Running repairs

There were a few jobs required prior to the next Vic Round this weekend at Sandown, not least of all repairing the damage to the front lip sustained at the last meeting. So off it went to Topstage Composites for a few repairs.

The Front splitter as it came off the car:

As you can see, multiple holes were punched in the splitter due to excursions (some assisted) onto the ripple strips, and eventually this lead to air getting into the front end of the car and ripping the spoiler off at its mounts. Luckily it still stayed attached, but it was definitely looking worse for wear. It could have been a pretty nasty scenario had it come off completely, especially as it occurred at the quickest part of the track!

Here’s a video of the moment it splits away:

…and back on the car:

Freddy did a great job of repairing the splitter, and turning it around very quickly for me. Topstage currently handle the aero for many og the cars in the Australian GT series, as well as the Sports Sedans and Time Attack cars. He’s good at what he does that’s for sure, and a great guy to boot.

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New SR8 RX has arrived at Radical Australia

…and what a stunner it is!

These will be allowed to take part in the Radical Australia Cup from 2013, following a similar format to Europe where SR3’s and SR8’s run alongside one another. Definitely have to keep an eye in the mirrors with one of these on track!

More images from Radical Australia here:

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Sandown wrap up Pt 2 – Sunday

So, Saturday was not the easiest of introductions into racing and there was high hopes that Sunday would be much improved. We were on track first up at 9am, and with the weather being clear but the temps being quite cold the entire field fitted up wets in preperation for a greasy track. This was a great decision and for the first time all weekend we could experience that wonderful little thing called GRIP!

Getting some confidence back was key, especially after a horrible first race. As Race 1 was considered a non-event due to it’s short running, DBSR1 was back on the grid in 12th position. This time the start was a lot better, the car hooked up and rocketed off the grid and managed to take 3 cars off the line. This was held until turn 1, when Bloomie came through on the inside and pushed us wide onto the ripple, and losing a bit of time. We managed to claw it back and we were firmly latched onto the back of Greg Smith until a soft error let Chris Stern through and dropped us back a few seconds. This was a lesson learned; be aggressive, not timid!

The racing continued along lie this for another lap until a lack of straight line pace due to some dodgy lead connections was exposed and Garry Walker came through heading into Dandenong Corner. This is where we would end up as a lap later the race was red flagged due to a car off in a dangerous position. This race was fantastic fun, and it was excellent to feel the car with some grip for once!

Race 3 was held later that day, and as the weather had cleared up a number of cars were moving to slicks. We were keeping our eye on what the factory teams were doing, and a few minutes before the race we decided slicks was the go. Thanks to the great help of the DBS pit crew we got the slicks on in time, and made our way to the dummy grid. Interstingly when we arrived we noticed that half the cars had made a switch back to wets due to the cold temperatures… had we made the right decision?

Once again we lined up on the grid, but this time the start wasn’t so crash hot. Too much revs and too cold a tyre equalled a whole bunch of wheel spin and a slow getaway. We were taken by a few cars heading into turn 1, and was taken by Graham Smith down the back straight after a hesitation on cold tyres into turn 5. The Tac Hac car also made it through, and the positions stayed like this until Graham had an issue with his rear wing and slowed. We stayed in this formation for another few laps, not too much exciting going on, and were manageing to put down some decent lap times. unfortunately not being quick enough off the mark on cold tyres had cost us, and despite the decent lap times we were unable to gain on the rest of the field. We were able to lap a fair bit quicker than those on wets as the 10 minute mark of the race passed as their tyres began to overheat, but the gap was too large already. Eventually we were forced to retire when the front splitter broke away coming down the back straight – not a fun experience as you’re about to turn in! Luckily it stayed attached to the car and we made it off safely.

All in all it was a great weekend. The results that we wanted weren’t there, but a lot of valuable lessons were learned.

1. Get your qualifying laps in early
2. Must be quick on cold tyres
3. No hesitation

It’s great to have our first race behind us, and to have the car back in (almost) one piece.

We’ll be looking for a better result at the next round – again at Sandown on July 21/22.

Big thanks to Jesse Cox, Ryan Dhondy and Dan Egan for the great snaps.

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Sandown Wrap Up – Saturday

So the first race has been and gone, and thankfully we made it further than 3 laps this time! With PI due to be our first race, and having it hampered with gearbox issues, we were grateful to enter the VSRC State Round with everything sorted.

