2016 Series Return
End of season, Christmas and New Year came and went at the speed of clicking your fingers it seemed, but here we are three months on from the season closer at Phillip Island to the 2016 opening round in the home town of Whiteline Racing, Adelaide.
Adelaide is always a very social affair for us and with the crew all based at Bob and Shaz’s home, we get to have some fun times together in between the serious stuff of making the racing happen !!
Birdman was busy on the off season and here’s a summary of work carried out on the 85 King Springs Camaro and the 95 Lubrimaxx Camaro :
King Springs 85 Camaro diff and gearbox ratios changed to suit Adelaide, new gear box fitted, minor body repairs from Phillip Island, new top wish bones were fabricated and fitted to take advantage of new regs, some interior trim removed also in line with the new 2016 rules. All mechanisms were removed from the driver’s door and door filled with safety foam, the throttle pedal was redesigned and remade.
Lubrimaxx 95 Camaro the diff and gear box ratios were changed, minor body repairs were carried out, some interior trim removed, the driver’s door was filled with safety foam and the exhaust headers were repaired, which were broken at Phillip Island.
The crew from around Aus, Kingy, Paulie, Jason, Timmy, Andy all arrived in Adelaide on the Wednesday. They were picked up in the “Georgie-fied” Devil Bus and taken from the airport straight to the track. The boys set up their pit and started tinkering !! There was no track time until Thursday, so was a pretty relaxed day just checking through everything.
That night, we just had rack of lamb roast for dinner, early to bed for early departure – to get the boys and the bus in the track, you need to be at the gate by 7 am before the track is closed to traffic.
Thursday there were two practice sessions.
The first was at 9.35 a 20 minute session to shake down the cars and get a feel for the circuit. Kingy in his 85 King Springs Camaro put in 10 laps and the best time achieved was on the final lap with a 1.32.2396. As for Andrew in the 95 Lubrimaxx Camaro, 10 laps were completed, best time on the 2nd with a 1.323244.
The second session was held at 1.50 and was also a 20 minute session, Kingy completing 10 laps, the best time was achieved on the 4th lap with a 1.319340, so better than the first session, but the rest of the field had also improved, likewise with Andrew, 10 laps in his 95 Camaro, best on the 9th, time was 1.31.4056, so yes much improved from P 1, but not much improvement on the order, 9th quickest. Abelnica, Seton, Bowe, Gomersall all setting the early pace.
On review of the two sessions, Kingy commented his 85 King Springs Camaro felt quick, but in reality compared to the rest of the field wasn’t, although reflected he was running quicker than last year. Jason and Paulie just continued to make adjustments with bump stops fitted on rear shocks to settle down kerbing bounce. As for 95, Andrew, the rear shockers looked unstable, so Birdman and Timmy worked through solutions and adjustments to rectify that issue.
The boys reported back also, new Grandfather Andrew did enjoy a poppy nap in the arvo !!
The boys prepped the cars for Friday, which involved an early morning qualifying session at 9.20 followed by a race at 4.30.
Tea was at the Matheson Clan’s home, please check out other business for the goss and picks on that !
When we go racing, we are always hopeful of fine weather conditions for the racing, although that said I know Andrew likes to play in the wet, anyhow, Adelaide just turned on extreme heat taxing equipment, crews and the drivers. High 30’s for the event – track temp always well in excess.
A drivers meeting held on the Friday recognised these extreme conditions and given the cars in the TCM category are the glorius old girls of yesteryear, the seed was planted about reducing the races from 12 to 10 laps to avoid any overheating issues.
Qualifying was held at 9.20 and was a 20 minute session. For Kingy in the 85 King Springs machine, 8 laps were completed and the best time was on the last with a 1.30.176. The session was not without some drama when Kingy went into a very specky spin,85 just got a tad unstable into turns 1, 2 had air underneath her and round she went – fortunately no damage and good value for television instant replays ! Kingy was really pleased with the session and the crew continued to make minor adjustments, particularly with regard to Kingy’s foot pedals for comfort in the race.
Andrew in the 95 Lubrimaxx Camaro completed 10, his best time also achieved on the 8th with a 1.296799, so massive improvement since practice yesterday, but reckons he had more in the tank, just found he could get clear laps without coming up on traffic – felt the time achieved did not match the capability of the 95 machine.
Glen Seton was quickest out there putting in a record time lap of 1.29330 – so as you can see between positions 1 – 8 you could throw a blanket over them.
A long break before race 1 and the heat took its toll – some of the boys took advantage for a siesta.
