Saturday, March 14, 2009

Brands Hatch - Pre Season Test Day

We're doing Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit in August. Not much chance to test there as there are so few GP days available. So the Grads arranged their pre-season "shakedown" track day there. Nice circuit, shame about the price - an eye-popping £315 at full price. Fortunately I was able to take advantage of BookaTrack's "Double Glazing Sales Technique" (nice one, Charlie!) and got if for £290.

£290 for six 20 minute sessions - so the two I missed cost me £96. Missed because I was too enthusiastic prepping the car, and pressure-washed the engine with Gunk. Failed to clean it out properly so ended up with gunky-water down the plug holes. For some reason it was fine in the first session, but wouldn't rev over 5K in the second. Cleaning that out improved things but it still wasn't fixed properly so I missed the next session too. Chris had just discovered his battery was stone dead (first time the car had come off the trailer since Spa!) so off he went to the Caterham factory, down the road at Dartford. He picked up a set of plugs (£40 - ouch) and fortunately that sorted it.

Got to play a bit with the new datalogger. I can see it could be a useful tool, but it's going to require quite a bit of time to (a) learn how to use the analysis software and (b) to actually study the results. I think it really needs a two-day test session, so you can analyse the results after day one, and test out any resulting theories on day two. No chance of that happening, though!

I also have another secret weapon - a tame shrink! An old friend is doing a masters degree in psychology, focusing on improving race performance. He was looking for a victim subject to work with, and I volunteered. Not sure whether it'll do any good, but the price was right...