About Me

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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.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Bathurst Motor Festival and Ashley Cooper Trophy - Easter 2015

We went to Mount Panorama for the Bathurst Motor Festival over the Easter weekend. This was my 5th time racing at 'the mountain' and my first time in a late model Saloon Car. We finished the race engine and had it dyno tuned before leaving.

In practice, I was 24th out of 51 cars in very very wet conditions. The VT is much nicer to drive in the wet compared to a VN and I was getting more confident with it each lap. They car just didn't seem to put a foot wrong even when I pushed it harder.

I qualified 26th, but everyone's times were all over the place & did not reflect many drivers' true speed. This was because the red flag came out half way through the first lap due to one of the Falcons having a big off at the chase. After a lengthy stoppage, we were allowed back out, but the red flag came out again after another Falcon broke down at McPhillamy. My one 'sort of' flying lap was disrupted by having to back off for double waved yellows for this incident before the session was red flagged. Some people didn't get a full green flag lap at all, and a few missed the yellows and got a good time. Long story short... they declared qualifying null and void and we started race 1 based on our practice times from earlier in the day (this suited me OK).

I finished 28th in race 1 in difficult conditions. It was very wet again with a lot of standing water on the track. Visibility was very bad and I could only see 1-2 cars ahead out of a field of 51 so had no idea what was happening up ahead. There were yellow flags on much of the track so there were not many spots to pass. The race was shortened to 4 laps due to the number of bogged cars. I was overtaken under yellows on the last lap so should have finished 27th.

Race 2 wasn't great. I got an OK start but lost a few spots up Mountain Straight due to the spray affecting visibility again. After a safety car I was getting ready to make a move on the car in front, when he spun sideways through the dipper and I had to take evasive action. I lost traction and was a passenger as the car spun towards the tyre wall. Luckily it almost came to a stop and the front bumper just touched the wall. Unfortunately the whole field was now coming towards me over a blind crest so I had to wait for the flaggies to signal when it was clear to turn back the right way and continue. After that I had a nice clear run and got a fairly good time for the last lap. As a result I finished way back in 42nd place.

I didn't have a good run in race 3. I got an OK start but then there was a bit of chaos on Mountain Straight with Murcott going into the wall hard and cars going everywhere. After that I was stuck behind a mobile roadblock across the top for a few laps and couldn't find a way past, then the safety car came out and that was it. Despite the dry track I didn't get any clear traffic-free laps to see what the car can do. I was hit in the right hand rear corner twice but the only damage is a bit of swapped paint - the VT is tough!

For some great photos from the weekend, check out my Facebook page Naomi Maltby - Saloon Car SA 91.

Here are a couple of videos with some highlights (or lowlights):

Master of Mallala South Australian State Motor Racing Series 2015 - Round 1

We took the VT out for Round 1 of the SA State Series, now known as "Master of Mallala", on Saturday 21st March. We were still running the 'unfinished' engine from last year so just went out to get some track time.

In qualifying, the car felt like it had fuel surge even though the tank was full so I came in to the pits. After parc ferme it wouldn't start at all. Craig found a loose wire in the engine bay, fixed that and it seemed ok. In race 1, an oil leak from the front seal got worse & was leaking oil onto my left front wheel and tyre. That made it pretty slippery. In race 2, the power steering failed on the first lap so I was going to come in, but decided to stay out and wrestle it around for 8 laps to get some points.

Race 3 went a bit better. I had power steering and a little more grip. I did find out the wrong way that I had too much rear brake bias (the back stepped out the first time I braked hard), after a quick adjustment I was on my way. Finished 3rd.

I felt like I was having "one of those days", but the end result was actually quite good. I was off the pace but there was a lot of attrition in our category (6 entered, down to 2 by the final race) so I did get a good points haul to start the season. I qualified 5th, finished 4th in race 1, 3rd in races 2 & 3, and 2nd in race 4. Now the engine is coming out so we can finish it for Bathurst and be more competitive. And we will have some new tyres instead of running on a set purchased in 2012. No damage on the car, no gremlins that weren't fixable, so it's all good!

As usual, here's a video with some highlights: