Rockingham Race Round Up - THM Racing – There’s work to be done!
May 6, 2014
A disappointing race weekend for the Team at the Rockingham Speedway.
Even Matt Hamilton’s courageous charge through the field snatching 11 positions and the Teams heroic efforts to blitz the THMR Golf could not match Oulton Park’s positive start. Marred by mechanical issues, a drive shaft failure and an unfortunate spin after being hit by another car, the team had to settle for points.
Despite the challenges, positive strides were made with the car set up, but there is plenty of hard work to get down to before the Silverstone rounds coming up shortly.THM Racing’s pit garage and hospitality area gained many new features enhancing the already impressive set up, with all guests enjoying a warm welcome, great hospitality and a drama fuelled day.
Qualifying Round Up
Track conditions were fabulous at Rockingham Speedway for the today's qualifying, track temperature settled at 27˚C. Action started immediately with all cars taking to the track for thirty minutes of fast and furious qualifying. At the end of the first lap it was clear all was not as planned, a transponder failed, which relays timing information back to the team on each lap, resulting in limited timing details. Of our ten laps completed four were lost to heavy traffic, limiting our search for our first flying lap.
As qualifying progressed, we suffered again engine cooling niggles, affecting the overall amount of power available to put down on the track, power which is all essential at Rockingham Speedway. Final qualifying position for Matt Hamilton and THM Racing P13 with a time of 1:37.894, which was 1.476 seconds off pole position.
Steve Parkinson, Racing Director commented, “We struggled to find a clear lap during qualifying and suffered what at this stage appears to be engine cooling issue again That is disappointing, but all considered P13, 1.476 seconds off pole is not bad. The whole team will be on the case this evening to resolve the issues and we will be back out ready for race one in the morning”.
Matt Hamilton spoke about the positive, pre-qualifying test, with the car on song. Matt was feeling confident and strong about the qualifying session. P13 would have been far from his thoughts after the recent tests and last qualifying result, Matt commented “The car was in cracking form during the corners, holding great corner speed, but what I achieved through the corners, we struggled to maintain down the straights, but that’s racing. The team will be working hard tonight in readiness for tomorrows racing. With P13 we are in the pack, so there will be some great racing to watch, we will be fighting hard to make our way through the field”.
Race 1 Roundup
With the weather again glorious for race day, the THM Racing team were looking forward to a competitive days racing after yesterday's disappointing qualifying session and reoccurring niggles. Track temperature at a weekend high of just over 31˚C.
Matt Hamilton lined up P12, one up from expected as Fuller had been penalised in qualifying for a technical issue. Matt sat on the grid waiting for the green light, determined to claw his way back up the field. It soon became apparent early on that Race 1 wasn't to be plain sailing, Matt battled hard, carrying good corner speed, but wasn't able to keep track of the opposition out of the corners, power was again an issue.
To finalise a disappointing Race 1, Matt spectacularly span out after contact with Gallagher, resulting in a crushed wheel rim, tyre blow out and rear body damage forcing Matt to retire.
Steve Parkinson, Racing Director, commented “A disappointing race for us, which ended with retirement, an unfortunate spin from Matt fighting it out at the last chicane ended Matt’s race, Matt struggled back to the pits. Although starting from the back of the grid for race 2, we will endeavour to be back in the thick of the action”.
Matt Hamilton commented “We had a little luck, moving one place up the grid, I got a good start, unfortunately I had a slow gear change and lost a few positions on approach to turn 1, I grabbed a few places back through the field, giving it all I could. As soon as the field bunched we could not hang on, as the field opened out so did the gap between us, frustrating”. On the incident, Matt commented “Through the chicane, side by side with Gallagher, both fighting for line, I had the advantage and held, we unfortunately clashed and I lost out and limped back to the pits. Not sure on the power issue, the Team will jump on that soon as we are back in the pits”.
On Race 2, Matt beamed enthusiastically, “Well, we will start from the back of the grid, it will be great nose to tail racing, we can make up positions quickly and hopefully come away with a good result, it’s certainly going to be enjoyable”
Race Two Round Up
Matt Hamilton made an excellent start from the back of the 33 car grid to P21 by the end of lap 1. Matt’s momentous efforts snatched further gains over the next few laps, grinding his way through the field to an impressive P16, the team were biting their stop watches as they waited for Matt Hamilton to round the home straight again. The team’s confidence had been given a well-earned boost as the THMR Golf’s earlier issues seemed to be vastly improved.
Over the next few laps all seemed hopeful until Matt came through the home straight 18th, and then 19th, the lap times on the timing screens and Matt’s positioning started to tell the team a different story. With no communications between the driver and the team or any time to pit stop in the short twenty minute race, it was impossible ascertain what has gone array. Matt finished P21, not a bad shout considering starting from the back of the grid and obvious problems.
On closer inspection back in the team pit garage, a failed drive shaft was suspected of halting Matt’s assault during race 2. Matt explains “I made great headway through the field, the racing was fantastic, I battled my up the standings to P16, preparing myself for a real monster effort to move even further forward, and then something clattered around the back end of the car, as I took the banked corner I was holding on to the steering, fighting the car as it’s backside weaved and bobbed about, I decided to hang on in there and take as many points as I could get, certainly and exhilarating ride I can say that for sure, so frustrating , elated one minute as I clawed and drove my way through the field to fighting hard with the car and competition to get the points”.
Steve Parkinson commented, “Overall a challenging day and a result we were not expecting. We have worked hard since Oulton Park to get to the bottom of our engine cooling issues, which we eradicated, only to find further issues. The drive shaft failure was just one of those things and we believe sustained some damage in the impact during race one”.
On the approaching Silverstone rounds, Steve said “Once back at Team HQ in Watford, we will be on the case and will set to work looking at the information and data. Silverstone is a jewel of a track, a great circuit, very well loved by teams, drivers and fans, both Matt and the Car will need to be in top form and we will do our best to get the car there for Matt to take the challenge up on the track”.The Silverstone Round takes place 1st June 2014