Chris Williams reviews Time Attack at Cadwell park
Taken From Chris Williams - BC Racing Cyco Civic Facebook Page.
Where to even begin. I'll start by saying sorry for the lack of updates over the weekend as it was an emotional roller coaster from start to finish. This is going to be a long update but hopefully you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the weekend.
The weekend started with a car that had a new front wheel/tyre setup, as well as a new smaller front splitter (call it version 2.0). Having only driven Cadwell Park once before in round 1 of the 2019 Time Attack Championship, which was the first ever shake down in the car in its current form, we were eager to improve on our previous best of 1:50.577.
We started the morning's warm-up session with a respectable 1:39.833 (almost an 11 second improvement in the first session of the weekend). This put us 3.6 seconds off the pace for first place, and I felt there was still more time left in the car.
Unfortunately this is where things started to take a turn for the worse. Our practice session was red flagged early and we were called into the pits. I was first in the queue. Eager to get back out, when it was go time, I fired the car back up and started to leave pit lane. only to be greeted with a check engine light and limp mode. I had to retire the car for the session.
Got the car back to the paddock and start to investigate the issue. Crank Position Sensor code in the ecu. So we began to investigate further to find that the timing chain skipped a tooth as the tensioner jammed and was not putting any pressure/tension on the chain. TPW Engineering who was there to help myself and BYC Backyard Civics immediately got on the phone speaking to a few of his local contacts. We managed to find a replacement tensioner only 40 minutes away. We thought we may have had a shot at continuing the weekend. Re-timed the engine, installed a new tensioner, unfortunately the code still remained. Checking things over again, we found there was a bit more damage than originally suspected. The chain had some major fatigue and was stretched. Which ended the weekend for us.
or so we thought...
After Saturday's event was all done and dusted Mark at BYC came over and very kindly offered the use of his car for Sunday to help minimize the points damage to our championship contention. I cannot thank him enough for all the help and support he's already given us, this goes above and beyond all expectations.
Sunday morning arrives and we approach the first warm-up session, Remember that my car is LHD and approx 450bhp. I get in Mark's RHD Civic EG powered by a 250bhp H22 with a b-series transmission with no previous track experience in a RHD car, Thanks Mark! I'll make sure to try and bring your baby home in one piece. The day started out with a wet track. To our surprise at the end of the first session we were sitting P3 in class only just over 2 seconds behind Tegiwa Imports NSX and Spoox Motorsport rapid 205.
The second session was one of the most exciting times in my racing career so far.... We arrive in the assembly area second in the queue, right behind Luke in the Tegiwa NSX. With the track drying but still a few damp spots the times were going to start dropping. Green flag drops and we head out. Starting the outlap, Luke in the NSX is keen to get onto pace quickly and starts to pull away on the pit straight. We come around for the first flying lap to be approx. 10 car lengths off the back of the NSX. Over the course of the lap I manage to close the gap under braking as the BYC Civic is very light and allows for very, very late braking. First lap finished and the gap is now 5 car lengths, we see everyone on the pit wall watching as the two of us push each other harder and harder. By the time of our second lap we arrive on the pit straight 1 car length back now. Now for the third lap Luke manages to stretch the legs of the NSX on the straights while I keep him close under braking. By the time we get to the Mountain and Halls Bends I'm all over the back of Luke. Props to Luke for his amazing car control, as he was definitely trying get on the power early to keep ahead of me. Unfortunately due to the still damp circuit he was struggling to get the power down and sliding the car around the final turn before the start-finish straight. I saw the opening and went for it. Drag racing the NSX down the pit straight, we managed to get another solid lap. This managed to put us in P3 in class again. Remember - this is in a car I had only driven for a total of 15 minutes, on a track I have under two hours of seat time on.
Next up was qualifying in which conditions were a bit mixed, track was getting a bit damp again due to some fairly dense fog. Keeping it out of trouble we managed another P3 in qualifying getting us some valuable championship points.
And now the final. At this point there was a dry-ish line but only on the racing line. 45 minutes of seat time under my belt in the BYC Civic we go for it, Managing a solidly respectable time of 1:40.162 only 0.3 seconds off my own car's PB time the day earlier in a car 200bhp lower.
This Goes to show power isn't everything. A properly setup and balanced car goes a very long way. To add some icing to the cake we were only 0.7 seconds off the top spot!
This resulted us claiming P3 in the final and some more silverware!
Thanks to all of those who helped and continue to support me over the season!
See you next round at Brands Hatch in September!