5: Snetterton - 10th October 2010
After a long 3 month
wait, the final round of Time Attack 2010 had at last arrived. Sitting
second in the championship with such strong competition I knew that
I had to give it everything to be in with a chance of getting 1st
place. The car was still working after Cadwell Park, so apart from
a service and a long overdue clean it was kept in the garage untouched
and unused. I did not want to risk breaking anything before Snetterton.
After a week of sleepless nights,
an 11 hour drive down to Norwich and a trackday to re-learn the
circuit, the last race of the year was upon us.
away I felt completely out of practice with the car - three months
is the longest time I have gone without driving it. The fact that
I was a bag of nerves probably didn't help matters! I was braking
too early and going round the corners much slower than I knew I
could. In the warm up session my gearbox started crunching (again!)
going into 4th and 5th gear and I told myself to take it easy for
the first two sessions of the day so that it would hold out for
the qualifying and the final where the crucial points could be earned.
I finished the session in 4th place, behind Walter Morris, Scott
Robson and Warren Kelly. Not fast enough, but I still had more to
didn't go much better in the practice session. I kept missing gears,
crunching when I did manage to get it in gear, the brakes weren't
feeling great and my tyres were barely lasting one hot lap! Luckily
I had convinced Adam to whip his newer brake pads out of his Impreza
to take down as spares for me. I was tempted to take the whole car
as a spare but that just seemed a bit excessive! The new pads were
fitted and brakes bled for the qualifying session and I switched
to my slightly newer tyres which would hopefully last a bit longer.
I was still sitting 4th in my class so I knew that now was the time
to pick up the pace.
Out in the qualifying I could feel
an improvement in the brakes and I was starting to build confidence
in my braking points. The tyres were only marginally better though,
despite being brand new at the last round. I seemed to convert to
Adam's driving style...crazy, off the track in the mud and pretty
much all over the place! I was struggling to pull together one clean
lap - the nerves were definitely getting to me. To stay in with
a shot of the top spot I needed to beat Scott. Half way through
the session I noticed Scott's car pulled in at one of the Marshall's
posts on the circuit with Scott standing watching everyone going
by. I cannot imagine the frustration he must have been going through.
I got into the pits at the end of the 15 minutes and was told that
his engine had given up the ghost (possibly). I then found out that
Walter was possibly out too because of engine failure. I had finished
2nd in my group, with only Warren Kelly ahead of me. 4 crucial points
in the bag. The car problems seemed to be contagious though, and
I soon found out (despite my pit crew trying to keep it a secret
from me) that my car had decided not to start up! Doh! All the wiring
was checked, coil packs were inspected, the plugs were sparking
but 3 of the brand new week old plugs had cracked down the ceramic
body. Thankfully Marcus Webster came to the rescue with 6 new HKS
9s which seemed to solve the problem and get the car going again.
time for the final came and I was still a nervous wreck! I knew
there was something not quite right with the car and with so many
cars breaking over the course of the day I knew that nothing was
safe. I was recommended to do one steady fast lap to get the championship
in the bag just in case something broke or turned into Adam again
and took it off the track! I'm not very good at taking it easy,
but I could see that it was the sensible thing to do. After my 'safe'
lap I stayed out having some fun chasing Warren's winning time.
It wasn't to be though and I finished in 2nd place on the day. I
think I would have been coming home with a wrecked car trying to
beat Scott if he had been in the final.
My 2nd place earned me
enough points to take the Club Challenge 4WD 2010 championship.
I am over the moon with the result, and glad I can now sleep at
big thanks to everyone that has helped out with the car over the
Performance for looking after the car and me when I've been at
the rounds on my own!
Paton (now left Wallace Performance) for mapping the car, and
for tweaks and advice at many of the rounds
Motorsport for building an engine that has lasted longer than
any of my previous ones!
my other sponsors for their help along the way - DDM Engineering,
Motorwerks, Opie Oils, Clark Motorsport and TrackScotland
Simmie and Mic for helping get the car started again in time for
the final session of the day
Telfer (Scott's mechanic) for helping with hose fittings to fix
a fuel leak
Webster for the spark plugs
Comber (motorsport management student) for his help in the pits
at Brands Hatch
Kelly for giving me 'momentum'
'Sparco' Haig for the ice-cream at roasty-toasty Brands
Stewart (Flat Out Photography) and Rich Sams for all their great
shots at each round
Time Attack organisers for another great year and for my jumbo
my competitors, for making it so bloomin' stressful, but exciting
at the same time!
- Club Class #7
Official Time Attack Website -
Turbo Dynamics Press Release - click
Evening Express Article - click