Race 1 took place 4.30 ish and as I reported earlier was reduced as a precaution to combat the heat, but then was further reduced to 8 laps. Andrew in the 95 Lubrimaxx Camaro was out of 6 and Kingy in the King Springs Camaro out of 8. Was not a good start for Andrew, who found himself balked on the inside lane which slowed right down to about 40 klms before it got going, which with the gearing selected meant the Camaro just took too long to pick up the pace and resulted in Andrew losing several positions as the field went around the outside, including team mate Kingy, so by the end of the 1st, Andrew was back to 12th. This, combined with missing a gear found Andrew in unfamiliar territory. Kingy did get off the line well and was maintaining his qualifying position in the top 10. The start also created entertaining moves with Ritter, Seton and Bowe all wanting to lead the pack. The race was not without plenty of action with Karanfilovski making contact with the tyre wall at turn 1 which triggered the safety flag, other casualties who did not finish were Mercer and Tilley. Kingy thought he’d try to capitalise on an opening to move on Fisher on turn 9, but misjudged giving Fisher a ‘love’ tap which resulted in some minor guard damage to the left, Fishers right guard, however, both Whiteline boys would have to be content with finishes just in the top 10 with the 85 King Springs Camaro finishing in 8th, ahead of team mate 95 Lubrimaxx Camaro of Andrew. Ritter won the race in the Monza with JB, Seton, Richards 1 – 4 respectively. The shortened race laps would make the job of improving on position pretty difficult, so much smarter to notch up the consistency of finishing – it is early days into the season.
On return to the pit, the boys got busy preparing the Camaros for their scheduled 11.05 am race.
Jobs done, the boys board the “Devil” bus and headed out to Whiteline Racing headquarters at Green Fields – the team enjoyed a few drinks together checking out the racing memorabilia before enjoying a nice dinner together at Mawson Lakes.
Saturday’s weather was just stinking hot, really muggy too absolutely testing man and machine !!
Race 2 The 10 lap second race got away at 11.05 and was over 10 laps, Kingy in the King Springs Camaro 85 out of 8 and Andrew in the 95 Lubrimaxx Camaro out of 9.
With the race underway the excitement of the front row dual of Bowe and Ritter and who would lead the group was a great start, with Ritter coming off best when the left side of JB’s car just clipped the tyre barrier. Kingy got around Freestone early in lap 1 and was initially pleased with his choice of break pad, but once they got hot they wained and Kingy found himself having to rely on gear changes to slow down his No. 85 King Springs Camaro and as a result lost position to Freestone on the 4th. Meanwhile, Andrew in the 95 Lubrimaxx Camaro was on the charge and impressively worked his way through the field from 9th to finish 4th with Ritter, Abelnica, Bowe 1 – 3 respectively. The race was run under blitzing times, with Abelnica setting a new lap record.
The boys got busy preparing the cars for Sunday’s race and were keen to head out from the track early afternoon to enjoy a day together boating, swimming and eating South Australian Prawns and Oysters – check out the pics in other news !!! It was a hot and balmy night in Adelaide and was a relaxing time for all.
Sunday’s race was held at 11.00 a.m. and was a trophy race. The field would start in a reverse grid format putting the faster qualifying cars up the rear, gaining points for starting and finishing only. It is a new racing initiative for the Category with TCM Sponsors Waeco fridges sponsoring the race with trophies and prizes.
Race 3 It was to be 10 laps, but was reduced to 8 laps, again the conditions were extremely hot and the boys were starting way up the back. The race got underway and it didn’t take long for mayhem to set in when entrant 46 Leo Tobin had a jammed throttle cable, which triggered the safety car – the domino effect could’ve been a lot worse, but it took until the 4th lap to get the race back underway. The restart was clean as it was indian file – the intial start was slow for Andrew in the 95 Lubrimaxx Camaro due to traffic and Kingy in the 85 King Springs Camaro had got a good start and had Garwood’s Capri in his sights, but then the yellow came out. Andrew’s run was most impressive coming from 16 to take out third place and Kingy was running well in 11th but saw no point in pushing any envelopes in the final event of the weekend.
A presentation took place, with Andrew collecting his 3rd trophy and Waeco cooler box for the last event and took the opportunity in his acceptance speech to thank Whiteline Racing and the crew for all the effort over the years, as this was his final race in the TCM Category until further notice. Andrew will concentrate on racing his Aston with son George.
This was an extremely emotional moment for the team as we have shared so many memorable moments together, enjoyed incredible success and together have been great ambassadors of the TCM Category.
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