Despite a few traumas getting there, and the ever present shadow of foul weather both en route and at the circuit, 31st January at Oulton Park was a cold but bright day. Albeit with patchy cloud threatening to steal the sunshine.
A first outing at Oulton Park. The circuit is great, with fast sections, where you can be very quick if you have the balls to join up the dots. You can be really on it until the few hard braking areas. Whilst the early part of the day was spent more carefully finding my way through the layout, by the end of the day it was really flowing.
The MX400 was absolutely on the money at the moment and I don’t think there’s anything fundamental to change right now, which is a good way to leave a trackday. The car is now pretty much like it was before the conversion but with a shed load more power. The major component on test was the new front ARB setup. Same 24mm BMW E36 ARB, but with redesigned brackets and rose jointed drop links to get the bar positioned in exactly the right place. Combined with the an uprated rear Ultra Racing bar, the car is well planted and suffering far less roll in the corners.
It was the second outing on the Caterham CR500 tyres – the only 245/40/R15 on the market, and this time was the first time they’ve been put through their paces in the dry. A square setup is proving to work well, with the car feeling well balanced in the corners, and making much better use of the brakes and power than it did on the previous 195/50/R15 tyres. The proof of the pudding though will be how they perform at the next event, having been cycled.
Had quite a bit of interest in the car, which is always appreciated. Driver and car both, I think, performed well.