Simon Neill - Goodwood Sprint – 8th May 2021


Goodwood Sprint – 8th May 2021

I finally made it to the first event for the little MK Indy R – GSXR1000 which was brilliant. On Friday 7th I found myself on the rollers at Big CC Racing. That in it’s self was nerve wracking to say the least. Following the original engine seizing I fitted a new one with race cams and fresh rebuild and the fuelling worried me. All sorted at Big CC and she’s a healthy 150 RWHP so about 175 at crank. I know different rollers will give different numbers but that will do for me and I know she is fuelled right too. Did not miss a beat on the rollers! That was the first hurdle…

Morning of Goodwood, up at 4am and on the road by 5:30. Torrential rain all the way there and also whilst unloading the car and van.. Could not have been a worse start! Cold, wet and windy, ‘what am I doing ?’.

After fitting the wheels, nose cone and bonnet it was off to the MSUK Noise test, static I am looking to be under 105db and driveby is 101db at 10m. 7000 RPM or ¾ max revs and hold. She managed to come in at 94DB, I will take that and that’s the first hurdle done.

Start was delayed until 0930 due to standing water and when we got going it was no better. It had sort of stopped raining but track was a pond! Now I’ve not driven the car more than about 10 miles on this engine and new slipper clutch and done just a few more miles trying to build confidence.. I literally had no confidence in her or myself at this point.

Up to start line. Green light…. Gently off the clutch and ….. wheelspin, 2nd wheelspin, 3rd more wheelspin, short into 4th more wheel spin… to be expected but on the way to first double right hander, slippery to say the least and did not bother with brakes and took load of speed off safely and squeezed throttle into 5th, round I go, not enjoying it one bit, it was like ice and the car was just waiting to kill me! LSD was new to me and that seemed to add to throwing me in all directions…

I did about 140 sec lap which was to be expected. I was just glad to be back in one piece. Reality of it all brought home by an expensive Caterham spinning at finish and hitting barrier, bit everywhere but driver ok.

Took about 1.5 hours to get through the field and up for 1st timed run. Drying track but still standing water everywhere you wanted to be. Start was dreadful and I just could not feed the power in without feeling she would go off somewhere. Think the lap was 130 or something.

During lunch I just checked tyres and dropped to 16psi and softened off damping on suspension a bit. Much better off the line but biting point is so near the top of travel it made it difficult with long legs! But the track was looking dry and quickly up into 5th for first corner (double apex) and feathered through to exit and hoped to get up into 6th but took 4th in error….. Back up into 6th and straightlined next couple of corners, 5th for fordwater and then nice line for st marys and was able to nail throttle properly and hang on round, brilliant its all starting to work. Fluffed up the next two corners running out of track but attacked back straight (lavant) and up into 6th. Finished off the lap on a 118 sec I think and over finish line at 83 MPH which was up there as terminal speed at finish.

For the first time I had confidence in her, there was traction and good feedback from her and really the limiting factor was my line through some corners and cautiousness that led to not braking late or hard. Bearly touched brakes on the lap.

Anyway, the final run saw me down to 108 but unfortunately towards the end of the lavant straight the clutch cable snapped and I could only get 4th gear. So I drove from the end of straight to finish (about 3 corners and the chicane) crossing finish line at 43MPH. SO thinking about it, if the cluch had been ok then I would have been down to 100 sec or sub that. The biggest improvement was me and confidence and I look forwards to the next go! In the DRY! Big thanks to MK for getting me to this point! Great little car and most definitely chasing some quick caterhams and a busa Fury but I can only do what I can do

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