The final track day of the year has already come and gone, and it was an excellent way to complete the 2018 season.
A group of us headed to Franciacorta on the 13th and 14th of October to take part in an open pit lane session on the Saturday, and then the 3rd and final round of Franciacorta’s Time Attack championship on the Sunday.
This would be the second time coming here this year for most of us, but I had yet to try out the new chicane layout at turn 5, which shortens the lap and increases the speed in this section. Depending on who you ask this alteration reduces the lap time anywhere between 1.5 to 2.5 seconds.
Most of the gang arrived there the night before on the Friday to setup camp, while Iwan and I came to wake them up on the Saturday morning.
The open pit lane format on Saturday gave us a great opportunity to practice and have fun like always. The perfect weather meant that we could enjoy the whole day uninterrupted.
We are all familiar with Franciacorta but as usual we took the morning slow and cautiously upped our pace as the day went on. Argy and I had to change tires before we began, but being mid-October the morning was fresh so we weren’t so eager to get out on track first thing. By midday the temperatures had risen drastically, which meant we had to pay close attention to our tire pressures throughout the day.
The new chicane layout is tricky to learn with many different possible lines to approach it, but I think by the end of the first day we had at least decided how we were gonna take the chicane and hope it was the best line.
We had no major issues throughout the day but a few minor ones always seem to be inevitable. Argy had to better secure a few components on his MV after converting it back to track trim with the race bodywork. Dio had an issue with a rear tire valve which caused him to loose pressure during the first couple of sessions, but luckily he managed to notice and repair it before any major incident. Frankie managed to loose a bolt in the gear shifter and my front mounted GoPro broke at the mounts; it’s had a good life so it was time to retire it.
At the end of the first day we were pretty happy with our relative performance, but without any transponders we didn’t really know our actual pace. Dio’s D-Air Dainese suit comes integrated with a 2D data logger so he was able to check out his lap times in the evening, which gave us a rough idea of how we were lapping.
Part 2 (Sunday) to follow; for now enjoy some pictures of our first day: