Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Track Day

I saw on the MSE website that the MOD were resurfacing the runway at Keevil over the summer and that their last day would be the 21 July.  The last local MOD runway that was resurfaced was Colerne and MSE haven't had a day there since, coupled with the return of the Army from Germany will no doubt influence the MOD's willingness to loan airfields out to MSE and the likes. Anyway, James has finished college for the summer so I decided to book just before we left for the Le Mans Classic.

We left home at 08:00 and arrived at Keevil at 09:15 having refuelled and filled up 2 x 5 ltr jerry cans at the last petrol station after Westbury.  We booked in and sorted out a helmet for James, attended the briefing and got out for the sighting lap in group 1.  Once the sighting laps were over all stopped, the paramedic that had been booked had had to stop at an incident and a replacement was 30 mins away. MSE quickly extended the day and ran through lunch to make sure that everyone had the opportunity for a full day and also gave all principal bookers a £20 voucher off another day so good PR for them.

Once the sessions started the queue to get on circuit was long so we had a burger and chips earlier and waited for things to calm down. Sure enough after 40 or so mins the queue was down to a couple of cars so we headed out on to track. About 10 laps slowly building up speed through the corners and reducing the braking points then a final cool down lap before coming in.  First thing was how good the new radiator is, yes the temperatures did rise over the standard ~90 deg C but no where near as high as the last couple of track days and the ambient temperature was ~23 deg C.

There were 3 other Westfields at the day, one of which, a XE engine car, had failed the noise test with 104 dB but after striping down the exhaust and applying sections of beer can plus adjusting the wading they managed to get just below the 100 dB threshold (my new carbon fibre exhaust was 92 dB so 5 dB lower than the original Westfield one).

One of the other cars had been at my first track day last year and was a red FW bodied car with a Duratec engine with an interesting front spoiler. I noticed that it had some ducting around the radiator so went over to have a look.


Upgraditis had been well and truly at play as this was now a 340 bhp supercharged monster with the ducting to allow a clean flow of air to a very large intercooler.  Neil, the owner, is a regular on the track day circuit with his brother and they'd decided that 220 bhp wasn't enough and they needed more power.  James went as a passenger with Neil and was well and truly impressed, even offered to spend his first salary on upgrading ours (about 5 years plus away as he's only just sat his ASs)

We managed to get out for about 6 sessions during the day each of 8 to 10 laps with gradual improvements as we went along.  I used the GoPro to record one or the sessions and also used a CMS Pro app on my phone to record my times and allow me to carry out so post day analysis.  Our top speed was 96 mph and best lap time 1.23 mins and the best of my sectors would have been 1.21 mins so plenty to work on but sadly not likely to be a Keevil anytime soon.

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