Perhaps it's just a Northern thing. The only other official track up here is this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v ... k4l0A&feature=related (yes it's a real track : no it's not speeded up, and yes, these guys are seriously seriously mental.) No nancy boy Southern softy circuits for us yunno
It's a shame really if you're just driving from home to the circuit and back again. I guess you've not got the time to do the touristy bit when racing. Some of the circuits in this country are in really nice areas, and it would be good if you got the chance to have a look around. If you get the chance the next time you're up in Croft, try to check out Richmond and Barnard Castle, lovely towns, lovely countryside (perhaps a bit too twee for your tastes, but your dad will love it )
I've driven round Croft in a souped-up mini. It wasn't quite a single seater, nor was I racing, nor did I have many laps but I was properly pushing it and when you're 13 it feels awesome I was only 30 or so mph away from you on the straights
Not the best track ever, but I do like Croft a lot, enough to go to the BTCC every year at least Though it's my local track, it's still too far to amble up there and meet you Tristan...harrumph. I live nowhere near anywhere But at least the countryside is lovely...if you do tecide to go all touristy I'm 30 mins from Richmond...dunno why you'd want to meet me but if you're passing through Wensleydale/Coverdale you could pop in if you're feeling peckish, or lacking in tea
Jolly good videos, how are you so competetive after only a few seasons of racing? It just isn't fair.
Croft sure is nice when the sun shines, there aren't many other tracks in the UK that are as well kept, but Anglesey is far better when it comes to scenery.
Speaking of which, last Sunday I had the dubious 'honour' of smashing up a Porsche 924 there, I'd never really experienced brake pad 'knock off' before, so when I got to Rocket and the pedal went to the floor I panicked threw it onto the grass to the left, got some air over the crest of the hill and chucked it sideways into the tyre barriers, very embarrasing, thanks to the team and co for beating the car back into shape for race 2.
Sounds nasty 5Haz, I've got into the habit or just brushing the foot brake with my left foot after running over kerbs to try and avoid the dreaded pad knock-off. Do you race 924s then?
Oh and Tristan, I forgot to mention I'm in your position now too - I was leading the series up until last weekend where we had a meeting at Mallory. Qualified 2nd but half way through T1 (Gerrards) the engine died and wouldn't restart so that was it, I DNF'd. Started from 23rd in race 2 and made my way up to 5th but the way the silly points system works, basically 1 DNF means I can't win unless the guy now leading it DNF's too. Sucks.
It was a one off thing in the BRSCC 924 cup with a team, might do part of the season next year if the money can be found. And yeah I started tapping the brake pedal in the 2nd race and all was good (the team did a great job sorting out the mess I created so I could get out there again), apart from fuel starvation while cornering but I'm sure that'll get sorted.
Shame to hear you both been falling at the final hurdle championship wise, but at least you can be safe in the knowledge that only bad luck stood between you and the championship, and look forward to next year with confidence.
I was starting to think this motorsport lark was easy. I now realise how wrong I was!!!
Absolutely. Croft was pretty immaculate and clearly well cared for and looked after. But without the beautiful coastline it could never quite rival Anglesey for the looks. Having said that, I bet the weather is a touch more stable at Croft (and pretty much anywhere other than Anglesey )
I'm fortunate that most single seaters are relatively immune from knock-off, even over big kerbs, due to the positioning of the calipers relative to everything else. But it's not a bad idea just to tap the pedal to make sure pads are at least close to the discs come braking point!!! Sounds like a nasty accident - it's always worse when there is a certain amount of panic and being a passenger. If it's solely down to driver error then it's a lot easier to deal with mentally.
Yup, it sucks. But apparently it'll make us stronger, so next year we'll do a bit better, and take a little less for granted. Is there anything you can do to improve your engine over the winter so that you're not as down on power as your rivals?
Teams work magic between sessions. I'm sure witchcraft is involved! Fuel starvation is probably the most irritating thing, because you can drive absolutely perfectly and still end up losing a little bit of time - but not so much that you might as well give up. So you end up bouncing in your seat and shouting at the engine to make it go just a tiny bit faster... See my Mallory video for a perfect example of that (only you can't hear the shouting!!)
