Snetterton 300

Posted on 22nd of October 2011 by Vincent
Second time driving in the UK Challenge and also the second time on Snetterton. This time it was on the new 300 lay-out of the circuit

No other Dutch car on the grid this time. Format is the same as in the previous race on Brands Hatch, with four 30 minute races in two days. Support was done by JPR Group and they did a fantastic job throughout the weekend.
I drove the #57 car which was converted back to the good old manual gearbox, as frankly we got tired with continuous problems of the sequential-gearbox.

Day 1 - Saturday

I was slowly making progress into getting a good lap set. The gearbox was fine and it just took a couple of laps to get comfortable with it again. My final lap of 2.10 was 7 seconds of the pace lead. Car did not feel good though, slippery, lot of vibrations, brake paddle felt weird and the car steered to the side when braking. When I came back to the pit, the car was leaking oil. Mechanics of JPR went on it straight away and the car was ready to race on time.

Race 1:
Car felt ok at the start but after just 1 round it, it had the same problems as in qualifying. I went into the pit and the oil leak was present, half of the engine was again wet of oil. No finish for me then.
The problem was a bit more serious than originally thought, but before the end of the day the guys of JPR fixed it for sure this time.

Day 2 – Sunday

Race 2:
First race of the entire day, track was wet but drying. As I’m not much of a driver in the wet and sadly it showed, times were trailing at least 10 seconds behind the other Sakers. Also had lots of vibrations in the car, during braking and cornering which did not improve my confidence. Position: Dead last
Back in the pit we found out that the brake pads were completely new and did not fit properly, explaining the vibrations I experienced.

Race 3:
I had no excuses anymore this time as braking was perfect now. Starting slow as usual I was slowly gaining on the Prosport LM3000 car in front of me. Improved my times by half a second each round I finally got within a second of the Prosport car. Then disaster struck yet again with a punctured tire...

Race 4:
I was confident now that I could now finally ‘race’ and not just ‘drive fast’. There was however a huge trail of oil from the end of the back straight all the way through Coram. (huge engine blow-up in the race before the Sakers). This cost me precious seconds that I hoped to gain, and only at the end did I have a decent pace.

Impressions afterwards:
Well again lots of problems, but the main positive point is that the gearbox did not break.