Friday was practice, and we used it to shake down the car after it’s gearbox rebuild. Punched a few laps out in the first session, came back in, checked everything – A-ok. Phew! Not even a leak anywhere, so we were stoked. Ben did a fantastic job of putting everything back together, can’t thank him enough.

The next few sessions were hampered by red flags and cold conditions, so not too much was gleaned from Friday. We knew the car was running well so that was all that mattered.

Saturday morning was Qualifying. This was a whole new experience for Dane and we were feeling quite nervous, but that soon left the system as DBSR1 exited pit lane. Spent a lap warming up the tyres, then prayed that there was enough heat and started to pick up some speed. It’s unnerving at Sandown as you don’t have too many corners to work out how much heat you have in the tyres. You come into the braking zone for turn 1 and hope that there is grip! Unfortunately on the third flying lap Graham Smith had a spin and ended up in the gravel trap as you entered the second to last corner. This was quite a dangeroud positon to be in, so the session was red flagged and ended early. We’d only managed to put down a few laps, and the times were quite poor, but we managed to qualify 12th out of 15 for the upcoming first race.

It was a lesson learned – you can’t build yourself up in qualifying. You need to go out, get some heat and start punching out quick laps immediately even if the conditions are poor as you never know what will end up happening in the session.

Race 1 was held the same afternoon, and even more nerve racking than qualifying. Butterflies were building prior to the race, but we knew these would dissipate once the flag dropped… well we hoped anyway. Car ready to roll, we headed to the dummy grid on slicks to line up. As we sat there patiently we were informed that there was a slight issue… the track had no power. Apparently an incident on Dandeong Rd had knocked out all power, and repairs were needed. Unfortunately by the time the issue had been resolved the days only rain shower had decided to spice things up a bit. Freezing temperatures, mositure and slicks is not an ideal scenario for one’s first race… dang. Oh well, there wasn’t anything to do but suck it up and give it a go. We headed out onto the track and the DBSR1 made it no further than the straight between turn 1 and 2 before pirouetting off the track… oops. Turns out it was quite slippery… With no harm done DBSR1 rejoined the festivities and took up grid positon 16 at the back of the pack.

The 30 second board was shown… then the lights went on… 5 second board is shown… pick up the revs to 8000rpm….lights go out, clutch pops and… nothing. Stalled! Oh dear… restart the car, pick up the revs and let it rip. We were quite ways back, but the red SR3 of Brett Dickie had also stalled and was struggling to get going, and DBSR1 overtook it heading into turn 1. Despite the rubbish start the rest of the field was obviously being very cautious in the treacherous conditions ans we managed to catch the pack towards the end of the first lap. A moment into turn 11 allowed Brett through, and we continued chasing down the pack. Unfortunately Bloomie had a failure which led to the beautifully presented ‘Okie Dokie’ 2012 SR3 Cup Car being backed into the wall at the exit of 4, triggering a safety car. The conditions worsened, and with cars and debris strewn all over the track from various offs the race was red-flagged under SC and marked a non-event.

Very tricky introduction to racing indeed, but valuable experience none the less. Below are a few images from the day, more to come on Sunday with Race 2 and 3 shortly.

Big thanks to Jesse Cox, Ryan Dhondy and Dan Egan for the great snaps.

More shots from Jesse can be found on Radical Team Melbourne’s Facebook page:

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She’s alive!

As good as new.

Big thanks to Ben for putting it back together for me, otherwise it would still be a pretty ornament sitting on the fllor of the warehouse. Now to prep it for the VSRC State Round at Sandown on the 15th-17th June. Thankfully there’s not much to do as it was prepp’d for PI and we only completed a few laps so she should be good to go… fingers crossed for a better result this time.

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The way all engines should arrive…

… in a crate from another country.

Big thanks to Garth, Wazz and the guys at Radical Australia, as well as to RPE and Radical UK for getting this back so quickly. After experiencing turnaround times of 6-12 months on previous car engines a 4 week turnaround seems to be the best thing since sliced bread.

Now to get it in!

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Daniel Reinhardt Completing R2 Round 2 of the 2012 RAC

Cracking video of Daniel Reinhardt in one of the sponsored SR3’s killing Phillip Island at the recent RAC round.

Awesome stuff.

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