Posted on 21 May 2013 by admin
Finally starting to make progress on my new Suzuki after many weekends struggling to even break that magic minute! After many a sleepless nite and head melting weeks of doing laps of Mondello Park in my head trying to find out where I was going so wrong. I’d be the first person to put up my hand and say I was riding crap but I knew I wasn’t going that bad as I was literally near killing myself to do even a minute flat. I had kind of nearly accepted the fact that maybe I had lost my mojo as the past few months have been tough on my wallet but even more so my mind!! It’s very frustrating after spending heaps of dosh to have actually thundered backwards, I was expecting to be a bit slower at the start but not as bad as this! But happily after a quick map from Jog Tuning on the Saturday test day, I knocked 2 seconds off my lap straight away in my first session out!! Now I know I still got it!! Wahoooo!! Confidence in myself restored! But it wasn’t all rosy on Sunday, as in race 1 I only managed 3 laps as I got tangled up with Mr Madden on the exit of Dunlop corner which spelled the end of my weekend as the bike took some small damage and we couldn’t have it ready for Race 2.. Nevertheless we drove away a bit battered and bruised and with my pride and joy of a race bike in the back in pieces but yet still smiling and saying how good of a weekend it was!! Just chuffed we’re back on the pipe and back enjoying racing at top level! Can’t wait till the next Adelaide Mondello Masters in June. Thanks to all my followers and supporters- especially during my tough times!! Over and out from a chuffed flash!! #flashisback Till next month. Jamie#22
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Return of the Mojo- with Jamie Masterson
Posted on 20 May 2013 by admin
Rounds 2 and 3 of the MicksGarage.com Formula Sheane championship took place at the recently rejuvenated Bishopscourt Race Track near Downpatrick in Co Down. With car racing only returning to the circuit in 2012 I was yet to sample the delights of this fast flowing track which was held in such high regard by all those who sampled it last year. After round 1 at Kirkistown I took the GoldenPages.ie car to Fahys Garage in Oranmore, Galway for a comprehensive alignment check up. Many things were put right and we headed towards Bishopscourt with a sense of optimism, however I was keenly aware that the combination of a wet weather forecast, my lack of track knowledge and only two ten minute test sessions were going to make it a difficult weekend. By the time qualifying came around on Saturday evening I had yet to complete a dry lap of the circuit. The timetable for the event was very tight so our class was mixed with the Formula Vees for testing which impeded both classes terribly. Conditions for qualifying were damp but drying and I made sure to be on circuit at the end when the track was at its best. My second last lap was good enough for P3 but the data on the car showed that on my last lap I was on for a lap some 6 tenths quicker but I lost time overtaking a car. In the end I would line up P3 for race 1 and pole position for race 2 as my second fastest lap was the quickest of all drivers. Carnage on the way to turn one! Race one was a thoroughly wet affair, my first ever wet single seater race! I made a reasonable start but on the run to turn one I was tagged by the rear wheel of another car which spun me at 90 degrees to the oncoming traffic. A few swirls of the wheel and luckily I could point the car back towards turn one but I was down to almost last position. I put my head down and worked my way back through the field to P3. At turn two on lap 8 as I slowed for a yellow flag zone I was unceremoniously punted out of the race and into retirement on the grass. Race two was a much drier affair and I lined the FCR Media Racing car on pole position. I got a reasonable start but Kevin Sheane made a better one from the row behind and took the lead on the run to turn one. The balance in my car was very good and I had the confidence to push hard on the cold tyres and retook the position around the outside of the 4th gear left hander. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be for long as on turn 3 I made a driving error and ran wide, demoting myself to 7th position and in the process thumping the steering wheel in frustration! Again I had to work myself back up the order and once again got as far as 3rd place. By now the rain had returned and the safety car was deployed to collect a stranded car. Now right on the gearbox of the leading two cars I was ready for a win or bin final lap or two but twice the safety car turned its lights off only to turn them back on and in the end we never got a dash to the flag, much to my frustration. All told it was not a positive weekend, we had the pace but not the luck. I’m looking forward to returning to Mondello Park for the 45 year anniversary meeting in June where hopefully we can get our championship aspirations back on track!
