Setting up a car to find its best handling balance is something that comes much more easily with experience.
The analytical skills that Mark Hales has developed in writing about what happened behind the wheel - and more important, trying to work out why - has enabled him to communicate with engineers and private owners and sort the car to everyone's liking
Setting up a car to find its best handling balance is something that comes much more easily with experience. It’s a fact that stands to reason. If the last car in this configuration suffered from a similar handling trait, not only were you prepared for it in the first place, so – hopefully - you didn’t fly off the road, but more important, you have a clue as to what fixed it, and can communicate that to the engineers.
Another essential truth is that experience brings a certain degree of authority. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve driven just a couple of laps in a car before visiting the pits to say, “You can’t drive it like that... This, or that, or the other is happening... We have to attend to that or we’ll be wasting our time for a day.” To which more than one regular occupant has said, “I’ve been trying to tell them something like that for ages but they wouldn’t believe me...”
There is also no doubt that experience can make the time spent at a track simply better value for money. I’ve also lost count of the times when I’ve driven three or four laps, then asked for the next set of springs, only to be told “we haven’t brought them...” I could then spend the rest of the day wearing out the car, driving round the fundamental problem, but we wouldn’t know for sure until we tried something different.
Over the last three and a half decades, Mark Hales has driven examples of almost every type of racing car ever made. The analytical skills honed in almost as many years writing about what happened behind the wheel – and more important, trying to work out why – has enabled him to communicate with engineers and private owners, and more often than not, sort a car to everyone’s liking.
Mark has his favourites, just like anyone else, and of late his speciality has been historic types; or anything that drives from the rear and has little in the way of downforce. He has been responsible for sorting out much of Nick Mason’s Ten Tenths stable - whose collective value runs into the millions. But just as important as all the above, if Mark doesn’t think he can help because a particular car is not his speciality, he will say so.
Whatever the type, it's worth a call or email. Contact Mark on 07860 757878