Oh well, i am disappointed, cant say no more.
So, our week started last Sunday, washed the shale car after KIngs Lynn Sunday morning, put it away, and had a look at the tar car.
By the way, i think its absolute rubbish we run 2 cars, the sooner the rules come closer together so one car will do on both surfaces the better. All we have to do is raise the ride height on tar cars, and make the rear weight the same on both cars and they would be the same, and there would be no such thing as a tarmac or a shale car!
Oh, and sort the tyres out, rallys on the front and American racers on the back, job done. (80 inch and 85)
Last time out i had split the bracket where the shock mount is on the rear axle, so we had welded it once before, so we knew we had to have the axle out this time, so Monday night we took it out, 2 hours, just to get it out, diff even had to come out before it would come though the chassis. Some cars don't have axles running through the chassis itself, but some do, and its hard getting them out. Anyway, it's out, so we make a new bracket, strengthen it, and paint it before going home. Tuesday it all goes back together.
So, not a lot else to do on it to be honest, Jake sorted out the tyres, and we decided we would go to Birmingham on Wednesday.
Come Wednesday it drizzling, and i don't really want to go if its wet (first mistake) but Jake did, as he was having his first outing on tar this week, so wanted to go for a practise, so we took Jakes car, and he did well, got better and better each time out.
So, race day, were there early so i can get a practise now, and it was OK, but a bit loose middle of the bend, so i go and have a chat with Lee, and he tells me what to alter, i try again, and its much better, i am happy with it now, so no more wearing my tyres out, that will do.
Jake has had about 5 practises by now, and he is getting better each time, but then he breaks the birdcage bracket, as the birdcage is seizes from the car sitting around. It had been greased, but we hadn't noticed it was seized.
(A birdcage is a tube around the axle that the shock is mounted to, so the axle can move up and down).
So, meeting over for him before it even started.
I go to the drivers meeting, where we are told we can't change tyres once were on track, so as its drizzling, i decide to go to wet tyres, i was first by miles, as the car is good on either set of tyres in the dry, but rubbish on dry tyre in the wet, so nowt to lose, its an easy decision to go onto wets. (Sarge, my neighbour tonight too agreed, so we do it now)
All it is to be honest is a shale tyre on the front right as opposed to a tarmac tyre, as were all running rally tyres on the inside anyway. It used to be take of tarmac fronts, and fit rally tyres, but it's just the one now.
No point, we should be running rally tyres anyway on the front of both cars, would make no difference whatsoever, apart from saving money of course!
We line up, we get onto track for our parade, i chuck out sweets as i normally do, i couldn't get chocolate eclairs this time, they do thow well, but i found other sweets that did manage to get over the catch fence.
The front few cars had not gone onto wets, bonus for me who made the early decision before i left the truck, and those that switched before getting onto track, we now had the advantage, BUT, then the drivers at the front kicked off because they had to get on the track frist. so they somehow got the rule changed, and then swapped tyres, oh well. Whatever.
Were now all on the same tyres, so no advantage to anyone, we may as well have been told we all had to stay on tar tyres, like Northampton 2 weeks ago, where we couldn't use grippers, so we all had to use the same tyres. It would have saved a lot of time, and a lot of arguing, and the race would have got going much sooner.
So, the main race for me, rubbish. This is the highest i've been in a semi final, row 5, and 2 cars in front are not here, so steady race and ill be OK. But i messed it up.
Oh well, i really wanted to get in that top 10, but knew i was in a vulnerable position where i was starting, those in front were going to have a steady ride, those behind had nothing to lose, so i was expecting it.
A slight sideways moment in turn 1, lost me half a dozen places, dropped me to 14th, which is where i finished.
Not really sure if it was a hit, a tap, my fault, don't know to be honest, might have just been me.
Oh how i wish i could have that first lap again.
I made the WF in 21014, so its a major achievement i wanted, and i've made Red the year, so i am happy really in the big scheme of things, but i really wanted Bradley to get in, and / or the girls, Phoebe or Jacklyn, that would have been awesome, but there all young, they have time in front of them, me, i am getting past it, i've had my chances and i feel i've achieved what i wanted in the sport.
Well done to all that did make it, esp the ones that passed me, Chris, Ben, Tristan, and Neil.
I was disappointed, but i tried, i was all for loading up, Dave said to me on the mic on the center, what was my plan, i said if i qualify, i am going up the bar to celebrate, and if i don't, i'm going up the bar to drown my sorrows.
Nigel was stood with me, and i said ill join you Nige.
So, load up, Na, that's not really fair on all those stood in the cold rain, getting soaked to watch us idiots, and i has all my friends and family here too, i had about 15 with me, and at £24 a pop, it was dear wet old night, so as Jake had also had to pull out, i thought it fair i give it another go, so i went and did the consi, did rubbish again, didn't make the final, so decided it was not time to load up, i am now also cold and wet, soaked through to the skin.
I was all up for getting some silences ordered today if i had made it though, and swapping fuel tanks and getting ready to go to Venray next weekend, but i can't be bothered now. In fact i dont think ill do anymore tar bar the consi WF night. I did have aspirations of doing all the tarmacs and trying to get that Red roof back.
Whats next? BV in 2 weeks, so ill go and unload the car, and get it put away, and that'll do for today, summer garden party this afternoon, so ill have a look at the shale car tommorrow now.
See ya in a coupe of weeks.