Kieren McDonald is racing in the Dunlop Mini Se7en Challenge this season and after a very stressfull few days leading up to rounds 2 and 3 when Kieren really thought he would not be on the start line. A request on twitter and a borrowed short engine, plus many hours burning the midnight oil he managed to get his place on the grid at the fantastic Donington Park. Remember Ayton Senna's incredible drive in the pouring rain when Donington hosted F1 a few years ago. Well the rain fell again in round 3... Kieren takes up the story below with excellent in car footage as well.
Well what can I say - we shouldn't have been racing. I had request a refund on my entry fee and we had made alternative plans for the weekend.. that was until I had a call from Dave Robinson of Kat 7 Racing mid afternoon Friday with the offer of borrowing his spare short engine!! A few phone calls later we decided to go for it - and unbelievable number of people offering their help to assemble and install the engine. Greg collected bits from Rob Selbe and then onwards to collect the car, tools and parts for me to take straight to Donny and get cracking!! By the time Simon and I arrived at the circuit, Greg, A L Motorsport (Adam and Leon) were already covered in oiol assembloing the engine! A few issues to be overcome and yet more people came to the rescue to lend a hand, mainly Endaf Owens and Mark Wanstall who were brave enough to handle the drills! I don't knowhow but the engine was assembled by 1am !!
An early start and everyone was cracking on again to install the engine and try to get it started. It wouldn't fire and then an issue with the starter buttin.. further help from many people including Dave, Mark and Ashley's father helped getting it going just in time for qualifying... just unbelievable!!
Dim lights Embed Embed this video on your site The desicion was to take it very easy, do the 3 requires laps and come back in to check things over so that's exactly what we did. Engine seemed to running fine so I went back out to do a few more laps, taking it very easy with the revs and braking/cornering, everything was so rushed so safety and taking it easy on the engine was key. It didn't seem to be handling great, which we expected seeing as the setup had not been looked at since replacing the ball joints and track rod ends. he temperaure was very low to so was affecting the power output. The main thing was to get around and the engine seemed to be running fine. The main focus was to give the car a thorough nut and bolt check ready for the 1st race! We qualified 14th for both races so amazingh taking everything into account.
It was dry for the start of the 1st race. I was caught napping on the grid - the race seemed to start a lot quicker than normal so I was determined to catch back up and make some moves going down Craner for the 1st time. I did exactly that - taking one position back going into Redgate and then carrying a lot more speed down the inside of Baker into Craner until he turned in on me, leaving me no choice but to come off the power and veer to the left onto the grass - luckily I avoided the collision and collected it back up and back onto the circuit! From then it was a bit of catch up, and the heaven's opened later in the race making it very slippery. I was still struggling with not having addressed the setup and also lacking power with the low temperature. Generally my head was a bit all over the place so I wasn't driving at my best with the chaotic lead up to the race :-) I crossed the line in 12th place - a race finish - wow!
We managed to look at the setup - the tracking was miles out so that would have been making it difficult during quali and the 1st race. Another thorough nut and bolt check to make sure all was ok but not much time till the 2nd race, with it being on the same day.
It was chucking it down in the lead up to the next race so no question about it...wets! I got started ok this time but still the engine temperature was down. I had to pump my brakes for each corner and generally I drove a very cautious race, making sure we completed the 2 races! We managed to finish in 9th place so was excellent considering the lead up & conditions!
2 races completed - only achieved due to the sheer kindness and dedication from everyone in the club - you should all feel very proud of yourselves - a huge thank you from us all at BigMacRacing! :-D
Dave Robinson has been kind enough to lend his short engine once again to allow us to compete in Round 4 at Castle Combe on 07th May - a massive thank you Dave!
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