2: Knockhill - 15th May 2011
The second round of Time
Attack 2011 took place at Knockhill Racing Circuit on 15th May.
I had managed to secure entry as Gary Searls 'substitute' for the
round, as he had suffered engine damage at Oulton Park. This meant
I was a points scoring entry rather than a conventional O.H.W. (One
Hit Wonder)...It also meant I could potentially collect a trophy!
A very tall order!
We ran a TrackScotland full day trackday
on the 14th so I got a good chance to blow the cobwebs off the car
and myself. I hadn't driven the car for 4 months, or Knockhill since
the 'sausages' had been introduced at the corners and this was my
first time on the new Pirelli control tyres. The day seemed to go
well and I managed to pick up a few worthwhile tips from the TrackScotland
ARDS instructor, Hamish Smart ( www.thegloveboxguide.com
). Maybe I took his advice too far at times by taking the apex cones
out of action to get a clear run on the next lap :P A quick mention
is needed to thank James and Kev for lending a hand fixing my turbo
(the clip holding the actuator arm to wastegate arm had fallen off)
quickly came and it was time to finally get myself timed officially
round Knockhil. After all, I cant let my wife be faster than me
in a race car! I had initially set myself a target of a low 58,
high 57 lap. Going by the rough timing that was done on the Saturday
this would be a challenge. The car was given a quick once over and
tyres kicked before the Time Attack sign on and briefing.
Warm-up: I always tell Fee to take it easy in this session!
'No point setting your fastest time when it doesn't count'. Well,
that wentout the window and out I went out all guns blazing and
set my fastest time of the day in warm-up. This was probably my
most composed session, giving a 59.7s lap and 2nd place in Club
Class. A great result from the outside but I knew I was pushing
Practice: A session
to forget! On my first hot lap I came across a snoozing Romain Levesque
in his CRX. This ruined the lap (that was quicker than any previous
to that point) and turned the rest of the session into a rally cross!
I was sideways through McIntyres, keeping the foot down in 3rd all
the way round into and out of the gravel. Airborne over the raised
kerbs a few times and finally off on the in-field at the hairpin
after trying to take it flat out from turn-in to exit in the damp!
My driving is too aggressive at the best of times but this was beyond
that.... My best time was a 1:00.2.
managed to calm down by this point but the car was definitely starting
to feel a bit laboured on the straights (viewing data logs afterwards
show that I was braking much later than previous trackdays but my
VMAX speed was down by around 8mph to 111mph at the braking point
for Duffus). Seeing your competitors disappear over the brow of
the hill on the start/finish straight when you've just exited the
hairpin together is a bit depressing! My first hot lap of the session
was my quickest as the track got pretty slippy towards the end with
the drizzle and cold temperatures. The entry into Duffus was especially
greasy, so good knowledge to pass on to Fee who was sitting in the
pits getting ready for her Club Pro qualifying session. I also had
another meeting with CRX. We were both on Hot Laps but very different
pace on the corners. I must have been about 10cm from his bumper
around Carlube but he didn't hold me up too much :) My fastest lap
was a 59.9.
Final: At this
point I was under no illusions about getting a trophy or decent
points for Gary! There was no way that I could make up the power
deficit to the other cars :( I think even when the Impreza was mapped
at 370bhp it would be less than half the power of some of the others,
never mind the state it was in by the final! Still, I tried my best
and stayed as committed as possible through the corners to try and
claw some time back. Sadly it wasn't enough and I had to settle
for 7th with a 59.9 lap.
Despite the car issues
I had a great day. I didn't find the Pirelli P Zero Rosso control
tyres too bad, they were actually quite good fun to drive on with
the revised geometry setup that Wallace Performance did a few days
before. Nice and controllable slides, but braking is probably the
biggest issue with the tyres. I was being a bit 'gay' on the brakes
into the hairpin and really struggling to get the car slowed down
enough for the turn-in to McIntyres. Congratulations to Fee for
winning the Club Pro class at Round 2, but I'm still sure I'm faster
Adam - Club Class #9
Official Time Attack Website -
Racing Exposure -
Garage Awesome -
Thanks to Rich Sams,
John Stewart and Thacko for the pictures.