Rockingham report

Just got back from Rockingham stadium after a BookaTrack day.The premises are rather impressive, as I guess you’d expect from a brand new circuit.The circuit used part of the banked circuit for the fast section (which was rather daunting especially when it started drizzling)… and then a series sweeping bends and hairpins.The banked section involved accelerating from 20mph → 120mph then stamping on the brakes down to 20mph, then accelerating up to 120mph again before stamping the car back down to 20mph for a sharp left hand hairpin.It seemed everyone I spoke to commented on how their brakes were knackered after a few laps… made worse by the fact that “the powers that be” (the track owners, not Bookatrack) decided to run sessions of 30 minutes and not 20mins (which would have been best)… Anywho, a good circuit, slightly too “official” for my liking with their rules (I was black flagged for wearing short sleeves, even though no mention had been made of this during the briefing).If you’re considering going, make sure you’ve got good brakes !!(Oh, and I didn’t meet anything faster on the circuit [image][/image] )

quote:Originally posted by Admin5:(Oh, and I didn’t meet anything faster on the circuit [image][/image] )That’s coz you couldn’t catch me [image][/image]Seriously though, got to agree with David. Rockingham is definately one to do - although it is very hard on the anchors!!!I used a Lotus factory Exige all day - complete with compulsory full-time instructor. I would like to say a big thanks to John Simpson, who persevered with me all day!!! [image][/image] However, to be frank, the allocated cars felt very different to my own car:Brakes - I returned the first car I was allocated, after 6 or 7 laps, as it was virtually unusable once the brakes got hot - incredible juddering, which I reckon was the result of warped front discs. The on site mechanic said “that’s because it is fitted with the Motorport pads & that’s what they are like”! I then “put him right”, & after his boss got involved, an alternative Exige was put at my disposal. The brakes on this one were okay (no juddering), but it was obvious that braided hoses/SRF fluid were not fitted, so after 3 or 4 fast laps, the brake pedal became a little spongy!!However, the most alarming thing was the handling - the cars were fitted with Bridgestone SO2s, & not the usual (but pricey!!!) A039s. After a few fastest laps with warm tyres, the cars understeered quite markedly, & just didn’t stick to the steered line as well as the A039s. I will definately not be using anything apart from the A039s or the soon to be released A048s. Late in the afternoon, I had the pleasure of being taken for a few laps by Chris Dinnage (Lotus Performance Manager) in his bog standard Elise 2. A very, very impressive driver is Mr Dinnage, as those who were at Cadwell last week should also have noted [image][/image]All in all, a most enjoyable day out - thanks again to Jonny & the Bookatrack crew for being bold enough to commit themselves to this particular trackday, at what obviously somewhat at shorter notice than normal [image][/image]

Pesky - just what was the deal with the factory car?

Thanks for the feedback guys; very interesting reading. [image][/image] Sorry I couldn’t make it. [image][/image]PS David, Pesky wasn’t really joking, you’ll never catch him these days he’s faster than the lot of us! [image][/image]

quote:Originally posted by stevegreen:Pesky - just what was the deal with the factory car?As I understand it, all future Lotus Driver Training days will be held at Rockingham. Lotus provide the cars - 8 Elise 2s & 4 Exiges.which I believe are now based at Rockingham. As far as I could ascertain, all the cars are standard, except for having Motorsport brake pads. The Exiges all had the “aluminium restrictor” in place, but I couldn’t find anyone who could confirm that the butterfly valves had been taken out!!! As with previous days at Hethel, all drivers are accompanied by an instructor whilst out on track.That’s the background. As to the actual day itself, I understand that Jonny/Bookatrack had been approached by Lotus to market the event, because for one reason or another Lotus/Rockingham had not had the necessary time to do so.Apart from the last hour which was “open pit lane”, the day was divided into 2 sessions per hour. (As David has said, 20 min sessions would have been preferable for driver & car!).Myself & a mate (with no trackday experience) had initially planned to use an Elise for half a day, then an Exige for the other half. However, as we were in different sessions, it worked out that in the morning I stuck with the Exige & one instructor, whilst Steve, my mate, stuck with an Elise & a different instructor. In the afternoon, we both used the Exige, which meant the car was getting a fair battering, with only about 5 mins restbite between sessions. I must say that the cars (apart from the knackered brakes previously mentioned), all coped admirably well - well done Lotus.There was a one hour break for lunch, with an excellent buffet included in the price (including those participants using their own vehicles on track). We ate in one of the hospitality boxes overlooking the start/finish line of the oval circuit - fantastic view of the whole track. I would love to watch an Ascar race!For Steve & myself, there was more than adequate time on track, & in fact during the afternoon I skipped a session to have the pleasure of being shown how it should be done by Chris Dinnage - top bloke!I should perhaps mention that whereas David was hitting 125mph in the quickest bits of the circuit, the “standard” Exige could only manage 105mph - either bouncing off the limiter in 3rd, or foot to floor in 4th after changing up at 7800rpm from 3rd.Steve & I paid �400 each for the day, which I consider to be fair value given that my own car’s tyres/brakes were not being “abused”, plus I found my instructor particularly helpful & it was a pleasure having him keep me company out on track. quote:Originally posted by Tony Whitter:PS David, Pesky wasn’t really joking, you’ll never catch him these days he’s faster than the lot of us! [image][/image]Lord Whitter, I hadn’t previously realised that you are a close relative of Count Pinnochio [image][/image] [This message has been edited by Pesky (edited 11 May 2002).]

Some photos of the day, taken by Tony Grigg, with link copied from Bookatrack site

pesky - thanks for the detailed info…sounds interesting…must have missed it on the Bookatrack site. Not sure when ASCAR is next on there - thought I read somethng recently about it being in doubt because the track surface was breaking up in places but then haven’t heard that it was cancelled so it must have gone ahead. I see that there is a British Sports car Weekend there on 25-26th May which i’m trying to interest the g/f in…

SteveRockingham was recently resurfaced, & the first race meet of the year (not Ascar) was cancelled/postponed.For details of events at the UK’s major circuits, see