Coventry MAM Series – Race Report.
February 26th saw Coventry’s turn to hold the Midlands Astro Masters Series. I was out with the 4WD again, running dBoots tyres and out for a 2nd test of the V3 big bore shocks.
From the off, I started out quite competitively, pushing the front runners and leading the heat on time. The track had changed immensely from practice, as the early morning dew made the track really slippery. The Sun had now been on the track for a while and the grip shot up out of nowhere and caught us all by surprise with a lot of grip roll. With setup now meaning nothing, it was down to driving, but I came out on top to TQ the round.
Making a mark on the first Round saw me head Round 2 off first, giving me a clear track to focus on and to see how the car responded to the changes made from Round 1 with the dramatic change in track conditions. For this Round I wanted to learn more on how the shocks were working in the grip, so we added quite a lot of camber to the geometry to cope with the grip roll, and sticking with the dBoots Multibyte A Compound tyres which I had been running from practice, as they seemed the best tyre out there learning from how other drivers struggled from the first Round. With the setup proving competitive again, I TQ’d Round 2 also.
Although I was running well so far with the setup from Round 2, I tried improving the performance of the shocks by changing the oil to a softer weight in the rear to help cope with the landing after jumps a bit better and also altering the anti-squat slightly to help the car ride better through the bumps. I was on for a really good run and the car felt improved on the rear end, but felt a little on the edge, now conflicting slightly with the front end. Unfortunately over the last couple of laps I made a few errors which were disappointing after such a good run in the first part of the heat, but fortunately I had built up a comfortable enough lead to still TQ the round.
After playing about with the rear end in the previous round and finding this was the way to go, I then tried to tune in the front end to balance the overall handling of the car out more by softening the oil weight. This was the right way to go as the car was responding well to the setup changes and felt better round after round. This one was a bit more competitive though as an early mistake saw me lose the lead not only on the clock but also on the track with quite a big gap to catch up on. But I knew I had the car and the setup, and I knew what to do. I spent most of the heat chasing, as my closest competitor had obviously learned something themselves throughout the day and got themselves on a good pace, making it more difficult for me to gain on them. When I eventually did, I pressured them into a small error, allowing me to get passed, but they were quickly back on their wheels and still within a chance of leading me on time difference. I knew I had to push hard and I just did enough to take TQ for the final round, making it a clean sweep and securing pole position for the final.
A Final Results.
I had quite a comfortable start from pole to hold the lead for the first 3 or 4 corners until the dreaded double-jump, where hesitation got the best of me and I made an error, hitting the top lip of the 2nd jump. Quickly back on my wheels, I managed to hold onto 3rd and not get pushed further back down the field. This gave me even more determination to get catch the front two. An error from 2nd place allowed me to hunt down the leader and stretch away from the rest of the pack. Catching up and applying the pressure saw first place make an error and I got back into the lead. No more mistakes from me allowed me to stretch out over 11 seconds back to second, and with I held this to the end to take my second win of the series.