We arrived on Saturday morning to start 2 rounds of practice and due to the dusty conditions, as suspected. We were to test our Pro-Line Bow Tie X3 Compound and also Diamond Back X3 Compound. We were also making some changes to the car from our normal setup – normally we would be running with orange springs on the rear which we tried in practice one and in practice two we used the blue springs on the rear as it was stopping the car collapsing and made the car easier to drive. We were now pretty well set for 5 rounds of qualifying. Elliott was using his Reds R7 Evoke Engine in his MP9 TKI3 and running with 25% Byron Fuel.
Round one of qualifying was looking okay but due to a few mistakes half way through Elliott would qualify 4th in the round, which was okay as he was still setting the car to his liking with the loose and quite aggressive track conditions. Once we had found the car to his liking with a few more changes to the diff oils and shock oils and changing the tyres to Diamond Back X2 Compound, Elliott would then go on and TQ the next 4 rounds of qualifying, which would give him the overall TQ for the meeting and one championship point. This would position Elliott on pole for his semi-final on Sunday.
We had a 10-minute semi warm up where we were using this to test the engines run time. We already decided that we were going to be running the Diamond Back X2 tyres. Elliott felt very comfortable with the car and was looking forward to his semi-final.
Elliott was on pole and immediately set off in the lead and was battling hard with Darren Bloomfield, swapping the lead with him which was looking to be a very closely fought battle. Both made a few mistakes and due to an ambitious fuel stop in which the car was released too early in front of Darren, we received a stop and go which then handed the lead back to Darren. Elliott pushed on hard and was able to regain the lead and win his Semi. Elliott was a little concerned with the handling of his car as the track had taken a turn for the worse and became very bumpy and very aggressive on some of the corners, which was unsettling the car but with this all happening was able to start the Main Final in second place behind Pro-Line Driver Lee Martin.
The Main Final as normal with our National Championships was to be 45-minutes long and was going to be an extremely hard final with some close racing as the track was hard to race on and would be hard to overtake and had to be driven with the utmost respect otherwise it would bite you hard with lots of drivers making mistakes throughout the afternoon finals. We decided that we would make some changes to the car. We increased the weight of the shock oils and lowered the car to make it easier to drive but this may mean taking it easy at the start to let the car settle and learning the track to get into a comfortable rhythm.
Elliott set off and was quite comfortable as he dropped place back to third in the opening stages so that he could follow the rest of the drivers in front of him so that he could feel comfortable with the car and to re-learn the track conditions before making any overtaking moves. It wasn’t long before Elliott was able to get into the lead and was having a good race with Lee Martin, who was doing one less fuel stop than us so it was going to be very tight throughout the race. As time went by, Elliott was looking very comfortable and was able to set some very fast lap times and was able to edge away. Before you knew it he was then in command of the race and was able to finish in first place, some 17 seconds ahead of second place.
With this second win of the year it puts us in a very strong position for the rest of the series with 3 more rounds to go.
We would like to thank all the sponsors for all their help and support this year so far.
Next stop is Kent National Championship in July.
Thank you for all the support,
Chris and Elliott Boots