Silverstone 2023

After the rain that soaked us in race 2 at Snetterton we were looking forward to a warm and dry weekend at Silverstone. Silverstone is always a special race for the Monoposto championship, this year was going to be no exception. A 48-car grid always leads to some exciting racing.

After some discussion post Snetterton regarding the cars overall handling characteristics, we had made some radical changes to the set up philosophy. The high-speed Silverstone GP layout was never going to be kind to us with our ‘stock engine’ but with the changes made  we were hopefully going to lead to us picking up some time through the fast flowing sections of the circuit.

The very busy qualifying session started well with Jamie managing to find some space to get one lap almost clear of traffic. It was at the start of this lap however that the car suffered a gear issue, it was stuck in 6th and wouldn’t downshift. Jamie kept plugging away with the car stuck in gear, ending up 19th overall and 6th in class. The change in set up proved to be a positive one, despite the lack of acceleration the amount of momentum through the corners that the car would now hold was really noticeable. Even stuck in gear the car was 3.5 seconds faster than the year before.

After qualifying we discovered the shifter actuator had decided to ‘fry itself’ and as we do not carry a spare actuator, this left a dilemma. Do we pack up and go home or do we try and race while stuck in 6th ?  After a very brief discussion the decision was made… try and race.

Jamie decided to that starting in 6th gear in the middle of 48 car pack wasn’t a good idea, so made the choice to start from the back of the grid.

Once the grid had got going for its green flag lap, another issue ….how do you heat tyres on a car that can’t slow down as it’s stuck in 6th and will stall?

This left only one option- first lap cold tyres. Despite this, Jamie made up 9 places on the first lap and made rapid progress through the field making multiple positions per lap, overtaking 50% of the entire grid and ended up 24th overall and 8th in class.

Race 2 loomed with the same gear issue. Again, the decision was made to start at the back of the grid. After the lessons learnt from race 1, Jamie managed to get more heat in the tyres on the green flag lap, allowing him to make 11 spots on the first lap. This time he made it all the way to 23rd overall but 9th in class.

Given this issue with the gear selector, which could have led to a wasted weekend, an 8th and 9th in class was ‘respectable enough’ the big positive however was the improvement in the cars overall handling, particularly the speed it was now able to carry through high speed sections. The car was even managing to keep up with some of the F3 cars though the Stowe, Maggots and Becketts section of the track which really made up for the lack of power.

Off to Donington Park next, hopefully with more than one gear this time.

A special thank you needs to go to the Perpetuum Motorsport team. In particular Andy and David, who along with helped Lewis get the car going in 6th gear for race 1 and 2. Without them we wouldn’t have been able to take the green flap so thank you!