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Goodwood track day 14th February 2003

Like the Abbott Racing 2002 track day, this track day was held at the Goodwood motor circuit. It had quite a low turnout with only around 20 cars, and only made around £800 profit for the school swimming pool fund it was supporting. However, this meant lots of track time, especially in the afternoon when many drivers had gone home early. Having driven at Goodwood on two more track days since the Abbott day, I was confident of a good day and was itching to try out my new transmission modifications.

The weather was ideal for driving a turbocharged car - sunny and cold (a few degrees Celsius). It was also my first track day since Abbott Racing had fitted a limited-slip differential and lower final drive to my Aero. Around mid-morning, I was joined by Andrew Wright ("Scaero Owner" from Saabscene) and he spent a lot of time as a passenger in my car, and later took turns at driving.

Unfortunately, I have no photos of this track day, but I did take some in-car video and you can download a short clip in low-resolution (11MB) or high-resolution (40MB) MPEG format. The clip is just over two minutes long. Unfortunately, the camera position was rather poor (which I'll try to rectify in future), but it does at least show some of the action.

The new differential must have done some good because, despite slower runs down Lavant Straight (never reaching much more than 125mph, while previously I have managed almost 130mph), the best recorded lap times on video were 1:43 on a few laps. This equalled my best recorded time previously. Either I hadn't figured out how best to use the new gear ratios or the car was down on power (the boost gauge was reading a bit low and I think it was because my Bailey dump valve had failed a few days earlier and I was using a standard valve).

Later in the day, I felt we were lapping more quickly, but unfortunately the video tape had run out so I don't know what times we were making. One of the organisers said he timed us at 1:33 in the afternoon, but without video evidence to back it up, I can only assume he made a mistake. I harbour a secret hope that he hadn't, but I'll make sure I keep the tape running on the next Goodwood track day.

Also late in the afternoon, we found we were coming in at the end of a session only to go straight out again. At this point I offered Andrew a chance to drive and he didn't think twice. For his first time ever on a track, in an unfamiliar car (although he also has a 9000 Aero), he did very well. Embarrassingly well, in fact, when I think of my performance at my first track day. The car didn't get a rest for four consecutive 10-minute sessions until we were too low on fuel to go out again and stood up extremely well to 40 minutes of all-out driving.