Sunday, 14 April 2013

Donington Park Saturday 6th April

Race 2
By 3:15 the track conditions had warmed up a lot giving the team a chance to show off our new racing polo shirts oh and it was also beneficial for the slicks and drivers as it meant less time and fuel had to be spent warming them up.
 Marcus got another good start but was boxed in at Redgate by Craig Wilkins and John McCullagh forcing Marcus to nudge Tom slightly on the entry to the bend, never a good idea to have contact with your team mate but in this unavoidable situation it could not be helped.
The bump had not put off Tom and he kept right with Sumpter from lap five, and finally made it past on lap 12. In pursuit of Morris, Tom managed to again set the fastest race lap as he was closing in. Just as the Team Hartech were clinging on to the pit wall barriers in anticipation, Tom slowed and rolled in behind us on the pit lane. As the cabin doors were opened reams of smoke poured out and it was diagnosed an exhaust issue was reducing his power and the car had gone into “limp home mode”.
Craig Wilkins in car 91 continued to hassle Marcus throughout the race with the pair constantly battling. They traded places a few times but this was usually due to one or other of them being hampered by backmarkers. Following the last race’s events Marcus was understandably nervous about trying a pass at the Old Hairpin again but they were on the last lap and he was close enough to Wilkins for a successful pass so had to give it a go. It worked and after a fantastically controlled overtake he managed to hold on to the place till the chequered flag, finishing 5th position, ahead of where he started the race and a far better result than race 1.
Both Garry and Stuart also came in with good results for the team with Garry finishing in 13th and Stuart finishing 5th in class two a great improvement on last season’s results.
The team of Hartech technicians will be busy for the next few weeks ensuring that the cars are in their usual tip-top condition and hopefully we will be out in force at the front of the pack at Brands Hatch on “Star Wars day” - May 4th be with you!

Donington Park Saturday 6th April

Race one
The Porsche club weren’t alone in the paddock there was a grand array of Mazda MX5’s, Citro├źn 2cv’s and BMW’s to name just a few but, however entertaining this made the day it did push our races rather far apart. With our first race at 12:15 we had plenty of time to get to grips with the nespresso machine and test Elaine’s delicious homemade cakes just to make sure they didn’t affect the car weights when consumed by the drivers.
We had great hopes for this first race after the fantastic qualifying times produced by all the drivers and with reports coming back from each one of them that the cars were performing much better following the adaption’s made by Hartech after the last test day at Donington.
Marcus got a good start into the race quoting “seemingly I have mastered launching the car on the new tyres, but quickly I found how much slower my car is on acceleration.” But once the race was on and the cars were speeding down the straight he soon leaped up a place putting him right behind Tom. Marcus managed to close in on Tom once or twice but with both drivers reputation at stake nether could afford to drop back or leave room.
Marcus lost pace on lap 11 with a “tank-slapper” at the chicane exit so had to fight back. He saw the Old Hairpin (his favourite overtaking spot) as a prime place to do this, unfortunately due to pressure he overdid it....cue barrier!
Fearing what damage this may have caused, Marcus attempted to get the marshalls’ attention to see if it was ok, getting stuck on the grass at the same time, this unfortunately wasted 20seconds or more and put an end to any chance or hope of regaining any lost places. Marcus persevered for the final stretch of the race putting down some good lap times allowing him to finish 14th in class one.
The Hartech team had a wide spread of results with Garry finishing close to Marcus in 10th place, Stuart finished 6th and Tom put us on the podium finishing 2nd after a tense battle throughout the race with both Mark Sumpter and Pete Morris.
When Marcus’ car came in the team feared for the worst for the body work and came running plasters at the ready but thankfully it turned out the barrier had been much more forgiving than presumed. The Hartech team did a great job of sorting everything out before the second race giving us plenty of time to work through a giant bag of cookies.

Donington Park Saturday 6th April

For the first race of the season it was incredible to see the vast turn out parked up in the paddock on Saturday morning. All teams were working away on the final preparations for qualifying with Hartech’s main priority being the stickers, the sheer amount of Autoperform and Pirelli could have easily pushed the cars over weight! But looking perfect, the quartet rolled onto the starting line for the first qualifying session of the season.
There were many factors threatening to make qualifying difficult, the short session, the freezing cold track, the new slick tyres (both to the cars and the drivers) and most prominently the enormous amount of Porsches out on track. Each driver had to battle for space in order to even attempt to lay down some good lap times.
Marcus, while jammed in the traffic, followed some tips picked up on Anglesey and primarily focused on getting the tyres into racing mode with a little F1style track weaving. Unfortunately the packed track left Marcus running in 10th position for most of qualifying but towards the end of the session the pack began to spread out and Marcus made it to 5th position on what he thought was his last lap, but the flag wasn’t out so he kept “on it” although just as he was on the final stretch of what would of been his fastest lap someone was in his way again.
Marcus qualified 5th and 6th highly respectable positions given the level of competition. Tom gave the team a great boost qualifying in 3rd place, Garry qualified in 11th and Stuart qualified 6th in class 2.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Countdown to Donington

The start of the 2013 season is fast approaching with the first round at Donington Park this Saturday (6th April).
Following cancellation of a track day at Donington Park (due to snow & ice!) we recently  took Car 99 on an Easter day trip to Anglesey allowing Marcus to familiarise himself further with the new slick tyres and the adjustments made following the previous test. The first few hours of the day proved to be very productive - we got through a whole packet of Hobnobs and set up our new toy, the shiny new Nespresso machine! The car, however, began to struggle following a spin and it was decided to pull it off the track and get it back to its Hartech home. The issue would have been easily resolved at a race meeting but with fewer spares (and pairs of hands!) this wasn’t possible, but Marcus’ car is now back on top form and ready to race!

The Porsche Club Championship has rocketed in popularity with 38 cars registered for the Championship and 28 entries so far for the Donington Park round. This season will see numerous change which could prove to make competition fierce. As previously mentioned the championship has Pirelli contracted as their tyre supplier this season and for the first time the cars will be racing on a full set of slicks, a change causing many drivers to adapt their driving style and strategy. The grand entrance of the Cayman S, newly eligible for the championship, has got many teams questioning whereabouts it will land in the pack.
The series has a set of strong entrants with the return of former champions including Mark McAleer  Mark Sumpter along with reigning overall champion Alex Eacock moving to Class 1 in a 996, alongside the similar car of class 1 champion Pete Morris, who is also run by Alex’s family business. Hartech should be highly represented throughout the race with running 4 drivers, 3 in class 1 and 1 in class 2. Each driver has been chosen for their own successes, driving skill, and specific experience so the Hartech team will be marked as one of the elite to keep an eye on throughout the season. Hopefully Marcus, Tom, Gary and Stuart will achieve excellent results in this race and all those to follow and we wish each one of them the best of luck (but mainly Marcus!).
The Donington park round commences on April 6th. Qualifying is at 7am followed by two 25 minute races at 12:15 and 15:15. The second race at 15:15pm will be televised live on Motors TV, coverage of the meeting starting from 13.30 (Sky channel 413, Virgin Media channel 545).
We're about to try and put updates on over the course of the meeting - why not follow us? @gooseracing