Spa Franchorchamps (Belgium) – 2015

After Brands, the old engine had developed a knock at the top end and considering it was the original engine from the car, it was decided to slot in another engine that had only covered less than 1000 miles and a quick run up on the Dyno and various settings programmed into the Gizmo boost control and the Race Technology Dash all set up. Super Flex Bushes had also been fitted all round with caster adjustment and camber adjustment also dialled in to the car and we were eager to get going.

After a gruelling 21 hour drive to Spa on the Wednesday, Rob and John arrived late Wednesday night and managed a few hours sleep before entering the circuit on the Thursday and get set up and book the test sessions for that day.

The weather was very hot being 28 Degrees and Rob went out to test the car in the first 55 minute session. The car was running really well and testing the boost settings, came up with a good setting for the day and only came in once to check the tyre pressures. By the end of the session, Rob was putting in consistent 3.05 minute laps which were a big improvement over last year. At the end of the session Rob was exhausted and it was found the heater control had been stuck in the hot position and Rob was unable to go out in the other session as he was ill with the heat.

Come Qualifying on the Friday, 61 cars went out and even with so many cars on the track, Rob was getting faster and managed to qualify in 36th place with a time of 3.11, which considering the amount of cars on the track was very good and an even bigger improvement over last year.

First race was on the Saturday and with some final tweaks to the suspension the cars were led out on to the grid. A rolling start and the race was started. Rob got of to a great start passing cars into the first corner and  managing to keep up with those in front until 2 laps in and the heavens opened and  a couple of cars slid into the wall at the top of Eau Rouge causing the safety car to come out for a few laps. The race was declared a wet race and Rob conversed with John in the pits about maybe changing tyres with the rain coming down even harder. But then the rain stopped and it was decided to carry on with the dry tyres. Rob came in to do his compulsory stop just as the safety car pulled in as well. Back out again and Rob put in some very consistent lap times and at the chequered flag finished in the same position as he qualified, which was put down to some of the cars managing to pit when the safety car was out and getting an advantage over Rob, but still was an improvement over last year which the team were happy about.

Sundays race and the team were in a confident mood for a better finish and as the cars lined up again in the positions they finished the previous day Rob was happy that he could do better. Another rolling start and Rob was off to a flyer and was pulling cars in as he started to progress through the grid. The safety car came out again due to oil on the circuit and John managed to radio Rob straight away as he pitted coming out even higher up. The race finally got under way again and Rob was battling with a couple of Civis Type R’s and a Puma, being just pipped on the line by the Civics, but managing to keep the Puma at bay to finish a very creditable 20th and winning his class in the process and putting in a race time of 3.08.

Both Rob and John then packed up the truck and set of very happy back to the UK arriving back in the early hours of Monday morning.

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