The Main Race: It was
a long wait from 3pm Saturday afternoon until 5.20 pm Sunday
afternoon for the race but as we were last race of the day
there was little choice. The weather on Sunday was even better,
a bit windy but still very nice for racing.
We formed up on the grid in
the usual manner. Being right at the back I had a formidable
view of the rows of cars in front and vowed to get as far
forward as possible on the start. As usual I made a good start
and got to the third row in front of me well before the Copse
As I followed the pack around
Copse things were looking quite good. On down to Becketts
the sharpish right-hander following the pack, saw some door
handling ahead of me but managed to keep out of that. Then
flat out down to Abbey the hairpin where I could see there
had been some damage done by the front-runners with a small
amount of debris on the track. On around under the bridge
and round to Priory the flat out in third left hander followed
by a short distance to Brooklands. This is a tight left-hander
requiring a quick hard stand on the brakes change down into
second then straight round to Luffield which is a long hairpin
down to Woodcote from which you join the start/finish straight.
Back around Copse again and
I was looking at taking another position on the straight down
to Maggotts and Becketts. Didn't quite manage it but carried
on down to Abbey in close touch with the rest of the pack
only to find the yellows come out, meaning no overtaking.
As I came up to Abbey I saw three cars had played ping-pong
and come to rest embedded in one another in a straight line
right on the left hand side of the hairpin. Not a great place
As I rounded the hairpin I
realised the rather squashed middle car was my team mate Rob.
Unfortunately Rob decided to get out of his car at the same
time as I and several others behind me decided to round the
hair-pin! Gave me a nasty moment that did. Fortunately he
took one look at us and dived back in the car.
At this point the red flags
came out and we all had to slow down and follow the pack around
to the grid where we were formed up in our grid positions
for a re-start. While on the grid my engine started to over-heat
and being concerned I switched her off, letting a marshall
know that I might have a problem on the re-start. However
luck was with me and she started first time. On the green
flag lap (this preceeds every start of race) my engine came
down to a normal engine temp - around 40 degrees versus the
90 it had run up to on the grid! So I formed up on the grid
and waited for the red lights to come on followed by the green.
I made yet another good start
but not quite as many places this time. On down to Copse and
so on. I knew we had nine laps to go and therefore tried to
settle in to a steady pace while trying to pick off one or
two cars along the way. On my second lap around at Abbey I
decided to take a chance and cut inside a bright yellow mini
but he was having none of it and closed the gap. This caused
him and I to do a bit of door handling. No harm done and I
got past him a short time after.
On the third lap I came down
the Pits straight to see a stationery yellow flag on my left.
Simon was behind me itching to get past. As we rounded Copse
I saw a waived yellow flag followed immediately by Paul Francom's
car broadside in the middle of the track with engine bared,
front end missing and driver's side door in very battered
I saw Paul shake his head just
as Simon overtook me and dived in front of me to miss Paul's
car. Simon and I were later to be called to the Clerk of the
Course office for a discussion which culminated in Simon getting
a severe reprimand for overtaking on a waived yellow (a no
And so the race was red flagged
yet again. Again we formed up on the grid and started off
again this time for a four lap race. By this time my engine
was feeling a little tired and as I kept an eye on the guages
I just prayed it held together. On the final lap again coming
around Abbey I had a shunt on the right rear wheel from my
team mate Phil (I spoke to him later.).
It was a very hard shunt but
I managed to keep her going and on the black stuff. As I came
under Bridge the power started to falter and then the engine
let go in a huge pall of white smoke from the exhaust followed
by smoke and/or steam from under the bonnet. I coasted to
a halt just in front of my other team-mate Jason who had taken
his second shunt of the day this time wrecking the front of
It was not a good day for the
team - both Rob and Jason were taken to the circuit medical
centre along with 5 other drivers from the Mini Se7en race.
All of the drivers were released after a Doctor's check-up.
The carnage in the Paddock was not a pretty site. Of the 38
cars to start the race only 19 finished. If I had finished
I would have been in 17th position.