Archive for the Sprints Category

Boyndie but no sprint championship….

Posted in Sprints on September 29, 2009 by Paul Lawrence

Nice to be back north on the kart circuit that gave the bogey its first win. What a year it has been. I needed two stonking times to be in with a shout of the sprint championship.

Ross and I both smashed the record earlier in the year but I just missed out on the record with Ross setting a 64.21 to my 64.28. I had managed a 64.17 in practice and new that it was possible. I really wanted to get my name back on the record sheet but it was unlikely that I could find the 62 that I needed.

After my poorish showing at Golspie, I decided to invest in some new rubber for the rear of the car. Ever after a few miles on the back road around my house, the tyres were not worn in. I don’t share the opinion of some that the tyres work best right out of the box.

Saturday turned out to be a bit of a disaster, was off the pace for both practices and rued the decision not to buy the new rears for Golspie and get them worn in properly. I just couldnt get the tyres to work enough and didnt really do that well. The colder conditions didnt help, but a class win was not enough and essentially my challenge for the overall sprint championship was over.

On Sunday, with tyres beginning to work and warmer track conditions I took the win by a good margin and all important record, taking 0.15 off Mr Napiers record. Not enough to affect the Sprint Championship but good enough to secure second place and fastest road car awards. Very difficult to compete with last years champion who has the ability to score maximum points whenever needed. Received loads of support and nice compliments regarding my years sprinting and hope to be out again next year.

It transpires that my record and extra point was enough to then take the Highland Speed Championship, which is a fantastic result.

So with all of the championships decided, this is how I ended up.

Sprints – Fastest Road Car award, 1st in Class A4
Hills – Class A4 champion
Scottish Lowlands Tyres and Exhauts champion, Highland Speed champion.
I hold class records at Kames, Fintray and Boyndie. Sitting only a 10th off the pace at Forrestburn, but have 0.7 and 0.8 to find at Doune and Golspie.

So 5 awards and a fantastic result. Big thanks to everyone who has been so supportive this year. You know who you are! See you all at the awards dinner.

Golspie 12th and 13th of September

Posted in mnr, Sprints on September 17, 2009 by Paul Lawrence

Just a quick update to say that I did well enough to still be in contention for the overall Scottish Sprint Championship.

Saturday turned out to be a slight dissapointment, primarly down to a poor driver choice of using my really old and worn tyres for pratice and then puttng on the better set and the car handling completely differently in the timed runs. My foot slipped off of the brake pedal on the first timed run and decided to do some rallycross for a few seconds. Got the hammer down on the last run by failed by 0.02 of a second from Bill Lambie Jnr in his new Holeshot 1400 Busa. Boy does that car look quick off of the line. People are now investing serious amounts of money to keep up with the bogey.

On the Sunday, stuck to the better set of rear tyres for the day and managed to take first place and take 30+ points against the bogey. More accurate times to follow.

I am two seconds ahead in the championship and it all comes down to the last event at Boydnie this weekend. Fingers and toes crossed 🙂

A quiet few weeks

Posted in Hillclimbs, maintenance, Sprints, upgrades with tags , on August 25, 2009 by Paul Lawrence

Since Fintray things are looking pretty good in the championships. With only 3 days of hillclimbing and 4 of the sprints to go, I am leading my class in the hills and currently leading the overall Scottish Sprint Championship. I really dont want to jinx things and would love to win both of these titles after a fantastic opening year for the Bogey.

The hills will require John Hamilton (last years champion) to beat me into second place in the three remaining rounds to draw on points but then beat me on the number of wins. So all I need it one victory or for someone else to pip John to take class A4.

The sprints is much more of a surprise with only a few people really capable of taking the title from me unless I really screw things up. Fingers crossed. Graeme Bremner is the primary challenger in his supercharged Exige and needs to take three records out of the remaining four days to pip me to the title. Either way I have had an awesome year and would love to finish with a win. If I can also take records at Golspie (less likely) or Boyndie (more likely) I could take the title.

Meanwhile the car has had an oil and filter change, further suspension tweaks and also a general maintenance session to see the rest of the year out. One major addition which unfortunately isnt working yet is the Racelogic traction control box that I picked up off ebay. The unit is installed but I am having problems picking up a valid rpm feed and also the tests of the ignition cut has shown the age of my spark plugs, so a new set is on order. Essentially the plugs foul and the car ends up running on three cylinders. 

David from team Xoomspeed is helping with the rpm feed and we hope to have the system ready for testing at Forrestburn, if not Golspie. I have suffered in wet conditions to the cars with TC and hope this will level the playing field a little. So a big thanks to David, who is a bit of an electronics wizard. Check out xoomspeed.com to read all about their Vauxhall powered Westy with David’s own traction control and data logging system the Xoombox.

The wheel sensors proved to be tight fit on the Raceleda uprights and extra bolts needed to be fitted to allow enough pulses per wheel rotation. Essentially if you are fitting this to your car, feel free to get in touch. I cant wait to get the launch control working, never mind the full TC.

More posts soon.

Kames – 1st and 2nd of August

Posted in Sprints with tags , , , on August 5, 2009 by Stephen Hynds

Kames hosted rounds 10 and 11 of the Scottish Sprint Championship, and also two rounds of the British Championship. The British Championship had previously came north of the border to East Fortune but this year Kames was quite rightly given the nod. The EACC organise an excellent event and I’m sure we’ll see the British guys back for a visit next year.

Paul hadn’t originally been able to make Kames but after a change of plans he managed to get a spot on the reserve list before being promoted into the runners and riders. It was a first for Kames to have so many cars that a reserve list was even needed.

In the time between the last event and this one the car underwent some work including the removal of the suspension. The dampers were sent to Procomp Motorsport who overhauled them and supplied some new springs. The suspension only arrived back on the Wednesday as there had originally been no rush to get it done. However putting it back together was a relatively straightforward. I guess the Ninja Bogey crew are getting pretty used to rebuilding things now. Even I have my uses. Another modification was purchased during the break but this will be the subject of a larger post once it’s installed and working.

The early forecast for the weekend had been for rain, rain and thrice rain but by the time Saturday came the forecast was looking a bit better but not great. As I headed down to the circuit it was heavy rain until we were only about 5 miles from Muirkirk where suddenly the skies cleared and the sun shone through. When we arrived at the circuit Paul had already completed his first practice run on a wet but drying track. By that point the cars that had been out on track and the aforementioned sunshine had dried the track nicely.

Kames - IMG_0748

The second run was much more promising with a time of 77 seconds, just shy of 4 tenths off Paul’s own record of 76.63. By the first timed run the conditions were perfect and a time of 76.33 lowered the class record by 3 tenths.

Kames - IMG_0737

Surely a sign of good things in the second timed run? Unfortunately it wasn’t to be as a small rain shower happened to coincide exactly with class A4 being out on track.

Kames - IMG_1064

A real case of what might have been, but a class win and good points none the less.

Kames - IMG_0612

Matty managed a good time but was pipped for second by British Championship competitor Ian Parr in a rather interesting double entered Sylva Riot. Unfortunately the Lambies suffered a mechanical issue after their first practice runs and didn’t make it out for the timed runs.

Ross and his dad Roy weren’t out with Ross’ Westfield but had instead brought Roy’s Gould GR375 to compete in class C5. The car is a real work of art and very quick. Kames isn’t as big and wide as some of the southern sprint venues but the big C5 cars looked awesome.

Kames - IMG_0959

Ross qualified in second for the run off to decide the British Championship points but was beaten by Stewart Robb Jnr. and Snr. in the end. However his time was nearly a second under the old circuit record and wasn’t too far off the Robb’s which is very impressive indeed.

As is traditional at Kames the track is run in the opposite direction the next day. The Sunday layout is slightly longer trial than the Saturday one as it is run over 3 full laps rather than 2 and a half. If the weather had been good on the Saturday then on the Sunday it was positively glorious. I was sporting the usual red face on Monday as evidence of that. It was even said that for some of the later runs the track was getting too warm for the big single seaters!

Unfortunately the Lambies hadn’t resolve their mechanical issue so there was only to be the four challengers for A4 honours again. The first practice run to shake off the cobwebs delivered a reasonable time but the second saw an 84.74, just half a second behind the class record.

Paul’s dad cooked up a storm with bacon, sausage and egg for everyone at lunch and we were all eagerly anticipating the timed runs to see if Paul could claim the clockwise record to go with the anti-clockwise one.

The first of the timed runs was an 84.31, 7 hundredths of a second shy of the mark. Surely it was on for the second run? I was stood at the far end of the circuit armed with the camera and it looked like a good run was in progress. As Paul rounded the hairpin for the 3rd time I knew it was going to be close. The car crossed the line and as I looked to the clock I couldn’t quite believe it – 84.27. A 4 hundreths improvement, but still 3 hundredths short. So close but yet so far. It’ll just need to wait to next year now.

