Mogumber 2011

Mogumber 2011

Postby Jet » Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:02 am

Mogumber 240 2011

For the Western Australian state round of Mogumber 240 this year, 20 y/o Phil Shepley of Digrite Racing had started committing towards to event many months back, aiming to have the car in perfect tune and preparation for the well suited event.

Phil Shepley and the Digrite team put Countless into the car in the leading months to give them the best shot at putting in a reliable run and finish the event in good time.

“Most parts came off mainly to check and learn what was going on, and to give a clue to expected life of the part, any parts we were unsure of, were more than likely pulled apart to check anyway. We are all still learning a lot about managing the fatigue and we plan to take a different approach at the next event to extend the life of the car” Said Shepley.

The week before Mogumber, the Digrite Racing team had decided to participate in a State Autocross round, to check the car was tuned and ready to go. After winning the event and setting a new all time track record, they were confident in the car and driver ability.
The team had decided to travel to track Friday afternoon, being only 90 minutes from Perth CBD, this gave them enough time to setup and prepare for the event. Saturday morning started early with the crew setting up in the pits and checking the car over. Because of the success the previous weekend, Shepley decided to Recon the track in the street car to save any unnecessary stress on the car.

The track consisted of a regretfully rocky start of approximately one third of the track, before opening up into some very fast but short high speed areas, before entering very challenging boggy terrain towards the end of the lap.

“I Really do like this track, the first section is harsh and will only get harder, but if I drive to the conditions and preserve the car though it, I will hopefully be able to put the car to it’s designed ability of an almost rally handing and acceleration advantage though the fast tight area’s” Said Phil Shepley

“Although we do not have anywhere near the same Power at the ground comparing to a lot of the front runners, I think Phil should be able to hold himself towards the front due to his abilities and knowledge of what the car is capable of” Said Stewart Shepley, Who was also entered as a co-driver of the Jetco Prolite buggy.

Before long, Prologue was well underway. Phil was set to be first of in the Prolite category. “The track was extremely loose. I was almost worried something was up with the car, after a hairy entry into the first corner, I had cooled the assault on prologue right down and decided to only put the power down where I wasn’t risking a clean run. I’m very happy with the run in the end. It didn’t feel very fast, as each corner ended up in a 4 wheel drift due to the lack of traction, but fortunately keeping the car on the track. Towards the end of the run I felt the track was producing a little more grip, which allowed a flat-out attack of the last quarter of the track, which although was loose, the track had a lot of give as to how wide you could drift out before ending up in the bush, and was able to use this to keep the terminal speed up”
After talking to other drivers who also commented on how loose the track was, Phil was hoping for perhaps a 12h outright prologue. Other car’s in the event include Ken Styles and Brad Cooper in there 6L V8 pro buggy configurations, both of the Phillips Engineering V8 twin turbo entry’s, OBR’s Beau Robinson in the Twin turbo Jimco, and Local contenders Agro, Mad Max and Troy all pushing for the front pace.

After Result’s had been posted, The Team was delighted to see Phil had driven into the #1 Outright Spot for prologue. “I’m ecstatic with the result, it was great to see that holding back and keeping the car clean was a good decision and has paid off”

Not long after prologue and the race was set to begin. Each car was set to be 20 seconds apart. “The First lap felt like it went by so fast. I kept a close eye out for cars behind, but I think I was going fast enough to hold the number 1 spot. Ken was still sticking behind and It had seemed as if we were both pulling away from the rest of the pack. I could see when he was starting to push a bit harder, so decided to respond in the smooth tight area’s and go hard where it would be easy on the car. And then slow right down for the rougher area’s. This I felt was a much better concept to follow, If needed I could push harder in the rough to cut down the lap time, but at this stage we were keeping the same pace and I was happy with taking it easy on the car where I could, then use the advantage of acceleration in other areas, to make up for the amount of ground The larger cars are able to wheel in on the straights”. Said Shepley.

Phil was managing to hold pace for the first 2 laps, and looked very promising on the 3rd lap, until he was not seen coming across the finish. With Ken picking up the number 1 spot.
“I had gotten 80% of the way though the last lap on section one, with maybe 5-10km of track left until the finish, before something was not right on the front right of the car, I decided to pull over and check it out. Unfortunately a front upper suspension arm and decided to demount itself, and in turn de positioning us from 1st position.”

After holding the Top A Arm in position with fencing wire, and pulling over numerous times to help fellow racers out of bog holes, Phil Managed to limp home to finish the section.

After the cars were released for the day, The Digrite racing crew worked very hard into the night under a 3x3 cover though a wild storm on getting the car back together and ready to go. “I’m blown away by the amount of effort people put in to help get it ready for section two, a Huge thanks to everyone who Lent there time and equipment to get us ready”

The next morning, the weather had thankfully eased of a tiny bit. But came in as showers. The Team had decided Phil was to drive the second section to gain some valuable seat time and hopefully showcase and expand his skills and ability. “We were set to leave the line 4th last and spent the majority of the first lap overtaking cars and really pushing the speed though the blind off camber corners in the very slippery conditions. I really just wanted to see how fast I could do the forgiving sections”

Unfortunately disaster struck the Digrite Racing Jetco on the second lap, with a gearbox failure. “I came though a gully and about to power out when the gearbox let go. It was very disappointing as I was having a great time and felt I was improving the smooth transition between the different track conditions. I would like to personally thank those who have helped get to, though and from the track, any help we can get we take with open arms and really appreciate it, Thanks again!”

Due to budget limitations, Phil Shepley and the Digrite crew are now set to strip the car down over the remaining months of 2011 and prepare for the car for the 2012 season.” I would love to have a crack at the Hyden 6 hour Enduro, and Gas Dash, but unfortunately will have to park the car until a budget allows any further racing.”

If you are interested in following or Supporting Phil Shepley into the 2012 season feel free to contact him on the Facebook page or direct on 0433929518
<a href="!digrite-racing/c23vw">Check out the latest video and Pictures from Digrite Racing</a>
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