25 October 2010

Guest Blog - My Mallory Park Story - Tony Nunn

Right, here's what FCD:MP is like in a Corolla... got there about 9ish as Bob asked everyone to be there before the cars hit the track at 9:30 because you have to drive across the track to get into the paddock in the centre of the circuit! This gave me the first glance of the track... Devil's Elbow, which is a fast off camber left-hander into the start / finish straight. This was going to be interesting!


Anyway, parked-up in the paddock and went to sign-on, I missed the driver's briefing but Bob just said 'don't dirt drop, that's it! After signing-on was the siting lap and to be honest it didn't look a particularly scary circuit, nothing in there like Craven Curves at Donny or Paddock at Brands. However I then spent the next half an hour fannying around changing the rear's trying to man-up and go-out haha!


As usual, once I was on the track I was fine. I had no interest in trying to drift Gerard's and to be honest it was bad enough gripping around it at speed on cold ropey rear rubber!


However, the Charlie's / Stapleton's complex at the end of Gerard's is spot-on for the Corolla, launch it in in 2nd, clip the concrete curbing and keep it planted all the way through the left / right combo and manji (if that's your thing!) up the straight to Edwina's.


Edwina's is more of the same, another left / right combo in 2nd. I really should have tried firing her in in 3rd then down shifting to 2nd after initiating but I just didn't have enough confidence in rear-end grip, need to sort some decent drift rubber I think. Anyway I built-up more speed into Edwina's with each lap and ended up slamming the cones followed by a dirt-drop... whoops!


Following Edwina's are the Cooper Esses, a more open and faster right into left combo. This section was perfect for getting in some 3rd gear which was really what I was at Mallory for. Again, lack of rear grip prevented me from gunning it as hard as I should have been so I had mixed results, including a scary excursion onto the grass. Luckily the car pulled back onto the tarmac so I was able to get hard on the anchors and stop, albeit starring the wrong way down the circuit, I was a bit more sheepish the next lap!


Next up is the hairpin. You can get some speed up on the run from the Esses and I was in fourth by the time I hit the hairpin, so it's hard on the brakes, heel and toe into 2nd while turning-in and around she goes, easy! Like the complex, you can keep your foot down and manji up to the aforementioned Devil's Elbow which is probably the easiest way to initiate Devil's. I didn't, and just tried some light clutch kicks, with little real success as I wasn't aggressive enough with the car. Hmmmm, let's roll-out the grip excuse again shall we.

Finally it's the start / finish straight which is of course flat-out before a flick left at the pit-lane and firing into Gerard's in top, well if you're not me that is.


And that's it! FCD:MP is definitely a good day - very well marshaled and friendly - and I'd recommend it to anyone who is looking to push-on from DWYB or similar.


1 comment:

  1. Brilliant Post Tony, and a massive thanks again for taking the time for writing this up for the Brotherhood!

    It's an awesome car and I properly enjoyed taking some photos of it.

    Hopefully this post makes more of you lot with working corollas book the next FCD:MP day now!