Good luck for next year. Everyone is different, but since I started racing I've managed to find more money for 'hobbies' than I ever thought possible. Luxuries just flew out of the window - new clothes? Nope. Going to the hairdressers (not my car!)? Nope? And the fact I spend nearly every evening working on the car limits my social spending at the pub/cinema etc. Give up the nice things in life and you get to go racing. And once you're racing you don't miss the nice things in life...
Helped by the fact that today I might have arranged a sponsorship deal for tyres next year, which is nice. The downside is it's not with Avons, but with a Malaysian brand called Silverstone. They seem quite quick - I got under the lap record at Croft eventually, although the blue/white car got further under it - but I'm not sure if they're as quick or better. But if they're about a quarter of the price of Avons (so I could have four times as many for the same price) maybe that's not so much of an issue.
In Alex's case it was just bad luck. In my case it was bad luck, some missed rounds, and some bad driving Actually, I'm quite impressed with the pace of the car out of the box, and my ability to extract pace from it. There is more to come. Next year I am fully intending an all-out challenge for the title.
I always enjoy watching your race videos Tristan, more fun than most other videos because the quality of the vid is very good but normally you find these kind of cams on track day cars where they have 400bhp and just overtake caterhams like they are standing still and these people think they are cool doing it. ;P
I really want an HD camera setup, but there isn't anything on the market close to what I want yet. Chasecam need to sort themselves out and release an affordable HD bullet camera and recorder I haven't quite decided whether an HD camera comes under the heading of luxury though, because then I wouldn't be able to buy one
Glad you like the videos. They are raw (so you get to see all my silly novice/amateur mistakes). I'd much rather have the Caterhams you speak of than the cars overtaking them. I'd wager the Caterham drivers have MUCH bigger grins on their faces
First of all nice driving there, pitty about the accident in race 2.
Secondly, I'd like to you know your in-car setup? I'm going try to post one of my video's, but the sound quality really lacks, and the camera isn't a fan of kerb abuse either.
Any tips for getting an in-car camera set up? Also there's a bad glare out of the windscreen that I'd like to get rid of
Don't know about the glare - I don't have a windscreen in quite the same way. Perhaps a tinted lens cover on the camera?
Anyway, I use a Chasecam PDR100 recorder (8Mbps 720*576 (Pal, but NTSC are available) MPEG2) which I have in the cockpit, velcroed to the side. That connects to a 520 line PAL Bullet Camera - mine is a Dogcam HQ1, but Chasecam and others do very similar ones. The audio is captured by the recorder with built-in mics. So it's out of the wind, not far from the engine, and connected to the chassis (for added bass!). It just works on this car.
On our old the recorder was under my knees, and as such the sound was comparatively muffled. Plus it was mounted on rubber 'feet' to make it resist vibration better which muffled the chassis-transmitted audio. As such the Reynard videos have much poorer engine sound.
Seen it. Fell in love with it. But it's shaped like a brick, and I have no intention of replacing our relatively streamlined bullet camera with something that knocks 5mph off my top speed.
If they made a version with a remote camera (i.e. a recorder and a camera, much like I have now, but in HD) then I'd buy one off them tomorrow!
It's not a story of ability and being spotted sadly! I did a bit of regular arrive-and-drive karting when I was about 10 at the local indoor karting place, and used to beat most people that were ever on track with me - family, friends, strangers. But I never entered a proper race there, and I never managed to beat the people that worked at the track when I challenged them to a race. I knew then that I wasn't to have a career as a professional driver
Over the years I went to a few other karting places, and entered a few races at them - heats and finals events for people that turn up on the day, but never won anything (although I did make the odd final!).
I did a few track days in various things once I'd learnt to drive, but nothing that prepared me for racing or competition driving; it's just not the same when it doesn't matter how fast you go.
When I was at Uni my Dad bought the Reynard 883 to experience slicks and wings "before I get too old to enjoy it" - he still hasn't enjoyed it from the driver's seat properly, and claims he doesn't want to. He nearly bought a Formula 5000 car, which would have killed one of us.
I pursuaded him that we should use the car once I graduated, and so my brother and I did some sprints at the end of 2006. I won my class once, he won the class once (because I fell off on both my timed runs, which were quicker than his... but hey, it was nice of him to win something), and we both struggled at a damp Lydden.
