Carl Meek & James Lovett - Build Diary for Westfield
First Race


May 30 2008 - First Race
This is a bit of a late update on my first race at Lydden Hill.

I have entered two separate race events, one of which is a double header.  This gives a format of 2 qualifying sessions of 20 minutes each, and three 15 minute races.  That's a lot for a first race day!

The cars i'm racing against are a very mixed bag... there's one other megabusa, mostly caterhams, and three radicals.  There are car and bike engined vehicles with wildly ranging power - for example, there are several caterham superlights, CSR 260s, and a westfield with 250+ bhp.  Not much chance of getting too high on the grid then, as i'm vastly outpowered.

On my first qualifying session i achieved 18/20 with a 47.6 seconds time and managed to blow off a silicone water connector, luckily i stopped the engine quickly.  The repair took exactly 60 seconds less time than the gap between qualifying, so i was pushed to get back out to qualify for the second race.  Despite this, I managed 16/20 and improved lap time by a few tenths to 47.3 seconds.

On the first race, it really was sensory overload.  I had a bad start and everybody overtook me.  I then followed the last place person, with the occasional failed overtake attempt and finished last.... but i finished, and that's what is important for my license upgrade.

Second race was pretty much the same deal, but i was starting to drive more aggressively and closer to the car i was following.  On reviewing this, i decided this was the way forward and i need to take control!!

Third race, i managed to get past the two cars at the back, both in the same place - i dived up the inside on the hairpin and out-dragged them on the following straight.  Then I saw the 'LAST LAP' board just as I came up to the car third from last, a bike engined yamaha caterham.  Without thinking, i dived down the inside of the hairpin, lost a lot of pace, went neck and neck around the last corner with him having the faster line, and we crossed the finish line one hundredth of a second apart... with me in the lead :)   Result!!

After the race, i inspected the car and found i had a totally destroyed rear tyre.  The car was oversteering out of every single bend, caused by my anti-roll bar being snapped at the front, but still present at the back.  This is number one thing to fix.

I now have a to-do list:

* Buy a roll-cage for safety
* Stiffer springs
* New wider slick tyres
* Need more power!!