The HSA season closer at Curborough is a great event, even though it was slightly blighted for me by a sticking throttle cable last year. After the success of my last trip to Curborough (first trophy – did I mention that?) I wasn’t actually expecting great things, especially given the size and quality of the Formula Ford entry.
At the risk of looking like I’ve been thumbing through the racing driver’s book of excuses, I wasn’t feeling great. So I was really happy to be half way up the class after the first two runs. The first timed run was faster than the two practice runs, but most people seemed to have gone faster than me. I’d fallen through the field somewhat.
I managed to psych myself up a bit for the last run, and it did seem a lot quicker. Well it did until Flagpole at the end of the first lap. I overcooked the entry speed and then selected 4th instead of 2nd. I headed out of the corner in 4th, and by the time I had realised what had happened the run was ruined. I completed the second lap in 4th and my overall time was just over 70 seconds. That, combined with the fact that my first split time was 6/10’s up on the first run, convinced me that I’d have been on for something a bit better than run 1. But it’s not like it was critical for the championship. Clutch woes earlier in the year had seen to that.
One thing I should have done for this meeting is to have stiffened the front anti-roll bar. The picture, by Andy Leivers, shows why. The front suspension seems to have moved a lot in the corner, the nose is sticking up in the air, and I managed to slide the rear end at Flagpole. I guess I’ll be trying that stuff early next season. And by then I’ll have done the corner weights and undertaken a dyno run. I’m going to do 2020 properly.
But more annoying than messing up the last run was having the scrutineers taking an interest in my ROPS (roll hoop). For 2 seasons nobody has picked up any problems and I’d even talked to the MSA about its legality during the rebuild. Before I panic and get a new hoop fitted I’ll see if I can sit lower in the car, although taking the seat out will result in me sitting a bit close to the battery. If it is the answer I’ll have to make a new, lower, seat.
So 2019 didn’t pan out how I wanted, but was pretty much as expected as soon as I had to tackle the the clutch. To prevent a re-run of 2019 in 2020 I need to make sure of the car’s legality as soon as possible. Watch this space.