Matty came out the victor in the battle with the Parrs for second place with a great time of 86.06. If my calculations are correct this is 2.7 seconds faster than his previous best at Kames in that direction. Very well done indeed.

Ross managed to dip a tenth under the circuit record on his second practice run in the Gould but the timed runs and the run off weren’t quite as fruitful. A 4th place finish is certainly nothing to be sniffed at against some very experience competitors. Stewart Robb Jr once again took the overall honors as he dropped the circuit record by 1.3 seconds.

So all in all a great weekends racing at Kames, and a good points haul for Paul.

For all my pictures from Saturday look here.

I’ll update the post with some pictures from Sunday when I get them finished.

Alford 11th and 12th of July

Posted in Sprints with tags , on July 23, 2009 by Paul Lawrence

I didnt do Alford last year, too many people saying that it was boring and just a simple oval. Alford isnt a classic sprint venue like say Boyndie, but it is fast, grippy and good fun. Also good for spectators and a overal was a well run event hosted by Grampian Automobile Club.

Alford is about 26 miles West of where I was dragged up in Dyce, so decided to go and see Gran and the folks on the way up and discuss the next set of upgrades with Dad. After a good nights sleep in my old bedroom from 20 years ago I was up nice and early and very much ready to take on a new track. The record looked unattainable which turned out to be the fastest of all the road car classes at 51.50. So I thought I was unlikely to make any massive inroads in to Mr Bremners lead in the sprint championship this weekend.

Walked the track as a newbie with the ever helpfull Alan Nicol and thought the layout was pretty simple. To be fair to Alan he did say that I should take it easy first run and try to get the cross overs right. Someone always makes a mess of it he says. Not me I stated triumpantly.

So on to my first run.  Fast off the line with the old tyres on, round the first 180 and fast down the back straight. Way too fast in, gathered it up with an armful of lock and drifted nicely past the strart line then back up the straight. Wait a minute, was I not meant to turn left there…. oops.. crawls back to the paddock in disgrace. Being such a quiet shy chap no one took the mickey and they were all very supportive.

Second run. Much to prove and I still hadnt learnt the track. Set off quickly and put in a tidy enough run to much applause from the paddock. It turns out that both Matty and Drew, two good racers had also made a mess of their first time at Alford, so not in too shabby company.

After 3.1 runs and a decent days racing I got it down to a reasonable 53.50 with loads more to come from switching to the newer/wider rear tyres and another three runs on the Sunday for points.

Images courtesy of Chris Grieve – http://www.grievephotography.co.uk

Courtesy of Chris Grieve

On the pace

This is the correct line, everyone else is wrong!

This is the correct line, everyone else is wrong!

It was not to be, after a lovely bbq and a few beers with the Sugdens the heavens opened and we knew we were in for a wet Sunday.

It held true to the forecast of rain and delivered one practice and two timed runs with only the last run with a drying line. Everyone gave it there all but by the end of the day I was looking to get the car into the trailer and home safe and sound.

For the timed runs I had been amalgamated with class A5 as I was on my lonesome, which as usual was the home of the 1.6 Caterhams and a nice cream coloured Fury. I managed to take the class win by a nearly a second with a very tidy 60.50. So a good weekend was had and another prize for the bulging cabinet.  Shame the Fury had two accidents, both from a guest driver, so not sure if they are quite such good friends now. I do hope big boys rules were in place.

Next outing is Fintray on the 8th of August.

Boyndie Report 4th and 5th July

Posted in Sprints with tags on July 8, 2009 by Paul Lawrence

Boydie has always been a fruitful hunting ground for me, with both Ross and I taking wins here in our blade powered cars last year.

Boyndie Drome as the name suggests is an old airfield and is now a very successful kart track. I particularly enjoy this event both as a driver and the social side of things. Having hurt my back earlier in the week,  I decided to drop out of the go-karting extravaganza planned for Satuday night.

The first timed run turned out to be a bit of a surprise and didn’t feel particularly fast but I put in a 64.17 which was 1.97 seconds under my record in the blade from last year. Especially pleasing as I decided to put on the worn tyres and save the good ones for the timed runs. Ross was also under the record with a mid 65. Temperatures continued to rise and after a tidier buy slower second run in the 65’s both Ross and I were ready for the timed runs.

