Spa Franchorchamps (Belgium) – 2014

We arrived on late Wednesday Evening and already the Paddock was filling up with all sorts of exotic machinery and proceeded to set up for the following days practice

Thursday saw sunshine and we had practice for 2.0PM and so prepared the car that morning. Being Robs first time out in anger in the ForFour he took it easy to start with, gradually building up his confidence and remembering of the track, as it was 2 years since he last raced there.

Putting in faster laps he finished practice with a fastest of 3.26 for the 7km long circuit, but knew there could be more so various adjustments were made to suspension and tyre settings ready for the following days qualifying.
Friday, and it was raining on one half of the circuit and dry on the other and with the cars new setup, even with  damp conditions for half of the circuit Rob managed to come down to a respectable 3.11 lap qualifying him 54th out of a grid of 68 with 7 cars also posting times of 3.11 from Caterhams to Civic Type R’s.

Friday night and the heavens opened with thunderstorms all through the night and rain all day on Saturday. Come the race and it was decided to put on the Yokohama road tyres we had on a spare set of wheels from Robs CDI, hoping that they would give more grip than the Yokohama Race Tyres. With a rolling start Rob managed to gain a few places going down into Eau Rouge and then pulling up over the top down the long straight wipers on the fastest speed Rob could still not see more than 5 metres ahead with all the spray. As the spray quickly stopped, Rob realising he was already at the esses at the end, braked and lost traction with the amount of water and spun, losing at least a dozen places in the process. Back on the Track, Rob started to make up time and places again, but the choice of using the Road tyres was obviously wrong as they were not heating up enough under the conditions. At the end of the race Rob finished in the same place he qualified in and was happy with that, albeit the choice of tyre in this instance was wrong.

The rain carried on and on Sunday morning it was decided to go with the race tyres as by late morning, the rain had stopped, but the circuit was still wet. Come the race and it was obvious there was a dry line forming around the paddock end of the circuit, but was very wet at the other end. Rob got of to an even better start and started to get into the race with the tyres working extremely well for the conditions and had some exciting battles with various other cars, enjoying every minute of the race. At the end, Rob was able to finish a couple of places higher than he qualified even though the heavens opened up towards the end of the race with the conditions matching the previous day’s race.

So looking forward to next year at Spa as not only is the circuit, one of the best to drive, but the whole meeting was friendly and well organised with the CSCC

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