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HiFi Lounge Goes Motor Racing!

Discussion in 'trade announcements' started by HiFi Lounge, Feb 17, 2018.

  1. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    Well This is Surreal :)

    Hi Everyone,

    Hilariously there is a picture of me racing at Brands hatch a couple of months ago in this months ‘Motorsport’ Magazine with Mike Hawthorn on the front cover, now that is something I never thought I’d be saying :)

    It is actually a really interesting article about a rookie going racing written by the magazines photographer who was given the opportunity by Radical to move to other side of the lens and follow his dream of being a racing driver for one race which reminded me a lot of my first year last year.

    Looks like I’m going to be changing teams for this coming season which is still being finalised, hopefully they can make my car quicker as obviously it is not me that is too slow ;-)

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    Cheers,
    Paul.
     
  2. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    Radical Awards Evening, Wasn’t Expecting This!

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    Hi Everyone,

    In a nice way to look back at last year Radical hold a yearly awards evening where everyone gets a chance to dress up in their finest, have a nice meal and celebrate the winners from the season that is now behind us, this was my first year obviously, it was held at the Belfry and I have to say that it really was a brilliant evening with a fantastic live band that really rocked, although having to wear a Tux is always a little odd.

    So obviously as I came 2nd in my class I wasn’t expecting anything, I will actually upload the last lap when I get a moment from the last race at Brands Hatch to show how close losing a championship by 0.2 sec looks like, I think that will haunt me forever. So anyway I was chatting to Wendy when I heard my name called out and unexpectedly I thrust from my seat and before I knew it I was on the stage accepting my award for ‘First of the Losers’ :) Seriously though it was a nice touch and actually a really nice trophy that will take pride of place in the HFL office as something to spur me on to go one better this coming season :)

    Thanks again to Radical for hosting a brilliant evening, to Darren Winter for being a brilliant Mechanic through last season and also to Tom Gladdis for attempting to coach me on how to drive faster and especially to our sponsors for helping to make last season possible as I am sure it won’t come as a big surprise that motorsport really isn’t cheap, right that is the Oscar speech part out of the way, here’s looking forward to doing it all again this coming year :)

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    Blimey, wasn’t expecting this.

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    Cheers,
    Paul.
     
  3. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    Radical SR1 Season 2 - Here We Go Again!

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    Hi Everyone,

    So this is a question I get asked a lot, will I be doing another season in the Radical SR1 Cup again this year? So I am pleased to say that yes I will although I did think long and hard about it as last season ended up being much tougher than I ever imagined it could be to be honest, I ended up being no where as fast as I thought I would be although I did love the whole experience, but I have been told by so many people that I’d be mad to abandon it after one season as the first season is such a big learning curve that the 2nd season will be much more straightforward and most people are always quicker in season 2 so fingers crossed.

    We have moved teams to 360 Racing who are based at Silverstone, these guys run in the European LeMans series which is pretty epic so they really are a serious racers and I’ll have a team mate this year which will be a great yard stick, they’ve even got a truck with a meeting room to look over data and somewhere to get changed, really feels like we’ve gone up a level already, and I’m really pleased to be working with Darren Winter again and Tom Gladdis who is still trying to coach me to going faster, poor lad, he’s really got his work cut out.

    https://www.360racing.net/elms

    I’d like to thank our sponsors who have stuck with us for another year so thanks to, in no particular order, PMC, Atlas, Rega, Chord, Trilogy, HiFi Pig, Naim and I’d like to welcome dCS as a new sponsor, still waiting on a couple more that we hopefully can announce soon.

    Goals for the year?

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    So it looks like the grid for the SR1 Cup is going to be much bigger this year which hopefully will lead to much more close racing, there is almost more pressure this year as I can no longer hide behind the Rookie status of last year so I guess my main goal is to definitely be faster than last year, in all honesty it took me till the last 2 rounds to really feel like I was getting on top of the car so hopefully we can carry that into 2019.