First up was the bogey, I put in a respectable but way too safe 64.8. Ross set a new record and put in a sterling 64.21 after removing his supertrap and going back to his normal exhaust. I knew I could go faster – but could I raise my game? It was not to be, temperatures continued to rise with track temperatures above 40c, for the first time our road tyres were overheating. As a result, some of the single seaters didn’t even bother going out and times were all slower in the afternoon. I took a much more aggressive run that felt loads quicker but only managed a 65.03, so the win was to Ross. JR came up to me after and commented on the run and said that it should have been a win, but that’s the way racing goes. A well deserved win for Ross but another instance where a tentative/safe first timed run is not the way to go if you want to win. The only positive being that I got some really good points from this event towards the overall sprint championship.

ADMC Boyndie Sprint July 2009
Photo courtesy of sirs_eg6 on Flickr.

To the Sunday. We wont talk about the Saturday night other than to say that much ale was consumed and that this probably affected Ross’s performance 😉

Matty joined us for the Sunday, which is always a pleasure. He wasn’t here to make up the numbers and was looking up for it. Many thanks to his father in law Keith for the pies.

I was out first again and decided to take a bit more kerb and brake later for turn one. Ross was having a bit more trouble and was struggling for grip. Practice times were pomising but with the heat building, could we go quicker.

So when it came to the timed runs, I decided to be a bit more aggressive and put in a solid 64.3 run worth 31.8 points , Ross was still complaining of the car being loose in the heat and managed a 65. So it was all down to the second timed runs, but was ruined due to a sudden down pour. I lost my record, but I took the win and another good haul of points. Matty put in some great times and got down to the previous record pace and bodes well for future events.

ADMC Boyndie Sprint July 2009
Photo courtesy of sirs_eg6 on Flickr.

So as per my result at Golspie, my first practice run was the fastest of the whole weekend. Am I over driving – probably is the answer……. much to ponder.

No official team Ninja Bogey Racing photographers were in attendance, so I will have a scour of the net to see if there are any more action shots. Videos to follow next week.

Kames Sprint 13th and 14th June 2009

Posted in Sprints with tags , , , on June 19, 2009 by Paul Lawrence

Next up was a double header at Kames only 30 minutes or so South of the house, so an easier journey than Golspie last weekend. The event ran anti clockwise on the Saturday and the more favoured clockwise direction on the Sunday. Both days counted in the Scottish Sprint Championship so I needed to get down to near record place to stay in touch with the leaders.

The car was running well, no major problems, just a small oil weep near the front of the car that only persists at very high oil pressures and the steering rack has some play that will need some attention during the next break after back to back events at Doune, Forrestburn and then Boyndie.

After another flawless event run by the lovely Lesley at EACC (East Ayrshire Car Club) we managed five runs during the day and although my tyres were past their best after Golspie, I thought records were possible with the right conditions. After some strong practice times I set about the timed runs. I managed to get below the record on both runs and in the end lowered the record to 76.63 from 76.99. So good points scored. Only the Lambies were in attendance and were suffering badly from second gear vibration problems and I am sure they wont mind me saying that they couldn’t get near me all weekend. Billy Snr actually had a big moment going losing control over the finish line and ripped his exhaust and rear wing off on his last run. Ended up 10th overall, so another class win and point in the top 10 championship.

Sunday weather forecast promised rain, but another good day transpired and weather looked promising. Kames is very abrasive and after my complaining about lack of grip, again on the rear and around right handed bends, I spotted after the event that my camber setting on the rear left of the car was way out and must have affected the car at Golspie too. Due to the really low ride height, when the suspension is fully extended when up on a jack the springs are popping out of their collars and when setting the camber the spring had clearly been unseated and I had ended up with way too much camber. Silly mistake.

Now that the excuse is out of the way. I didn’t manage match my previous best time and ended up 1.19 seconds off of record pace and pretty disappointed. We only managed one proper timed run though as the rain came in nicely for the second ones. I decided that new rubber was required and have since stepped up to 245’s on the rear. Especially important as the mighty Doune is next week. The very competitive A6 class were on fire this weekend lowering the clockwise record. Congratulations to Les in the mighty GWR Dax.

So two class wins and extended my lead in the A4 class. After normalising the scores on the overall championship I am sitting 3rd overall behind Graeme Bremner and Les Mutch which is way above expectations. A top 5 finish would be a great result from an A4 runner. Very much looking forward to Boyndie in a three weeks time where I currently hold the record and have high expectations.