Our first blog regarding Andy Hartwell and his first race meet went really well, if we recap back to 25th of June this year, Mendip Raceway was the first outing for Hartwell 05 Mascar, a track that Andy had never raced at before, and to add to the nerves, his first rookie race of the series, some pressure is relieved by starting at the back of the grid for the first three race meets, this is the case for all new rookie drivers, but he was super confident, especially as the car had been set up by the wizards at Pro 24 Race shop, they really know how to set this little hot rods up, so all Andy has to do in the way of set up, is pedal to the metal and do what he does best, drive.... as fast as he can.
The racing from that weekend went well, he quickly got used to the car, and made the final, but unfortunately a missed breaking point into turn one, he clipped the fence which created a little bit of damage, nothing like a few battle scars on a full on racecar is there Andy, the positive news from the final, was when Andy fired the car back up to get back to the pits, he had recorded his fastest laps of the race weekend meeting, in his own words… the car is pretty awesome.
Fast forward to Saturday the 13th of August, and this time out it was a double header, with a 156 mile trip to Ipswich, Foxhall Stadium to be precise and Great Yarmouth on Sunday 14th , VAD were supposed to be in full support, but unfortunately we had other commitments.
Andy said that the Ipswich track is by far the best, along with being the fastest oval track in the country he loves the place, he has been on about this race track for a while, so he has extremely good vibes about racing around this particular oval circuit, practise went extremely well and couldn’t wait to get started, and took up his rookie rear of the grid position, oh that rookie life.. He said the car was pacey and felt really dialled in to the track, especially now he had mastered the left foot braking technique he had been practising whilst at Birmingham wheels in the months building up to the race season.
Mid race there was an accident in turn two, so the race was stopped, on clearing the track and getting ready for the restart, the car inherited a misfire, which forced Andy to retire, he spent all of heat 2 of the first race meet in the pits trying to fix the problem, which he managed to do for the final, unfortunately, two laps into the race, the problem returned and it was race over… with plenty of time for a beer and reflect on the day overall, it was disappointing, but as they say that’s racing.
Sunday morning and time to travel the 60 miles from Ipswich to Great Yarmouth, arriving in plenty of time, with a quick visit into the city and back to the track, to try and sort out the misfire, which involved a few other drivers, which Andy really appreciated, but after a couple of laps in practise the car stopped, so it was time to put the car away, fire up the Barbie, and grab a few beers and watch the rest of the racing, as a spectator…. It was a long 174 mile drive back to Birmingham whilst reflecting on the weekend, and what had to be done to #05 problems fixed.
With the race car back at the Birmingham workshop, Andy took the car apart, his conclusion was when he clipped the fence at Mendips at his first race meet, this damaged the guide airflow panel thats sucks air into the engine, it's a pretty important part of the airflow system that sits between the front Bumper and the engine damaged, he discarded this part for the last race meet, but as he found out is a pretty crucial part of the cooling for these little pocket rockets, without this in the last race, it caused the engine to cook the alternator, when he checked, it was charging at 17.6v… which isn’t good, so it was time for upgrades in true Hartwell style, as this is a problem he does not want to happen again.
Brand new braided fuel lines, fuel pump and filters, were the first on the list, new blue ignition plate, and replaced the Alternator, wound by the boys at Pro 24 Race Shop. A new gear selector pick up, that’s controlled by engine heat, moulded ignition box and coils repositioned, which now sit in the car, this is to stop any potential future problem, especially the damp, rewired all of the ignition and associated wiring, relocated oil cooler fans and pipe work, for better airflow to the engine, with an all new manufactured airflow guide panel that sucks the air from the front bumper to the engine more efficiently , with a new hood scoop also adding extra cooling to the engine, as well as looking pretty cool, wrapped in his signature carbon fibre, but this time in green.
With all these mods, #05 is going to perform at a better level; more updates will follow from the next race meet, roll on race day.