Breezemount Motorsport Summer Update- with Stuart Parker
August 20, 2013 by Stuart Parker
Apparently tarmac starts to get all mushy and change state at around 50 degree Celsius, that’s 122 Fahrenheit to our American friends or 283 Kelvin for our scientific community. I only bring this somewhat pointless fact up as our recent heat wave has indeed been melting tarmac in some parts of the country. Luckily no problems have been spotted on the racing ribbon of our circuits as no one wants to deal with chucks of bitumen adhered to sticky racing slick tyres. Moving on from the subject of toffee tarmac, it has been a somewhat eventful couple of months since my last blog. I
have had the pleasure of experiencing both Entonox and Morphine for the first time in my life and actually rather enjoyed it, but certainly do not want to relive the pit lane injury which preceded the drug induced euphoria. It was a silly injury which happened so easy during a push back of a GP2 into its box, OUCH but a massive and really respected thank you to the Kirkistown St John Ambulance crew and medics, and to think these guys do this voluntarily demands medals to be pinned to their chests immediately! Right… back to chewing the racing fat and the summer report so far. Philip has made up good point scoring ground in the saloons with the Seat Leon but is still behind the top spot due to missing the Bishopscourt round and of course tough competition in their varied cars that are showcased on the grid at every round. The June race was one of those days where everyone in the paddock became advent meteorologists, with heads constantly tilted upwards from the azimuth on rain radar alert. Actually we have no concerns of wet running with the Seat, we spent a few days focusing on wet setup earlier this year which
has paid off with a very compliant car but it’s the time required to switch from dry to wet setup and vice versa which is of concern. If I make a call to switch then I have to stick with it as time will not allow a switch back if the clouds do not favour my opinion. Always a tense moment as the call for setup choice is made as late as possible which in turn has a knock on effect of a controlled panic for the spanners to change settings before push up to assembly area. We can all blame the Gulf Stream for our 4 seasons in one day weather but it does make good entertainment. Our wet setup did indeed prove its worth as Philip took a class win and managed to reel in the faster GT Ginetta which is certainly impressive.
Our efforts in the Formula Libre Championship haven’t been as points rewarding this year. We cannot be too upset about this as they have been team self inflicted due to other commitments with our Ferrari Challenge. The previous May race outing promoted an early appearance of our GP2 as our Formula Master which has been the chosen race mule this year for the Formula Libre championship developed an unlikely fault. During testing before the race weekend with our Formula Master and going through the usual motions, it became very apparent when Philip came in to box, that the
gearbox idle chatter was of a very different note, enough to call an immediate end to running for a gearbox investigation team to be sent in. Oil drained and all looks ok, then forward chip magnets are removed and behold a single gear tooth has energised itself to the magnet. Oh not good, let’s hope it’s a gear I can do a simple swap with the spares we carry. With gear casing then removed it reveals I’m in a jam, 1 magnet. I know I don’t carry a spare, I know it will take a mild miracle to source a replacement and I’m somewhat concerned the gear has failed well within its kilometre lifing. So after some discussion with Philip we decided to pull the Formula Master entry for the weekend so further failure analysis could be exploited back at the workshop. This is certainly no over the top move as we were lucky that indeed the sole loose tooth found its way to a magnet and not into a neighbouring rotating gear set. If that scenario happens with driver committed on track then one can imagine a gearbox grenading at the worst possible moment sending driver and car into an unforgiving tyre barrier for a serious repair bill. Lets not take that risk, safety of pilot and car is always of the utmost importance and we have the option of substituting our GP2 in the Masters place for the race. The only issue there is, that the GP2 hasn’t been run since Philip took the outright record last October. We keep the cars in tip top condition but it is always preferable to have a few days testing before a race to ensure car in its entirety is working without any glitches, not to mention that Philip has to shock and awe his body and reflexes into the blinding pace the GP2 will administer. So a frantic 24hrs where undertaken back at workshop for final prep for flight, everything from correct fuel rating & quantity, to fresh tyres mounted on rims made ready. With trailer loaded the journey is made back down the now well-travelled route these last 24 hours to Kirkistown. The GP2 ran faultlessly for its unexpected test outing and race day schedule which is testament to the preparation the team puts in. It has to be said that Philip also put in a stellar performance with personal best times recorded during Friday runs after 7 months of GP2 absence. For those interested, a short video recording mounted from the GP2 car can be watched on our Facebook page, an interesting watch to see Philip touch 170 mph before braking into Colonial. So as the August round draws closer at Kirkistown, the GP2 undergoes preparation for its originally scheduled outing and we also look to close the gap and chase top spot in the saloons championship. Yes indeed the fun starts again with no toffee tarmac on the cards in this cooler month of August.
In the meantime, stay sugary sweet!