Spalding driver's rewarding podium place
Spalding driver Andy Molsom enjoyed his first podium in the Sigmax category at Silverstone just before lockdown.
As it was the final Caterham Graduates Racing Club weekend of the year, Molsom decided to test the car on the Friday to further develop it and reduce understeer on corner entry.
After a few tweaks, Molsom was happier with the balance of the car.
He said: “Testing was really useful, we got the car much better balanced on turn in.
“The car now wants to turn rather than hustling it through the corner.
“The offset is that the car is edgier and on the limit of oversteer through the corners, but I can manage that.”
Qualifying on Saturday afternoon was a learning curve with the new set up, and lack of any slipstreaming down the straights meant starting 11th, 11th and eighth on the road on a grid of 45 cars.
Going against normal advice, Molsom changed the roll bars to stiffen the car before the races. With nothing to lose, he used the races as further test sessions.
Race one on Sunday morning saw a damp but drying track, which Molsom revelled in as he moved up to sixth in class.
By early afternoon for race two, the track was dry. Molsom started 11th and lifted to avoid being squeezed into the first corner, dropping a place.
He pushed and made progress, moving up to fifth on lap nine, and was battling hard for a number of laps until a safety car period. At the restart, Molsom capitalized to move from seventh to third in class, which he held onto until the chequered flag.
He said: “This is my first podium in the Sigmax class, and it took three years to get there.
“There have been times I’ve nearly given up with the car, but we started afresh with CTS Motorsport, based in Gainsborough, this year.
“We continued to learn about the car, and that shows what can be achieved with determination and persistence.”
Race three was also dry, and a great start again for Molsom saw him in fourth in class by the end of the first lap, a position he maintained until lap 16 while constantly battling with a faster class car.
Molsom braked too late into Farm and went wide, allowing three cars through. He battled hard for the last few laps, eventually finishing sixth in class.
“What a great way to finish the season, not only have we got the car where I want it, with some tweaks that we can still do, but to come away with a podium was great,” added Molsom.
He intends to return to racing in the Sigmax class of the Caterham Graduates Racing Club in 2021, which provisionally begins on April 17 at Oulton Park.