2015 season, donington park test, engine seized, formula vee, james cater, james harridge, pete belsey, racing, sheane, spin, tim probert
Already Looking To 2015!
I still went to watch the other Formula Vee’s at Donington, and I’m glad I did!
On Saturday the heavens opened and the track looked probably the worst I’ve ever seen it. This justified our decision not to race – with no feel for the car in the dry, let alone the wet, I doubt I’d have even made it to the first corner!
James Harridge, in his first season racing his home-built Maverick took a very emotional second place from qualifying. Everyone watching him power through Redgate on the throttle (the ONLY one who did this!) was a thing of beauty, and I don’t think anyone thought he’d got anything else but pole! Craig Pollard just took it, however.
I mention this here, because in all the write-ups I’ve seen so far not one mentions James’ stunning performance, and that is maddeningly unfair!
His team has battled all year with parts failing and their engine being massively under-powered. This was also literally his first time driving at Donington – no testing or anything – so his second fastest time out of all the Vee’s was set within his first 10 laps of the track EVER!
Come on! Give the man some recognition! A definite future star once they find a bit more power…
Pete Belsey also took his first ever championship race win, after some very close (as ever) racing, and Tim Probert led for the first time. Martin Farmer took the win in race 2, and if you haven’t got yourself on YouTube yet to view both races, you need to!
*Further edit: As it turns out, that was also Craig Pollards first ever pole, so a massive well done to him, to! It’s always been said that the true talent will surface when the field is equalised by rain.
Anyway, back to my own campaign…
We still don’t know what happened to the Sheane, as Glenn hasn’t had a chance to get the engine apart, yet. He’s pretty sure that the cause is going to be the float on the crank shaft. With any luck, there won’t be too much damage, and we’re already planning next season.
750 Motor Club run an early day around February for general testing and new drivers to take their ARDS test. It will be quite a fitting return for me, because it’s at Donington again.
Glenn has told me to just put the spin out of my mind and go at it from fresh. There are too many variables at work for me to have really learned much, and the tyres were old and dirty etc. I do now know that there isn’t as much grip as I was expecting, so will take it even easier and try to get a few more corners in, on my return.
A few drivers also suggested that being in 4th gear won’t have helped things, either.
Spinning a single seater is also a bit weird.
Because you’re strapped in so tightly you don’t get flung around much. I can clearly remember during the spin I was just waiting to catch the car so I could point it the right way, and didn’t move in the seat at all, until at one point my head went *dink* against one side of the roll cage.
It was only gentle, but I’m thinking of putting some padding there for extra safety.
I also have a new camera mount to try out, hopefully raising the view so it clears my helmet and shows a bit more inside the cockpit.
We have a load of things still to do to the Sheane, like moving the position of the extinguisher on to the floor of the car under my legs, improving the engine mountings, and a million other minor preparation jobs.
For 2015 we should be able to do the whole season.
It seems like a long way off, sat here dreaming about jumping in the car again (and every second thought I now have is about racing!), but I’m sure it’ll all come around quickly again.
This time we should be much better prepared, and ready to compete!