With Snetterton over, the car was checked again, this time modifying the radiator even more with takes offs for the return from the turbo and the ECU was programmed for another Map along with the wet Map that reduced power even more if necessary, in case it was the power the engine was producing that was causing the engine to boil over. A new thermostat was put back in and the car run up on the dyno again with no issues.
Qualifying and the car ran great for about 8 laps before the temperature started to rise again and by the end of the session we were pulling 126 degrees, but Rob still managed to qualify 21st out of 31 with only a second separating 8 cars around him.
Again we pulled out the thermostat, but instead of completely removing it, we modified it to force the hot water through the Radiator and not back into the engine and with only 15 minutes to go before the race, the car was finished and Rob was eager to get out again.
It was also decided to start the race with the Map for the wet setting, being down by approx 30BHP, but would give Rob an idea as to how things were and if necessary, he could flick a switch and put it back in to full dry mode.
During the sighting lap, the car felt good and Rob was happy with the temperatures as they seemed really stable and with the rolling start, Rob got of to a great start passing a Porsche and BMW in to the first corner. At the end of lap 1 Rob had passed another 2 cars and the car was flying and even in the wet setting, on lap 2 he put in a faster lap than his qualifying time.
At the end of the start finish straight a Ferrari 355 went in to Paddock a bit too tight and lost it, with Rob going to the outside of the track to avoid the spinning car, the Ferrari was enveloped in tyre smoke and then suddenly appeared in front of Rob. With nowhere to go Rob hit the Ferrari at its rear with his front right and was hurled in to the gravel, with the race now completely over.
The car was lifted back in to the paddock and on to the trailer by the recovery guys and it was then a case of packing up and driving home to assess the damage.
To date(with just a week to go before Brands), the car is still in bits having had to replace the whole suspension and cross member, Drive Shaft, Wheel, Tyre, Bodywork, Lights etc.etc. With the amount of work needing doing, we are not going to be able to make nice the damage to the Tridion Shell and will wait till after we have done a shake down at Brands to get it in to the bodyshop before Spa.
The engine is also hopefully being swapped for Brands with another engine being built by Walton at Nispro to take the power over an expected 300, so fingers crossed.