Simon Neill - Pembrey Sprint Weekend 5/6 June


Saturday was interesting as the weather was pretty damp on and off through the day, whilst Sunday was sunny all day. This is the second event for the Indy R – GSXR 1000 and I decided to change nothing on the car following Goodwood as I am still learning how she handles to make informed decisions. Tyres were 16psi front cold and 17psi rear cold.


At Pembrey you get 1.75 laps so do most corners twice which is great although the approach speed to the hairpin is higher on the second lap which caught me out a treat!


Noise testing was just prior to first run and she sailed through that at 7k RPM static test but never got a number from them. Goodwood was tested at 96DB static. I don’t think they have a driveby noise test at Pembrey though.


Wet / damp and dry track on Saturday depending on when you had your run but not wet enough to spoil it all though. First run I was very cautious and just wanted to get a sighter in to see how the corners link together and to think about a line through them. Found a little traction here and there but the damp track just made me back off a lot. From the start youre straight on the start finish straight and the hairpin fast approaches, think I was in 4th and clicked down to 2nd and a wild scrabble for grip and the slipper clutch working well on the shift down. Wriggled out of the hairpin and up to 3rd for slight right hander and 4th before the long long double left. This links into a right hander and then down into another tight right hander and then into a kink right and another bend right into start finish straight. The lap was cautious and steady and the same for the second lap. Times were nothing to write home about and just glad the rain stopped. On a drier / dry 2nd run I really attacked the hairpin from start and the car was happy riding the kerbs. Took 9 seconds off from T1 to T2 and ended on a 126 sec run. With so little time on the track it was hard to ‘learn it’ properly and I struggled with a breaking point for the hairpin on second lap. Had a really massive lock up on final run which lost me  load of time but still 127sec run so I rekon it would have been a 124 which for my first go there is not bad.


By the second timed run I felt a lot more confidence in the little Indy and became used to the noise and vibration that the slipper clutch makes. This was particularly evident on Sunday when a new 90 degree left and right were introduced. Cold tyres are entertaining to say the least but I felt quite a bit of grip and when it started to lose the grip it was predictable and progressive which meant I was happily attacking the kerbs, powering through and hanging on! Through the bends, great fun. The last two right handers I found I was getting braver as the day went on and waspretty much flat out in 5th for both, taking 6th down the straight. I had some great comments on the noise as I passed the pit lane on lap 2 and on Sunday I was hitting limiter in 6th just before braking for hairpin! Engine ran faultlessly for the day but I do need a little more work on the starts…


Sunday brought the sun! all day really. The layout was slightly different with change bringing a chicane. First run I came flying round a lovely left hander and forgot to brake for a while and ended up almost stationary whilst I got back onto the track! But the confidence was still there from Saturday as most of the track was exactly the same and the last two right handers are so flowing and tempting to go flat in 6th but I did not have the minerals on first run it was a practice run… First timed run was ok’ish with big mess up on the hairpin again and felt myself backing off due to cost of hairpin. Car handling well again and it was driver fault that caused the slow time of 146secs. Timed run 1, really attacked the start and first lap and the last two right handers I was flat out in 5th and then up into 6th back on throttle before the start finish straight, hanging on through corner, felt good but just sliding a bit (understeer I guess) but constant steering input held through corner knowing it would kiss the kerb (and a bit of grass on exit)… couple of dodgy lines taken through chicane and missed braking point but was 8 seconds quicker on a 138sec. Timed run 2 I gave her the beans throughout the 1.75 laps and only messed up the chicane again and another tight right hander and the start I guess but the rest on the laps she felt great and turned a 133sec taking another 5 secs off. Big chunks of time being taken off each time I go out… Then mid afternoon on last run she felt really quick but also felt a lot less traction where I had it before… only thing that had changed was track temp and tyre temp / pressure (not checked). Just felt like she was sliding a bit more than normal and indeed ended up doing 134… But again, happy with the 133 and the confidence she gave me. I know there is loads more time to come off and was looking to hit 130 on T3 but maybe next year…


On to Gurston Down next weekend… Different kettle of fish indeed. I think I should run tyres at 19 and 20 psi (front / rear) as I will never get heat in them in 40 secs of running?

Back to blog