Anglesey Coastal 30/03/14 (Wirral 100)

A weekend at the Anglesey Coastal circuit with the Wirral 100 club. I haven’t been to Anglesey since 2010 so for me it was a quick reminder of which way it went – all I could remember with any accuracy was Rocket and the Corkscrew. It was cold and wet on Saturday morning, so we skipped the first session on track in favour of sorting a small water leak which had been the cause of the airlock and overheating at Mallory. We’ve become so used to having Andy Martin available as our mechanic that it was a shock to get our hands dirty without him there to keep us in line!

A handshake before the start

A handshake before the start

We spent the three sessions familiarising ourselves with it, then trying different lines,braking points and so on as the weather improved, the track warmed and dried and the sun even put in a brief appearance. Our unofficial time-keeper reports we were getting faster. Pat Farrance gave us some very useful suspension advice as we were struggling with the exit to left-handers – and it definitely felt like it improved, so we are very grateful. We’re still working out the best settings with the new Nitron shocks.

Sunday had a stellar cast, with competitors in the form of Dave Molyneux / Pat Farrance and John Holden / Andy Winkle amongst others. After an unfortunate grass-track and flip for the Founds F1 on Saturday, the remaining F1 was that of Rob Biggs / Luke Capewell (who achieved a new club lap record – great work!), with the 750cc of Alan Molyneux the only other non-F2.

Down the start-finish straight

Down the start-finish straight

Sunday’s weather was perfect – warm, dry and sunny. It was a successful day for us, but not without its frustrations. Practice ended for us on lap 3 when a blockage in the fuel system caused us to slow dramatically. This is an intermittent issue which last raised its head when Simon was at Anglesey last year – I wonder if there is a peculiar characteristic of the Anglesey circuit which causes it? The tank has been comprehensively cleaned through and nothing found over winter. The blockage can’t be seen, but we managed to clear it (by blowing through), then replaced the fuel pump for good measure. Surprisingly, we didn’t qualify last.

Unfortunately race 1 was red-flagged on the last lap when Wayne Kemp fell at the Corkscrew; we were very relieved to hear he wasn’t as he is due to do the TT again this year. Our engine sounded unwell and we could both feel the reduction in power, which we hoped was due to oil misting in the airbox. We cleaned it all up and siphoned out a little oil.

(c) John Lockett

(c) John Lockett

We completed race 2, but the engine went ‘off’ over the last few laps and felt woolly and slow again. We were pleased to have improved our lap times over the weekend and could have done with a third day to consolidate our learning. We did overtake one competitor with some close racing, which was very satisfying, and since Moly DNFed we are technically listed as lapping him.  Now that’s a timesheet we’ll be keeping for posterity!

It was lovely to see one of our TT supporters – Pete Keating, who rode up to watch us – and great to meet some more new teams and new faces. Our next outing is Brands Hatch with Bemsee next weekend – we’ll be testing on the Friday afternoon from 1pm, then racing all day Saturday and Sunday. Due to an oversubscribed grid we’re 5th reserve, but if we’re not out with the club sidecars we have a guaranteed space at the back of the FSRA British F2 grid. We’re also delighted to be hosting our sponsor Andrew Shurmer or Anoeth Ltd on Saturday – and hoping for great weather again!

Ready for the off

Ready for the off

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