After that had whetted my appetite, I pursuaded my Dad to let me race - my parents were both very against that, not least because they lost a son (and me a brother) in a car accident in 2001, so safety was of critical importance. Sprinting is 'safer' because there is only one car at a time... But I kept asking, and they agreed.
There was a certain amount of work to be done to race - the car had an F3 engine, and the series we wanted to enter (and could afford to enter) asked for a road engine. We got from a Toyota MR2, did the difficult conversion, and went racing in May 2007. My first session was a very wet Castle Combe, qualifying with all the classes combined. So I had 1000cc bike engines and faster 2000cc cars trying to pass me. I had 1600 and 1800cc cars getting in the way, all whilst trying to learn a circuit, a car and how to drive either. Talk about a baptism of fire!!! But I didn't qualify last (12th out of 14), and I didn't get overtaken in the race (10th out of 12 finishers).
At the next race I qualified 5th in the wet, beating cars and drivers that had been doing it for years. By the end of the year the only cars regularly in front of me were 'modern' Dallaras, and we ended up with two podiums at Snetterton at the end of the year.
The aim was to do 2008, and try to win the championship. The club had realised that not much could compete with the Dallaras, and set up a class for older pre-93 cars called Classic 2000. I hit the ground running, built up a points lead, and survived a scruffy end to the season to take the championship in my second year.
What to do now? Keep going? Make the car quicker and try to beat the Dallaras? Buy a Dallara? Retire happy in the knowledge that I've been there, done that?
We bought a Dallara. It wasn't anywhere near race ready, so over the winter my dad and I spent about 1500 man hours (plus sub-contracted hours) restoring the car to a decent standard. My social life struggled to cope!! Being a much newer, stiffer car we went into the year intending it to be a learning year - solving reliability issues, learning how to set up the car, and how to drive it. Somehow were were on the pace (pretty much) immediately, with a 2nd, a 3rd, a win, a DNF, a 2nd and a 3rd so far in 2009. I'm now going into every race confident I can challenge for a win, and that is the aim in two weeks time at Snetterton - I'd love to finish the season on a high, and use the mental boost to spring into a championship challenge in 2010.
And that's it. No karting to speak off. No junior categories. No driver schools. Just a bit of luck, lots of dedication, and some fun along the way. And I wouldn't have it any other way. If I'd bought a 120hp Formula Ford I'd never have developed as quickly (as a driver (?) or as a race engineer) as jumping in at the deep end with a Formula Three car.
Yes, they are very similar as far as can be compared - obviously sitting in front of a computer, with no vibrations, noise, heat or 'pressure' makes it a lot easier, plus you have more information - positions, gaps etc that I have to rely on a pitboard for (I think nKP is better here, as you only have a pitboard in it for gaps?).
But in terms of handling, it's not far off really. The major problem with LFS (as I have always stated) is how lateral and longitudinal grip combines in the tyre model. Stamping on the throttle in LFS = oversteer in the single seaters, but in real life it more often than not results in understeer. Plus the way that the grip is regained progressively in LFS isn't quite right - but I'm hoping that the new tyre model will improve that in LFS quite a lot.
An even better test will be the new tyre model, plus Rockingham, plus a weight/power restricted FOX (or even FO8?) with appropriate gear ratios etc... I'm pretty confident that the behaviour (if not the actual lap time) will be pretty damn close.
If one could simulate the other stuff, like g-forces, vibration, noise, heat etc (and motion platforms don't get close, even the big expensive ones) then it would automatically be 1000 times better.
A decent brake pedal is essential for simulator realism. With a soft Logitech pedal that is based on movement you'll never get close to how a racing brake pedal feels or reacts.
iRacing (I call it ShiteRacing because every 'rival' sim needs a comedy nickname that attempts to devalue it) is too expensive for me to consider, and it wasn't THAT much better than anything else when I tried it. So it says a lot that the sims of choice for me at LFS and nKP (depending on who has the most recent updates probably), as they are the closest to reality. rFactor is a bit of a joke in that regard - but don't tell the rFactor fanboys!
You using Logitech pedals there Tristan? Seems like your throttle is spiking a little, I hope that's only the sensor?
Enjoyed watching the vids once again, Croft seems like a fantastic track to me!! Your car looked a lot less driveable here though, was that the different tyre brand, or couldn't you get the setup to work?