Cadwell - TimeAttack - 6th May 2024

Cadwell - TimeAttack - 6th May 2024

With only a few weeks since our racing at Croft and Adam's venture into TimeAttack at Anglesey, we were back for R3 at Cadwell Park.
With no clashes this time, I was in the driving seat and decided to bring my TT (converted to Manual due to some issues that are being resolved with the Sequential Gearbox) to race in the Club 2WD class. The RS3 had been moved out of that Class because it's speed was closer to the Club Pro cars on Saturday, but as you will have read in the previous blog, that all changed on Sunday when 2 long straights were added to the layout! Hopefully we can prove the point that we don't need a factory built race car to win in Club 2WD!
As an added bonus, I'd arranged for Reuben to compete in the Ibiza Cupra he shares with Luke and Tom, in the Clubman Class. The car needed a few mods removing to be eligible, and Reuben has only done a handful of Trackdays so it was going to be interesting!

Below is the layout of the Cadwell Park Circuit:

TimeAttack uses TSL for timing, which is where all the data is taken from. the Lap Records we were aiming for are also below. The Club Pro 2WD record looks achievable, as does the Club 2WD. I think Reuben is going to struggled to get anywhere near the Clubman Record, as that is almost as fast as our Golf has done around here!

Full Weekend Vlog

We have a full Vlog from the weekend, with snippets of the runs:


Being a Bank Holiday Monday, there was no chance of a Friday test. There was a Trackday organised by MSV on the Sunday, but that had filled up months ago, so I had to rely on my VBOX data and videos from March 2023 in the Mini and Golf in May 2021! Reuben had done a trackday here last year (and was the quickest out of him, Luke and Tom - which is why he was the crash test dummy!) so a bit of extra preparation would have helped for sure.

The various classes are split up into 15 and 20 minute sessions. We were in the Club 2WD for the TT, Club Pro for the RS3 and Clubman in the Ibiza, meaning we were in every TimeAttack session!


The day didn't start well for Reuben. In our haste to enter the car and get it ready, we had missed the part about his licence requirements. We knew you didn't need a MSUK Race Licence for the class he was entering, but he still needed to apply for an Inter Club Licence, which is free and can be done online pretty easily. The form was not very mobile friendly, so he struggled to get it sorted in time for the first session, meaning he sat out the valuable warm-up session.
Having never driven either car here, I also needed to get my eye in. In the TT for Club 2WD, with only 5 laps I was down to a 1:35.991. My nearest competitor was Capehorn in his Astra with a 1:39.248, 3.257s off. It didn't help that this session we were out with Civics so had a fair bit of traffic. For some reason TSL have missed the data for Club 2WD.
I quickly jumped into the RS3 in the Assembly area and made my way out for the Club Pro Session, again sharing with some Civics. On my third lap I put a 1:32.874 on the board, significantly quicker than Adam's rivals from Anglesey, the Noble M12 and Caterham 620R, who managed 1:35.516 and 1:36.727 respectively. I am not sure if any of them did the trackday to get some testing in. By the end of the session I was 4th overall, with some Pro and Extreme cars behind.

The speed trap was only at the end of the lap, wth the Noble being almost 4mph quicker, and the Caterham 2.1mph quicker. I need more power! haha

Comparing the sectors, the Noble was pretty close in Sector 1, and Sector 3 but lost a lot of ground in Sector 2. The Caterham for the moment was a bit off in each sector, but it is too early to tell the true pace.


With Reuben's licence sorted, and his stress levels heightened, he was out of the practice session. His VBOX HD Lite decided not to work for some reason, so he had no idea how he was doing, but this session was all about getting comfortable in the car on the new Yokohama A052s we supplied for the day. He was 6th in the Clubman Class, but close to the best time he had achieved when he was here last time.
In the TT I had got a good feel for it now, and punched in a 1:32.985 on my first proper push lap, this broke the Club 2WD Lap Record. I just needed to keep up the pace!
I cut the session short and climbed into the RS3 again. It took me a little longer to get some space, and on my last lap I did a 1:31.941, which was another Lap record, this time for the Club Pro Class. Missing from the session this time was the Noble, a head gasket issue looking like it was going to ruin their day.

