Well what a bugger that was! First i look like the michellin man in my borrowed suit that was 20 sizes to big for me (our team suits aren't ready yet), then when the test session finally arrives in the afternoon my clutch goes after half a lap!!
It was a problem we knew might occur as the clutch itself was already 'out lifed' due to there being none available in the country until next week. We managed a temporary fix and the boys did a great job to get me back out at all.
It was really frustrating to watch everyone recording lap after lap and my tally staying at the grand total of 1 on the monitors! We finally managed to get out with about an hour to go which is unfortunately when the sun had gone down and the circuits best time had passed- sods law!
We did manage to get on the pace though and although my best time would only put me 8th as it was up against the earlier times. We were matching the times of the Vauxhall SEAT and RAC who were still lapping that late in the day.
I think Vauxhall surprised a few people with Gio being rapid all day, (and with their very ugly front end!) Although you can't help feeling that SEAT were sandbagging slightly as they have before.
We won't really know where everyone is until about 4pm on the 31st after qualifying at Brands, so we'll see.
In the mean time we are trying to get out as much as possible in the next two weeks, but every other racing team in the country have the same idea so everywhere is rammo at the moment, so the quality of the running we'll get could be bad due to large amounts of cars being on circuit.
We'll see, i'll let you know of any developments!
Was out for our full days running as a team at Brands on friday. Unfortunately Matt had a clutch problem that couldn't be cured- it was sods law it was his car that was in the pits most of the day when its him that needs as much time on track as possible.
I met him for the first time and we got on well which is key in a team as you need to be able to work closely together all year to get the best from the car. The problem should be sorted in time for our next outing at Oulton on wednesday of this week.
With regard to my day, i was pretty pleased all in all. We found time throughout the day but also found a few negative changes to the car which we know NOT to use in the future as they had an adverse effect.
Its always difficult to get a comparison when there are no other teams out but I was really encouraged by the times we were managing to do by the end of the day and we were all pleased to see the car IS on the pace.
More than anything else though I'm pleased to now feel really at home in the car, i'm learning about its response to various set up changes and can't wait to get back in this week to continue development. My engineer, number 1 mechanic and i were also working well together- its something new for me to be looked towards with regard to setup, whereas before i've just been able to use matt's knowledge to set up the car now the guys are all looking at me to make the changes!!!
Hope everyone's cool and looking forward as much as i am to next weeks media launch. One shitty thing though that i've just learnt is we won't have our team suits delivered in time from Sparco as BTCC teams have taken a back seat to the F1 boys!!- RUBBISH!!
Just to welcome one and all to my blog. Its an easy way to let you guys know what i'm up to racing wise as the season gets ever closer. I'll also be recording any personal stuff i think is worth sharing to- which i hope will make for interesting reading and will hopefully give you a bit more insight as to what goes on in my world!
Having already shaken down my car and now with Matt Allison confirmed as my team mate. We're all hugely looking forward to our first proper test at Brands this Friday. Matt will be out for his first run in a Touring car which is really exciting for him and i'll be looking to get some productive stuff done to really start to learn about the SEAT Toledo Cupra.
We'll be out again for 2 or 3 days next week and then its media day at Rockingham the following week. We will then be out abroad for some warm weather testing for a few days as well as getting as much time as poss on the British tracks before round 1.
Its gonna be a busy month but it feels great to really be able focus on that first meeting at Brands! I'm training hard and working on diet to try and be as lean as possible- due to his height though Matt Neal has about +10kgs on me and he hasn't done badly over the past couple of years so as long as i'm as fit as i can be i'll be happy!
Speak to you all soon.