Yelwoc Motorsport

2002 Season

2002 Season

Race Report from Willhire - Snetterton

Jon Owen and Ian Cowley took one of BEER's Group N BMW M3's to the Willhire.
The car chosen had an engine with 35 hours racing as we wanted to establish whether these engines would reliably exceed 40 hours between rebuilds.
The car also had a new shorter sprint rear ratio.

Due to unforseen cicumstances we only had a 3 man pit crew.

In the run up to the race we had been considering running a 2hr first stint, but once we reallised that the outside tempretaure was going to be above 30C, we decided that even 1hr stints might be a challenge!

Ian Cowley went out in free practice to bed in a set of fronts disks and pads.

For qualifying we decided that in a 6hr race there is little point in flogging the car to gain a few yards at the start. Jon Owen put the car in 11th spot with a 1' 23", whereas the Minshaw car was running 1' 18".

We had only put 10 laps on the car during qualifying.
Our race strategy was to change drivers every hour; to put 50L of fuel every scheduled stop, bar the 2nd stop where we were going to change the front nearside tyre.

Ian Cowley started and was running fairly consistant 1' 24" and occasional 1' 23"s for the first 30mins or so. Then a combination of the heat and an apparent 'loose' rear end, especially through Coram, increased the times into the 1' 25"'s. A bit of encouragement over the radio had the times back to the low 1' 24"s. There was a trremendous scrap for 10 laps or so with the BMW M3 E30 of Bates/Palmer until Ian spun on the exit of Russell.

The car was handed over to Jon Owen in about 9th place. Jon quickly got down to 1' 23"s and 1' 22"s and proceed to put the car into 6th place on the road. About 40 mins into his stint he reported a problem with his NSF tyre and came in with flat. 10 minutes later Jon was reporting he could smell fuel and came in 5min early. Assuming that it was a standard changeover, 50L of fuel went in and then Ian Cowley jumped in. Next thing the car is surrounded by marshalls and fire crew. The car is pouring fuel all over the exhaust. The race ended for us there. The Marshalls and the Clerk of the Course were less than impressed as we had the 1st garage and could have closed the whole pit lane and possibly stopped the race if the fire hadn't been quickly sorted!

Though disappointing, and the car would have been good enough to finish somewhere around the BMW M30 in 6th or 7th place, it is our first racing failure/DNF.

We were both knackered even after just 1hr, though the lack of adrenaline may have contributed.

Now to prepare for next years Nurburgring.