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Scott Tidyman



I just had my very first weekend racing at Wakefield Park on the 8th & 9th September in the Formula Ford 1600 class.

The weekend didn’t exactly got to plan and I didn’t meet my expectations but perhaps I set them a little too high. After a successful test day on the 30th August where I went quicker than the pole time set back in May I went into the weekend pretty confident and was hoping I would be able to improve my laps times and qualify in the top 5 in my class.

Qualifying – We weighed the car on the Saturday morning for the first time and found we were 25kgs over weight dry. ( I was to find out later everyone came in heavy on the scales) we short filled the car for quali only to run out of fuel after 3 or 4 laps when I was starting my first flying lap.  A quick stop to top up a little and have another crack saw me catch a slower car on my next flyer, I backed out of it to give myself a gap and then went again only to catch the same couple of cars again. Backed out again and had one more crack at a lap only to run out of fuel again! I then find out my transponder wasn’t working and they had to try and time me manually. Ended up with a lap that was 1.7 seconds off my best and qualified 6th in my class from 10 entries and 14th outright.

Race one – A check of the wheel alignment found a major error in the setup which was introduced after the last test day. Some frantic work from myself and the boys to try and correct it before race one saw a 0.7 second improvement in lap times. I finished my first race where I started after a poor start saw me have to pass two cars to get back to where I started.

Race two – Not happy with the car pace had us stay back at the track on Saturday night and try to realign it again and make a change to the gearing for race two. I had a much better start in race two and was battling with a few cars all race but we still had major handling issues. The car was just evil to drive. The change to the gearing also meant I had no top end speed either. I did manage to finish 5th in class but was still way off the pace I showed the week before although I was very consistent in my times when we tried to download the data from the car we found the Motec hadn’t recorded any data at all.

Race three. Got another good start but had the door shut pretty hard at turn one but actually made a couple of spots and was right with the leaders in class B until lap two where I understeered off the road at turn 9 where I had been having difficulties all weekend getting the car to turn. This resulted in me losing two spots and then spent the rest of the race trying to catch back up. I finished 5th in class again.

Overall a guess it wasn’t a bad first weekend racing, I finished all 3 races without damage. We all learnt a hell of a lot. Two 5th place finishes and one 6th place out of 10 cars for a team that has zero motorsport experience has to be considered a success although I can’t help but think what could have been if we had the car and the lap times from the test day the week prior.


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