The longest journey for a national event took us to a sunny Weston Super Mare to Mendip Raceway, a compact yet very challenging track. I had made some more updates to the slash ahead of this round. I fitted the Pro Line Pro Trac wide arm kit which gives the truck a wider track and uses a narrower offset wheel to aid stability.
SAT PRACTICE DAY
Practice went very well to start with, learning the challenging track and finding out where the fast lines were, there is a really cool uphill hairpin around a tree trunk which had a lump on the nearside by the tree which meant you either had to go wide around it or risk flipping from hitting it. At one point I managed a skateboard style jump where I hit the lump and landed right on my wheels atop the tree stump 🙂
The car felt and looked the fastest its been so far, only it was not to last. During my final run I came wide out of the last turn onto the straight and went out to the pipe, had a bit of a fishtail going so just tried to throttle out of it but it didn’t recover and I hit a wooden box next the pipe on the main straight almost head on and snapped a front arm that had only been on the truck that day.
I was gutted, as this meant I had to convert the front end back to the spare RPM arms which are 10mm shorter on each side, to add insult to injury I only had tyres on the narrow offset F11 wheels which meant the front end was now 20mm narrower than the rear. The handling was all over the place, but hey thats racing.
It started wet in the morning but soon dried up, today was all about damage limitation and doing my best to get as many points as I could with a disabled truck.
ROUND 1: I started 6th and finished 6th in the same group as the fast guys Danny Conway, Mark Everitt, Craig Summers to name a few.
ROUND 2: More crashing ensued whilst I tried to adjust to the odd handling of the wheelbarrow finishing a lowly 7th place.
ROUND 3: Improved on the last round and fought my way to a 5th place finish, albeit now 4 laps down from the leader.
ROUND 4: Managed an extra 2 laps and finished on the lead lap in 4th place, continual improvement but a touch of “too little too late”.
LEG 1: The finals were interesting, Somehow I qualified Pole for the B-Final so got to start at the front. The first leg I was off the line fast but ended up on my roof by turn 2, ended up dead last but somehow got back in the lead before we crossed the line for the 2nd lap and held on to take the win.
LEG 2: The second final was like a carbon copy of the first, a fast start followed by some roof sliding at turn 1 putting me dead last again, then due to everyone roofing it also I was back in the lead by the start of lap 2. I held on again and went on to win!
LEG 3: The commentator asked if was going to do the same again 🙂 This obviously calmed my nerves enough to get a clean first lap in without any roof action, so for the 3rd leg I stayed P1 to the end of the race taking the overall B-Final win!
An awesomely technical and compact track that cannot be thrashed around, by far the most enjoyable weekend of the season so far. After the damage and sudden change of front end width late Saturday I was not hoping for much on the Sunday. It all came good as other people also struggled and in the end I came away with my first National final win, it was a B-Final, but it was a Final nonetheless. One happy camper, and I cannot wait to go back again.
After the racing on Sunday I had a few more laps and managed to fly off into the fence by the railway track (as many others did) and snapped the top cap of the Pro Line Pro Spec shocks. After getting home I found out I cannot get the replacement parts anywhere in the UK and Proline were out of stock and could not tell me when they would have them. The prospect of running a standard slash at the next round was not an option so the hunt for a new truck commenced. I was going to wait till the next season to upgade but the lack of replacements parts brought this plan into action much sooner than I had anticipated.
I will be missing RD4 @ Broxtowe due to holiday, see you all in Colchester for RD5 at ARC RACEWAY.