    It was the last race at Brands that really did help spur me on to this year as it was the first meeting where I actually felt I was racing so I want to attack more and be more aggressive, by the end of the year over 1 lap my times were OK but my racing still left a lot to be desired so I really need to work on that also, I’ve also decided to insure the car this year as last year I took my chances and got away with it but I did feel it was holding me back a little as these things are not cheap to mend so now I’ll be insured that is another excuse gone :)

    Losing the Fangio Cup by 0.2 Second

    I really meant to post this last year but it has been extremely busy lately but here is the last lap of the last race, basically at the start of the video the car that is 2 ahead was my main title contender for the Fangio Cup, David, I beat him in race one so it came down to whoever won between us took the Fangio crown, as you can see I had plenty of opportunities, unfortunately I just didn’t realise it was the last lap so I have fitted a countdown stop watch in the car for this year, but as you can see I definitely need to toughen up for this coming year, so in the end we lost the title by 0.2 of a second which I felt was a fitting end to any season of motorsport as it went to the wire but congratulations to David, the best man won in the end.



    Testing at Snetterton

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    So yesterday was my first time out in the car since the races at Brands and boy do I ache today, my arms are killing me, Snetterton is a pretty fast circuit and the last part of the lap really does have you holding on for dear live but it was good to be back in the car, in the end we went 1.5 seconds quicker than my best lap last year and there was plenty of potential to go even quicker, I just never managed to link up all the sectors but happy with that, the next stop is the first race of the season at Oulton Park, this will be interesting as last year when at Oulton I hadn’t driven the car before the race weekend so hopefully I should be much quicker there.

    2019 Calendar

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    All the best,

    Regards,

    Paul.
     
  4. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    Oulton Park 2019 Race Report!

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    Hi everyone,

    So a couple of weeks ago we had our first race weekend of 2019 over the Easter Weekend, we were supporting the British GT championship so it was our biggest meeting of the year.

    It was certainly great to be back in the car although it certainly felt a little alien for the first 20 min session as I had only done one test over the winter period but at the end of the Friday test I was reasonable happy as I was around 5 seconds quicker than last year although I did have a big moment when going down the back straight, we were out with the Ginetta’s in our test sessions and we were massively quicker so I pulled out to overtake one and he obviously didn’t see me and puled out to overtake the car in front of him which nearly put me on the grass as I tried to avoid a big accident, all good fun though.

    Race Day.

    Class of 2019

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    So this ended up being a day of highs a lows which I guess is normal for me, I went into qualifying reasonably happy with the day before pace but due to the unusually hot weather our tyre pressures inflated a fair bit for qualifying and it was a totally different car to drive, it really felt like I was driving on ice, I had never experienced this before so wasn’t sure what was going on, I didn’t know if it was me or the car so in the end I was pretty relieved when we found out the reason why I was 5 seconds slower than the day before. This actually turned out to be a good learning exercise though and also showed that I could drive the car nearer it’s limit as watching the video back you could see I was on the edge so now I just need to drive like that but at higher speeds, easier said than done though.

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    So anyway we qualified plum last due to this issue but I actually had 2 races I was happy with, I hung on to the pack and was having a fun race with the guy in front and to be fair I’m never going to be able to compete with the guys at the front so as long as I am racing someone then I’m very happy although I felt if qualy had gone smoother I would have qualified more in the mid pack which would have made for 2 very different races.

    The biggest issue I need to work on is getting on the pace earlier, it turned out that my quickest lap of the race was the very last lap of race 2 so basically the last lap of the whole weekend and in the races I take a few laps to get to my ultimate pace so I really need to work on this so as the lights go green I’m bang on it, again easier said than done, I’ve got some testing coming up soon though where we are going to focus on this mainly.

    Anyway a reasonably good start to the year, a fair bit quicker than the same race last year and I didn’t get lapped which to be fair was actually a good achievement for me as I think I got lapped at every race by the front runners last year.

