The Main Race: Thirty Minis lined up on the grid to
start the race at about 3 in the afternoon - it was still
dry and overcast and no hint of rain. Waiting for the lights
to come up I remember seeing the 3 minute board followed fairly
quickly by the green lights -but hey wait a minute they're
supposed to go to red first! I found out later they flickered
to red before going almost immediately to green - it caught
me off guard and several others.
Meanwhile just as I realised the lights were green and started
to go, Stuart Hayman came flying by me on a real blinder of
a start. Several others too gunned it at that time. It was
clear as we thundered down to the right hander Old Hall that
some at the front had also been caught off guard - made for
an interesting time as we all jockeyed for position around
Old Hall, down The Avenue then a fast left around Cascades
down to the Island hairpin.
It was at this hairpin on the first lap that many people
had contact but somehow we all managed to get around and on
up to the first chicane, Foulstons. Because of my late start
I was in behind Paul Spark and Rupert Hinde with Andrew Ruthven
right behind. All three had qualified behind me! It was definately
not a good start.
We continued on up Hill Top from Foulstone and then down
to Knickerbrook chicane following in close formation up Clay
Hill to Druids a fast right hander straight on down to Lodge
Corner . Once round Lodge it's onto the dip before Deer Leap
and then back down the pit straight to Old Hall again.
Not sure what happened to Ruthven after that but Spark, Hinde
and myself stayed together for another couples of laps until
at Old Hall Hinde lost traction behind Spark and spun off
to the right infront of me - I jinked left to avoid him then
continued on down to the hairpin to catch up with Spark.
The following lap the black and yellow safety flag came out
- I had hoped that this would give us a chance to catch up
with the main pack …… no such luck the main pack were keeping
up the pace! And I thought the safety flag meant no more than
50 mph. There were several cars that had come off, some too
close to the circuit for comfort hence the reason for the
After a couple of laps the green flag came out and we off
- by this time Ruthven had caught us up. So Spark myself and
Ruthven were all looking to get ahead. I think we lost Ruthven
at the hairpin cos he seemed to disappear again.
Meanwhile Paul Spark and myself fought all the way to the
end for 16th position. On the last lap I knew I had to push
on and get in front before Lodge or lose. And so I pulled
out alongside going up Clay Hill and just kept my foot in
all the way up and around Druids. By the time I was around
Druids I was in front and pulling away up to Lodge, down to
Deer Leep and finally onto the checkered Flag.
Not my best race but an interesting one nonetheless……
My best lap time was 1 min 52 sec with an average speed of