Testing Day At Rockingham Motor Speedway
First And Last Race
Earlier this month it was reported that the loss making and troubled 300 acre site has been sold to become a major storage centre for defleet and auction vehicles. The ex-quarry, filled with toxic steelworks waste from the 70’s and 80’s was opened by The Queen in May 2001. The site will close for motorsport at the end of the year, a bitter pill for all motorsport enthusiasts including the thousands of BTCC fans who turn up year after year. You will have seen Rockingham featured in many motorsport TV programmes including BBC Top Gear and Channel 5’s Fifth Gear.
This second Citroen 24 hour race will be the last and has many memories for The Bastards.
Ash took the wheel for the first stint of the open pitlane format. Weather is looking sunny with temperatures increasing to 23degC for the start of the race tomorrow. Lewis took the second stint, but is a couple of seconds off Patterson’s pace as they break for lunch.
Bucknell, Lowe and Cox arrived later that afternoon with Lowe and Bucknell taking a couple of stints alongside Lewis and Patterson. It seems that time will be made through the chicane on turn one, but one has to be confident and resolute once committed to the turn.
A number of red flag stoppages ensued throughout the day, the end of testing some fifteen minutes early due to an incident that could not be cleared in time to recommence. It seems that Gracelands is proving troublesome with one car rolling onto it’s roof.
Weigh In And Scrutineering
After sign-on, all five drivers had their kit inspected and other than Lowe, all passed. Unfortunately Lowe had a hole in one of his gloves, which were confiscated and impounded for the race. Luckily, Lewis had a spare pair that were loaned to Lowe.
The minimum weight for the car is 910KG that must be maintained for the whole race. All drivers and car needed to be weighed. #MissFire weighed in at 870KG with a full tank of fuel and the weight of the lightest driver was 76KG, placing The Bastards 8KG over the minimum levels, accounting for fuel consumption during the race itself.
All five drivers set out to to complete the minimum requirement. Some were nervous subsequent to Patterson commenting from the dark ‘daylight’ session that he could not see in certain corners. Patterson, Cox, Lewis and Bucknell followed in quick succession, allowing Lowe to enjoy himself for the last half dozen laps. Although the team were more concerned with learning the circuit in the dark, interesting they qualified P26, a higher position than daytime.