TEAM BAC RACING
"Youth and enthusiasm is no match for old age and treachery..."
2018 has been a busy year for BAC Racing and BAC Ltd in general.
Our new HQ renovation in the centre of Ashbourne, Derbyshire (home of Shrovetide Football) is well underway now. Hopefully this will be open for business for January 2020.
BAC Ltd teamed up with respected aerodynamicist Simon McBeath for numerous articles in Racecar Engineering International Magazine (available at all good magazine stands) and have a mention in the latest version of Competiton Car Aerodynamics (available online).
We spread our wings and started dealing with teams in the US, Switzerland, Greece and a lot more of Europe as a whole across disciplines from Pre-War Sportscars to Pikes Peak Hillclimb Monsters.
BAC Racing had three trips to sunny Florida to speak with race teams and take in the Rolex 24hrs of Daytona, the Sebring Classic and, at the start of 2019, Super Sebring which saw the World endurance Championship race on the Friday and the headline IMSA 12hrs of Serbring race on the Saturday.
We also had trackdays at Homestead, Miami (home of the NASCAR Finale) and under the floodlights at Palm Beach International Raceway where we even managed to drop by the drag strip mid-week to see a Run What Ya Brung event... this was an eye opener as Bugatti Veyrons, Funny Cars, Porsche 911 GT3s and Lamborghinis were in abundance. The basic rule seemed to be you needed a minimum of 600bhp to even get to the line!
One glaring difference between racing in the US and back here in the UK was the accessibility for fans. At Daytona you could not move for famous drivers, team owners and engineers, all happy to discuss the days activities and pose for a selfie. They know exactly who is paying their wages.
We will certainly be back....
BRITISH 24HR KARTING - TEESSIDE
On 12/13th August 2017 BAC Racing took to the track in the Hire Kart Class of the British 24hr ProKart Endurance Race at Teesside, UK.
Having last raced ProKarts in 1999 it was soon apparent that we were all a little race rusty (and had become buffet dependent) as our fastest qualifying time of 1:21.80 was a full 2.8 seconds off the pole time of the Northampton Maidens (an all female team) and put us in 41st of 45 Hire Karts and 61st overall.
The race started at 12:00 midday saturday in warm but slightly overcast conditions, Lee Dolby did the initial fighting and pulled the team up to 46th overall by the end of his 90 minute stint. Joe Cann took over driving duties, laiden with a full tank of fuel and 15Kg of lead ballast he was a healthy 1.5Kg over the 235Kg weight limit... the only driver to get within 5Kg... At the end of Joes' stint the heavens opened, and for the second time in two weeks we were subject to torrential rains that left us contemplating scuba diving as an alternative, more suitable, UK summer sport...
James Kmieciak took over drivng (more appropriately "diving") duties for the next 90mins and, due to an excess of bouyancy aids strategically applied around his waist, bobbed and floated around the 50th position until changeover. Dan Nottage and Dave (Two Fingers) Smeaton completed the first driver rotation on a drying and darkening track to get us back up to 48th before the 12hr mark, our only serious hiccup being a broken right front stub axle "due to shear awesomeness" of Lee Dolbys' pace... apparently....
With several drivers taking the opportunity to get some well earned rest we woke to perfect blue skies and optimum track conditions through to the finish at 12:00 Midday Sunday.... Joe Cann pushed through his final stint complaining of "sore sides" (Later diagnosed as a cracked rib) to hand over once again to James Kmieciak to wallow around the 1360m course until the flag dropped....
BAC Racings' final position dropped from 50th to 52nd of 65 overall after a last minute clutch failure caused several laps to be lost in the pits leaving us with 934 Laps completed.... our fastest race lap was 1:20.92 which improved but was still 2.5 seconds off the ultimate Hire Kart lap of 1:18.49...
The team, consisting of Dave Smeaton, Lee Dolby, Dan Nottage, Joe Cann and James Kmieciak, intend to restrict their buffet attendance, increase their track time and have another attempt at a 24hr with the Le Mans 24hr in July 2018.
PIVOT 24/12 MOUNTAINBIKE ENDURO
The aim was simple, head to Plymouth and compete as two teams of two riders in the Pivot 12hr Mountain Bike Endurance race on the fabulous Newnham Park World Cup XC course in the baking summer sunshine, knock out 12 laps of the 12.5km course, and kick back with a well earned beer to watch the 24hr racers bring in the sunrise....
Instead, It rained solidly from the Thursday evening when we set up camp to the lasst minute of our 12hr race at midnight Saturday... ...then the sun came out when we went home...
With the team made up predominantly of the University of Derbys' Motorsport Engineering Staff, all novices to the world of Mountain Bike XC racing, we decided to get some training on the course on Friday while the weather was mildly moist.
The initial 1km climb out of the campsite immediately had us grinding down the gears for the granny ring, a tough rooted section through the trees sent us out into the even rockier, rootier, super fast downhill section to the river. Back through into the campsite leading to a final sharp climb and fast descent that saw riders enter the crowded, grass covered, campsite section filled with the smoke and smell of BBQs' and the sounds and cheers of riders settling in for a funpacked evenings entertainment.
With the course scoped out, it was time to "go for a proper lap" to see how it felt.... and it felt wet, muddy and sketchy as hell, the rainfall over the previous hour completely changing the course, and it hadn't yet seen teh registered 1400 riders go over it!!!
We crossed the finish line at 6pm soaked to the bone, swearing like troopers and covered completely in Plymptons' stickiest mud.
Initially we opted to get a shower, get some food, prep the bikes and moan and swear about the state of the weather and how awful we all felt... the organsisers, sensing our moods, had a cunning plan... DARTMOOR BREWERY instantly cracked open three kegs of their finest 4.8% ales and declared "FREE BAR!!!".... after several pints, all thoughts of food, bike prep and showering had gone from our minds, in fact I believe we succesfully managed to no longer feel feelings anymore....
Saturday morning saw more endless rain, we stayed in the tent until the last minute then headed to the start, a simple plan of "1 Lap and Swap" was called and when the klaxon sounded we were off, James Kmieciak started for Team BAC, while Andy Menzies started for the sister Team TDM Two... At the end of the first lap, James opted to stay out for "one clear lap" while Andy swapped over with team mate Chris Smout.
Will Soukal-Walsh took over for Team BAC on lap 3 and the "hour on, hour off" rotations began.... although the laps were drifting way past the hour mark as
the rain continued to fall and the course turned into a flowing river everywhere. At 8:30pm, James came in from his 5th lap to declare himself "completely spent".... the dark had fallen and the cold,
wet and sheer physicality of the conditions had taken its toll, Will set off into the dark with the simple instructions of "Do as much as you physically can in the next two hours...." ...which he did
Will crossed the finish line at 11:45pm having completed Team BACs' 10th lap and securing them 19th out of 44 teams... Team TDM Two crossed the line for their 9th lap some five minutes later to secure 22nd... as two teams of almost complete Mountainbike XC Racing Novices, the simple rule of "Time in the pits is time lost on track" proved to be as succesful here as it is Le Mans.... bring on next year!!!