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Donington Park - The first win

Sunday, 24 June, 2012 - 19:30
In the Assembly area at Donington Park

Billy came home in first position at Donington Park on Saturday after starting from fifth on the grid.

The fifth place grid slot was quite an accomplishment considering the Maclaren-esque nature of our qualifying strategy. The team sent Billy out with just enough fuel to complete 6 laps, leaving him stranded and awaiting a tow; only 6 and a half laps, nine minutes into qualifying. Luckily the stewards didn't make us start from the back.

The fuelling error was not immediately apparent back in the pits and a dodgy connector plug from the Megajolts magnetic pick up took the blame. The connector had never fitted securely, so the time between qualy and the race was spent dismantling and rebuilding the connectors to shore up the all important pick up attachment. It was only once this task was heralded a success that we discovered the suspiciously small amount of fuel left in the tank. Ooops!

Now we're not quite as stupid as we look. We had checked the fuel levels before we went out for qualifying, but we thoght there was around 2/3rds of a tank (which we thought would be enough). It wasn't. So prioir to the race we put a full 10 litres in to the tank and headed to the grid, only to discover that 10 litres is borderline for Donington Park... Surely we wouldn't run out of fuel again?!?

There's little point in building suspense about whether we had enough fuel. I've already told you we won.
So for now, just sit back and relax, and watch the race for yourself....

Billy set a new lap record on Lap 4, but that wouldn't stand long as he was destined to smash it again on the following day.

The Following Day

We had qualified in fourth for day two of the race weekend. So when we arrived at the track bright and early we were hopeful of emulating the previous days results. It had rained heavily overnight, but not even the pools of water collected on the awning, nor the streams of water flowing through the build area could dampen our spirits. We were on for win two of two this weekend. Weather be damned! Unfortunately something else was about to darken the mood.

The first job of the day was to lengthen the gear linkages; Billy had had issues selecting second and fourth during the previous race. So off came the back, and very nearly, the Webber with it. What? That's not right. A closer inspection showed that the inlet manifold had a crack half way around its circumfrance just under the carbs mounting plate. Doh!

Some time later that morning we had managed to beg, steal, or borrow (I'm not sure which) some metal epoxy putty; to seal the crack. We had also secured the Webber as best we could with a combination of tie-wraps, metal wire, and crossed fingers. It was time to send Billy out to the grid.

Billy made a great start and managed to get into the lead after a couple of laps and was starting to put some distance between him and the chasing pack. He even broke the lap record again on his fourth lap; dropping it all the way down to 1:19.15. On the pit wall we started to believe that we might be back on for a second win afterall. Unfortunately it wasn't to be as something (probably the manifold) failed and the car stopped out on track. We went a lap down as Billy struggled to get the car going again, but eventually his perseverance paid off and he brought the Batten 3 home in eight place.