Race Results - 2002
Round 1 - Eastern Creek.
The first round of the season has been run and won. Unfortunately, we were unable to complete the weekend due to a failure in the gearbox.
Qualifying : With the weather being very changeable, we opted to run a dry set up, the same settings as we ran in the last round of last year, this proved to be the wrong decision as the track temperature was much colder than last years round. This meant the tyres did not come up to temperature, plus we got baulked a couple of times during the session. This all translated into 16th position on the grid (out of 25 entries) and a qualifying time of 1:59, two seconds slower than last year!
Race One : Starting from 16th, I bogged down off the start, and got swamped by three or four cars. Fortunately, I was able to get back passed a couple of cars by turns two and three. The car was working very well, as we had increased the tyre pressures after qualifying, and we were working our way through the field. I had managed to get up to 13th position, when on the second last lap, someting broke in the gearbox, and I could no longer select 5th gear. By the time the race finished, I had lost three places, and finished where we started - a very dissapointing 16th position.
Due to the engine and gearbox being such a tight fit in the car it is impossible to remove the gearbox, with out removing the engine first, therefore an overnight fix was impossible.
Unfortunately, with out 5th gear, it would have been pointless to continue racing and risk damaging the gear set, or work the new engine any harder than it already was, so we decided to withdraw the car from the remaining races.
We take away from this meeting some very positive information. The car was handling very well, and with some extra camber still to come in the front end, should respond very well at the next meeting. The braking system is working well also, and I am starting to get the most out of them. It really is amazing how quick the car can wash off speed on the entry to a corner. On two separate occassions, I out braked cars on the outside going into hairpin bends, and then drove around them through the corner. This is a very good sign for the next round which is a very tight track, where horsepower is not as important as at Eastern Creek.
We now have a lot of work to do before the next round. The engine and gearbox will need to come out, the front struts will be removed for further modifications to the strut tops, plus we need to have the brake pads re-bonded with new material. Lot's of work to be done in the next 6 weeks.