Jon Howells reports – “Sunday morning we set off to Ledbury MCC, a multi-surface track of astro/grass and dirt. With plenty of undulations, jumps and fast berms this would be a test for our new Associated 8.2′s. The day consisted of one practice round of 5 minutes followed by 4 rounds of 5 minute qualifiers and 20 minute finals up to the A and a 25 minute A Final. First Practice round was slightly damp so we opted for the trusty HoBao Angle Spikes, which felt great and gave plenty of grip.
The sun was now shining and the track dried quickly so we changed our tyres to Mini Pins, not knowing what would happen or even if they were the right choice. I completed a 10 lap qualifier and was the only one to do 10 laps in round one. It looked like a promising start on a new track and the car felt consistent and easy to drive. It’s taken me a while to get to this stage but I now feel happy and comfortable with the car.
After a brief chat with team mate Lloyd we decided to try different set ups for round. Lloyd going out on ten hole pistons and myself on 8 hole pistons.
Again both cars went out feeling good with some small changes; mainly to the damping. Both Lloyd and myself improving on our times but this time I didn’t TQ although we had made improvements and were happy with the cars and the changes.
Local driver, Ben Williams stepped up his pace posting the first 11 laps closely followed by his team mate Milan. These guys looked good and very comfortable with the track and it was clear they knew their way around Ledbury. Being in earlier heats, we managed to watch the top heats and pick up a few of the track secrets. This helped us both myself and Lloyd to see which areas we needed to improve upon. Heats 1 and 2 were littered with traffic but again we both managed to improve our times and made good progress run on run.
We made some adjustments to the roll bars by putting on softer ones for this run and BOOM, the cars were fantastic! I stepped it up this time by putting in 11 laps but still only leaving me 3rd on the grid, only 200th of a second behind 2nd place. Lloyd also put in his fastest run of the day and placing him well in the A final.
John and the gang in front of the CML van.
Things were shaping up for a good final, the cars lined up and the flag dropped and we were off. We were all closely bunched up for the first lap when Milan went wide and I pushed up in to second place. By lap 2 I had got in to first place and was not challenged again throughout the final. Ben made some mistakes whilst in pursuit and this allowed me to stretch out the gap. The new car was super consistent as can be seen from my fasted lap of 28.08 seconds and an average including 2 fuels stops, 30.10 seconds.
Lloyd was looking good for 3rd until the latter part of the race when a run of errors left him 4th. Our other Associated team mates Clive Maland and Josh Powney had an eventful time also, The computer missed Clive a lap putting him 6th overall but getting better every week. Meanwhile Josh had bumped all the way from the D final to the A final and finishing 5th. This gave Associated 4 cars in the A final!
A great day had by all. Thank you to all the lads at Ledbury club.”
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