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Bishopscourt Blog- with Barry Rabbitt
Posted on 19 May 2013 by Dave
Sunday 12th May saw my return to the stages, on the Carlow Stages Rally, on the back roads around Tullow. Myself and Dan arrived at the rally hoping for a good result, following all the work that had been put into improving the car over the course of the last few months. The morning saw us greeted by rain as we prepared to head out onto the first loop of three stages, and this coupled with new tyres led to an interesting outlook for the day! We headed onto stage one, Sherwood, feeling confident, where we were met by extremely greasy and slippery conditions, on what was already a tough stage. This was further proven by the amount of casualties that were taken on the stage, and although fortunate enough to get to the end, we still had a small amount of drama of our own. We lost a lot of time on the stage, with hitting a bank on a square left, and then a further overshoot on a square right about mid way around the stage. We did however exit the stage happy to be lying 5th overall in the Junior section, and 1st in class 16. Following the cancellation of stage two, it was on to the much faster stage three, Bohermore. After the near misses on the first stage, I was possibly a little too cautious in places, but exited the stage holding onto 5th, and 1st in class. As we headed to service we were feeling optimistic about the loop of stages to follow, especially as the rain had eased, and the roads were beginning to somewhat dry up. Unfortunately on reaching the service area in Tullow, our hopes were put to a swift end, when we spotted a problem with the car that was set to end our rally. We opened the bonnet to find the fan belt sitting neatly in the engine bay, after the pulley had apparently sheared off. With no hope of being able to fix the problem, we were forced to call it a day. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement, but such is rallying, and these things will happen! So while it wasn’t a great start to our South East Stages campaign, if nothing else it was a great experience to get the two stages, as they gave me a few miles to get used to the new setup in the car. So to round off, I’d like to start by saying thanks to Terence and all the crew in Carlow Car Club, for a great, well run event. To my sponsors Somers garage for the pre event prep, and finally to our latest addition to the car, Joe Leslie Rally videos for all their support! So for now its time to get back to work on repairing the car, and the next event on the cards will be the Ravens Rock Rally on the 30th June. Until next time! Tonya
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Disappointing return to the stages- with Tonya Fortune
Posted on 18 May 2013 by admin
Apologies for some passing of time since my last blog as my proverbial plate just seems to get bigger, however I’m not complaining when on that plate is the finest of Italian cuisine to be washed down by Super Tuscan red, it’s just a matter finding room for the intake of an extra course and hope I can fit it all in. Of course what I’m actually talking about is the new Ferrari 458 Italia Challenge that Philip has acquired for new ventures further afield. Best of all is that its new…..brand spanking out of the box new! Now I’m going to be completely open here, I’ve had a crippling ‘no other road car is better than a Ferrari’ mindset since wearing grey shorts with conkers in my back pocket. This blind loyalty was firmly sealed once contents of an oddly shaped money box was swapped with a Ferrari annual with glossy pictures and exploded views of the then scarlet range of road cars. Fast forward a few hair styles from then and that obsession proved advantageous when I spent time with Pininfarina Study and Research as a development technician on bespoke Ferrari, ahhh great fun. A calling to motorsport took over my career aspirations, but Ferraris have never been far away throughout. Now we come to present day and this absolute drop dead gorgeous Rari has arrived at the Breezemount workshop. A prompt read through the 458 instruction manual has brought me up to speed on this current Challenge edition. It continues with the previous Challenge car ethos, not quite GT race spec but hardened up enough with the right racy bits stuck on for eligible competition. F458 Challenge Shakedown What really impresses me is the filtering down of F1 technology into the powertrain architecture, the current tread of seamless gear shift and active diffs to control whole corner balance is right there with this car. So with no delay, a shakedown with Philip at the helm and Richard Lyons as backup pilot was undertaken. A quick download of captured car data does indeed show the many electronic interventions of diff control thus enabling driver to just press right foot pedal and go. Don’t get me wrong, not even the F1 tech clever electronics can beat the laws of physics so drivers are still on their toes to avoid any pilot error induced pendulum effects; however the car proves to be fairly easy to drive and point through the corners. One thing that did become apparent to both drivers is the effect of some positive lift on the car at various performance points and so upon return to workshop an aero package has been the topic of development discussion. The plan is for Philip to learn the circuits in the UK with the Challenge, so I am pleased to say Breezemount Motorsport has linked up with Ferrari specialists FF Corsa who will take over the running of the car at their base at Silverstone with intentions to support us to UK and European circuits. Stuart checking Ferrari data. In the meantime while an aero upgrade is sourced for the Ferrari we have moved onto the Formula Master and Seat Leon. Our first outing this year with the Master at Mondello has highlighted an issue with setup as we have switched tyre brands and sizes, something which will require additional testing as we assess