Double Podium at Final Round of Tricolore
Double Podium at Final Round of Tricolore. Two second place finishes saw a succesful end to the first year in the Track Attack Tricolore Trophy Championship.
After the previous debacle at the Oulton Park Round when we never even turned a wheel due to mechanical issues with a misfire and a broken exhaust manifold, which wasn’t spotted following our crash earlier in the year at Castle Combe, we headed to the Mallory Park Circuit in Leicestershire for the final two rounds of of the Track Attack Tricolore Trophy.
While not exactly a challenging circuit, it was another new circuit to learn – plenty of watching YouTube clips of other drivers in the lead up it was then! The car itself went back to Spoox Motorsport (also based in Leicester) for some much needed love and attention, tweeks and set-up changes. This included a complete new exhaust system from manifold to rear silencer – custom made by Spoox, suspension upgrades, corner weighting, new injectors and fuel rail system and a complete engine re-map by the team at Spoox. This event also saw Darren and Jay from Spoox run the car at Mallory Park and give some much needed tips to get the best out of the car.
We finished qualifying in 10th position overall and 2nd in class, but struggled to get a clear lap and was getting quicker as the session ended, once we got to grips with the new set-up and the new circuit.
As the race started, we made a poor start and dropped back to 13th place. Over the next few laps, we picked our way through the field while still learning the feel of the new car, to end on the back of the leading group of cars and into 6th position overall and 2nd in class – it’s much easier to learn a circuit when you have quick cars to follow!
Final set-up changes were made to the Peugeot by Darren and Jay ahead of the final round and mount an assualt on the podium.
As the race started, we made another bad start (I really need to pracice quicker get aways over the winter!) and dropped back to 10th. Over the next 6 laps I made my way back up to 5th place by some brave outbraking of other cars around the outside of Shaws Hairpin which then gave me the inside line going into Devils Elbow. Following a lunge by Nick Gwinett in his Renault Clio on Robert Buckland’s Clio on the inside of Shaws Hairpin, we moved up into 2nd place behind Tony Hunter (also a Clio).
We were glued nose to tail for the next three laps before coming up to Shaws Hairpin (there’s a theme going on here!) and was fully committed to the outside, when Tony moved towards the left and squeezed me onto the grass and up into the air. By the time I regained the track, we slipped back down to 4th and 2nd in class behind Tony, Dave Clark (Renault 5 GT Turbo) and Andy Mitchell (also a Peugeot 205 GTi), which is where we finished the race.
A great deal has been learned while racing with the Tricolore guys in 2017 and some great new circuits visited. While we had some reliability issues this year and didn’t manage to reach the top step of the podium, which is always our aim, it was a great season, with plenty of new friends made. The decision to switch series and all of the politics from the BARC SE Tin Tops over the past three years was the right decision to make – we will be back for 2018 and raring to go!
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