Yesterday the track was closed for winter tidy-up, so I went today.
Got up this morning nice and early (06:30) to be sure of an empty track - don't want to make a fool of myself in front of every one
also didn't want to be getting in the way of guys who really know what they're doing. My objective was in any case to run the car in and see how it feels.
I got to the track at 07:30 and was the only one there until I left at 09:30. I started out on my first run with a full tank and was happy to see that my clutch engages now nice and early
The track itself is beautiful! It lies in the middle of a forest just south of the bavarian town of Nuremberg (Germany). The weather, too, was perfect, but cold (-1 degree C when I started off, but quickly warmend up).
I pottered round the track a few times just trying to come to terms with the controls, which will take me a while to master.
During the first tank full (one of my last of the rich run in cycle) I simply let the car roll through the corners, not using an brakes.
The car seems sensative to steering inputs (in a positive sense) and seems to roll through the corners very well.
After about 3/4 of an Hour, it was time to start leaning out the mixture - doing it about 1/8s per tank. I didn't have the intent to fully tune the engine, just to get back to the factory mixture setting.
Now I was able to start to give a bit more gas and allow the car to accelerate quicker - wow! this thing really moves!!
With the extra speed came the need to start to break for the hairpins....then wooosh!! the back end of the car broke loose and the car spun off the track! Ooops
no damage, hmm maybe the setup is worse than I thought. I'd hadn't set anything up except putting the shocks on their softest setting - too soft as it turned out to be.
I didn't have time to start messing with the setup, so I simply continued with more caution. Then on the back straight, my rear wing flew off!!! Oh bugger, I thought, I'd forgotten to put screw-lock onto the screws afixing the wing to the car. I couldn't find the missing screw and had no spares, so continued without the wing
Now things were getting really tricky in the handling department. I'm not sure if it was simply because of the missing rear wing or the rich running engine had smeered the tyres with oil, but now the back end would break loose very easily - quite enjoyable for a while (certainly drifting through the 180 degree turns), but eventually made it impossible for me to run any faster.
After 8 full tanks and a great deal of fun, it was time to call it a day. Wow is my car ever dirty - hand't really expected it to have picked up so much dirt!! I cleaned some off at the track, but there is a lot which will need to be done at home.
All-in-all an absolutely tremendous first ever day at the track - the whole build process was well worth while and I'm now looking forward to setting up the car properly, so I can head out once more and put in some faster laps. There is a steep learning curve ahead of me, but I'm going to enjoy every bit of it.
A big thanks to all the guys who have helped me with their advice during my build process, especially InitialD and Modellor (lately also fmolzer, punisher and ammdrew).
I've put some pictures of my now non-virgin car on my website:
If anyone could give me some hints as to the best way to remove all the dirt from the car, that'd be great
PS a small pic of the track is here:
I'll try and get a better one soon.