Conor Daly – Final Day of Practice

Written by Team USA. Posted in Conor Daly, Driver Blogs

Published on October 31, 2008 with No Comments

Silverstone, England – Today was the final day of practice before qualifying for the Walter Hayes Trophy. We only got two practice sessions in the whole day! It was a really long day because of this. We did not do a lot of sitting around however!|

After my engine troubles yesterday, we changed carburetors for this morning’s session. The track was quite damp when I went out so we had a damp setup on. The car ran well, I thought, and we were quickest in the session but we couldn’t get a very good reading on the engine because of the conditions. So we were forced to wait several hours until the next session which was at 12:20pm. In the meantime, Josef was out practicing with his group when he had a bit of an engine mishap where four valves and a cam follower broke. So it was a bit of a mess for him. Unfortunately he did not get out the rest of the day because his motor had to be rushed up to Manchester to be rebuilt and brought back later tonight.

After all the chaos on Josef’s car, it was my turn to go out for my final session. I ran a few laps but I was not happy with the car or the engine. I came in quickly and Cliff [Dempsey], the team owner and head engineer, changed something on the engine and then made a handling adjustment. I went back out and could feel the motor was better immediately. I did my quickest time and then came in again because the handling was still not right. I had a pretty bad understeer from the middle of the medium and slow speed corners to the exit. But I came in right as the checkered flag was waving so we didn’t get a chance to make a change. We got the data off of my car and then off of Josef’s because Josef did several quick laps before having the engine problems. We looked at the data and I was STILL down on power. I was losing just about four tenths of a second on the straights! My quickest time of the session was only about 2 and a half tenths off of the quickest time all day so the engine is costing me crucial time.

The team doesn’t quite know what to do with the engine. We are all a little befuddled after these last two days. No matter what, I cannot be as competitive as I want to be with this engine and the team knows that and want to do whatever is possible/necessary to get me what I need, and that’s what I really like about the Cliff Dempsey Racing team. We asked around for an engine to possibly borrow and we found one but it will not be available until tomorrow night which is after qualifying and the heat race. So basically I have to deal with the engine I have in the car for qualifying and the heat race. This is unfortunate but I am sure I will learn from it and benefit from it in the future!

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