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ForzaMinardi Racing @ Eastern Creek
Hey guys, just writing to let you know what's happening.
Round 2 of the NSW Championships is on at Eastern Creek Raceway this weekend, and the 'red minardi' is back in action. So far this weekend we've completed three friday practice sessions, a qualifying session and race one.
Having never driven at Eastern Creek before I wasn't expecting to win, but I didn't expect to be too far from the front...so we were all a little shocked come friday afternoon when we found ourselves 4 seconds off the pace! It got even worse this morning, with the leaders breaking into the 1m49sec barrier and us going nowhere, we were left 5 seconds a lap slower, in 20th place out of 37 cars.
As it turns out, we are around 5hp off the front running cars, and with that we lack 600rpm down the main straight. The effect of that is, we're in excess of 10km down on top speed. Formula Vee's hold their top speed down the main straight, through turn 1 and down the straight to turn 2. We've done the calculations and we believe that this alone is costing us up to 2 seconds a lap by itself. Add that to us coming in at a whopping 515kg after race 1, 25kg's over the minimum weight!
In race 1 this afternoon we did some more chassis work, and have pegged the gap back to less than 3 seconds a lap. Around the back of the circuit, the car feels great and I can really attack the people around me, but that all comes undone on the main straight. Even worse for me is watching some of the cars I beat at round 1 running around 11th, 12th, 13th, etc.
My aim for the weekend is to close the gap to the front runners even more, and perhaps break into the top 16 before the end of race three. It's only a learning year for me, and I'd like to get as much experience as possible in the current car so when the new Aurora comes online later this season I can potentially run top 5 and perhaps win a race or ten. Now I know how Friesacher and Albers must feel waiting for that PS05! Although I will admit some of our lack of outright pace is down to my driving. It's only my 4th time in the car, and i've never seen Eastern Creek before. I feel my driving style is much more suited to Wakefield Park and Oran Park, and i'm expecting big things at the next round in 5 weeks time.
I'll give you guys a full rundown of the weekend and some photo's tomorrow night, so for now Forza (red) Minardi! :D