The development of the 2.l Duratec car left me with some nervousness as I approached this test. The handling of the car had been so good last year I was worried that the extra weight at the rear would spoil a car which I enjoyed driving. When a car has been extensively changed there are also worries that things will not go well. Will the Duratec sump design work? will we have to completely rethink the setup? The car has gained about 20Kg which puts it about 10Kg over the minimum Class A limit. The weight balance is now 60/40 where it was 58/42. Rear springs are a bit stiffer at 350Lbs and the rear antiroll bar is set softer.
When the day arrived the car looked great in the new Liberty Leasing livery – thanks to Ray’s hard work. We also started with a dry day which is a bonus at this time of year. Gently, gently at first was soon forgotten and hard braking & cornering was substituted to stress the new parts as much as possible. Running with RGB and bikesports, I could see that the car was quicker than last year and, rejoice!, the handling was superb, even with the extra 60bhp working away at the rear. When I came into the pits I had a grin that joined up at the back inside my helmet. Later in the day the weather turned to rain which was a chance to check that the balance was not different under these changed conditions. We also had some minor niggles including a small oil leak that can easily be fixed in time for Donington. See you there.