weChook Racing: Goodwood Test 2015
As ever when we travel to Goodwood, the event started on Saturday afternoon. Driven kindly offered to take Electric Boogaloo in their van, as our intended transport vehicle was suffering from being an Alfa Romeo, and could not be trusted to get there in one piece.
Once the van was seen off, we piled into the ST with our tents and set off down the M40. A couple of hours later we arrived at our usual campsite (which is just shutting down, what will we do?!) and pitched, before heading off to the pub for dinner and some triple cooked chips.
For the first time in 5 or 6 trips to Goodwood we managed to get up and set off at the time we planned to. Unfortunately I then got a bit lost, and wasted all that time we’d gained! Once we eventually got to the circuit and set up our paddock, we went straight for the scruiteneering queue before it got too gargantuan, and settled into the routine of telling people ‘No, the car isn’t actually finished yet, we’re going to do some bodywork soon!’.
Scruiteneering was a bit of a challenge; I don’t think any of the guys were used to seeing a car with so much still exposed! Fortunately, the two of us know the rulebook inside out, and after a few discussions, we were given our MOT sticker, with only a couple of things to sort out before the next event.
With that, we were ready to get out on circuit! Ian wedged himself back in, and we trundled over to the pit lane. After a final quick check of the electrical system, Electric Boogaloo was ready to go!
At this stage we really had no idea how well the car would go. It had had a few runs up and down the road, never really getting past 20 mph, and not doing any representative cornering. Would the steering be any good? Would the chain come off? Would the whole thing just fall apart once it got up to speed? We just didn’t know!
After a nervous 5 minutes, the car came blazing through the final corner, and past us down the main straight, with barely a sound considering the exposed powertrain. The second lap time around it looked even quicker, putting in what was at the time the third fastest lap.
Ian came back in at the end of the third lap, and a few issues were immediately apparent. Firstly, the motor was rather warm. Secondly, there was a puncture. We rushed back to the pits to sort these issues out, with an inner tube ‘borrowed’ from Driven, and a saw to increase the motor cooling. We just about got it all sorted to get the car back out before the end of the session, but were bought back in again before we could complete a whole lap.
With a few laps under our belt, and no breakdowns or chain-offs, we were feeling pretty satisfied! Better still, some of the smirks from the start of the day had turned into begrudging compliments, having seen how well the car was going.
The afternoon saw more of the same. We set our fastest lap at 30.3 miles per hour, but suffered from quite high current consumption and motor temperatures – somewhat inevitable running a car with all the aerodynamic qualities of a brick! Ian still managed to do plenty of overtaking though!
We managed pretty much a race distance over a couple of stints on track, with no mechanical failures (almost unheard of during my time with Driven!), and we learnt plenty about how much steering lock we need, and how the gearing/motor controller can be used to our advantage. We developed a pretty extensive to do list in order to have the car really ready for Rockingham, which is now just a few short weeks away.
Away from the track, it was fantastic to catch up with all the other Greenpowerites that we haven’t seen since the National Final, and chat about cars with people as enthusiastic as we are! I was particularly impressed with the work done to Probation IV, it could barely be recognised as the same car from last season. As ever, Dave looked imperious in Jet, and we were keeping a close eye on the aero-mods he was trialling to see if there were any ideas worth… appropriating.
Thanks to Greenpower for organising another slick event, and I’m looking forward to the next one! Hopefully we’ll see you all there!