Davy's Blog: Round 3 - Charade


Davy Decorps On July 28, 2013
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Charade: my hometrack! 

4th round of the championship at the mythical Charade racetrack, just next to where I was born. After a confusing round at Pau, and some apparently un-fixable brake issues, I was worried as to what could happen here, all the more so because this track doesn't allow for any mistake... Well that's what people say, because besides it being my hometrack, this is my first racing experience here and I'm discovering it!

Friday morning: I decide to take the brakes apart once again, after an idea from Anthony who came to assist me this weekend! As soon as everything is reassembled it's time to get to the track already for the only free practice session of the weekend. 
Getting out of the pits I reach the first braking point and a miracle happens: the car is BRAKING! At last I'm getting a good feeling from the car and spend the remaining 20 minutes enjoying this amazing course, which contains -it has to be said- some quiet scary places...

The car being sane, I only have to forget about the walls now! My friends from IFMA (mechanic school of Clermont-Ferrand) are here to give me a hand , as well as my parents...a little bit of pressure!


QUALIFYING: I really want to do well, the car is great. Only the driver doesn't perform! Last timed lap comes, I know I can do better. The vicious, off-camber hairpin down below tries to distract me...and I get through it drifting! Maybe I'll get it right next time! Last section between the walls.. I decide it can be made flatout...   Checkered flag! 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90glcgmp4ng
Q1 lap

The second qualifying session proves to be more difficult as I don't get a clean lap, and I'm 1 second off my Q1 time. 

Out of the car, sweating, I go to check the laptimes board...I hope to be closer to the top guys this time but... what??! I take a second look, a thord... I'M ON POLE!!! Q2 only gives me P2 for race 2 but i don't care, I'm happy things work, finally! 

RACE 1:  I shall not be too careful like in the previous rounds. Roadsports from the upper category are all around, and Yohan (the points leader) is in ambush...

Lights are out.. GO! I dodge other cars, it goes pretty well. Except the car refuses to turn! You're supposed not to heat the tires in the formation lap but maybe I left them too cold! At the upper hairpin, the car understeers agani and BLAAAM! Big impact at the rear...metallic noise...aie aie aie... I continue but it seems that the exhaust is going to fall down... if it gets under the rear wheel it could turn out badly, and I'm coming up to the walls section. But I get through and as I get by the pits I hear the exhaust finally getting detached and slip away... Yohan is close. Time to push! And I like the new sound of the car!!!


Damage?

I hold the lead trying not to overdrive, even though the car isn't at its best, which makes me do a few mistakes. But comes a yellow flag and the safety car is deployed. What's going on... We slow down at turn 1 and I see Cyril's car against the wall... not good. But as the tow-truck comes I see Cyril standing up behind the rail, he seems ok..phew! 

The race resumes a few laps later and I get through turn one with a little bit less confidence... I'm still trying to minimise errors with an oddly-behaving rear-end, and to keep a safety margin to Yohan. It seems to be just enough. The hairpin...thumbs up from the colleagues behind the pitwall, and the checkered flag!!! YES!!!! 

Check the full race onboard here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0cby_XIXNE


Race 1: Pole, and victory!


RACE 2: Positions are inverted now, and I start second in class. But because of me slower laptime, it means there are now Roasports cars in protection to Yohan...

Lights are out, I get off well and brake carefully for turn 1. Christopher passes me on the outside... not the best start. But he is blocked by a roadsport and I take the opportunity to get passed him again. Yohan is in sight but in the middle of a roadsports pack. I'm trying to lay down a good pace and the car is doing well, almost perfect! But I see Yohan getting past a couple of roadsports while I don't seem to be able to get passed them. I don't want to risk it and end up second, happy all the same because I have the pace now! I hope it's for good now! 


Race 2: P2, and happy! 

The weekend is over, and I'm happy about it. I don't know if the problem was the brakes only or if I'm also progressing, but I have a better feeling now. Thanks to the whole "Crocket' team for assisting me, and to the sponsors, OBD Facile, coveryourcar.co.uk and Racing-Data.com .


Thanks to the "Crocket" team! 

And finally a big thought to Cyril. It can happen to any of us and I really hope he can join us again for the next round; the august break will help hopefully! 


See you next race, at Albi!!!

 





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