UAE Touring Car Championship (Rounds 9&10)

Race Day 5

Race day 5 saw Jonathan return to racing duties with Rhonda having softer front springs, which the team hoped would solve the long running handling issues.

The softer front springs definitely helped as the car was handling much better (although still not perfect) and Jonathon put the car on pole position and in the voice of Jeremy Clarkson won the 20-minute race “by many, many seconds”, 28.959 seconds to be exact.

Due to rain during the day, the start of the endurance race was delayed by approximately 1 hour. Just as the race was about to start, it started to spot with rain. With the potential that the weather might deteriorate, Ian and Richard had various strategies in place to take into account the changeable weather.

Jonathan took the first few slaps steady as the track was slippery on the kerbs especially in the national section of the track. Luckily the weather held off and Jonathan pulled away from the Clio Cup cars at close to 1.5-secs a lap. Soon enough it was time for the mandatory pit stop and with the events from the previous round in mind, the team and especially Sander made sure Umair had the car restarted well before the end of the pit stop.

Over the remainder of the race, Umair kept up a pace quick enough to keep pulling away from the Clio’s whilst not stressing the car. At the chequered flag Umair took Rhonda over the finish line 16 seconds ahead of Willie. And so in the words of Dom (Umair’s wife) “yay, more trophies”.

As a special thanks from the team, Sander was presented with one of the trophies for going beyond the call of duty and working so hard to make sure the car was in perfect working order.

After the race the team opened the gearbox to understand the problems with understeer on right-handers. The results were that the diff plates were worn hence Kiwi came to the rescue with a diff rebuild kit. The final drive main shaft also had signs of damage which was strange as the crowne wheel was in perfect condition. Our clutch was also showing sign of serious damage with chunks missing from the paddle pucks so a new Comp clutch was sourced from TGMsport UK.

So with 2 races to go (and double points at the last round), the team leads the Championship with a few technical challenges to be ready for the last round.

So until March 30th…… Sayōnara.