows where the circuit goes. We also had Vicky Parrott from MotorsTV, Mark Walton from Car Magazine, Adrian Mossop’s and Ian Sedgwick’s Citroen UK teams testing with us. Rumour has it that none of the Touring Car drivers set the fastest time of the day, which was a 1.52.
We hope that you all enjoyed the hog roast – it all disappeared, so that is probably an answer in itself!
Looking forward to the 24hr and 3hr races on the weekend of 11-13th, which is going to be even busier, with double the number of cars and teams present. Paddock space is going to be at a premium, and we will need to restrict the number of cars that each team keeps in the paddock during the race, so that there is enough space behind the pits for those that are really necessary. Non-essential cars will have plenty of secure parking in the outer paddock.
The practice day on the Friday will follow much the same routine as you saw at today’s test day. Signing on will be a long and time-consuming process if you have not fully completed your entry forms before you arrive. Entry forms for both the 3hr and 24hr races are available online. They will remain open until midnight on 29th April after which time no changes will be possible. So make sure that your club membership is valid and all driver details are correct in the next few days. If you need to renew your club membership, you will have been sent an email. Please follow the link in the email to renew the membership – it can’t be done by adding your credit card details into the ‘My Details’ form.
We will also be issuing all drivers with a Hutag for a £10 deposit, which you will need to wear all weekend; and then return at the end of the weekend. All drivers, pit wall crew and team managers will be breathalysed each day; with further spot checks during each day.
Scrutineering. Please remember that you need to come with a full fuel tank, so that we can see fuel in the filler spout. This is because when you are weighed, we can then deduct 28.5kg of fuel from the total, so that you can ballast the car to 910kg with the lightest driver. If the tank is half (or whatever) full, we cannot do so. We will then lock wire and seal the ballast in place, and that seal has to remain in place for the whole weekend.
We will also be fitting OBD reader / recorders to cars throughout the weekend, so that we can download and check your car’s engine, electronic and ECU behaviour. We have 10 of these rather trick little devices and will be fitting them at the end of the pit lane; and removing them at the beginning of the pit lane, so as to prevent any tampering.
The pit lane will not operate as it did on the test day. The entire hot pit lane (ie the wider section that is further from the garages) will be closed throughout both races; and we will only be using the cold pit lane nearest to the garages. All the cut-throughs will be closed and a 30 kph speed limit will apply to the entire cold pit lane. The Club has a radar gun, which will be in operation throughout the race: get caught speeding, and you will lose a lap. The pit wall will remain as it was for the test day.
The C1 Racing Team