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)

On Facebook

Back to where it all began - Cadwell Park

Motorsport can be cruel....

These are the words which unfortunately are the most fitting to SMU Motorsport’s final race weekend of the 2011 F4 championship.

img_5083

The team went to Cadwell Park determined to finish both races on a high and pick up some good points,  securing a top ten position in the championship. However the team’s recent bad luck continued for yet another weekend and the team went home jinxed by the notorious Lincolnshire circuit.

A nasty accident during qualifying, which saw Paul Presgraves lose control of his car at the top of the Mountain and slide helplessly into the barriers, brought out the red flag and all the cars came back to the pit lane. Upon restarting the session Tim could not start the engine, and even with the aid of the team the engine would not fire. This meant Tim had to sit out the remaining 8 minutes of qualifying, which was unfortunate because his ‘sighting’ laps were already faster than our race pace at this circuit at the beginning of the season.

The problem which prevented the engine from restarting turned out to be a simple flooding (a situation whereby too much fuel has entered the engine for combustion). However, the cause of this had to be found before the first race. Using a multi-meter to check all the electrical sensors, the air temperature sensor was found to be giving an odd reading and upon removing the sensor it could be seen that it was actually broken on the inside. Luckily there was a spare sensor packed and once it was installed the car was running well again.

The weather conditions for the first race were awful, and with extremely limited visibility and a very slippery track surface, made evident by much sliding in the support races, the team were for once not envious of Tim going out to race!

As the cars came past the pit-lane through the rain, Tim was nowhere to be seen and with yellow flags waving on the other side of the track the team feared he may have left the circuit. However he soon appeared and came into the pit lane with another engine problem. The engine was mis-firing slightly and the problem appeared to be intermittent. The engineers got the engine running fine again, but decided to pull out of the race, preferring to have a good look at the engine to prevent further possible damage.

The team were disappointed that following all their hard work to get to the event, the car only completed one lap of the first race.

Yet the disappointment was not over for SMU Motorsport. The water pump was found to be leaking and the impeller shaft was giving excessive movement. The team did not have a spare water pump and the work required to replace it was far too excessive to be done with limited light and equipment. If the race was an ‘all or nothing’ situation, then the car would’ve been sent out for race 2. However given that we were extremely unlikely to improve on our championship position and that we could possibly damage another engine, the team called it a day and packed up the car.

SMU Motorsport still attended the race on Sunday, this time as spectators to view the exciting showdown for the championship title between Oliver Sirrell and Robbie Watts. It was a tense battle, with Sirrell having to defend from a very determined Robbie Watts for the entire duration of the race. Sirrell eventually won the race, which also saw him take the championship trophy.

Although deeply disappointed and somewhat fed-up of all the bad luck recently, the team are certainly not giving up on the car and plans are already being set out to improve the car and expand the team for the 2012 season, where the team aim to be in the top six of the championship.

Despite the recent bad luck it has been a fantastic experience for SMU Motorsport in their first season of racing and there are massive areas of positivity to be taken into next year.

We would like to thank all of our sponsors and supporters for helping us throughout the season and for following our events. The website will be frequently updated with what we’re getting up to and our progress on making a better car.

The team’s Chief Engineer, Harley Gasson concludes this exciting year:

“The chance to run a race team for a whole year is one that does not come around often and although we have had bad luck recently, I think it is important to reflect on just how fortunate we are as a student run race team to even have this fantastic opportunity. Juggling coursework with running a race car for a whole season is no easy feat and I am exceptionally proud of the team for always having the car ready for every event and for the long ‘after-uni’ hours which we all put in. There is a real passion in this team, and we certainly deserve to do well next season. We wish to end the season on a positive note given the massive achievements we have made since the initial shakedown of the car many months ago. The car has evolved enormously and that is down to the team’s hard work and generous support from the university staff. We will be back, bigger and better in 2012. “