The weather turned out to be very windy and cold. Barry Craft nominated a completely new super sedan for his first race this season. This was the 5th round of super sedans so most other nominations were settled into the groove. Car 47 had not been raced or even tested. The only work the car had done was run-in time on the chassis dyno at UMR Engines. A completely new chassis with no race practice to tune the suspension was going to be a tough call for the driver and race car.
As soon as Barry Craft started hot laps he realised how different this new lighter chassis was to drive. The engine and drive train performed superbly suppling ample horsepower and torque. However the suspension and steering were not performing or delivering the engine power to the track correctly. The car was very twitchy to drive and quite a challenge. Throttle response was superb but resulted in the car performing like a drift car not a super sedan. It did not take Barry Craft long to realise the engine performance was dialled in but the cars suspension and steering required a lot of tuning and tweaking.
Barry Craft stated: “I could not use full throttle at any stage as the car spat the tail out even in a straight line.
UMR engines were very happy with the performance and durability of the engine and associated components. The engine performed at maximum revs all night without a hitch. Poor traction and steering are hard on engines as the engine spends more time on the rev limiter than delivering genuine race winning torque to the track. The engine ran cool, was responsive in all situations and supplied more horsepower than the set-up could handle. To Barry’s credit he finished all heats and the 30 lap feature. Congratulations and well done.Reporter: Big G.
The competitive nature of the super sedan drivers was demonstrated by their fast lap times and aggressive driving at Archerfield raceway on Saturday night. Car 47 driven by Barry Craft produced some good lap times but lacked consistency. This was the second meeting for this new car and proved to be a challenge for the driver and pit crew.. The car had undergone some set-up changes since round 5 at Charlton raceway and is still in development mode. This meeting was an opportunity to develop and improve handling and driving technique.
The race car spat a bearing in the diff during hot laps that forced Barry to miss the first heat. This was disappointing but that’s racing. The pit crew headed by Sean Crome repaired the diff and gave the car a start in heat 5.
Barry posted a best lap time of 15.561 at 92.539 in lap 10.This demonstrates that the car will be capable of competitive racing once the bugs are sorted out. Barry will adjust his driving to suit this chassis with more track time. This new car is much lighter than Barry and his crew are used to working with so they are in the mist of a big learning curve. The best lap time in heat 5 was produced by Darren Kane of 14.712 at 97.879 so Barry needs to pick up .5 of a second and he will be very competitive. With a little more development on driving and set up this super sedan is expected to produce consistent competitive times.
Thanks again to Shane Milburn for all your help and advice. Shane has vast super sedan experience and knowledge that he willingly shares with not only us but many others. It is thanks to the generosity of experienced mechanics like Shane that newcomers develop competitive cars. Well done Shane and thanks for your time and effort.Reporter: Big G.
|The track was in good condition and some great times were recorded in the top 10 shoot out. A serious accident by Lenny Black in the first heat stunned everyone but racing eventually continued at a very hot pace.
Barry Craft started last in heat one behind 8 other competitors. This heat was used as a practice race to test the changes made to car 47’s set-up. Shane Milburn was pleased with the improvement from the last round and under his watchful eye more changes were made. This set up Barry Craft with a big chance in his next heat as he started from pole position.
The pressure and expectations proved too much for Barry and he miscalculated the start and was Black flagged. This was a great disappointment to all concerned especially his crew and sponsors. Both Shane and Paul Geary instructed Barry about the reasons for the ruling. The race started without Barry and He had to regather himself and resign to the fact of having to start from the rear in the Feature race.
Barry had a great start and was soon proving that he had put the incident behind him. He drove the 351 BA Falcon with great skill and patience. He made some great passing moves. He was always in the correct position ready to punish the driver in front. Barry drove a perfect race for every lap. For Barry it was 30 laps of good competitive racing backed up by excellent performance and handling. It was reported that Barry was very enthusiastic in his thanks to Shane for his help and advice. (How is your back pain Shane?)
Sean Crome had a smile from ear to ear and felt rewarded for his hard work in the pits. UMR Engines thanks every one involved for a job well done.
P.S. Barry started 17th and finished 10th in the feature race.
Pit reporter Big G.
|The sun was beating down as the competitors were held back at the pit gates. By the time the ticket booth came alive some competitors were hotter than their race engines after 30 gruelling laps. The super sedans were all revved up and ready for competition.
The super sedans were presented well and the competition was soon under way. Barry Craft’s super sedan was lifted off the truck with the hiab and was quite a spectacle hanging like a wreck at the scrap yard. The anxious sponsors and pit crew were happy to see it safely lowered to earth.
UMR Engines had again ensured the 351 Windsor was at peak performance so the race car had a chance of performing well. Car 47 raced in heat 2 and heat 5. Barry’s first heat was a gruelling affair. Heat 2 produced some very aggressive driving and a satisfying result. Barry started 4th and finished 6th. During the course of heat 5, Barry drove several smooth fast laps that took him from 7th to 4thfollowed up by some very erratic driving that helped him finish last. Barry assured us the car was OK but he just needed a little more track time. We are all convinced that when the car is driven well it is as competitive as the best of them.
The C-main feature was going to be Barry’s second chance this season to post a win. We were fortunate to be on pole and the track was good. The engine was performing well and the car had reasonable traction. Barry led the field and set quite a fast start. As the field accelerated it was very evident after the first lap that car 47 only had to be steered well to win. The field behind Barry was not applying any pressure as Barry had maintained a good car length lead heading into the second lap. Barry appeared to be marginally over driving the car as he would not have been aware of his great first lap performance. As he entered the third corner on the second lap he immediately had both front and rear inside wheels in the air. As he continued through the corner both inside wheels continued to lift higher. By mid corner Barry had the Ford doing stunt driving with the whole underside of the car visible to spectators. The car then lurched hard infield and to the amazement of all managed to come back to rest on all four wheels. The landing was severe and the forces created managed to bend the left-side chassis rail and move the engine enough to lock the throttle linkage closed. Barry’s race was over… that’s racing.
Weatherall Prestige Auto Body at Windsor did a great job of straightening the bent chassis….thanks for your help. We are looking forward to the next race meeting.
Pit reporter Big G.