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    The next race is at Cadwell Park in a couple of weeks, this was probably my toughest race weekend last year, I loved the track and it’s surroundings, it really is a beautiful place but I really struggled with my ultimate pace, unfortunately I won’t have tested here since last year but hopefully all the things I have learned over the last 12 months will help make it a more solid weekend, time will tell I guess.

    I’m actually getting my helmet painted at the moment so that will be ready for Cadwell which will obviously make me faster :)

    Cheers,

    Paul.

    Here is my 2nd fastest lap of the weekend, unfortunately the file got corrupted for my fastest lap, it was only .3 quicker though.



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  5. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    Cadwell Park Race Weekend Report!

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    Hi Everyone,

    This is just a quick one as I wanted to share my quickest lap from last weekend as I feel that I probably did my best lap yet in our Radical SR1, it is a slow process getting on top of these cars but everytime we go out we get a little bit faster which I guess is all I can ask for.

    My problem is that I love chasing lap time and here I can find reasonable speed now but I go slower in the races for some reason, not ideal I know so just need to treat the races like qualifying.

    This past weekend at Cadwell Park went pretty well, closed the gap to the front guys again, have to say that I absolutely love cadwell Park, probably my favourite track of the year, it is a stunning location and the track really is quite technical and challenging but it definitely rewards an attacking driver and getting air at the mountain is definitely a unique experience which keep you awake.

    So I went 4 seconds quicker than when I was Cadwell last year, I put it down to my new helmet design, if I knew it was going to make that much difference I would have done it earlier I was concentrating on carrying more speed into the corners which I am getting the hang of now, for once the below lap actually looks reasonably fast whereas last year they looked pretty pedestrian.

    I was mortified when I got home to watch my lap and find that the file was corrupted somehow but luckily I found some guys in California who somehow un-corrupted the file for me which was a huge relief, thanks guys.

    So anyway here is the lap, for me it is worth watching just for how beautiful the track is -



    Next Stop Brand Hatch in a couple of weeks

    Cheers,

    Paul.

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  6. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    Brands Hatch Race Report!

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    Hi Everyone,

    The races are coming thick and fast this year as we were at Brands Hatch this past weekend for race 5 & 6 on our calendar, unbelievably we are now half way through the season, I was really looking forward to racing at Brands again as I really enjoyed it last year but the weather really had different ideas.

    In all honesty I much prefer dry conditions, especially at Brands as it is a track that really rewards a little attack but for the Friday test it was pretty much wet all day, we woke up Saturday morning to more rain and a drying qualifying session that got quicker with every lap which made it tricky to know how much grip there was but the weather looked promising for both races.

    Race 1

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    So for race 1 we are all in the assembly area where we gather 20 minutes before race start, all on dry tyres but in the distance we could all see this very dark and menacing cloud getting closer and closer and then with only a few minutes to go the heavens opened as everyone was running around swapping the tyres over from dry’s to wets, it was all a little chaotic but I have to say a big thanks to the team who did a stellar job getting the car ready under pressure for the race start.

    I must admit at the start of race 1 I really had no confidence, I actually think I drive my van quicker in the wet, but anyway at least I survived with a top 10 finish which when the conditions are like this then I’ll take that, below is the first lap of race 1 where you’ll see 2 cars spin off then another hits the pit wall at the end of the lap, all very entertaining :)



    Race 2

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    For race 2 it was almost DeJa Vu as the track had dried out between races and what looked like the same cloud was hovering again in the same place but luckily the wind changed direction and the race stayed mainly dry, I was a bit hesitant at the start and got overtaken by a couple of cars then 2 cars went off into the barriers at Paddock Hill bend so we spent quite a bit of time behind the safety car then I had a great race with one of my competitors, I knew I was quicker but I just couldn’t find a way past but in the end with 2 laps to go I found an opening, overtook and pulled away but before I knew it the race was over, another top 10 finish though so could have been worse.

    Have to say it was a brilliant weekend though where we had every condition to deal with in true British summertime fashion and it ended up being a lot of fun and the car stayed in one piece which was quite an achievement in my book.

