Monday, August 25, 2008

Ahvenisto Historic Grand Race 2008

The Grand Race at Ahvenisto Race Track is our race calendars biggest event. And because I had other race events at the same time as previous locost races, I didn't have the time to attend to any of them. I have driven the locost once before, and it was at this same event one year earlier. I drove approximately 10 laps, drove once in the wall and in the race it seemed like the engine was overheating.

The weather was a bit chilly, but luckily it didn't rain at any time during the weekend.

There were no bigger mishaps. The gear shifter broke once (thanks to Kippo for welding it back together). The leftside rear caliper was loose in the first practise session and the exhaust got loose because I drove off the track. We also discovered why the data logger hasn't worked a couple times, the gps antenna connector is bad.
I drove all sessions on the track to the end, and didn't have to be towed off the track even once. I also got markings in the licence, so I don't have to drive the race licence again next year.

I've got on board video footage of every time I was on track except the first race when I had contact with Kyntäjä. They will be on youtube soon.

Thanks to my dad and my brother who came as pit crew to the race. It wouldn't have been possible without them. My brother took all the pictures except the last one where he is in it.

Practise, I'm just about to pass cars on the warm up lap.

Driving in the pits, coming from qualifying. It was a bit slippy on track because one car leaked coolant on track and they set up yellow flags in "Taru's" corner because a car had driven into the barrier. I came in about 5 minutes too early because I felt like my lap times didn't improve. I was a little disappointed when looking at the laptimes in the pits, I noticed that my best lap was one of the last ones.

First start, Saturday. Everyone else leaves the grid normally except me. The car went into some weird mode and didn't raise revs above idling speeds. This is the first time it happened to me, but Mika told me afterwards that he has had the problem many times before.

The first track marshall already started running towards my car when I got going.

A picture from the second lap. The first corner was fun to drive through.

Looking for an opportunity to pass Kyntäjä. I got past on the uphill after the pits. Kyntäjä slowed down and gave me way just when I expected him to go on the throttle and attack into the corner. It got a bit exciting for me because I was going nose first into his behind. I barely got my car to the right and drove into his right rear wheel with my left front wheel. Luckily nothing major broke and I both of us could continue.
A bit after this the gear shifter broke. I could sense it was going soft so I just got it to sixth gear so I could drive until the end.

Second start. I got my car from the line normally. As soon as I got to the grid I shut the car down and put it into neutral. When the red lights went out I put first gear in and let the clutch out. Major wheelspin and a 0-100km/h time of 6.7 sec according to the data, but atleast I wasn't 15 seconds behind like the last time.

Some pictures of the cars behind so you can also see my car.

Searching for a place to pass Tervola. I got past in "Taru's" corner he made a mistake and braked too late.

Kyntäjä tries past me in the second race. At this point I wasn't trying very hard, I was just keeping up the pace to keep Kyntäjä behind.

My dad explaining to my brother how the corner surrounding the pits should be driven. "He should drive earlier to the outside". One of the bad points of recording your driving on video.

A datalogger overview of the second race. Best calculated laptime of 1:31,97 gives hope for improvement. Top speed 172,934 at the end of the main straight. Maximum lateral acceleration1,45G, when in braking only 1G. So the driver should brake harder...

Problem points. The map color tells me where I loose time on my fastest lap compared to fastest sectors driven. Red is bad and blue color means that I'm fast. Turqoise means that I'm equal to the fastest time.
Room for improvement:
0,2 sec if you have the nerves to drive the main straight with full throttle.
0,3 sec if you have the nerves to brake later at the top of the uphill after the pits,
0,2 sec if you have the nerves to brake later into "Taru's" corner... etc.

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