About Me

My photo
Adelaide Hills, South Australia, Australia
Hi, my name is Naomi and I am a racing driver from South Australia. Trophy Class winner in the 2012 Australian Saloon Car Series. I have been racing Holden Commodore Saloon Cars/Super Six Touring Cars since 2006. Thanks to Frank Walsh Drilling for their ongoing support. I hope you enjoy reading my race reports and updates.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

SA State Motor Racing Championships finale - Mallala, 17 November 2007

This Saturday was the final meeting of the SA state series. The weather was very hot with temperatures in the mid 30s for most of the day. Fortunately I don't have a thermometer inside the car, because I don't think I would want to know exactly how hot it was inside during races! I have been working on my fitness recently, and this helped me to cope with the heat a bit better than I expected. Fortunately it was a twilight meeting so it had cooled down a lot for our last race.

I could feel a strange vibration in the car during qualifying, like something was out of balance in the left rear corner. It felt severe enough that I decided to pull into the pits early. Craig inspected the car closely and could not find anything wrong with it. We were due for some new tyres anyway, so both rears were replaced with 'green' tyres and that fixed the problem.

Race 1 was 6 laps, and I had qualified last out of 10 competitors. I had a good battle with George Diamond and Paul Bailey and finished 9th. Race 2 was 8 laps and I started 9th and finished 7th. I really enjoyed this race because it was a close fight with Paul and George once again.

Race was scheduled to be 10 laps, but it was shortened to 8 due to time constraints. It is always fun racing at night; however, the gear shifter, which had been slightly stiff all afternoon, became almost inoperable part way through the race. I was having a lot of difficulty getting the car into and out of gear. As there are around 13-14 gear changes every lap, I lost quite a lot of time at each corner and gradually dropped further and further behind the rest of the pack. I finished 9th.

This was our final race meeting for 2007. The next event will be the Bathurst 12-hour support races at the WPS Bathurst Motoring Festival in February 2008. I am very excited to have the chance to race the saloon at Mt Panorama. We are looking for sponsors for this event, so please don't hesitate to contact us if you want to get some quality TV exposure for your business.

We would like to wish all of our friends, supporters, and competitors a very merry Christmas (or whatever holiday you choose to celebrate) and a happy new year. We look forward to racing again in 2008!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Thought for the day

Shannons Nationals Round 8 - Mallala, 12-14 October 2007

All systems were go for our second National round for 2007 - the car was running & handling very well, I got some extra tutoring from National Champion Bruce Heinrich, and no Commodore Cup cars crashed into me during sponsor rides. The team and I breathed a sigh of relief when qualifying started on Saturday and nothing major had gone wrong.

I was quite happy with my qualifying times. I matched my personal best lap time of 1:24.2 in the first session, and although my best was 1:25.2 in the second session, the whole field was almost exactly one second slower so I must have been consistent. Overall my times were very consistent, which shows I must be improving! I have recently been reading Ross Bentley's Speed Secrets 2 which is a great book and I think it has helped me.

As with all National meetings at Mallala, the three races were 12 laps each, which is longer than I am used to - the state rounds generally consist of 6, 8 & 10 lap races. The weather was sunny and warm which meant it was very hot inside the car. I kept the driver's side window down most of the time, even though my crew chief tells me off for this for creating unnecessary drag!

During Saturday's race 1, I managed to improve on my best time slightly with a 1:24.1. I started 19th out of 19 and finished 14th. Once again my times were fairly consistent with several 24s in a row.

Race 2 on Sunday morning was just as warm. I started 14th and finished 13th, mainly due to a few non-finishers. I was consistent again in this race with a number of 24s. I had a minor bingle which resulted in a broken left front bumper bracket and a droopy bumper bar, along with a broken left front indicator. A check of the parts bin revealed several right hand bumper brackets but no lefts - luckily we had a couple of rolls of blue racing tape (gaffer tape and cable ties can fix anything). The car was patched up enough to look presentable for race 3.

Race 3 was a little more eventful, with a bump into the back of Grace's car on the first lap. It was a reasonably hard bump, but I didn't realise until we were in parc ferme that this broke the grille, bumper, and headlight and bent the front of the bonnet. I started 13th and finished 15th after a couple of 'offs', including one that cost me 10 seconds. There is nothing more frustrating than losing ground in the early laps, and spending the rest of the race 1/4 of a lap behind the next car. I put in some reasonable lap times, but there was nothing I could do to make up that much time.

To my surprise, especially after trailing so far behind in the last race, I was awarded a trophy for coming 2nd out of the older model cars. Grace Monterosso was 1st and George Diamond 3rd. I was very happy to get my first ever motorsport trophy, and bored everyone in my office with photos of it the next day. Even though I was last on the track, I had finished every race and drove my butt off putting in some good consistent lap times, so I was pleased to have something to show for it!