    Snetterton next at the end of July, I really hope this is a dry one and that I can attack more as I am a fair bit quicker this year so really want to race with the mid pack more as I have been racing more this year and it really has wetted my appetite for more.

    Anyway please find a few pics below, thanks as ever to Ollie for taking some brilliant pictures and to the guys from 360 Racing for their support and our great HiFi Sponsors

    Cheers,

    Paul.

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  7. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    Goodwood Festival of Speed 2019, Meeting my Motorsport Hero!

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    Hi Everyone,

    I know this isn’t exactly HiFi related but I do know a lot of our customers are car and motorsport enthusiasts like myself so I just wanted to share a quick story. I’m sure loads of you have attended the Goodwood Festival of Speed over the years, I actually went to the very first one way back in 1993, it was almost like a garden party back then, and I have been going on and off ever since and have seen it grow massively over the years and it is still an incredible event to attend. Now I wasn’t going to go this year but a couple of weeks ago I read that a particular car was going to be there, now I was sceptical if it would be the actual car as it was also supposed to be paraded before the start of Le Mans this year but that was actually a replica, I am a bit of a nerd when it comes to this particular car, but I really didn’t want to risk missing this car coming over to the UK, I was actually planning to go out to make the trip to see it is it’s normal museum residence in the states so this actually seemed to good to be true.

    But anyway I got there Friday morning at 7am and started my hunt, it isn’t easy trying to find one car amongst thousands at the biggest car gathering in the world, but after a couple of hours I saw those iconic Gulf Colours out the corner of my eye, I rushed over to the car and to my amazement it was the actual Ford GT40 Chassis Number P/1075, I actually really couldn’t believe that I was standing next to such an iconic car and it was just sitting there with no security and to be honest most people probably didn’t realise the significance of this particular GT40.

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    I have seen it read many times that it is considered the most valuable race car in the world today and as I mentioned it normally resides in the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit where I was planning to go to see it so I really never thought such a piece of history would be in the UK and be so accessible, I guess that is the power of Goodwood, So why is it so special? Well basically it is the only car to win Le Mans on 2 consecutive years of 1968 and 1969, I guess most car enthusiasts will know that Ford was in talks to buy Ferrari and when they fell through Henry Ford made it his mission to beat Ferrari at LeMans which he did for 4 consecutive years from 1966 to 1969 with the GT40, actually there is a big Hollywood film coming out later this year about this story, anyway not only is GT40 P/1075 remembered for it’s 2 wins it is also considered the winner for the greatest Le Mans race of all time in 1969 where is won by only 100 meters after 24 hours of racing, changing the lead 5 times on the last lap with the faster Porsche, you can view the video I took at Goodwood of Jackie Oliver discussing this incredible win below -



    Finally another iconic moment of the 1969 race was that Jacky Ickx made a protest about safety at the start of the race, this was when the drivers used to race across the track to their cars and speed off without doing up their belts til they got down the Mulsanne Straight to get a quick start, so Jacky walked slowly across the track, climbed in, did his belts up then left the grid in last place and as it happened there was a big crash on the first lap where John Wolf was killed as he hadn’t done up his belts to get a quick start, so in the end with Jacky Ickx and Jackie Oliver behind the wheel they fought their way from last to win with Ickx crossing the line by the smallest of margins after 24 hours, quite incredible.

    Anyway it was an amazing day and a real honour to see P/1075 up close and personal, I probably looked like some weird stalker as I spent all day admiring the car taking loads of video’s and pictures and I really struggled to leave at the end of the day as the chances are it may never come back to the UK again but at 8pm I dragged myself away.

    There are a few more video’s on our YouTube page below and probably far too many pictures below.

    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPJOUerA5TrUPs0HpWORopg?view_as=subscriber

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    Jacky Oliver Re-United With P/1075 50 Years after it’s famous Le Mans win.

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    Cheers,
    Paul.
     
  8. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    Snetterton Photo Book!

