OULTON PARK – GT Cup 2017
GT Cup Oulton Park rounds 12 & 13, 29th July 2017
The Oulton Park round was only a single day event this year, although we test on the day prior, so we arrived on the Friday with the Mosler ready to do some laps and get some setup ready for the track. First things first then unpack the car, and the driver? That’s new!
This was actually some testing for a seat insert to account for the vertical differential between Kevin and Gareth, a work in progress.
Back to the event at hand though, as always, the team were given their jobs for the weekend and got on with the spanner check and stringing ready for the first testing session where everybody got involved in the process;
Someone even managed to catch me casting a downforce spell on the front splitter! Also some evidence of the first NMA pit lane Javelin championships, more practice needed for Jacob clearly!
Overall test day went well, we spent the day managing temperature and giving the car an overall check over. The dive planes fitted to the car needed some trimming which meant we may be losing some front end downforce but we had a plan to counteract this.
Because of the weather, the car was having no trouble keeping cool, and usually to control this means taping the front vent, AKA drag! We had a discussion and decided to try and make this restriction more functional for down-force with the use of some spare carbon we had on the truck. Before and after side by side;
The idea was to impose an angle of attack on the front splitter whilst also creating the necessary restriction to optimise the air flow for cooling. The feedback was good from the drivers and it has to be said the addition certainly fits in with the current design;
Now these reports are intended to be fun to read, but nothing beats a little video so I now draw your attention to the live filming of race 1, I tend to film as much as I can but this was the first time I’d had the opportunity to film the entire race, or most of it. Follow the link below and if you haven’t already, like and follow the FB page for all the up to date content as and when it happens;
In terms of highlights, by the point seen in the screen grab above, we’d snagged first and were there for the long haul, putting in the fastest lap giving us pole for race two in the process. The video is well worth watching if you couldn’t attend in person, but the video also cuts short just before the end of the race and by the time I got back to the pits wed had word back from Gaz that the car seemed to have developed a misfire which actually developed into it cutting out. When did this happen then I hear you ask, on the final lap of course, pulling everyone back down to earth with a bump, turning a first place win into a DNF. There would have been a dark cloud over the pit garage had we not needed to get ready for race two. Luckily with the excellent diagnosis from Gaz, we were able to identify that a wiring fault had caused the engine to lose the voltage signal for the oil pressure, which ultimately shut the engine down as a safety precaution.
Although race 1 ended in a less than ideal circumstance, the pace Gaz had put in throughout the race meant assembly still looked good for us as we qualified for pole position, the wiring issue had been resolved so all hands to the pump and let’s make up for that unfortunate DNF;
Unfortunately, though, lady luck wasn’t on our side and as soon as the flag was dropped we spotted an issue, followed by an update over the radio from Gaz, gearbox issues;
The car unfortunately went from first and quite quickly fell through the pack due to the many low speed corners at Oulton Park Circuit. All we could do on this occasion was hope that the car would finish and we could collect some points, a DNF after the first race would really hurt our championship chances.
The following unanimous facial expression is enough to tell you how the car returned from the final race though, it did it’s best to hold on, but ultimately doing a full race in essentially 5th gear only, finally took its toll on the drivetrain by means of snapping a drive shaft, on the final lap of all times!
In summary then what should have been a short weekend and two clearly attainable wins wasn’t to be, the gearbox on the Mosler will need a full strip down and rebuild to see what the issue is but that is a job for another day. This weekend showed us that the car certainly has the capability to win and hopefully in the next round it will get its chance to shine, still, it’s very photogenic even in times of despair;
The team in attendance certainly got plenty of time to work on the cars mechanicals so plenty of genuine experience for them to take away. The atmosphere as always though was one of good spirits, after all, this is part and parcel of motorsport and I’m sure we wouldn’t want it any other way. Well done to all in attendance for your hard work and effort getting the car out for each session;
Wayne Gater – NMA Curriculum Leader.