Race Calendar

2016 Race Calender 

 

April 23/24th - Silverstone Int.

May 30th - Oulton Park Endurance

June 11/12th - Thrxuton

July 3rd - Donington Park

July 17th - Castle Coombe

August 6/7th - Snetterton 300

August 27/28th - Brands Hatch GP Endurance

October 22/23rd - Brands Hatch Indy (FFF)

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Mixed Fortunes at Donington Park

A small cohort from SMU Motorsport travelled to Donington Park in Derby. For the first time this season the team consisting of 5 students and 3 lecturing staff were greeted with sunshine upon arrival at this picturesque circuit.

In the early evening the team in high spirit walked the legendary circuit with Tim to experience the circuit at first hand. For Tim this was to be a useful exercise as this was yet another new circuit for both the driver and team in their inaugural season.

The unique character of the circuit offers both the rewards of threading the car through the Craner Curves and the challenges of avoiding the fearsome curbs and the early morning slippery surface due to the kerosene from aircraft using the adjacent East Midlands airport. 

The weather for race day was warm but cloudy but most importantly it was bone dry out on track. Tim had tested at Pembrey the Thursday before, where he tried the new Michelin tyres with some positive results.

Qualifying got underway just after 10am with 20 minutes to gain that perfect lap.  With the Michelins being able to get up to temperature a lot quicker than the previous tyres Tim was setting respectable lap times right from the off. Tim’s commitment paid off with another top 10 qualifying result with 10th place on the grid. 

Tim’s education process continued into the first race with yet another excellent start which saw the car climb as high as 7th  into the first  corner. But going around the outside of his competitors left Tim out to dry and was pushed down to 11th.

The la p times were consistent with a reduction of a second on the qualifying time proving that previous knowledge is the key.

There was a first corner collision between Oliver Sirrell and Malcolm Scott, which resulted in both cars flying into the gravel trap. Both drivers walked away but the cars were not in the same condition. Tim was chasing down championship leader Robbie Watts at the time who had slight front wing damage and because of the first corner incident Tim made it up to 9th but shortly after the race was red flagged. This sadly prevented Tim from passing Watts which he would have done with 2 laps remaining and this meant he missed out on Pole for race 2 on the reverse grid system.

Race 2 saw another great start with Tim gaining a few positions. But sadly by the second lap the car developed a problem and Tim had to retire with 2 laps to go. It transpired that there was a fuel pump problem, which was creating an uncontrollable surge. Ironically despite the problem Tim recorded his fastest lap of the weekend during the race!

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Head of Management and Operations, Ben Buesnel reflects upon the weekend.

"After a positive result at Mallory Park we were hoping for two top 10 finishes on this difficult new circuit for us. Although we didn’t finish the 2nd race, it was still an enjoyable weekend for all and it was nice to be in a garage in the pit lane with glorious sunshine all weekend, which made a change! 

Despite the team consisting of a lean 5 students, the guys worked extremely hard and very efficiently. We solved the fuel pump problem once we returned to the University and have rectified the issue and look forward to heading to the opposite side of the U.K to Snetterton in a months' time".