Cassey WatsonWhilst things have been quiet on circuit for Lunar Racing recently, there’s been a great deal of behind the scenes activity. The first bit of big news is that we will be working with two new drivers for Castle Combe (8th August). The first driver to be welcomed to the team is 17 year old Cassey Watson (www.casseywatson.co.uk). She introduced herself to the team at Bedford College on 1st June and was putting the LR1a through its paces at Castle Combe on the 4th June.

Whilst Cassey is currently running 2nd in the Maxda MX5 Championship, we didn’t really know what to expect, and I am sure that Cassey didn’t know what to expect from a car built and maintained by children. With the car unloaded and made ready for the test and perfect weather conditions, Cassey took to the track. Our previous visit to the track with the LR1 producing a 1:24 lap time, it was now a case of wait and see what Cassey and the LR1a could produce.

Within a few laps, she was down to 1:19 and then proceeded to put in a number of very consistent 1:18’s. As you can imagine, we were delighted! More important than her pace however, is the level of feedback and maturity as a driver. Its always difficult getting the most out of a car without experiencing first hand what the car is doing through different corners. We have to rely on information from the driver. Her level of feedback is comparable to a much more experienced driver. It’s great to be a part of what will be a successful motorsport career.

Not to be out-done by our new driver, the students also had their chance to shine. We had a gearbox bearing collapse during the second session of the day and I genuinely though that it was game over. However, the students simply got on with the task in hand, removed the gearbox, stripped it, sent Eddie off to find a new bearing, rebuilt the gearbox and refitted it. The car was running again by the end of the day. I was simply reduced to passing students spanners when asked. If this wasn’t enough, the car ran faultlessly for a second day of testing on the 5th, with no leaks from the gearbox. I know for a fact that there are many professional race teams (who employ experienced adults) who cannot match this. To quote Paul Watson (Cassey’s father) “I presumed the students would just be watching and learning, but in fact they already have been taught to a level of skill and knowledge that I was amazed to see from such a young group. What was then even more astounding was my daughter then took to the track and drove the car extremely hard and not only did it complete over 100 laps with no problem, the gearbox never needed anymore attention at all, not even for an oil leak which any team could usually expect in the circumstances.”

The project is working!