Silverstone Classic 25-27 July 2008
Porsche Open Series
Qualifying 25th – 20 Minute Session
Our qualifying session didn’t start until 5.15pm so we had plenty of time to prepare, and unusually for us we were in the “catwalk” assembly area in plenty of time.
The plan was for Paul to go out on old tyres and qualify and then come in and we’d change to new tyres, this would get them scrubbed in for Saturday’s and Sunday’s races.
Our last wheel change in the pits had been at Brands Hatch earlier this season and we weren’t what you would call lightening fast. We decided what we needed was a “PLAN” so Tim came up with a method that should see us complete a change in record time. I was a little sceptical but we needed to do something to improve our time so we’d give it a go…
Paul went out to qualify and after 4 laps came in for the wheel change. A surprise to us all – it went like clockwork and we had him out again very quickly. While I didn’t time it, it was very much quicker than Brands! (I’ll time it next time so we can see just how slick we’ve become. LOL)
On the new tyres Paul was getting some strange feedback and because of this he didn’t have total confidence in the car which resulted in us qualifying 7th (later to be 6th because of a retirement), our worst qualifying position this season.
After a post mortem looking at data off our recently operational data recorder and much scratching of heads, it was decided that the clutch had fried. If we could source one it was decided we’d change the clutch. Sourcing a clutch at 6pm on a Friday for a 996 GT3 Cup car isn’t the easiest thing to do but Paul became Mr Fix-it and got all the parts he could so the guys decided a change was possible.
Overalls on and spanners out.
The guys took just over an hour to remove the old clutch, not bad seeing as its a gearbox out job – in the paddock with no ramps; its no easy task. It was getting dark under the car so they decided an early start in the morning was in order to get the car ready for the 11am race. We all adjourned to the camp-site for a BBQ and a few beers.
Race 1 26th 11.15am
Weather: Fine and V. Hot
8am saw the team back at the truck and ready to put the car back together. 1st snag of the day – the new clutch isn’t exactly the same as the old clutch and while we were aware of differences last night it only became evident how serious a problem it was when installation started. We didn’t have a great deal of choice so Tim did some paddock engineering and everything was soon in order; the clutch was on its way back in.
Everything was ready by 10.30am so while we didn’t have a great deal of time in hand we had got it done – Paul and the car were ready to race.
Starting from 6th on the grid meant he had work to do but he loves a challenge and we were soon up to 3rd place overall. Two class 1 cars were in front so Paul had little chance to take them, 200BHP is hard to make up for – but we would be happy with a podium and coming 1st in class.
Paul was extremely happy at coming 3rd and the team were pretty happy too – all the hard work was rewarded. Looking forward to Sundays race and a similar result!
Race 2 27th 12.10am
Weather: Fine and V. Hot
Paul had reported a slight problem with the clutch in Saturday’s race, he felt it was dragging a bit. General consensus was that there was probably air in the system after yesterdays rebuild so they guys tried to get it sorted. Unfortunately there wasn’t any air in the system and we didn’t have time to look into it further, Paul would just have to do his best.
After looking at the TV footage we can see that Paul had great difficulty getting off the line but still fought his way through the field and still finished 4th overall and 1st in class. An outstanding result seeing he was having real difficulty changing gears throughout the race. It also meant he found himself fighting with cars that are normally slower that us so it made for some close exciting racing.
This was a fantastic meeting with our results being the icing on the cake for us. Some great cars were seen racing from very early Formula 1 cars to the latest Porsches in our series. Highlight on the track, apart from our own races, was probably the awesome Group C cars. We are all looking forward to returning next year!
Posted by Dorset Sports Cars
on August 10, 2008