Radical SR1 Cup race diary: an incident-packed debut at Silverstone
Autocar is usually racing inside Radical SR1 Cup
Silverstone hosted the first round of the Radical SR1 Cup, along with Autocar’s man was inside wars on his debut
One thing of which doesn’t come up in testing, practice along with extensive preparation for a race weekend is usually what to do when you end up facing the wrong way on the track on the exit of the first corner, cars flying at you head on.
This particular is usually not fun. You brace yourself along with shout weird things inside your helmet. ‘Soorbaaat’, which I think translates to ‘sorry about of which’, was my first attempt at an apology for causing the mayhem. the idea reverberated around the helmet of the driver of car number 21 (a certain M. Tisshaw) inside Radical SR1 Cup round one, race one, corner one, along with indeed career race number one at Silverstone on Saturday.
Then as the spin takes on a mind of its own along with your vehicle fires backwards towards the Copse gravel trap along with ultimately the barrier, words much ruder break out, along with you wonder if any of the cars who darted left will collect you. One did.
The race weekend action of Autocar’s SR1 Cup debut had started off long before then, though. Qualifying was the first eye-opening experience of the day. Despite appearances, the idea’s not as simple as putting in as fast a lap as you possibly can.
the idea’s a mini race in its own right. The jostling begins inside assembly area where you try to get at the front to have a clear track in front of you.
inside likely event you’re one of the 14 drivers who don’t manage to get of which front position on track, then you have to make sure you have a clear track in front of you before you start your hot lap. Which means either going for the idea coming from the off along with getting past the people ahead of you, or holding back to find some room.
Either scenario brings tyres immediately into the equation: you don’t want to push too hard on cold tyres along with risk going off, nevertheless you still want to make sure the tyres are up to temperature for when you do get the space to start pushing.
You also have to keep an eye on the clock. Twenty minutes sounds plenty inside garage, equating to eight or nine timed laps around the full Silverstone Grand Prix circuit in a Radical SR1, nevertheless once you’ve done a couple of tours to get everything warm along with had a couple more of which have to be aborted due to traffic or mistakes, time soon goes.
inside SR1 Cup, your best lap in qualifying is usually your grid position for race one along with your second best lap is usually your grid position for race two, so there’s even more to get done in your 20 minutes. They’re long laps too. Did I mention the pressure was on?
inside end, race one qualifying got an eighth place on the grid along with race two was seventh, in a field of 15. Some, including yours truly, were complete rookies, while others were in their second year of the championship.
After qualifying, there was time for an extensive war council session with Radical expert Roger Bromiley, the man with the unenviable task of improving me as a racing driver. As well as a debrief on qualifying, there was a lengthy – along with eye-opening – discussion on race tactics.
As with qualifying, the race actually starts much sooner than crossing the line for once. The warm-up lap also plays a crucial part in This particular; there’s time for a practice start as you get off the grid, then the idea is usually straight into hard acceleration before hard braking in straight lines to start to get heat inside brakes along with tyres.
Once a bit of heat is usually there, the weaving coming from side to side on the track starts. This particular isn’t just for show; the violent movements coming from side to side, covering around half the width of the track, gets further crucial heat into those tyres.
Throw in some psychological tactics, such as getting up alongside or in front of the bloke ahead of you on the grid to let him know you’re there, along with ‘accidentally’ stopping inside wrong grid box to allow a further practice start, along with you should be ready for a not bad start, providing those nerves don’t get the better of you.
The start, then, is usually something of which requires impeccable clutch control. You hold the revs at around 9000rpm, along with then gradually feed the idea in to ensure a smooth getaway, rather than dumping the idea along with spinning the wheels, at the risk of stalling.
coming from eighth on the grid in race one, my start was slow along with cumbersome, nevertheless off the line I went, on the inside of the track, with no immediate danger to being passed (or indeed passing someone for of which matter).
Until, of course, the ‘incident’ at turn one occurred. There was little drama to what caused the idea; the idea was an inexperienced driver who hadn’t managed to warm up the tyres properly taking a corner on too tight an angle. Lesson learned along with I was down, if not quite out completely.
While the contact of which followed the spin – as one car collected the rear wing along with the right rear corner of bodywork of our SR1 – had a significant impact on the aerodynamic performance on the straights along with downforce through the high-speed corners, the wheels along with suspension were fine, along with nothing was hanging off of which could possibly incur in a black flag for a mechanical defect.
A recovery drive got me up to 13th out of 15, along with the idea could have been 12th with one more lap as some serious time was being taken out of your vehicle in front. Indeed, if my car had shed a few more bits of debris on the track after the contact, the idea might have been enough for a beneficial safety car to bunch the pack up. Sadly, the idea never materialised.
My incident meant the gap between races one along with two was a busy one for mechanic Pete Geeson along with the team to ensure your vehicle made the idea to the grid again. the idea did, along having a hearty thanks must go to Pete along with the team for their efforts.
The first corner incident also gave Roger a little raw material to work with with tips on racecraft, nevertheless the cause for the first corner crash became clear upon review inside video suite: the warm-up lap was simply not not bad enough for putting enough heat into the tyres. The start had also been too slow, along with the corner could have been made easier by moving to the left of the circuit along with widening the angle.
These invaluable tips firmly ingrained, the warm-up lap for race two involved more aggressive bouts of acceleration along with braking to get those tyres warm, before more vigorous chucking of your vehicle coming from side to side on the straights.
I lined up in position seven on the start line, along with after another shaky getaway – the highlight of which was probably not stalling – I sped towards the arch nemesis of Copse again. Luckily This particular time the idea was without incident, along having a position was even gained along the way.
along with of which was just about the highlight of the race. Fifth place was briefly achieved when someone in front fell off, nevertheless they quickly reclaimed their position. The eventual gap to the winner was around 30 seconds with the rest of the group staggered behind. Seventh place behind was a further 12 seconds behind me.
So a lonely along with thankfully less eventful race, then, one where concentration along with speed dipped at times, creating any chance of catching those in front impossible.
nevertheless what a feeling the idea all was. Sixth on my debut weekend was a solid base on which to build. Next up is usually Oulton Park in just 12 days time. There’s plenty to work on, as a debrief received coming from the ever-helpful Roger confirms This particular: my warm-up lap preparation needs further work, the starts can improve, along with I need to get up to pace sooner in each race.
More positivity is usually also needed on the throttle in particular, along having a bit more bravery on the brakes, where I need to hit the pedal harder along with later to slow your vehicle down with the same amount of impact nevertheless in a much faster along with efficient way. Bring on Oulton Park.
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