Round 6 - A tough weekend for Gilmour Racing
The past five rounds for Gilmour Racing have been going smoothly and to plan, until round six when the team headed the Eastern Creek. Fridays Practice sessions went how they had planned with Chris setting some quick laps in practice on some very bad tyres. With some minor changes to the set up of the car driver Chris Gilmour ended up topping the times sheets in Practice one ahead of 2007 Champion Tim Macrow and title contender Lee Farrell. Practice two saw Gilmour 2nd quickest behind Macrow. The team was confident of a good showing come Saturday's qualifying.
After studying data from previous meetings at eastern creek the team decided to change gear ratios before the start of Qualifying one. This proved a smart move as Chris believed the car was quicker in places he was lacking in the practice sessions. Each lap Gilmour was getting quicker and quicker, but no matter what he tried he just couldn't get a time close to the front pack. Gilmour ended the first qualifying session back in fourth position. With a few minor set up changes Gilmour hit the track for qualifying two, with good track position Gilmour had a clear run for the full twenty minute session. By the end of the session was able to move up one position into third.
"The car felt great on new tyres but I'm disappointed of the times that I produced hoping to be further up the grid, but it's ok I will just have to get some good starts" Gilmour said after qualifying two.
After further work on the car after qualifying Chris noticed coolant leaking from the rear of the car, after some further investigation it was found that the team had a major issue with the Opel Spiess engine. After tests were carried out on the engine it was determined compression gases were being pushed into the coolant, possibly a cracked head or blown head gasket. After taking into account the risk of completely destroying the engine it was decided to run the two races on Sunday. This proved to be the correct decision as the engine did hold together and Chris again improved his position in the Championship.
Race one and in typical Gilmour style Chris got a perfect start jumping from fourth to second position hanging onto the back of Macrow and pulling a small gap ahead of Lee Farrell. On lap two the safety car was deployed to pick up a crash at corporate hill, on the restart Gilmour was still in second position, then on lap four Gilmour locked the rear brakes going into turn two. Keeping the car running while spinning this cause Farrell to take evasive action to miss Gilmour and both cars ended up in the dirt.
The reason for the brake lock up was the team put new disc rotors on the front, with new pads. Chris decided to adjust his brake bias to half turn to the rear to compensate for the new discs on the front, however this was just enough to pinch the rears and lock up.
Fighting hard to the end, Gilmour finished in 5th position narrowly missing out on 4th over the line against Ash Betridge. This was Gilmour worst result this year. "It was a silly mistake I had a great gap on Farrell and I blew it by spinning, it allowed him to catch up a few more points on me in the championship, so yeah disappointing race" Gilmour said.
Race two saw Gilmour again jumping up a position into second position behind 2007 Champion Macrow. From there Gilmour held off a hard charging Lee Farrell, Having a great battle Farrell made a mistake at turn twelve running off the circuit, this allowed Gilmour to pull more of a gap and hold out to take a fine 2second place in race two.
Extending his Championship lead by another point for the weekend, Gilmour now has a full round lead of 44 points over second place Lee Farrell. With only two rounds left in the championship, Gilmour is looking to secure the Championship in two weeks time when the team heads back to the famous Phillip Island Circuit for round seven.
Chris Gilmour would like to thank his sponsors for their continued support:
Identity Plus, Hutcheon & Pearce at Wagga Wagga, Albury, Temora, Cowra & Parkes, Chesterfield Australia at Warren, Dubbo, Moree, Goondiwindi, Yatala, Acacia Ridge, A & G Machinery P/L at Griffith, Hutcheon A & G P/L at Narrandera and Finley and Sharpe's Tractor Centre at Rutherford & Taree, PM Lubricants, Revolution Race gear Brisbane, Graphic Dak photos, R-TEK Motorsport Services & All Properties Group. We would like to thank each of you for your valued and important support .