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Iconic cup 2017 R3 Broxtowe Andy Travis Race report

For the 3 rd round of the championship, we travelled north to the Broxtowe model car club on the 4 th June. We now moved into the 2 nd...


For the 3rd round of the championship, we travelled north to the Broxtowe model car club on the 4th June. We now moved into the 2nd half of the championship, after this round we will have done enough rounds to qualify for the championship as the result is best 3 from 4 rounds. This is good if you have a bad race meeting, it won’t affect your overall result

This meeting was a pivotal moment for my championship aspirations. If I won the A final, I would win the championship with a race meeting to spare. Although it’s good for racers to be fighting for the title until the very end, it’s nice to wrap up a championship so there is no pressure

We were greeted with a nice sunny day, but with a threat of showers later. The decision was taken to use FTD qualifying. Although it may be affected by potential rain later in the day, the race meeting was swiftly ran & avoiding a lunch break. As we have an hour between races, there is always time to grab a burger!

Practice

I chose to do my regular routine of using the tyres from the last meeting as it gives me a chance to get familiar with the circuit & not ruin a good set of tyres. I left the car as it was the after Cotswolds apart from lowering the gearing. Practice was set in heat order, so we only had 8 cars on the track at a time. I wasn’t sure on the pace of my fellow racers as we were spread out around the track. I just chose to drive around & see where I felt the car needed improving. I felt the car wasn’t generating enough traction & had little corner speed. After the session I increased the camber all round, added some front toe, prepared a fresh set of tyres & was ready for round 1

Qualifying

This was set based on championship position. As I was leading the championship, I was put into heat 10 (the top heat of 4wd stock) as car number one.

I drove to the line just settling in the tyres & took my position on the start line. The tone sounded & I set off in the hopes of a good time. Broxtowe is known as a tricky circuit due to its raised sections & unforgiving kerbs. I clipped a kerb on the 1st lap which threw me off the circuit! I lost a good 5-6 seconds as I was crashing I required marshalling, not a great start!

Cars 2& 3 pulled away & I just tried to keep up with them. I was able to stay behind them, but as they were ahead on pace & split times, I crossed the line just after the 5 minute tone so only completed 17 laps, they both recorded 18 laps. I felt the car was too firm, so put 350cst in the shocks & prepared for round 2

Round 2 was to be the fastest round of the day due the warm track conditions & no rain so far. We set off on a good pace & I was able to keep up with the leaders, even taking the lead. Unfortunately, a back marker nudged me onto the grass & on the final lap I clipped a kerb, sending me into a spin on the dirty part of the track. I lost about 6 seconds. That time would have put me on pole position! I finished 2nd but not too far off his pace so, I knew there was potential.

During the previous heats, it had started to drizzle, not enough to wet the track but enough to reduce grip for everyone. It would drizzle on/off for the rest of the day from this point onwards.

I felt the car wasn’t reactive enough when turning in, so I shortened the length of the front camber links, fitted slightly softer front springs & hit the track for round 3.  This proved to be a step in the wrong direction as the car would swing into a corner, throwing the back end out. The car was undriveable. I clipped another kerb, sending me onto the side & I lost a lot of time trying to recover. I decided to park the car as I lost a lot of time & to save tyres

For the final round, I decided to put the car back with the longer camber links & change the front spring back to my previous set. Although the car felt fine, the other cars were clearly faster in the lower grip conditions & improved their times.
I qualified 3rd overall. The top 3 cars were the only ones who put in 18 lap runs, separated by 2 seconds between us!


Final

As I was on grid 3 for the final, I had everything to do to go for the win. I decided that to gain more turning in, I softened the front shock oil in the hope it would allow the front end to generate more grip.

We positioned ourselves on the grid & awaited the start tone. We all got away cleanly & I would stay with the leaders. I was able to stay with them & looked at potential overtaking points. For the first 2 minutes, they drove very cleanly & was not able to make a pass. Car 2 got tangled with a back marker & I avoided the carnage & inherited 2nd place.

I was able to gain on car 1 & was looking for a spot to overtake. I found a point where I was able to accelerate faster out of a slow corner. A few laps passed & I could see what line he was taking. I took a tighter line, pulled past him on the short section before the next corner. Although I was on the outside line, I was ahead & was able to sweep in & take the lead with a clean pass. From that point, I just focused on driving a good racing line & managed to pull a gap from the leader. I later found out that his tyres were pretty worn, so my strategy of saving tyres from round paid off!

The 5 minute tone went & I crossed the line in first place with a few seconds advantage over 2nd place. The car felt great in the final, that last setup change made a massive difference & was the final piece of the puzzle in terms in setup.  As this was my 3rd win of the season, I had won the championship.

Although the championship has been won, I will compete at West London as its one of my favourite tracks to race on. Broxtowe is my ‘bogey’ track as I don’t get a chance to test there due to distance, so it was nice to win at the track I knew I would struggle on

The remaining championship

The championship has stretched from 2 rounds in 2016 to 4 in 2017. Here are remaining tracks & dates:
The final round will be at the excellent West London Raceway. See you there!

Thanks to John Weston & Vanessa Andrews for the additional pictures 
Racing 2698516472125974162

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