We arrived just in time for qualifying. I got drove plenty of laps and the lap times started to go to the right direction. I was 12th in grid for Saturdays competition.
It all changed for the race, which was a Comedy with a capital C. I haven't driven more than 3 race weekend's drives with a locost. It feels ridiculous, but I haven't been at a single test day. Being a dad for 3 children simply hasn't left me enough time to. I just wanted to tell because last Saturday went just like my previous races with this car. Usually the car has just stalled in the start grid, but this time it went into a strange mode, the engine just sputtered and I started moving at walking pace. This took a really long time, I shut down the engine and started it again, but it didn't help. The engine just didn't rev higher than idling speed. I started looking behind to see if the guys are starting to lap me when the engine started to work. I started to catch the last cars quite quickly and because of this I was maybe trying a bit too hard, so I spun at the S curve. I recoverd quite quickly and barely lost time, but on the next lap I almost drove off the track because of the dirt that had come on the track because of the spin. Despite all of this I had a great time, and I finished 5th of the locosts and would be 10th in grid for Sunday's race.
On Sunday I was on track the whole warm-up. I had a really good time, the locost is so fun to drive. At the end of the run I was startled, I was the only car on track so I thought I had missed the checkered flag. I even forgot to come to the pits for a car checkup that we had agreed on before I went to the track.
For the race on Sunday I practiced putting the car into neutral in the pits and before the race. The clutch doesn't fully release, so it's a bit difficult to get the car into neutral. When I got into grid it wouldn't change to neutral and when I got close into my spot I was in 2nd gear. I shut down the car and moved the car forward with the starter engine and succeeded! Neutral at last! There I was, in my own grid and my pulse was probably over 200 at this stage, I was very nervous about how I would do in the start. The start went well, and the car accelerated into the first corner with everyone else. In the corner I put the 3rd gear in and that was it, the gearshifter broke. There I was, on the main straight running against the limiter and cars passing on both sides. Coming to the twisty part of the track and going uphill I gained on the other guys, and coming to the main straight I felt I went a little wide. Or so I thought. Usually you can balance small slides like that with the throttle, but now I was in third gear and with more throttle I just hit the rev limiter. The car started squirming on the track and when I was aiming at the flag marshals stand I decided to straighten it up with the brakes. It helped, and just when I gained control a Subaru hit me in the rear. He thought that I was heading to the other direction. My car jumped and I felt like my car was shortened by one meter. Upon closer inspection the damage was just cosmetic, the rear wing, the rear aluminium sheet, a fourlink bracket and a small dent in the right rear wheel was all that happened.
Things that have to be redesigned are a new gearshifter, it's very irritating trying to figure out which gear you are in. A tachometer and shiftlite would be nice, along with a gear indicator display.
I had a very good time. Even though I remembered locost racing being fun, I was again surprised how fun it really is.
Sadly my races for this season are over. Work and other racing events are at the same time as the next locost races, so I cant attend. In a way or another I'll try to get the car to the races in the upcoming races.
Congratulations to everyone who got a prize, and ofcourse to everyone else who got to enjoy racing a Locost.
Best luck also to the new guys building cars, I can promise that it will absolutely be worth the time and money spent.
Thanks for this season to everyone at the races, pits and other supporters. It has been a pleasure racing/working with you. I'll see you at the races next year, with my own car (No. 720).
Clicking on the photo above, you can our car's tire print above the other brake duct intake. Seems like you can get 4 year old tires too hot.
Johan Svahn (www.johansvahn.com) got the accident on film. Thanks for the pictures!