Reuben's Transponder position was giving issues, so we don't have any sector or split data for him which is a shame. His 3 quickest laps were very consistent, but off the pace of the other guys in his class. The Audi TTCR of Rashan Chigorimbo should not really have been in their class, as it had a big wing and splitter, not the factory aero for Clubman. Still he was 5.5s off Cowley in the Fiesta ST.
Now with some data for Club 2WD, we could see that I was making the bulk of my time up in Sector 2 and 3, with Sector 1 being pretty close. A new competitor jumped up the order as well, Luke Woodhouse in his Mk8 Golf Clubsport, built by Area Motorsport (a name you will find familiar from the 2022 and 2023 750MC seasons!). His car had over 100bhp on the TT, but weighs about 300kg more as well, and Cadwell is kind to a lighter car!
Josh was closing the gap, but still down in Sectors 1 and 2. Speed over the line was only ~1mph more.

I was on top in all the sectors for Club 2WD, Volkov in the R35 and Woodhouse close in Sector 1, and the Nissan close in Sector 3.
The Pro and Extreme Cars were now well into the groove and we were all down the order.


The lunchbreak gave Reuben some time to visualise what he needed to do, and he improved massively to a 1:47.399, the quickest the Ibiza had done around Cadwell. This also promoted him to 4th in Clubman (3rd if you discount the TT) which was great. However prospects of moving up were limited, with the nearest rival 4.6s up the road. The Ibiza needs more power and Reuben needs more seat time!
My lap in the TT was pretty scruffy, so I was 0.4s off the time I did in Practice. However I was still almost 2s ahead, and the 4WD cars seemed to have found some more pace, dropping the Golf to 4th overall.
The RS3 was a different story. A few interruptions meant I'd not put a good lap in, then had traffic on a flier. A second interruption put me back in the pits, where the guys found the Carbon front splitter had cracked and was tearing apart. Instead of doing another lap, I limped to the pits so the guys could start repairing. Amazingly Ben and his mechanics had changed his head gasket and he was back out and on top of the timings, 0.5s off the time I had done in Practice, so I was still hopeful for the final.

The speed differences for the Club class was crazy, the R35 nearly 25mph faster! Woodhouse was more sensible, only 2mph.
My VMAX over the line in the RS3 was 118.5 even on the slower laps, but the Caterham was still over 1mph quicker, and the Noble over 8mph quicker, the extra 300bhp+ helping it over the line!

I no longer had all the fastest sectors in Club, but still on top overall. The lap in the RS3 was shocking.

The lead was pretty much dominated by the TTCR in Clubman. I held it all the way through in Club 2WD and it changed hands a fair few times in Club Pro, with the Noble holding it from lap 6 onwards.


This is where it all matters, the final! Reuben improved his time again, to a 1:46.485, but so did the Scirocco, demoting him to 5th in class (4th if we forget about the TT!). Again I think this was as good as he could expect for his first competition and with the power the Ibiza has. It may be back with a few more ponies soon!
I still didn't manage to better my practice time in the TT, but topped the timing by over 1s overall and 2.1s to the Golf for 2WD honours. I am sure with a few more mods and seat time, Luke would be snapping at my heels! A great effort for basically a road car competing with our race car! I'd had fuel surge at the start of the session, so didn't want to keep doing loads of laps to beat my time.
Club Pro was a bit of a disaster. I didn't feel like I got a good clean lap in early on, and then the tyres were just too hot. I let them cool in the pits, then had another couple of laps with traffic before going for a big push, and had fuel surge early on in the lap whilst 0.3s up on my lap record from Practice. Had I matched that time, I would have jumped the Caterham, but I would have no chance of knocking another second off it to beat the Noble. This also meant my Lap Record was quickly taken away from me! Well deserved as Ben and his crew worked hard to get him back out. It would have been easy to give up and go home!

There was still 2.5mph in it with the Golf over the TT, but he lost most of his time in sector 2. In Club Pro, the Noble was still 8.7mph faster over the line!

Again the Nissan was faster in Sector 1 for Club 2WD. For Club Pro, surprisingly I was still a fair bit quicker than the Caterham in S1, and close to the Noble. They both made up all their time on me in Sector 3!

I think Luke in the Golf will have been hoping I didn't get a lap in as he had over 10 minutes in the lead before I got a flier on the board. In Club Pro I was briefly on top before it all fell apart!


All the fastest laps from Round 3 are below:

The lap records for the circuit were released after the event as well:

The Championship points were corrected after the last round, but then they have separated mine and Adam's points, but it is going to be sorted for the next round. This means at the moment the RS3 is tied for 2nd in Club Pro.

The next round is at Brand Hatch on the Indy Circuit on 16th June. We will need to make a plan for it and see how we can make it all work. The TT should be out the week after so it might be rested for that weekend!

Photos courtesy of Time Attack

All the details and dates for future races we are entering can be found on the Darkside Motorsport Page.

11 06 2024

Recent Posts