The minimum requirement of the day was for each driver to complete 2 timed laps between the 2 free practice sessions (30 minutes and 1hr 55min) and qualifying (30 minutes) and 2 timed laps in night practice (2 hours).
1st out in Free Practice 1 was Jonathan, who soon reported high water temperatures. With the car returned to the garage the team set about identifying the problem (diagnosed fortunately as being an incorrectly fitted radiator cap) No terminal or lasting damage had occurred despite the temperatures reaching 109-deg C.
2nd Free Practice Jonathan went out 1st to test the car and to complete his mandatory laps after which Chris drove for approximately 30 minutes.
On Chris’s last lap he reported the exhaust had broken….. Back in the garage and with the car up on the jacks the flange on the exhaust manifold was found to have sheared.
The team took the decision that rather than try and do a quick weld at the circuit, (which may break again) to take the manifold and flange to Robbie at Saluki Motorsport (the company who built the roll cage) a man the team trust explicitly.
By the time the manifold had been welded-up and refitted to the car, there was enough time for Umair to complete his mandatory laps in the qualifying session.
This left just Graham who hadn’t completed his mandatory laps. Time for the Team Manager to pay a visit to Race Control to explain our situation and to request permission for Graham to continue in the event….. Race Control accepted the teams situation.
For Night Practice Graham was dispatched to the fueling area ahead of the session so that the drivers could assess the handling of the car from full tanks to low fuel levels. The session passed with no issues with all of the drivers completing a good number of laps (especially important for Chris who hadn’t driven the track at night, or with 90+ cars on the track).
A debrief with the drivers was held to identify any car set-up changes. With that, the drivers were sent off to rest whilst the mechanics set about making the set-up changes and give the car a full spanner check.