New car, new season

Well it’s been a long time coming but our brand new Vauxhall Tigra design hit the track on Easter Sunday for the start of the Mendips Raceway season. There’s been a few late nights in the previous weeks and a few areas we’d like to have spent some more time but the important thing was to be there at the start of the season which we managed!

After we’d stopped staring at the beautiful car we decided it would be a good idea to get out on track for some practice as we obviously didn’t get chance to do any pre-season. Unfortunately with it being a very large F2 meeting Ross only had one short run, not really long enough to shake off the cobwebs and adjust the car but better than nothing!

A much improved showing of twelve hotrods were present although unfortunately only 11 made it to the start of race 1 as Alistair Lowe suffered a split sump on his revamped #55 car. So, the cars lined up on the grid with #26 second from the back. The first few laps were a fairly gentle affair with Ross easing back into it but picking up a few places past #24, #35 and #34.

The race was soon red flagged as #34 Glenn Saunders ploughed himself into the fence but other than his car no damage was done. With the race restarted (and a terrible restart for Ross) he began to look more like he had done last season and slid down the inside of #88 before switching to the outside to sweep round #205, #18 and #35 in a few short laps to move into 4th position at the flag…certainly a good end to the new shape Tigra’s first race!

Race 2 and with the reverse grid format Ross would be starting from pole. An excellent chance to take a win then but despite leading the first few laps #26 couldn’t pull away and soon slipped behind #205 and #88 before the national pairing of #718 Colin White and #734 Ralph Sanders also moved through, relegating Ross to a disappointing 5th by the finish.

Once back in the pits the main problem became clear as Ross was again struggling with the steering which in his own words ‘feels like it’s pulling my arms off’ and a setup which wasn’t quite yet in the sweet spot. Needless to say he was therefore slightly less than impressed when he inadvertently smacked himself in the nose with a larger steering wheel he was test fitting on the car…yes Dad it’s not a good enough fit on the steering column!!! 😉

So with an adapted and much larger steering wheel on for the final Ross hoped to be able to hang onto the car easier as the larger steering wheels lightens the steering…..although it also makes the car feel less like a racecar and more like a stagecoach bus! Still, it enabled him to at least complete the race in a lonely 4th place after passing #24 and #35 in the opening 10 laps.

Big plans for the next meeting then as we’ll be fitting inset front wheels which means changing the front suspension. Not a small job by any means but it will make the steering a lot lighter for Ross while also having the added benefit of better handling…..that’s the plan anyway….and you’ve got to have a plan 😉 See ya next time…..

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