Ben Clucas Racing

Great Pace but Mechanical Gremlins Stop Good Result in Sports Prototype at Donington Park

The Bicknell PS7 showed what it was capable of, but due to some unfortunate mechanical problems wasn't able to get the result it deserved.

 

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Great Pace but Mechanical Gremlins Stop Good Result in Sports Prototype at Donington Park After a couple of successful test days that saw the car set very competitive lap times both Ben and Rachel Green (Ben's driving partner) were looking forward to the Bicknell PS7's race debut.

Testing started well with the team eventually ending up 2nd fastest just 1 tenth off quickest, on tyres that had done some 5 test days.

Next up was qualifying and with just the last half of the 1 hour session being timed Rachel got in the car first. It was wet in the beginning and Rachel did some very competitive lap times before handing over to Ben for the timed part of the session. The track was damp, but all teams were using slick tyres and times were getting quicker every lap. With 20 minutes off the session remaining disaster struck when the gearbox outer cable melted on the exhaust making it impossible to change gear and affectively ending the session for the number 84 car. It was particularly disappointing given the fact that Ben was some 8 tenths clear in pole position before the problem, but with the drying track and times getting inevitably faster they eventually dropped down to 9th by the close of the session.

Before the race the team were still very optimistic as they felt they had a good driver pairing and in a 3-hour race grid position was certainly not vital. Rachel started the race and was making good progress when on lap 5 the exhaust manifold broke losing lots of power. The team was also aware of fluid coming out of the rear but after much consultation decided to leave the car out there and try and make it to the driver change window. Unfortunately 2 minutes before they were due to pit Rachel ran out of fuel losing 10 laps and affectively ending all chance of a good result. The team were still keen to try and show the pace of the car so sent Ben out to try and set fastest lap. Despite 2 out of the 4 manifold pipes having broken Ben briefly had fastest lap before being pipped and narrowly missing out by 3 tenths.

Ben was understandably disappointed at the finish. "It's a real shame we weren't able to get the result that the car was capable of. I really believe we had the fastest car out there by quite some way, but obviously with the problems we had weren't quite able to show it. It wasn't anybody’s fault, we just really needed to do a couple more test days before the race to iron out the inevitable gremlins you have with a new car. The team have done a fantastic job, and I hope people were able to see just how fast the Bicknell PS7 was today despite the problems."

Team boss and car designer Rob Bicknell had this to say after the race. I'm gutted that we had the problems with the manifold, but for that to be the only problem on its
first outing and to set the times we did shows the potential of the car. It certainly didn't go
unnoticed and we got some lovely comments on the car from fellow competitors. Rachel really enjoyed her first outing in this type of car and was very impressive in the dry but
sensational when it started raining in the race, Bens pace is well known but he was fantastic all
weekend and felt sure we would have been quickest without the problems."

 

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