Sometimes there are days when you’d just have been better off staying at home…and last weekends meeting at Brands Hatch was certainly one of those days for the Loram Racing Team! Lots of work had gone into the car since the last outing at Lydden, relocating the oil tank and oil cooler to the front of the car to keep the oil cooler as well as rebuilding the front of the chassis to save weight.
Ontrack in quali – thanks to www.ae-photography.co.uk
We therefore travelled to Brands on Friday afternoon with high hopes but unfortunately we’d forgotten to reattach the front brake ducts when rebuilding the front of the car so qualifying was rather hampered when Ross lost the brakes half way through the session. Still, with the car back in the pits, the brakes bled and some ducting in place (thanks to Mark Fuller!) we were all ready for race one!
Out onto the track then and the cars completed the rolling lap and took the start, up through the gears, round paddock bend, downchange into the druids hairpin….oh! Something had seemingly gone wrong with the gearbox as Ross’ 206 was stuck fast in 4th gear, leaving him no option but to call straight back into the pits. Rather annoyingly once the car was crawling back through the paddock at slow speeds the gearbox was working fine again.
Still, with the race over, the top of the gearbox was pulled off to see what was wrong but despite much staring and head scratching everything appeared fine so the top went back on and the car was put back together to try for race 2. It was expected that the problem (whatever it was, a damaged synchro was suspected at this point) would re-emerge as soon as the car built up speed at the start of the race and sure enough that’s what happened with the car again deciding it liked 4th gear so much it was going to stay there, meaning the 2nd retirement of the day on lap 1.
Penny for your thoughts?
Obviously very disappointing stuff then but as they say, ‘that’s racing!’ Elsewhere Philip Young was also having a day to forget with two DNF’s while up at the front that man Tommy Field took his customary pole and 2 wins although Chris Brockhurst made him work for it this time!
With the car back home the gearbox will be coming out and having a trip to Sean at the Exeter Gearbox Centre to work out what’s causing the problems. We’ve also decided that with money being pretty tight at the moment we’ll be missing the last meeting of the season at Brands Hatch on November 12th. We’ll instead be concentrating on rebuilding the car and improving it ready for the start of the 2012 season, stay tuned to the website for lots of rebuild updates throughout the winter!