After finally completing (sort of) the Great Danton I was finally able to attend a round of the Time Attack Italian Championship, my first one this year and round 3 of the championship. This was always going to be a shakedown event to actually make sure the car runs ok and to ensure that all the new components are fitted and working correctly.
The day before the event I had quite a few things to sort out, most importantly a large water leak from the left side of the engine which ended up being one of the water heater coolant lines. I also had to drive the car down from Bergamo all the way to Imola so I was quite careful as it was all unknown, and I stopped a couple of times during the 3 hour trip to check fluids and so on.
This first image sums up my day quite nicely; a lot of time waiting for a session after fixing the car. I had some sort of problem during every session which meant that my actual running time on track was very limited. I would usually go out for about 2-3 laps and then find out I needed to come back in to fix it, by which point it was too late to reenter the session.
The first session I went out for about 5 laps and came back in thinking everything was ok but I had lost a nut from the power-steering pump and the belt was slipping.
In the second session all the water that was available in the sky decided to fall and the session was quickly red flagged. We were able to redo the session after it cleared but I quickly found out that I had lost a bolt on the exhaust and it was dragging.
On the third and final session before the Superlap I decided to actually push the car a bit now as I hadn’t had any chance to actually test the limits of the car and get to know the track a bit better. But at the end of the main straight on my first full power pass the splitter simply couldn’t hold on :D. At around 230km/h it ripped through the bumper and hit the ground. Luckily it had only a few grazes and was able to secure it again to the bumper with an improved mounting strategy but this wasn’t to be enough.
During the superlap on the first lap it once again came loose and started chattering. So I had to take it very cautiously around the lap and then on the second lap my car decided to have a fuelling issue, and that was the end of the day. My pace during the day wasn’t too far off the pack but at not point during the weekend was I pushing the car (posted a similar time to last year); hopefully I can get these issues sorted and hit the track again to actually see the improvements over last year.
Overall I’m actually very pleased with the day because all the issues were fairly minor and can be worked upon and the engine really went without a hitch. An engine I built completely from the ground up actually went pretty well, so it has been a huge learning experience.