Thanks once again to my crew Craig, Ian, Reg and Little Craig, and of course Mr Ed for the panel repairs. Thanks also to Bruce Heinrich for sharing some of his driving secrets.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Naomi's Supaloc Australian Saloon Car Championship debut - Mallala, 29 June - 1 July 2007

Hi all, it has been a really busy few weeks at the Maltby Motorsport workshop. After an unprecedented build-up, I achieved my ambition of competing in the national championship at Round 4 of the Shannons Nationals at Mallala. It was a huge weekend for me and the team.

Friday 29 June was a practice day, so I used the opportunity to gain some more track time and I got some reasonable lap times. In the afternoon, we had the rare chance to do some passenger rides. I decided to take a couple of the more experienced drivers for a spin to get some last-minute pointers. The first session went well, and I was on the warm-up lap for the second ride when a Commodore Cup driver lost control and ploughed into the back of my car. I made it back to the pits, but the Saloon had sustained quite a lot of damage! The rear quarter panel was pushed right in, the bumper was missing, and the diff was leaking a lot of oil. Unfortunately the impact had split my diff housing.

Craig and some helpers had a late night replacing the diff housing and making the bodywork look presentable again. Luckily it was all fixed ok and we were back at the track first thing on Saturday.

I battled some serious understeer to qualify 22nd out of 22. Race 1 on Sunday was very wet and the car was handling terribly. After fighting it for 8 laps, I was finding it difficult to stay in control on the corners and I didn't want to run into another competitor. I felt that pulling into the pits was the best thing for everybody on the track. Unfortunately I no longer have my 100% finishing record, but the car and I lived to race another day!

Craig and Ian spent some time re-adjusting wheel alignment settings for the next race. The weather was a lot better for the rest of the morning - that is, until the Saloons went onto the track for Race 2, when a sudden downpour reduced visibility and traction considerably! Cars were sliding everywhere for the first couple of laps, and on lap 3 all hell broke loose with almost half of the field ending up in the northern hairpin sand (mud) trap. I was able to avoid the chaos, and spent the next 7 laps behind the safety car while the officials cleaned up the mess. When the safety car pulled off we had a 1-lap dash to the finish. I finished 15th out of 17 finishers.

Things finally came together for Race 3 - the sun was shining, the track was dry, and my wheel alignment settings stayed put. The handling still wasn't ideal, but it was a lot better. I used this race to try to get the best lap times possible and to maybe make up a place or two. I worked my backside off for the 12 laps and finished 14th.

Extra special thanks to the following people for making the weekend possible:
- Craig Walkom for all the usual hard work and headaches
- Bruce Heinrich for tuning the car
- Shaun Jamieson for the driving lesson
- Ian Maltby for his help with car set-up
- Paul H & Mr Ed for the Friday night crash repairs

Cheers,
Naomi

Monday, April 02, 2007

SA Championships Round 1

Hi all, the first round of the South Australian Motor Racing Championship was on at Mallala last weekend. The car went very well (as always) thanks to my crew chief/mechanic/husband Craig.
Unfortunately I was stuck with some 'pre-loved' tyres due to budget constraints, but we used the meeting to tinker with some suspension settings and to try out some new brake pads.

I qualified 10th out of 11 with a couple of spins and a best lap time of 1:25.8 - that is 1.5 seconds slower than my personal best from last year.

I was happy with my 9th place in Race 1 as I was feeling a bit more settled in & more used to the different car setup.

Race 2 was messy again but I was able to move up to 8th. Race 3 was the best for the day, with the car handling very well throughout this longer race and I was able to 'drive around' the old tyres a bit better. I had some good battles with one of the series newcomers and finished 6th.

I am 6th in the SA points with 4 more rounds to go for 2007.

Cheers,
Naomi

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

RIP Grandpa Thomson

We are saddened by the recent passing of Naomi's grandfather John 'Jack' Thomson, aged 91. Jack was a keen supporter of Naomi and Craig's racing venture and will be sadly missed.

End of season

Naomi continued her consistent performance at the final meeting of 2006 on 28 October. Once again she finished every race and was involved in some good battles with other drivers, particularly Pat Calabrese.

The points were finalised shortly afterwards. We are pleased to announce that Naomi finished in 5th place overall out of 12 competitors. This is a great result, especially considering Naomi had no racing experience at all prior to the 2006 season!

We are all looking forward to the start of the 2007 season at Mallala on 24 March. We are also planning to contest a few more interstate rounds this year.

Work has started on a new VT Commodore race car. We are hopeful the new car will be ready for the track in the second half of 2007.