Home Gallery Sponsors/Links News Results Bio

 

 

 

The CASC Celebration weekend peaked on Saturday, but went steeply downhill on Sunday. Saturday started off well with pole in a rainy qualifying session. Malcolm said, "I knew I couldn't go much faster after the first few laps, so I was just out there playing in the rain. The tires were consistent, allowing me to push the limits, and have a lot of fun! I came out of the car with a grin from ear to ear." The first race started off well, and he was able to pull away from Tor Krueger's Monte Carlo. A few laps into the race, Malcolm started having gearbox problems, and it was very difficult to put it in fifth gear. He would pull out a few car lengths on Krueger, but then would be caught right back up when fifth gear would not engage. "With all the metal bits dispersed throughout the gearbox, it seemed as if the synchros were starting to go, as it was difficult to shift into any gear, up or down. I must have sounded like I had never driven standard before, as the gearbox problems were forcing me to miss about 4 or 5 upshifts and downshifts per lap! I managed to stay ahead of Tor, using traffic to my advantage, and win" Malcolm said, after the race.

On Sunday, the plan was to be gentle with the gearbox, and see if just smooth driving could keep him ahead of Krueger and Ian Phillips in the lightweight Mazda RX7. Malcolm was able to pull away from Phillips at the start, but as the gearbox got up to temperature, it started to be problematic once again. "As I missed more and more shifts, Ian caught up. Going into 5A, I could not get third gear. I was double clutching, heel-and-toeing, and everything I could think of to get it into gear. Finally, after I coasted through the corner, I just yanked it into second, and by the time I was entering 5C, Ian was past me" Malcolm explained.

Malcolm was trying to catch up, when the car snapped out on him going into corner 3. Malcolm had reported that the car had begun to act strangely ever since a different sized tire was used, so the team assumed the tire just acted differently. It turns out that the problem was actually a shock-absorber that was beginning to fail. When Malcolm entered corner three, the problem worsened, and the car snapped sideways a few times before spinning into the grass. Although it was a minor spin, with only superficial damage, Malcolm could not get the car moving. "The clutch would not disengage, so when I tried to start the engine, it would immediately stall as I tried to get it into gear. I was very lucky not to get hit by anyone, as half my car was on the track at the exit of three, and I am very thankful that the marshals were quick to throw the yellow!" said Malcolm. He finally got a bump-start from the tow truck, and drove to the pits to get a loose fender removed. After another lap, the exhaust pipe detached from the exhaust header, a result of the off-track excursion. It was a true comedy of errors that ended after 7 laps with a DNF. Malcolm was still upbeat about the situation. He said later, "I am still happy though, as I won the championship, and I am still grinning about qualifying in the rain on Saturday!" Malcolm ended the season with 14 wins out of 20 races, and an impressive point lead of 805 points.

 

   
 

Copyright 2003 MalcolmStrachan.com. All Rights Reserved.