Silverstone Race Report

SJN Photo 1

Since James had his very first race at Silverstone in 2015, one of his favourite tracks has been very unkind to him. This weekend was to be no exception.

Steadily building pace in qualifying, the Primrose Hospice sponsored RTV Sheane Formula Vee felt very well balanced with James running in the top 14 for most of the session. Sadly, at the end of the Hangar Straight near the end of the session, the engine suddenly lost power and James switched it off to coast in to the pits.

His final qualifying position was a respectable 18th in the 37 car grid, but with no compression at all in one cylinder, mechanic Glenn Hay was unable to replace the piston and barrel in time before the start of the first race.

Craig Pollard took the win from Graham Gant and Ian Jordan. Andrew Cooper took Class B honours from Jamie Harrison and Richard Waddingham.

Although James would be able to start the second race the following day, the highly tuned 1300cc VW Beetle engine was still untested so it would be a gamble to see if things held.

A fantastic start put James in 10th place into the first corner, and right behind B Class championship leader Andrew Cooper.

With the car clearly down a little on power, James was still able to claw the time back in the corners to hang onto the back of Cooper, but on the second lap oil smoke started spewing from the car along with a major drop in power.

James started short-shifting to try and limp the car home with the sick engine, and although he was still catching cars in the corners he became a sitting duck on every straight, with car after car simply driving past him.

With the smoke (from a crumbling piston) increasing in the final laps, James managed to hang onto 18th place and 4th in class before shutting the engine off on the warm down lap.

Craig Pollard took another victory from Daniel Hands and Pete Belsey, with Cooper beaten to the Class B win by Jamie Harrison on the final lap, and Waddingham took another excellent 3rd place.

With only a few weeks to go until Donington Park on 2nd September, it will be a race against the clock to strip and rebuild the engine, but with James driving better than ever RTV will give it everything to challenge for the title in the last four races of the season.

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