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Manfeild NIFF Round 3 Race Report

We were off to Manfeild; our home track, for the 3rd round of the NIFF Championship just one week after we finished racing at Taupo.

We had switched out our other engine that was giving us some issues, for the engine we ran last season, in seek of a better shot at it this weekend, and were feeling ready to head into the test day on Friday.

Practice and Qualifying

 

The first run rolled around and we quickly noticed this engine felt more free than the other one, we thought this was odd as we only managed a 1:13.64… After having a chat to some other drivers we realised the track was far slower than usual and we were in for a good shot this weekend.

Unfortunately Callum wasn’t able to be with us this weekend and we had to get onto the setup with just myself and Dad, after a couple of frustrating sessions being a little lost with shock settings we had found our feet setup wise and felt confident jumping into race day.

 

We hit the track in qualifying and hit the top of the timing on the 1st lap of the session, but struggled with tyre pressures/temps, but managed them reasonably well to jump on the back of another car near the end of the session to go P3 for racing, with a 1:12.862.

Race 1

 

We lined up on the grid in P3 and waited for the lights to go green, no places were changed off the line, however I ended up losing a spot early on in the race, to run 4th for a majority of the laps. A crash happened within the pack, putting one driver ahead of me out of the race and moving me up to 3rd where I’d sit going over the line, just 4 tenths off the winner.

Race 2

Race 2 had some drama, including a car having an electrical issue, bringing out the safety car. As I’ve said before.. Safety cars breed safety cars. After the restart and heading into the last lap I was hanging off the back of the pack sensing something was going to happen, and it did. 4 cars into Turn 1 doesn’t work and that’s what happened, sending a car flying off the track and into the gravel on the last lap. I crossed the line the next lap in P5, moving up in the championship to P2 after day 1 of the meeting.

Race 3

Before Race 3 the rain came down and the track was soaked, we softened the car up a bit and got ready to send it. I got off the line well and moved straight up into 2nd and thought the race was on from there. We didn’t quite know how much softer to go and still had a relatively hard car, that was slightly off, but I was fast right away and that was enough to get me a P3 in the wet!

Race 4

Race 4 was where all the fun was this weekend, after the last session we decided to make the car softer for the wet, but the heavy central muscle cars dried up the track while we were waiting on the grid so we had to drop down the tire pressures and just send it. To our surprise, with this setup on the car was fast, setting the fastest lap of the race on lap 6. I made a move that I probably shouldn’t of and that sent me into a battle for the rest of the race after that. We managed to get back onto the front 3, but kept battling and couldn’t use our pace to win it. By the end of the race some other cars went faster, but we ended up just 0.039s off the fastest lap.

Overall the meeting went well and gave us some confidence going forward and earned us some more points toward the championship, closing the gap to 1st down to 38 points.

The next NIFF event is way away in March, and we plan to do some testing over the Christmas break to make sure we have the best chance possible of winning it.

 

Pos / Name / Points

1/ Dylan Grant: 560 points

2/ Zach Blincoe: 555 points

3/ Blake Dowdall: 522 points  - 38 points to leader

4/ Mason Potter: 455 points

5/ Blake Knowles: 436 points

6/ Shane Drake: 427 points

7/ Will Neale: 409 points

8/ Toby McCormack: 406 points

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