    Here are a few pics from our Radical SR1 race weekend at Snetterton a couple of weekends ago. It wasn't my best race weekend as the weather really threw up a few challenges and I just don't have the confidence in the wet but it is always great fun to drive the SR1 and we survived unscathed which was more than can be said for some.

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    Cheers,
    Paul.
     
  9. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

    Donington Race Weekend Report, 1st Trip to the Kitty Litter!

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    So the above pictures say it all really, saying that I had an awesome 3 days at Donington Park last Thursday, Friday and Saturday, basically 2 days of testing on the full GP layout but unfortunately not enough marshalls arrived on race day so we had to qualify and race on the shorter National layout which I actually prefer but not everything went to plan in the final race.

    The strange thing from the whole weekend was that on my 8th lap on Thursday morning after just arriving at Donington I went 3 seconds quicker than my best lap last year then spent the next 3 days not being able to match it which I really don’t understand, I think I was just very keen to get out on track. Again though I learnt a lot, it seems you are forever learning, I went to Donington determined to get my apex speeds up by getting off the brakes earlier which I think I did but then I started breaking fractionally earlier which unbelievably can cost you a couple of seconds a lap but in the end it all came together and my lap times got very consistent.

    In Qualifying for race 2 I did one of my best sessions and qualified a little nearer the mid pack where I have been aiming for all season, race 1 was difficult due to a crash at the start for some of my competitors, this put me to the back as I tried to avoid it and thanks to 2 safety cars the race was over before it began. For race 2 I was determined to have a good one, my start was OK, I held my position and I settled in to chase the pack in front only for the guy behind me to get a run down the straight only to out brake himself and then come across to T bone me leaving me no option but to go into the gravel in avoidance, I really was gutted as it felt like I was in for a good race, saying that luckily Ollie, the Radical photographer, was right where I went off so we got some great pictures and at the end of the day it is all part of the experience, below is the incident, if anyone has any idea what I could have done different please let me know.



    One race round left at Snetterton and that is season 2 done and dusted unbelievably, gone in the blink of an eye, the trouble is this motorsport thing really does get under your skin and I am now more than a little addicted so I need to look under the bed to see if I can find some sheckles to help fund next year.

    Anyway below are a few pictures from the weekend and my best qualifying lap.

    Cheers,

    Paul.



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    This is where it all started to go wrong!

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  10. HiFi Lounge

    HiFi Lounge Trade: HiFi Lounge

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    HFL Motorsport Season 3 Starts This Saturday!


    Hi Everyone,

    So here we go again, I get asked a lot what my plans are for this year regarding motorsport, well things kick of this Saturday morning as I have signed up for a 10 race season’s racing in the Senna Cup at Rye House in the Go Karts that we used for our Boys Toys Day last year as I really enjoyed that and it whetted my appetite for more Karting, the funny thing was that my best session in the the Radical last year was the first practice session at Donington which was straight after the karting where I went 2 seconds a lap faster than my previous best so I am hoping that doing more karting will help my Radical racing as the main thing with karting is that you can race hard and be fearless whereas in the Radical driving to the limit takes some real balls and commitment and in all honesty I am still struggling in fast corners with the Radical so it will certainly be an interesting experiment to see if the Karting helps me in the Radical, either way it will be fun finding out.

    So the first race is at 10am at Rye, 15 mins qualifying with a 45 minute race, apparently there is a full 26 kart grid, now as Rye is a bit of a proving ground for up and coming talent then I am sure I am going to get my arse whipped by some young whipper snappers who are just out of nappies and weigh nothing but I am really looking forward to giving it a try.

    As for the Radical racing this year, I don’t think I will be able to do a full season but aim to do at least half the season plus some testing and there is a chance of also racing at Spa which would be a huge tick on the bucket list but need to see the cost involved in that first, may have to get my begging hat out for that one.

    Anyway If anyone wants to see how we get on Saturday at Rye live timing is available from the link below -

    https://live.alphatiming.co.uk/rye

    Can’t wait to find out myself.

    Cheers,

    Paul.

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