16th September - Brands Hatch AutoSolo
Well it has been a busy few weeks since the last Autotest. I decided to put the car down as VHI and not do an MOT. Regardless of that I got the car inspected by local 'MINI Motorsport Centre' and it's a good job I did! Car failed on a totally knackered ball joint and steering rack. I wonder if the bumpy autotests were anything to blame?!...
So, having already signed up to the Brands Hatch AutoSolo, I've had a lot to get ready in 3 weeks: new steering rack fitted, new front hub, wheel bearing, ball joints etc. Also have refurbed the last of my two Cosmics and got new A008's put on. All very last minute and the tracking was done on Saturday before the event on Sunday. Slightly annoyed as the car wasn't fully set up (camber and castor also) so wasn't behaving as nicely as it was... although the steering is dramatically better!
So, having made it to the event with a 75min journey; everything seemed bigger, better, more organised and more competitive than what I have been used to. Lots of higher powered cars; full on rally cars, TVR Tuscans, loads of MX5's, MR2's, BMW's, Caterhams etc. Lots of changing tyres and generally looking like people knew what they were doing!
The AutoSolo consisted of 2 tests laid out, one on the paddock area and one on the rally stage (1). These were completed 3 times with the best 2 attempts counting. After a lunch break the tests were then attempted in the reverse direction (with a bit of tweaking of the cones).
I finished the event in 31st out of 64 cars (however, only 43 completed). Really happy with that as most people seemed to be ‘old hands’ and had done the rally stage for instance a number of times over different years. There were 2 other minis but these werent in my class (historic). I wondered why/how the other minis were so much faster than me!! But looking at the final results they came 7th and 8th overall and were really quick. The newer sportspack mini in particular had a hydraulic handbrake and lots of positive camber on the rear (for flicking it about!).
Had a really great laugh and learnt a lot. If you want a good run you really have to ‘drive it like you stole it’!! I certainly will be doing more next year.
Queuing up behind car number 1, i was number 2!
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Edited by Trissy B, 21 September 2018 - 09:04 PM.