The Main Race: We were
the sixth race of the day - it got progressively colder and
kept lightly snowing on and off. At about 2.30 we started
up the engine to warm up the car in readiness for the race
at 3.20. A moment after the engine was running the skies just
opened up and started throwing large snow flakes down. They
melted as soon as they touched the ground but it did nothing
I drove up to the holding area
prior to the race in really miserable conditions. While waiting
to go out on the track it eased a bit. During the green flag
lap visibility was good and it had stopped snowing but we
had been warned to put our lights on and have the windscreen
wipers going all the time during the race and this was enforced
by the marshalls prior to us starting the green flag lap.
We were also told prior to the green flag lap that the race
was being shortened to 8 laps instead of the usual 10 - presumably
because of worsening weather conditions.
As soon as we were formed up
on the grid the red lights were on and turned to green very
soon after. I made a good start making up at least two places
prior to copse which we all seemed to get through without
mishap. The amount of spray being kicked up by the cars combined
with the snow which had begun to fall again made for very
interesting driving conditions in deed.
I managed to stay with the
pack for the for the first four laps - then the weather got
worse and visibility became a real problem. All the while
I was able to follow another car then I could more or less
make out some landmarks and see where the corners were. But
as soon as he turned off and retired I was on my own!
Visibility was down to less
than 100 yds on the Club straight with the snow still falling
and spray being kicked up. The Rain-X on the front windscreen
had been working wonders but the screen was now beginning
to mist up slightly. As I came round for my 7th lap I saw
a red Mini parked off the track in the barriers. Despite having
direct line of sight to him as I came around Woodcote I could
not make out whose car it was -visibility was so poor. I later
learned it was my team mate Rob who had pulled off the track
and stopped as his screen had totally misted up and in his
view conditions were so poor that he could no longer continue.
On the 7th lap coming around
Copse visibility was so poor that I made a very late turn
and the Mini following me tried to overtake on my right-hand
side. He was alongside me when he lost it completely and spun
out. I saw him in my mirrors begin to spin and just kept my
foot in. I then lost track of him. I was later told that he
did a complete 360 before coming back in behind me but he
never caught me up again and because of bad visibility I never
saw him again in my rear view mirror.
And so ended my first race
of the year - in a snow storm on the National circuit at Silverstone.
It continued to snow for the next race which was red flagged
after the second lap. The final race of the day was cancelled.
My next race is again at Silverstone on the National circuit
on Saturday March 20th.
Let's hope the weather is a