Lydden Hill meeting was July 31st / August 1st.
This was in part probably one of my worst ever meetings if I'm honest. i had been feeling unwell prior to it and had a lot going on, culminating in being up all night the night before so with absolutely no sleep Saturday was always going to be a nightmare!
And nightmare it was - i was all over the place, so the less said about it the better. My lap times were about 4 seconds slower than last year on Saturday... so you can see the extent of teh problem as the scooter simply felt it was all over the place!
I completed the two races, basically just riding around to collect points really. There was an extra scratch race at the end of the day and i asked Ed Hocking to take out the scooter and see what he thought..... almost unrideable was the reply - and too much brake! hhhhmmmmmmm!!!!!
Further investigation revealed a loose front axle..... alllowing the front wheel to twist! That explained a lot! Also Ed felt that the front brake was actually too good! I have been using EBC HH compound brake pads.... these have the benefit of being VERY efficient and give incredible stopping power. The trouble is after talking to Ed I could totally see his point that what they also did was work too efficiently if you just wanted a 'dab' on them you actually scrubbed off too much speed as they are really either on or off! They are brilliant for example for late breaking into a hairpin, but if you just want a confidence check, they actually take off too much speed.
At Lydden Hill, saturday evening is a very social affair with a free BBQ and drinks to enjoy so I decided to leave the scooter till Sunday morning and enjoy the food and drink and try and get some sleep!
Sunday at Lydden is also unique as the local church has services in the morning so there is no racing until after 12.00 so plenty of time for maintenance and adjustments! So I stripped the brakes and removed the HH pads, and after further discussion with John Howe of Jahspeed I fitted some spare standard ScootRS road pads, after first removing about 20% of the brake pad surface.
The idea here being to actually remove some of the immediate 'grabbing' efficiency of the pads. the theory being with a little less initial 'bite' you could just confidence dab the brake and actually not scrub off too much corner speed.
Race 1 on Sunday saw me put this to the test and yes! much better! ( having a tight front wheel undoubtedly helped too!) Lap times was immediately about 4 seconds faster and similar to last years! It was particularly noticeable at the end of the start straight into the 'bombhole' bend that I could just dab the break and carry a lot more corner speed through the bend, leaving a much greater exit speed for the run down to the Devils Elbow left hander.
Ready to Bumpstart - downhill!
Feeling much better, especially after another brief power nap in the van, Race 2 saw me in a much stronger position, swapping places with Gary Biddle who had been 30 seconds up the road the day before! Also i was well in front of Replay team mate Rob Sumner who I had been nowhere near in the first 3 races. Lap times were another 2 seconds quicker and overall nearly 6 secs faster than the saturday ( with laps time just over a minute thats a big chunk! )
looking and feeling way quicker on Sunday!
Gary Biddle having to chase hard!
I was not planning to race at the Next Meeting at Pembrey in South Wales, which was just as well as a few weeks of illness followed Lydden, and I wouldn't have been up to it anyway! Unfortunately though, it proved costly as far as the Championship goes as an extra race was added at Pembrey on the Saturday making it a 5 race weekend..... so a whole 5 no pointers for me would drop me from 6th to 8th in Group 4!
Next Race will be Cadwell Park at the end of September