September 6, 2009 blog

Report from the rock…

Another fun filled racing weekend has passed, and there was a fair bit of anticipation on my behalf on visiting Rockingham speedway, as I have seen ‘Days of Thunder’ and when them cars hit the wall its over. We were not to do the oval track, but we did use the first turn on the banked circuit.

The first couple of laps of qualifying I used as sighting laps, so I knew where I was, there were others there that had been practicing the day before, and so knew where to turn left and rights and they just got on with it, when I had got an idea of where the circuit went, I started to increase speed, with a aim to put in a good qualifying time, although as I don’t have a lap timer, until qualifying is over I have no idea where I am in relation to the other class ‘D’ drivers.

When the results were out, I was last, but only 3 seconds adrift. In the race, I thought if I can keep on the tail of the others then I may be able to keep with them this time (improvements to the cars exhaust system), and when the red lights went out, I got a storming start and was up to second in class ‘D’ for the first corner, John Brabbin did fight back though and got me into the second corner, but I managed to keep Ralph behind me, as the race went on, the gap between myself and Ralph grew (he did have a electrical issue on the car that he solved during the race) but I managed to keep the distance between myself and Ralph and could still see John in the distance, until I got to the hairpin on lap 8 and there was a waved yellow flag, when I came round the corner I saw Johns car parked on the side, that was a shock, and I was thinking had he crashed, collided with another car? The next time past I checked the car out and could see no damage on it, but then realised this meant I was now second, if I finished the race. The race was over 2 laps later, and when we were in ‘parc ferme’, it became obvious John had suffered mechanical failure on his car, as his wife stated that it was smoking when they last saw him, but did not know what happened. Ralph filled me in on the electrical issue that he had during the start of the race.

Johns car was terminal, it was diagnosed as either head gasket failure (HGF) or broken piston rings, both of these diagnostics meant he would not be racing in the next race, fingers crossed he will be back at Oulton park in 3 weeks.

For the start of the next race I was behind Adrian Gilbert on the grid and I had Tim Sweet next to me, I did not get as good a start as the previous race, but I managed to keep Ralph behind me, and this was the case for the first 3 laps, and then Ralph got me going into the hairpin, a very good overtaking move from what I saw. For the rest of the race I stuck to him like glue, even when the leaders passed us, I was then able to close back up on him, and both of us broke into the 1:48 lap times (previous bests for us were in the 1:50’s) so being together and pushing each other helped us not to get lapped by Tim Sweet (a first for me in the race, not to get lapped by a fellow class ‘D’ car)

The second race was by far the most enjoyable race I have had though the championship to date.

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