Conor Daly – Final Day of Testing

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

Published on October 16, 2008 with No Comments

Brands Hatch, England (October 16, 2008) – Today was the final day of testing before qualifying. We had already had a very good two days of testing under our belts but today was still very useful. Yesterday we had some issues towards the end of the day with understeer from the middle of the corner to the exit. So today we wanted to work on fine-tuning the setup and getting the car to work well on new tires.

We started off in the morning with new tires and new brake pads. The first couple laps of the first session were spent bedding in brake pads and bringing up the temperatures of the new tires on the very cold morning. Then we really started pushing on the new tires. When I came into the pits after the session my lap timer said I had done a 50.45-second lap which was A LOT faster than anyone had gone all weekend. Unfortunately, we found on the data that I had somehow tripped another beacon and the time was faster than it should be… I was unhappy but oh well, those things happen! Even without this lap I had done the almost exact same time as Josef at a 50.8-second lap.

Throughout the day I still struggled with an engine problem. We could see in the data that I was very quick in the corners but as soon as I got to the straights I would lose nearly two to three tenths of a second! At first, Cliff Dempsey, the team owner and master mechanic/engineer, thought the problem was that the timing of engine was off. We tried changing the timing but it did not affect the performance of the engine…

For the final session of the day we decided to change the carburetor on the engine. We were hoping since it was the last session of the day before qualifying that our problem would be solved. I went out on track and decided to run with a pack of cars to start getting the feel for a European “racing” environment even though it was practice. The carburetor seemed to perform a lot better than the old one which was a major help. The track had gone off quite a bit though and the times had dropped off. However, Josef and I remained two of the quickest drivers on track which is always a good thing before qualifying.

So at the end of the day we felt very good for qualifying tomorrow. We are fairly sure we have the perfect setup for the new tires in qualifying. Josef and I qualify in separate groups tomorrow because we are in separate heats. Josef will qualify before me so I get the advantage of watching a lot of the competitors qualify before me and see if I can pick up any helpful information!

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