RACE TEST 2
For the second time out with the Durga, I went to a Saturday night York club meeting. I put the Durga back to standard spec – which meant just putting the kit CVA dampers back on. I know how well the 501X can go around York so I was looking forward to it. With a regional the next day at Teesside, there weren’t that many racing at York – certainly some of the best drivers were off getting their beauty sleep before the next days serious racing began.
Before I put the car down for practice I noticed the rear differential was loose from the previous outing. I’m not sure why, but I tightened it up and it felt fine.
I had a brief practice with the car – the track wasn’t up to Yorks usual standard, being a far simpler affair with lap times around 12 seconds and only one small jump. The jump had a flat landing so wasn’t best suited to the standard ‘Durga’ dampers – the car was would lose a composure more than most cars on the landing, losing factions of a second each lap.
In round one I left the car alone and put in 29 laps – one lap down on Bruce Thompson with his new B44.
For round two I again left the car as standard but tried to keep steady and push a little harder – I was lapping some cars several times during the 6 minute race (10 times for poor Derek Bradby), and it wasn’t always easy to get past cleanly. I also tried to minimise the bouncing of the car off the jump by applying a little throttle in the air – trying (sometimes in vain) to land on all four wheels (instead of just the front).
I did 29 laps again but 9 seconds quicker – still not quite on Bruce Thompsons pace but I managed to keep out of trouble for the most part.
The third round was more of the same. I managed to get the hand of the jump better to keep the car stable on landing. I went up to 30 laps in the same time as Bruce had put in in the first round with his B44. Bruce put a one-way diff in his B44 for round 3 and he was happier with the way it drove – putting in 2 more laps than me!
There was no way I could compete with that – the 14x2 was good, but down the straight Bruces’ brushless B44 was a rocket. But, it was through the corners that Bruce was making the time though – the one way let him turn quicker and accelerate out harder.
I was third on the grid in the final – the only change to the car was to try the 501X shocks again. Just like the previous outing with the Durga, the track wasn’t really demanding enough to make a huge difference with the 501X shocks, but the car felt a little better and certainly more composed over the jump.
From the start the pole man got tangled up so I was in second – an error from the number 2 car put me up to first, which I held for a while. Pole man Bruce was back on the pace after his early crash and catching quickly. I tried to keep Bruce behind for a couple of laps but the pressure was a bit too much and I was in second. Once passed, I was able to see Bruce slowly disappear no matter how hard I drove.
I ended up second, behind a very good driver with a proven (world championship winning) car.