Simon Neill - Goodwood Final Event of 2022


Goodwood 2nd in class and 3 seconds off my PB.


Yesterday was the last sprint of the season at goodwood. I swapped my r888r tyres for Avon ZZs and went 215/55 r13 rear from 205/60 and went 185/55 r13 front from 185/60.


This lowered car by 4.5 mm which left. Set front damping to 11 clicks from soft and rear 7 from soft and tyre pressures at 17 rear 16front. 


The track was dry but damp in places following overnight rain. The weather was set to improve all day so practice run for me was a sighter to see how tyres feel along with car too.


First run off the line was dreadful, massive wheelspin in every gear and into first double right hander, no front end grip and felt like I could not lean on the tyres, car sort of felt like it just gently sat on track and wanted to slide off. I set mid boost and drove round in 6th, not enjoyable and frightened life out of me. Still managed 130 down Lavant straight but bailed well early for the double right Woodcote. Glad it was over and time was 113 secs. 


I knew it was because of track conditions mainly but I decided that I'd soften front damping down to 9 clicks and drop tyre pressures to 15 all round. Took about an hour to get to first timed runs track drying well. Off the line was dreadful again and only mid boost, she was sliding all over the place off the line. Into first double right in 5th much better feel at front and felt balanced but just came in too early on first apex which pushed me wide. Up into 6th and came off throttle at foordwater and changed down to 5th for no name and St Mary's the only left hander where I then held 5th well through the double right on Lavant straight. Much more traction at front and confidence building, braked at 150 board at end of straight from about 130mph and took 4th for the last part of the double right and 3rd at chicane. Better but messy lines and car starting to bite into track well. Difficult to explain but first run felt like car sat just on the surface and now feeling like you can lean onto wheel and it bites into the track .


So I'm going the right way, 98sec timed run. Tyres checked and reset back to 15 all round. First full boost run.....T2 I turned in a 94.2 sec and starting to come together with the exception  of false neutral at end of straight where I braked at 100m board and tried to take 5th. Full boost means changing driving style as 6th becomes more like 4th or 5th in terms of acceleration. So where I changed down to 5th the extra power of full boost unsettled back end and spun up the wheels. I needed to use the extra power in the right way. So my target area to improve was staying in 6th all the way from first corner to the double right before Lavant.. this would keep the speed up and 6th in full boost in insane and very drivable. So I sort of managed this but  bottled 6th at the left hander but still 94.2 is a Pb. 


T3 full boost, front tyresdown to 13psi rear 15 and an extra click of rear damping as she had a touch more understeer with the speed increasing... she is an animal off the line spinning wheels in every gear. Flat out in 6th on limiter through foordwater and the kink and held 6th as planned. Up into Lavant straight and she is at max speed before the kink left braking to about 75 before corner and turned in well to last double right. Chicane I took in 4th and she pulled well out of that. Also, the lines she was holding were tight and stable suggesting balance. The time 92.6 and 2nd place.


T3, full boost and dropped tyres back down to 13/14 as they had gone up a couple of psi. Tidied up the lines well 6th gear is mega on full boost, great breaking at the 50 board and snick 5th set and power through.. time 91.6 which is 3 secs off my PB.


I now know I need more top end speed so will likely have to go 15 or 16 rears but having said that I still think there are places to improve at goodwood. With time I actually think she'd take 6th gear for most corners as full boost just works so well in 6th with the gearing I have. 


Zzs tyres were worse on the startline and there was plenty of grip for the corners, maybe more tha  r888r had and occasionally I'd lock a wheel but I think that's my fault seeing how late I can break.


I need 7th 8th and 9th gears on full boost but for me she - both chassis and engine were spot on yesterday and starting to tame the thing with only manual controls. There is a point where I'll need some electronics to extract the last 10ths out of her.


It's taken a while but driving style change on full boost was a big learn yesterday and the dialling out a little understeer was satisfying.

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