and learn to understand changes to the dynamics of the car. I fear quite a few changes to suspension components and permutations of setup to achieve balance equilibrium. This takes time which we are short of when that plate is already full and the saloon championship is well underway, so more on Formula Master developments later. Our first race at Kirkistown in the saloons showed Philip has the speed to qualify well but the Seat Supercopa Achilles heel is its DSG gearbox, AKA getting off the line. It’s a rather hit or miss affair as Philip found out on both races, then there was the realization that the saloon boys don’t give a damn if Philip is the outright record holder at Kirko. With a mixture of relatively equal matched machinery here, if you want to be first across the line then you have to learn to squeeze every ounce of horsepower from the engine on corner exit and accept that no one is going to give an inch on corner entry. Good point finishes for both races on our first event this year we are glad off, but much discussion on return to the workshop was had with many cups of coffee. So another test was booked 2 days before the second saloon race meet. I implemented another setup adjustment and Richard Lyons was on hand for the finer points of race craft and that all important lap time, then it was down to the stopwatch to tell the tale of positives or negatives. The times are good, real good, into the mid 61’s for Philip as the Leon is touching the edge of its performance envelope. So with race day on the next sunrise, the Leon is back A job well done! on the flat patch into the dark hours getting a final adjustment to remove a little of the nervousness that has crept in. A little red eye in the morning soon disappears as caffeine is consumed, 2 qualifies and 2 races await the Leon Supercopa as she warms up on air jacks. A quick download then check of engine vitals on the laptop confirms all is go for the morning qualify runs. The hard work Philip has been putting in is starting to pay off, fastest in his class and even out pacing the GT’s for Q1. ‘Car feeling better with that setup tweak Stu’ Philip comments, and indeed the confidence shows on Philips data, ‘just got to get the car cleanly off the line now!’ Well both races went well as it turned out, the DSG gearbox launch control is indeed useless as Philip loses places on both starts, however Philip drove well, exceptionally well, fighting with the mighty Hondas with a few well placed overtaking maneouvers to take class wins in both races. And to top things off a new saloon lap record of 62.2! Well done Philip, you have our attention now! Follow us on Facebook / Breezemount Motorsport
Breezemount Motorsport- a new arrival!
Posted on 14 May 2013 by Susan
After a year break of being at the fabulous Bishopscourt race circuit it was again time to head up to the Co.Down circuit. I headed up Friday afternoon in my Nissan Juke supplied by Nissan Ireland (very economical- the 1.5dci Puredrive engine is brilliant.) On Saturday morning we had two 15 minutes sessions to get with the grips of the track once again after a My Nissan Juke! long break! My first session went well and we gained some very valuable information regarding setup for the conditions and track. The second session wasn’t so great and we only managed one lap as the session was cut short because they were running out of time before qualifying commenced. We went out in qualifying in the Van Diemen RF91 which has a slight disadvantage against the newer car when it comes to straight line speed as it doesn’t have as good aerodynamics and not is as streamlined. I qualified 7th for both races out of a grid of 20 cars I was delighted and couldn’t wait for the two races on Sunday. Saturday evening was lovely dry and a clear sky so we thought it might be dry Sunday, but we thought wrong. With shower spells but in between the showers the track was dry so it was difficult to get a good setup but we managed a satisfactory setup and we were ready for the race. We gridded up in our positions for the race and I was seventh, so I knew I had a bit of work ahead for the race but as the lights went out I got a cracker of a start and was in to third instantly- before the first corner! I held third for the whole race and it was a great feeling to get my first podium in FF1600! For race two I was moved to 6th on the grid. I watched the lights with anticipation and when they went out I had another cracker of a start and went from 6th to 1st I just squeezed by the pit wall and the other cars! and I was now leading the race in the little ’91 car! but it was red flagged after one lap as there was a incident at turn two. We came back around and were re-gridded while they cleared the stricken cars. Again I sat there while I waited for the 5 second board then the lights and again I got another brilliant start almost identical to the first one and was now leading the race again! With Ivor McCullough behind I knew I needed to keep pushing hard but his newer and more aerodynamic car was better suited to the long straights of Bishopscourt and he eventually caught me and passed which was probably inevitable with his more modern car! Murray passed at turn three but I stuck with him to the end of the race with Noel Dunne right on my tail. I had one eye on Murray and one eye on the mirror to Dunne behind. I held off Dunne to the line and I crossed the line side by side with Murray to finish third. I was thrilled to get another third place and my second podium of the season! After the race everyone was coming up to me and congratulating me on the race. Joey Greenan came up to me and said I did a brilliant job, that meant so much to me! It was great to be driving such a iconic car that is 22 years old and is still able to mix it in with the newer and more aerodynamic cars ! Thanks again to all the team! Bring on the next round in Kirkistown!
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Back to Bishopscourt- with Sean Doyle