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Tuesday 27th September 2011

Team Furious TVR Momentum Silverstone Race Report ? Sat 17 September 2011

Perry Waddams driving car No. 60 reports:

Qualifying

Due to a few late technical issues back at base my first time in the car was from the pit garage to the assembly area prior to the start of qualifying (30 minutes). That’s not ideal but as I'm more used to a lot more power I was confident we would go well. The rain forecast did not disappoint us and as qualifying started it was raining quite hard. We had decided to put on the road tyres I use to act as wet weather tyres.

Well, "Bambi on ice” springs to mind. The grip levels were pretty poor and on turn in the car just under steered so badly we were hardly moving. We had decided to do 5 laps to get on the grid and then come in to adjust tyre pressures, so as I came into the pit we decided to put on the new intermediate tyres.

Having a 30 minute session meant we had time to go back out to get three or four quick laps in. So having only 6 laps to bed tyres in and get a time we were really pleased we had qualified 21st out of 26 cars, in a time of 1:21.39.That does not sound great but I had never driven the car before, no knowledge of road tyres on a race Tuscan (let alone it was pouring with rain) and remember this car has not raced on circuit for 19 years, so you can see why we were pleased.

Race

So sitting towards the back of the grid with a dry to damp track felt strangely comforting as having never raced this car before I was glad that we did not have the intense action into turn one you get nearer the front of the grid. Famous last words, as the lights went out I hooked the car up really well and we powered past five cars before we had even crossed the start line. Changing into third and heading for the first corner another gap opened up on the inside and I got through onto the back of the lead pack. Wow that was incredible even though I knew I would lose a couple of places to some slow starting cars it was a big grin inside the helmet in car 60.

As the laps clicked by I settled into a great battle with a Porsche 994 turbo which lasted for the next 20 laps changing places two and sometimes three times a lap. He was a little quicker in some turns I was a little better on the brakes in others: excellent fun. Just after the pit stop the rain came down and at one stage I could see the lightning at the back of the circuit. The pit stop was for a change of driver but as I was doing the race on my own I had to come to a stop, turn engine off , un-belt the harnesses, get out the car and close the door then get back in again, belt up and rejoin the race. This adds a bit of interest and Colin my mechanic for the day did a superb job, as neither of us had done a driver change stop before.

30 minutes in and it was blind faith needed as we came into the braking zones. It was hammering down, I have never raced in this heavy rain before and trying to see where my braking points were was challenging to say the least. The car was really good to drive and surprisingly stable straight out of the garage - plenty of power and handling well, this car looks good for the big race of the year at Spa Francorchamp in two weeks time.

Qualified in 21st with a 1:21.39

Finished 9th with a 1:09.70 on lap 14

…just gotta love that.
Copyright Autofixtures 2011