Almost 12 months since loosing a core plug and damaging the engine from the Lead at Mallory park in 2010, Black Cat Racing’s Graham Walden Returned to the track For the Tom Stewart Memorial Races.
Whilst not racing Graham has spent plenty of time trackside, both Instructing a Batch of New racers in car and running the team from the pit wall.
The Preparation for the race was a little hectic as Due to planning permission problems the race was brought forward a week. With a busy schedule of preparing cars already set out, time had to be found to prepare the car meaning many late nights.
Castle Automotive performance provided us with a fresh engine on the sunday, this was quickly installed and tested on TTP Performances rolling load on the Thursday morning before heading off to Donington later that night, ariving at 3am after collecting various parts of the car on route!
A Friday race is unusual but this was because we were on the test day of the World Touring Car race weekend.
The remaining Parts of the tuscan were Bolted on in the paddock, with out Much of the Black Cat Racing crew available due to Holidays ( we tend to schedule Holidays around the race calendar!) Many of the other TVR Teams mucked in to Help Graham who was there on His own, With Jamie From Castle Automotive perfomance also coming over to look after the engine.
With new tyres to scrub , a fresh engine and a driver who felt a little race rusty Qualifying was taken carefully easing the car and driver back into things, and learning the circuit. Hard to belive in 11 years of raing Graham had only been to Donington once before in 2005.
Qualifying in the middle of the Class B runners Graham Had some work to do, but once the red lights went out it was business as usual with many cars dispatched in the first few laps, and assisted spin b Andy Race the class B leader would make things easier and we were quickly in 2nd place. A good fight With Kieth Vaugne-Williams, would eventually see a daring move set up 3 corners in advance and a move in to First in class, Andy Race also slipped past Keith.A hard push ( almost too hard at the old hirpin) would see a gap open up giving some breathing space to the flag. A win first time out in 12 months on a new engine was a great result.
Race 2 would see us start at the Head of the Class B pack, at the end of a very long day. Into the first corner the car was very wayward resulting in a sideways moment, and the loss of a couple of places to class A and B cars. As the race went on the handling of the car got worse and worse, giving some very alarming noises through the craner curves at 120mph.
As we wer not going for the championship this year Graham took the decision to park the car, a slightly disappointing finish but better to look after he car as we are not flighting for the championship this year due to other commitments.
Overall however the Team were more than happy with the way the day had gone. The car was put together in double quick time and the new engine from Castle Automotive performace hade been faultless.
We must also thank our major Sponsor Rose & Krieger without who we would not be racing.
The problem with the car turned out to be a broken rose joint adjuster on the rear suspension. We’ve never heard of one of these breaking in 20 years of Tuscan racing so its a very unusual failure, but explains the handling issues with the car!
Thats all been fixed along with some worn cv joints, so next time out should be even better.