Against All Odds – Pan Delta Summer 2011

Against All Odds – Pan Delta Summer 2011
With the weekend schedule filled with 458 Ferrari Challenge, Asia Formula Renault, Circuit Hero Roadsport, Touring Car and Standard Car classes it’s set to be an exciting weekend.
Track Torque Racing are pitting out 6 cars into Circuit Hero Roadsport. I’m driving the Caterham Fireblade in the 2000cc class to race against the likes of Ariel Atom, Lotus Exige, Caterham R500, and Ginetta G20, while in the same field running with Nissan GTR 35, Mitsubishi Evo, Subaru Sti.
The qualifying on Saturday was started in a mix of wet and dry track. Initially me and Bill both in the Caterham went out in full wets on the out lap I can see that the dry line was appearing, so I came back in the pits to switch to dry, and hope the weather will hold out for the session.
With limited time after changing the tires, I set out to do the flying lap asap, but there were so a lot of traffic. Some cars were even doing their run-in on track. With corners like T7 and T10 still partially wet, I had to reserve sufficient margin for making sure I had put in a good lap. A mix of understeer at the wet corners and cold tires on the dry line meant that the lap wasn’t as good as I could put together. I am set to line up on the 10th place on grid.
After performing the drift show with the crowd on their feet, I get ready for Race 1. Lining up behind an Evo was not ideal not only that it was blocking the direct sight of the starting lights, I’ll have to get pass it on a good start, which wasn’t easy. The revs were at 5,000 when I dropped the clutch, it bog down a little, but it’s wasn’t too bad running into T1 in the middle of the pack.
Stay focused, watch my line and wheels as it’s an open wheeler. The track condition was still semi-wet, we I had to watch out for the racing line as the “normal racing lines” didn’t have much traction. As the race heads into the 2nd half, the tires were really playing up, there was huge amount of oversteer exciting the corner. The best I could do is to fine tune my throttle action, find the grip limit on the exit. It was a very clean race throughout. I finished 4th place in my class.
Race 2, after some heavy rain storm in the morning me and my team mate decided to go out on wet tires. the sun broke out, breifly before the race and it started to dry up rapidly. On the out lap, I can see the dry line, so I come back early onto the grid to change to dry tires. In an busy atmosphere of grid walk, photography session, fellow racers and friends greetings, I got back into the Caterham, buckled up and focus on the race. After the warm up lap, we settle back at our starting position, P10 for me, and waitf for the signal.
5 seconds, Red lights goes on, then off, and we hit it off into Race 2. I had an ok start holding onto my position, it was a very clean T1, everyone came in and out of the first corner safely. My new Michelins were still not ran in, so I had to be cautious on the first lap. Coming out of T7 I had a squeeze from the Atom and R500, but being very sensible I stuck to my line and avoided any incident.
At the end of the first lap, the Atom had an incident with one of the KFS Evolution, took a hit on his left front, I then caught up with the Evo. I was following him for the whole 9 laps, there were 1/2 chances, but with the power difference, out braking him extensively would be suicidal, as I have seem him cutting into the Atom once already. Passing the checker flag, I finished the race at 2nd place in my class.
I’ll be back in the Pan Delta Autumn Racing Festival in September, meanwhile, the next race will be in GIC for the Enduro 3 hour and HKAA Round 7 & 8. See you there…

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