Posted on 5th July 2012 by Team Neaves
Rounds 6-7 produced another solid performance from TN Racing at the premier MG event of the year, MG Live. After a positive weekend the team were the closest they have been to achieving a podium.
Images courtesy of © SMS Images.
Dan and Ollie qualified 5th and 11th respectively in a field of 46 cars. With no testing leading up to the event the team had not expected such a positive result; “We thought we had a reasonable setup for this event but without the budget for testing we were on the back foot. To be where we are is a pleasant surprise” said Blaine, team principal.
After qualifying it was clear there was a problem with Ollie’s car, one of the dampers had started to leak oil and gas which resulted in piles of understeer. This is a problem Ollie would be nursing all weekend, although the team did their best to alter the car setup to make the best out of a bad situation.
|1||2||B||Christopher BRAY||MG ZR 190||2:26.293|
|2||26||B||Paul STREATHER||MG ZR 190||2:26.483|
|3||92||B||Graham ROSS||MG ZR 190||2:27.354|
|4||69||A||Paul LUTI||MG LE 500||2:27.795|
|5||43||B||Dan NEAVES||MG ZR 190||2:29.006|
|9||99||B||Doug COLE||MG ZR 190||2:29.992|
|11||44||B||Ollie NEAVES||MG ZR 190||2:33.769|
Evans UK have produced a short film of our weekend at Silverstone, you can view it below.
As the lights went out the dash into turn 1 saw a spinner mid pack, which split the field allowing the top 5 cars to break. The ensuing battle was fierce, with Dan battling for 3rd spot with Graham Ross and Colin Robertson. Ollie found himself embroiled in a scrap for 8th spot with Mats Wahlgren and Andrew Radford.
On lap 5 contact between Dan and Colin saw Colin drop behind after a spin, a couple of laps later both Chris Bray and Paul Luti suffered mechanical problems, Bray having to retire on lap 8. Luti was within reach of Dan and the pair traded places on the last lap, with Luti just holding on until the flag.
Ollie was unable to make a break from Radford due to the superior traction of the rear wheel driven MGF and placed 10th after a tough fight.
|1||26||B||Paul STREATHER||MG ZR 190||9||22:07.751||-|
|2||92||B||Graham ROSS||MG ZR 190||9||22:20.803||13.052|
|3||69||A||Paul LUTI||MG LE 500||9||22:22.328||14.577|
|4||43||B||Dan NEAVES||MG ZR 190||9||22:22.381||14.630|
|5||87||B||Colin Robertson||MG ZR 190||9||22:39.162||31.411|
|10||44||B||Ollie NEAVES||MG ZR 190||9||23:00.469||52.881|
Race 2 saw both Dan and Ollie line up 5th and 11th respectively again. At the lights the pack moved off together for a frantic opening tour. By lap 2 the pair were lying 6th and 7th, Dan having dropped down and Ollie having a good start.
By lap 3 Dan was up to 4th and Ollie maintained 7th, Dan again was in combat with Ross and Robertson the trio running just as close as in race 1. Ollie found himself in a lonely 7th, pulling away from those behind and just hanging on to those in front.
At the flag Robertson slipped by and Dan had to settle for 5th and Ollie 7th.
The circuit commentators must have enjoyed watching Dan in battle as they awarded him Driver of the Race, Dan commented “I’m surprised to be getting this [award], particularly as I ended up behind the guys I was racing! It was a great race, really close and it shows how competitive we are becoming. To be within 13 seconds of the winner in a 20 minute race is still 13 seconds to much, but we’re getting closer.”
|1||2||B||Christopher BRAY||MG ZR 190||8||19:39.261||-|
|2||26||B||Paul STREATHER||MG ZR 190||8||19:39.481||0.220|
|3||92||B||Graham ROSS||MG ZR 190||8||19:52.699||13.438|
|4||87||B||Colin ROBERTSON||MG ZR 190||8||19:55.281||16.020|
|5||43||B||Dan NEAVES||MG ZR 190||8||19:55.843||16.582|
|7||44||B||Ollie NEAVES||MG ZR 190||8||20:17.998||38.737|
After examining the race data the team have concluded that Ollie’s car is not performing as it should; “The data shows that with the cars set up the same way, mine generates less grip, which I’m not all that happy about! We believe we have isolated the issue and hope to have it resolved for [the next race at] Outlon. This is a tough year for me and I’m learning a lot, like how to read the car and improve it. I’ve just got to keep my focus and move forward one step at a time.”
Dan and Ollie now lie 7th and 16th in the championship. With Dan 4th in class B, 3rd is definitely within his grasp and he will be aiming for that for the remainder of the season.
The next race takes place at Oulton Park on August 11. As with all rounds, the team are proud to be supporting Evans Powercool 180, to find out more about the product please visit them in the paddock.