Castle Combe 2013 Full Race Report

May 27th

Having missed Silverstone and Rockingham due to budget (or lack of) I was chomping at the bit to get out at Castle Combe. I'd booked myself in to do the nippon as well just to help get used to the circuit and build some speed, timing between qualy and races for both series was tight but should be worth the effort. Hired a van for the weekend as mine was still poorly, it now ran but the brakes were dodgy.

Qualifying for the nippon came round and out i went, track research had sunk in and it all looked fairly familiar despite never having been out on track before. I'd looked at last years resutls so new roughly what sort of laptimes i needed to be putting in. After the first 3 laps i started to push a bit and caught a glance at the laptimer just after the start line, imagine my surprise when i was about 4 seconds slower than I should be. I really tried hard to carry speed round but each lap was about the same, am i that sh*t i thought! I started to pay more attention to the car rather than lines/braking points etc and realised that my top end speed wasn't exactly that great. As the session went on it seemed to get slower and slower, the car just wasn't pulling out of the corners, especially the higher speed ones. Didn't have much time between the 2 qualy sessions so just replaced plugs and checked for obvious things and had to go out again. Didn't hang about as i knew it would get slower as the session went on so put my best lap in on lap 3.

Jon lent me a coil pack during the break and so i went out for the first nippon race hoping for the best. Start went ok and i hung onto the pack as best i could, taking a couple of places in the process. After a couple of laps however it all seemed to go in slow motion again and i ended up last and losing ground to those infront. The car sounded awful from inside and actually gave me a headache. After 5 laps the leaders came round to lap me and i thought it best to abandon this race in favour of having as much time as possible to get this fixed.

With discussions had about what it could be we were none the wiser really, I put some fuel in it and went out for the first coupe race. First couple of laps just about managed to keep up with the pack but as the race spread out i ended up last again with no hope of keeping up with them. Decided to finish this race as i needed signatures on my license for the upgrade. Simon came past to lap me and he caught me so quick i think it took us both by surpise. Didn't go out for the last 2 races, loaded up and went home feeling somewhat deflated.

On investigation after the weekend the culprit was a knackered catalyst, it had fallen apart inside and the loss of back pressure had killed the power.