Race Report – Rnd 6 (Final) NSW State Championship – Courtesy of Scott Wiggins
Dear All Escort Race Fans,
[singlepic id=91 w=320 h=240 mode=web20 float=left]Here’s the 2nd edition (with more timely distribution). Last weekend’s 3rd/4th November saw the final round of the Improved Production NSW State championships. The early travel down on Saturday (4:45am departure) gave threats of wet weather, however Wakefield Park remained dry and cooler for Saturday, before a pretty toasty Sunday.
Qualifying – 12 laps
Straight into the icy waters (without a Friday practice)
the car didn’t feel great yet delivered a personally acceptable 1:11.9, (PB is 1:11.1).
However the limited entry list saw me 13th of a 14 grid. (Typically only the placing competitors are chasing points all the way to the final round!) . Funnily, I cruised the last couple of qualifying laps with a lot less aggression to find my groove (as I thought the tires had gone off) to result in this best time on my last lap.
Race 1 – 14 laps
A strong start saw the Escy recover from 13th to tenth before the third corner. The more interesting battle of the w’end, defending off Justin McClintock in his “B” Car as his normal front runner rocket was on blocks. A little different having a regular podium placer pushing my buttons from behind. His experience showed as he out braked me onto the straight, with me immediately recovering the place in the classic over and under.
I had the legs on the straight to keep him at bay. About 9 laps in, the brake pedal hit the floor after the “fish hook”. Luckily the limited left foot braking I have been progressing now had me tap dancing to keep the pressure firm.
I thought it was just “knock off” until it progressively got worse at every corner. By race end, I thought I was pumping up an inflatable boat with left foot work like a WRC video. I hung in there till the flag. Another front runner expiry saw me finish Race 1 in 9th. (Best time 1:12.1)
Race 2 – 12 laps
Another strong start (perhaps I’ll take up drag racing!), From 9th up to 7th, however I couldn’t hold these guys off who were lapping 2 sec’s quicker. As the field spaced out, this became a pretty lonely run. Tracey reckons she worries less when it’s this way, but a tad boring for me. The fresh pots of brake fluid seemed to have the brake fade sorted (Tracey even assisted with the brake bleeding). Sunday was immediately hotter, so I backed off the pace a little with no position loss in jeopardy and conserved what tires I had left. Finishing again in 9th Position. (Best time 1:11.2)
Race 3 – 16 laps
By Sunday afternoon, it was hot and I was weathered before the race had begun! Another OK start, but the field had adjusted to the rightful order soon after. With a Corolla dying early and another Civic mid race, I finished 7th.
Still equally best to date with a 7th from last round, but with less glory given the small field!
During this longer race, the brakes again faded a little in the last couple of laps. Good experience, but not confidence inspiring to race a car with faulty brakes! (Best time 1:12.5) I suspect the heat also knocked off the power a little. (and I removed the “Crazy Cross”….see below)
Brakes – I have persevered with a brake configuration inferior to my fellow Escort racer’s on similar pace. I can still hope to scrape by with this kit if I add some currently missing air ducting, but ultimately a set of 4 pot callipers or even bigger rotors will likely be required. All made possible once I go to 15″ rims for the new AO50 tires. (Santa????)
Scott’s Crazy cross.
[singlepic id=92 w=320 h=240 mode=web20 float=right]Since it’s introduction last round (Eastern Creek), there has been much speculation from peers about the theory and effectiveness of my yet to be trademarked “Crazy Cross” rear diff lateral location contraption. Given the cars now sometimes awkward feedback and also the lower speeds of Wakefield, I trialled removing it for the 3rd race. The car felt marginally different, allowed a little rear guard rubbing, but was consistently 1.5 secs slower than when it was installed (as per the whole w’end). I guess that’s proof that the damm thing works even if it does invoke laughter and sniggers from passers by! “Don’t try and reinvent the wheel Scott!” ” How much does that junk weigh……”
The other guys are still telling me how much more grippier the new 15″ AO50 series tires are than my (and clapped out) 13″ AO48 series. I have been working since Eastern Creek to find enough wheel/guard clearance to get these 15″ wheels on, once I find a suitable rim design/offset/price…..
The final points aren’t on the board yet but I am confident that I finished 4th in class for the 2012 Championship (Early Model1600-200cc). Slightly disappointing given last years 3rd place, but getting sandwiched into Turn 1 at Eastern Creek at Round #3 after a “killer start” (with subsequent retirement) was the downfall of my points contention.
Freddo – I though you said this was easy????
Now it’s just onto drinking beer at presentation night and getting ready to do it all again next year.
Thanks to all my supporters;
* Freddo Brain – Long time mentor/ pit crew/ advisor of all general wisdom….
* My great buddy Chris @ targaracing.com.au – Continual tech support, mentoring (See him to get your bum in a great car tomorrow!)
* Steve @ SMCKA – Fantastic Escort enthusiast with all the good bits. (May be even a bigger brake kit???)
*Adam Broadley – Excellent builder and transport driver. (and Goulburn accommodation host)
* And last but not least, my Tracey (Baby Doll) for putting up with all the above and more….Plus now bleeding my brakes, making my lunch and chasing my time sheets