Monday, 18 July 2011
Photo: John Stewart, Flatout Photography
Ok, I forgot about the blogging app so I'm only just getting round to the update now.
Alford is an unusual event in that it takes place on an oval track with two diagonal crossovers. The layout means that you crossover twice and get a fairly even number of left and right hand bends. It seems a bit mickey mouse but it's really good fun and actually needs a fair bit of techical driving to get right.
My class was very competitive - there seemes to be a glut of really fast Minis in the northeast and they were out in force on Sunday. I was never going to be anywhere but last in my class so I had looked at my time from last year in the VX220 (59.82sec) and added on 10% to get my target time of 65 seconds.
The wee Pug has only 80 odd bhp compared to the 150 of the VX although the Pug is probably a wee bit lighter.
Anyway, the weather was kind to us and although it threatened to rain a couple of times, it stayed dry for all my runs and I got steadily quicker each time.
By the last run, I managed 64 secs dead and that was with a couple of hairy moments when my foot slipped off the brakes whilst heel and toe down changing. A 62 sec run would definitely be possible so maybe next year....
The Mini lads had a great tussle and Jonathon Brown managed to smash the class record with his final run of 57.05 secs.
I learned something about tyres on Sunday. Due to being a cheapskate (this is bargain basement motorsport after all), I had a soft compound on the offside front and a hard compound on the nearside front. The unique layout at Alford allowed me to deduce that the hard compound gripped better than the soft. How could I tell? No understeer on the right hand bends - loads of understeer on the left hand bends. The soft tyre was pretty knacked by the end of the day.
Next outing for me is Kames at the end of the month.