The Main Race: With
the qualifying on Sunday April 30th we then had to wait until
1.30 on May 1st for the actual race. No real hardship as the
weather was good to us again and it was a pleasure to relax
in a little sunshine.
Looking at the grid positions
before the race I soon realised that my team mate Jonathan
Hudson was right behind me on the grid and Ralph Saunders,
my support team boss, three rows ahead of me (hmm gonna have
to do something about that one…). Jonathan was telling me
he was going straight through and past me once the light turned
to green (yeah right - not)!
When the lights changed from
red to green I was off like a jack rabbit out of a trap and
as I had anticipated made up to two rows in front of where
I started. The start however, was not without incident - two
cars had a coming together, one ending up sideways in front
me momentarily then straightening up and going across the
grass before rejoining the track.
Ralph had got caught up in
this debacle and was shunted off track across the grass and
into the tyre wall - unfortunately a lot of damage was done
and he was out of the race.
Meanwhile I was having great
fun with the pack until I came up to number 98 Andrew Pilkington.
Andrew decided he didn't want to relinquish 13th position
( no-one would blame him but I wanted it…). For three or four
laps Andrew and I fought all round the track , down through
Cascades and along Lakeside to the Shell Oils corner, up to
the Foulstons chicane and then onto Knickerbrook chicane.
Several times I nearly got
past him and when he lost it at Knickerbrook I thought here's
my chance but despite being sideways Andrew held on to it,
straightened out and kept just slightly ahead of me! At Lodge
corner I tried in vane to overtake him on the inside, the
outside every which way.
Very effective blocking stopped
me each time until the penultimate lap when I managed to get
inside of him at Lodge Corner and edge slightly ahead only
to lose it to him yet again at Deer Leap. We battled it out
down through Cascades again and on the straight down past
Lakeside I was alongside him preparing to get to Shell Corner
ahead of him.
But my team mate Jonathon Hudson
had come to grief, spun off the track to the left, rotated
on the grass, come back across the track and spun again on
the other side before coming to a halt on the grass! How did
he do that? But worse than that he had left a lot of mud scattered
right across the track at Island Bend. Andrew and I took one
look at the depth of the mud and both decided change down
to 3rd gear (it's normally a flat out in top gear corner).
Had we gone through in top and slid on the mud we'd have had
no chance of recovery. So Andrew once again made it into Shell
corner just ahead of me - but I stayed on his rear bumper
right the way round until Deer Leap when he just got the edge
on me and crossed the chequered flag ahead of me. Wow what
a fight……… I'm looking forward to the next race at Silverstone
on May 20/21st.