AJ Racing–Time Attack Round 5: Croft August 2015

Time Attack Round 5: Croft August 2015
The team arrived at Croft Circuit, North Yorkshire for Round 5 of the Time Attack Championship. After sitting out Round 4 at Oulton Park the team members were refreshed and recuperated after what had been a few months of constant hard work making improvements to the car. The car also received some long overdue attention to its suspension setup at S D Motorsport owned by Steven Darley ( a fellow competitor in the Time Attack Championship with his banana yellow Subaru), the sub-frame was realigned along with the toe-in, etc. The team and car arrived at the circuit at about 20:00 hours. Jon and Alison would like to take this opportunity to thank Stayfast and Kevin Davis for their help in getting the car to a few of the rounds this season.
Saturday 22nd

After battling to put the shelter up as we did not have the luxury of a garage, 08:15 soon arrived and it was time for the drivers briefing, 08:30 the car went to scrutineering and everything came together nicely. The track was a little damp and quite unpredictable but Jon reported over the radio that the car felt very different and “it was no longer trying to kill him when he came off the throttle” was feedback coming through the car now. The best time recorded during warm up was 1.57.535. Jon came back into the pits with a renewed confidence in the cars abilities. After a few words of encouragement from his dad for whom it was his first time seeing his son compete in the Time Attack Championship – it was practice time. The track was beginning to dry out by 11:05 and Jon was getting to know the car again, learning how it would handle under braking in the tight hairpin at Croft. The result of this is a huge 12 second reduction in lap time to 1.46.532 from the warm-up session. Towards the end of the session Jon brought the car back into the pits reporting that the throttle was sticking open. The team investigated the problem it was found and rectified; data regarding the tyres both hot and cold had been continuously collected by the team and reported back to Steven Darley who was happy with the readings. During qualifying Jon reported that the car felt bumpy and bouncy so the decision was made to soften off the front shock absorbers which worked as Jon reported over the radio that the modification had made a positive difference. After a few laps the car came into the pits to have the tyre pressures checked and adjusted accordingly. Jon managed to record a lap time of 1.41.872 before disaster struck – a suspected wheel bearing had collapsed and a CV joint had snapped.
The part that caused the premature end to AJ Racing’s day at Round 5 of the Time Attack Championship at Croft. (Courtesy of Jon Morris)
Jon does not feel that he has discovered the cars limits yet so the team look forward to Round 6 at Rockingham Speedway, Northamptonshire on 19th September 2015.