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20th September 2017 - Aintree Heat

Meeting at 7.00am it can't possibly be a race day! But yes it is and we are off to Aintree for the last heat of the season.

 Cars and kit loaded and we set off for a day's racing. This is the North West heat so it is the nearest event that we attend.  Everything quickly unloaded and it was time for scrutineering.  The cars came back with an advisory that our horn was not load enough.  We had to test this out for ourselves which caused a bit of fun in the pit lane.  Basil was even sporting a new nose following the dents at Anglesey.

Tyres checked, telemetry set up  and it was time for the practice session - this is a track that some of the drivers have not driven on before so it was important that everyone had a turn.  The team even had time for some extra pit practice sessions.

350 Basil practice pits

The cars all lined up on the grid for the first F24 race

350 Startline F24 race 1

The flag dropped to signal the start and the cars set off but Basil didn't move.  Concerned looks amongst the team members, something was definately not right..... meanwhile Dylan  was flying.  Other teams were looking at the Ferrari leading the race.  Basil arrived back in the paddock on the back of the recovery trailer and it was time to work out what the issue was.  It turned out that one of the batteries was completely flat.  A quick chat with Greenpower and it was confirmed that as Basil had not moved under his own power, we could change the battery and start the race from the pit lane.  Nigel from KMF kindly lent a replacement battery for the race.

Meanwhile Dylan was quietly completing lap after lap and looking very sleak. We were also keeping our eye on Reggie, the car built by Mr B and raced by Sir Thomas Boughey school, he was progressing steadily.  Basil, back out on track started to make his way through the field. Pit stops and driver changes completed it was all to play for. 

350 Pit Dylan

 

Dylan was unbeatable in the first race, Reggie came in second and Basil came in a close third. 

The F24+ race was next on track and speedy battery changes were required to get back on track in time for the start.  The question here was how many miles would the cars do as we were using our worst batteries.  Dylan set off and the message was that the battery voltage was low as it was flashing BATT almost from the start but it appeared to settle down and steadily carried on albeit at a slower pace than some of the other cars.  Basil was doing battle with the Mach 2 from Cummins. Emily was driving Basil and she commented over the phone that she could smell rain approaching, shortly after the rain arrived and it rained hard. The real race was on at the front of the field between 2 cars from Renishaw and the Weald's Bluebird. Bluebird just edged into the lead and held off the other two cars to take the chequered flag.  Basil finished in 6th place, 8 seconds behind Mach 2.

350 Aintree rain

The advantage of a covered trailer is that it doubles as a team tent!!

The F24 race 2 started and the rain was still falling so it was a trickier race however the drivers kept calm and drove lap after lap.  Driver changes all took place and things were looking good for another podium finish. Would it be Basil or would Dylan pip Basil to the top spot.

350 Cars F24 race 2

 

About 20 minutes from the race end, Dylan was leading the race with Basil in second place and news came through that there was a problem with Dylan, the team were anxious, would we get Dylan back to the pits, fixed and back out on the track in time for the end of the race, would this mean the end to a podium finish for Dylan.  The trailer arrived and all hands on deck to lift him clear and back to the pits.  Richard opened up the tail, popped the chain back on and Dylan was ready to go out again.  Back in the race in the last few minutes and managed to hold onto second place behind Basil.