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28-08-2007

Team Trimite finish 8th at Thruxton

Saturday Warm-up:

Team Trimite took to the track with an all new driver line up in the form of Richard Hay and Richard Stanton, an experienced pairing. The hour and a quarter practise session was spent giving Richard Hay some time in the car. Unforunately a seal in the drive shaft went as the car came into the pit lane after forty minutes, ending our session for the morning. However, Richard had shown some promising form given his lack of time in the car.

Qualifying - Session One:

Richard "the 1st" Hay took the car for the first 15 minute session and managed to get the car upto 10th position. We were all pleased with this position and called Richard in to preserve his tyres.

Qualifying - Session Two:

Richard "the 2nd" Stanton drove the second session, and this was to be his first time out in the car. Given this, his time was fairly respectable and placed us 20th for the race on Sunday.

Race One:

The main issues for the races were to be fuel and tyres. Thruxton is a circuit where nearly every corner is flat out so huge stresses are put through the tyres: Avon had developed a special compound for the track and after minutes of running in free practise the car had used almost 100 litres of fuel so things were going to be very marginal for an hour's racing. Richard Hay's brief was to hold position and try to conserve the car for Stanton's stint. Come the half hour mark, Hay brought the car in, tyres intact and enough fuel in the tank. An unwell Stanton took over, but was overwhelmed by the heat. To add to his worries a spinning Porsche forced him to take avoiding action over the freshly cut grass, filling up the front splitter and engine bay. Stanton was called in and we lost approximately 40 seconds cleaning out the car, however it was essential that we stopped otherwise the car would have overheated and blown the 8.3 litre V10 engine. Once Stanton rejoined he was in 17th place and there he stayed to the finish.

Sunday Warm-Up:

Saturday afternoon, Richard Stanton decided to step down from his seat as he felt increasingly unwell. We then had to find a new driver and get the agreement of every other team to let him drive. There were many calls on Saturday night to Nigel Greensall, our regular driver who had just finished a 6 hour race in Spa. Unfortunately we couldn't get him on an early enough flight from Brussels, so James Littlejohn who had previously driven the car at Oulton stepped into the breech and took the car out for a 10 minute session. He was immediately on the pace as things looked promising for round ten.

Race Two:

As the replacement for Stanton, Littlejohn had to start the race and following a driver change we were demoted to the back of the grid. There was only one way for James to go, but tyres and fuel were still and issue. James got away well, given his limited experience of rolling starts, and began to move up through the field. Around the 25 minute mark he was being significantly held up by the Moore Racing Viper, and as the pit window had just opened the tactical decision was made to pit early from 17th position. The stop went faultlessly and Richard rejoined the race some way down the order, but with everyone in front of him still to stop. A combination of consistent driving from Richard, and some bad stops by other teams moved us up to 6th place at one point. However some cars had elected to change to the left rear tyre type which was taking all the wear and were now on the move. As Richard still had to conserve the car he dropped to 8th. With five minutes to go the low fuel warning came on, and the car was losing rear grip from the tyres, so the only thing to do was back off. With excellent communication between the pit wall and Richard, we kept him informed of the gap to 9th place and the time remaining. This meant we were able to get the car home with out losing track position.