The million euro bump start…

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The dust has settled after the last race of the Superleague season and that has given us at Leafield a chance to reflect on the last event, while also having a look through all the MCT V12 engine data produced from the cars at Navarra. And, as experienced racing guys with more events under our belts than we care to remember, we were all staggered to see what had gone on in the cockpit of the Azerti-run Anderlecht car, care of Davide Rigon, in order to keep the car in the second of the three races – and therefore in the hunt for the championship…

Rigon had finished second in the first race and was therefore at the back of the pack for the second encounter. In his push up through the field, he was forced off the track at turn one and ended up with a stalled engine. At this point, it would be fair to say that most drivers would have detached the steering wheel, climbed out and gone in search of the nearest bar. But not Signor Rigon from Thiene….

Rolling backwards, with a stalled V12 engine and a gearbox in auto shift mode, he had the presence of mind to select the manual gearbox mode, shift down through the gearbox to select reverse, and then bump start the engine. And with just enough momentum and backwards speed, the MCT engine fired into life. From this moment, he recovered to finish 11th and score vital championship points.

If one looks at the data, with the left hand numbers being seconds elapsed, the sequence of events is not only complex but extraordinary in terms of the sheer speed of thought needed. Indeed, in just over eight seconds, Rigon turns his day  – and his championship assault – around. So, for those number crunchers amongst you, here’s the sequence of events, as translated by our data guru Glenn Barber:

0.0 Collision with Beijing car – driver lifts off the throttle and starts to brake
0.5 Driver brakes heavily – engine stalls
1.385 Zero road speed displayed, wheels are locked
1.925 Brakes released – car is now rolling backwards
2.050 Wheel speed displays 39 kph backwards – the system cannot differentiate between forwards and reverse
2.925 Steering lock applied – wheel speed displays 24 kph (backwards)
3.615 Clutch depressed, engine speed = zero, wheel speed displays 20 kph (backwards)
4.105 Full steering lock applied
5.305 Steering lock reduced – wheel speed displays 16 kph (backwards)
6.245 Manual gearbox mode selected (auto mode will not shift whilst the engine is  not running and will not select reverse in any event) – wheel speed displays 15 kph (backwards)
6.415 2nd gear selected – wheel speed displays 14 kph (backwards)
6.875  1st gear selected – wheel speed displays 14 kph (backwards)
7.165  Neutral selected – wheel speed displays 13 kph (backwards)
7.535 Reverse selected – wheel speed displays 12 kph (backwards)
8.03 Throttle applied – wheel speed displays 11 kph (backwards)
8.07  Clutch released, engine rotates – wheel speed displays 11 kph (backwards)
8.235 Engine fires, 683 rpm – wheel speed displays 9 kph (backwards)
8.360 Engine starts to run, 1228 rpm – wheel speed displays 8 kph (backwards)
8.710 Engine speed rises to 7872 rpm – the chase begins…

Following his eleventh place in the second race, Rigon went on to claim fourth spot in the Superfinal, bringing home the championship for Anderlecht – and the not so small matter of a cheque for a million euro’s.

Rigon noted: “I’m thrilled. It’s been a tough season but with the help of everyone at Azerti and with the support of Anderlecht, we have delivered – and a bit of quick thinking in race two certainly helped to bring the championship home. Big thanks to Superleague and MCT for a great season.”

Superleague, with the support of MCT, has had a fabulous season and we’re proud to have been involved in such fantastic racing. In addition, the series is also unearthing some extremely strong talent and none more so than Davide Rigon. We’re extremely impressed and think he might just go far…