Brake failures at Anglesey Trac Mon!
For Round 4 of the BRSCC MX-5 Championship, Matt and his team headed out to Anglesey Trac Mon set on the west coast of Anglesey. The views of the Irish Sea and Snowdonia provide a scenic backdrop to this exciting and challenging racing circuit. Matt always takes the time to walk the track during a race weekend. In Anglesey, it was also a lovely opportunity to enjoy the scenery with AB Motorsport at his side.
The test day wasn’t as encouraging as Matthew Pollard had hoped. Within the first three racing sessions at Anglesey Trac Mon, he had suffered four brake failures on the approach to ‘Rocket’ – all at about 100 mph! Even our aspiring racing driver with a ‘greed for speed’ found those moments quite scary. The car needed looking at before something more serious happened so before the third session finished he took the car in for investigation. AB Motorsport looked at why the brake pedal had no pressure and thankfully resolved the issue before the fourth and final session of the day.
Qualifying sessions at Anglesey Trac Mon
The final test session Matt had completed had been in the wet, which was useful when he awoke to rain for the qualifying sessions. He drew on the knowledge he had acquired the previous day and finished the session in sixth position. From racing on a wet track he knew when to take the ‘wet line’. He also knew when it was still ok to use the ‘dry line’ even in rainy conditions. After some initial good laps, Matt started to try and improve on his position, but with the extra speed came untidiness and he didn’t gain anything from this approach. A start in the A race in 12th position left room for improvement but Matt felt it boded well for the races to come.
The first race of the weekend at Anglesey Trac Mon was on a slightly wet track following the qualifying morning. Watch the in-car video via YouTube to see it from Matt’s point of view! Matt was determined to make a good start, get away from the line and hold his position in 12th. With minimal wheelspin on the damp tarmac, it was a good start and he managed to negotiate the first turn on the outside. Coming into ‘The Banking’ he was positioned on the inside and also was alongside Marcus Bailey. Knowing that the next turn was treacherous in the wet, Matt had to give Marcus the inside line to avoid losing too much time in the first lap.
As Matt approached the tight left hairpin of ‘Rocket’ he was on the outside but in the braking zone managed to gain on Marcus by taking the outside line. Ahead of him now was Jason Greatrex and one of his mentors Ali Bray from AB Motorsport. Things were good for a few laps but on the approach to Church Corner Matt hit a wet patch and was sent sideways. He managed to control the slide but lost time and knew he would be passed on the next straight by at least two cars. He did manage to catch up to Ali Bray as his car was having issues. In that time though another driver who had been knocked off the circuit was making his climb back up through the positions. John Langridge being a more experienced driver meant that he got past despite Matt’s efforts to defend his position.
Gaining two positions
Towards the end of the first race at Anglesey Trac Mon, Matt was behind Ali Bray from AB Motorsport. Ali let him come through and finish in 10th position with the driver ahead, Scott Mansell, too far away to catch this time.
Starting in 10th at Anglesey Trac Mon
Sunday was dry and for race 2a Matt was confident that he could push the car with the better conditions and the issue with the brakes fully under control. The start was not as good as he had hoped with wheel spin causing an issue. Again this left him on the outside for the first turn and led to him being boxed out by a group of MX-5s. As a result, his outside wheels hit the mud and sprayed fellow driver Ollie Allwood’s car with dirt!
Catching up to Ali Bray and Jack Brewer in the braking zone for ‘The Banking’ Matt was in a line of three-wide heading into the next corner. Knowing ‘Church Corner’ as he did he made the decision to pull back. This was to avoid mistakes on the tight racing line. He spent the next couple of corners battling with Seb Fisher, Ali Bray and Ollie Allwood before giving a position away through a missed gear to Adam Craig. Thankfully though he managed to catch and pass Adam on the outside of ‘Corkscrew’ shortly afterwards.
Battling for position
Spending time following Ali Bray, Matt concentrated on creating a gap between himself and the cars behind. After Ali let him through into ‘Rocket’ he had the chance to make up ground. Focused on Marcus Bailey, Matt caught up but couldn’t get past Marcus’ defensive moves which lost him his lead over Seb Fisher. Seb managed to pass Matt on the final corner which was after he had held him off through ‘The Hairpin’ and ‘The Rocket’. Unfortunately, Seb’s car seemed to cope better coming out of the corners than our #55, which seemed to be suffering from understeer.
The last push to catch Marcus was the focus of the final laps of the race, following close to Seb Fisher. However, it wasn’t to be this time and Matt finished in 13th from his starting position of 10th. A little disappointing but still a finish in the top 15 and points on the board.
Watch the in-car video for this race via YouTube before reading more on how the weekend finished for Matt below.
Anglesey Trac Mon – another top 15 finish
The last race of the weekend at Anglesey Trac Mon started well. Matt finally took an inside line off the start for the first corner. Well done Matt! You can watch race 3A from Matt’s point of view via his YouTube channel. Passing Adam Craig on the outside line was not maybe the best idea. It did mean though that he had a clean run-up to ‘Rocket’. Staying on the outside, he then managed to avoid Ben Short – who was sideways in the middle of the track after a squabble. Therefore not losing any time in the first lap.
The next lap saw Matt overtaken by Ben Short. He had recovered from his spin and being a regular top-five driver was able to pass Matt on the inside on the final corner. Matt focused then on closing the gap between himself and Scott Mansell which took a couple of laps. Thanks to Scott missing a gear coming out of ‘The Hairpin’ corner, Matt was able to fly past. On the next lap though Scott took an inside line and forced Matt onto the grass taking back his position. Matt was not deterred and continued to maintain speed to avoid losing this position.
After ‘Church Corner’ Matt took Scott once again just before the tight left of ‘Rocket. He was able to hold this position until the end. He defended well to Marcus Bailey from behind. Unfortunately, Marcus managed to pass Matt on the next corner, even though he forced Marcus to the outside. Overall a finish in 12th and an improvement on his championship position ahead of the next weekend’s racing at Snetterton.
Car Magic & the Mazda MX-5
At Car Magic, we look after the Mazda MX-5 that Matt drives in the BRSCC Mazda MX-5 Championship. We’re always glad when a weekend hasn’t proved damaging to the bodywork of this Mazda that we’ve come to know and love. You can catch up on all the previous race write-ups on our Motorsport page.
If your car is damaged whilst you are ‘racing around’ the local area of Herts, Beds and Bucks then pop into our workshop on Hog Lane, Chesham or fill out an enquiry form online for a quote from our expert team.
We also deal with no-fault car accidents through our Non Fault Accident Management service which is nationwide but offers repairs from our Car Magic workshop too.