I managed to pick up the van that I would be using for Croft at about 8 in the morning, so all was going well, I knew I had to change the oil in the engine and gearbox before I headed off for croft, so was hoping to leave the house by 1pm, this as normal did not go to plan, and I eventually left at 3pm, and then had the journey from hell (only to be bettered by Piers and Stephan from Bmsport, as there journey took 16 hours, 4 more than mine)
I got onto the M4 and hit traffic, due to an accident at J5 (I get on at J6) then again M25 was crawling, it took me 3 times the time to do the distance to the M1, and then the M1 was closed at J20-J21 due to accident, and after I got through this, it felt like there was continual roadworks on the way to the circuit, then when I got close, I turned left instead of right, and that delayed me more.
But once at the circuit I thought I would get the 2 races in (unlike last year) but this was not to be, when I woke up the saturday morning, I got the car off the trailer (pushed it off, as there are noise regulations at croft that are closely enforced) but when it was time to go to scrutineering the car would not start, looked like a flat battery (it was ok the night before), so I pushed it to the scrutineering and got the car thought, there was enough battery power to get the car lights to show.
I then started to search for some jump leads, or a charger, and luckily there was a few options open to me, so got the car charging, and prepared for the qualifying session.
At croft there were 8 class D cars out, and I qualified in 6th (not last) and the car seamed to be ok on the track, but one of the corners I was loosing power, so I put this down to fuel surge, but it was not this as I was to discover in the race 1.
At the call to go to the assembly area for race 1, the car again would not start, so I got push started, and made the assembly area, but it stopped again, and I needed to be pushed to the track (thanks to all that pushed) for the out lap to get to the grid the car was consistently stopping, and I was having to bump start the car all the time, so I decided that I would not make the lap, so pulled off to the side and informed the officials I was not going to make the race. So the croft curse struck again, and I did not do the race, but watched it with others, it looked good, and I wished I was on track with the others.
The next day I looked over the car, and borrowed an alternator from another competitor, as I had a suspicion that the alternator was not working properly, this was tested using a multimeter, so I started to swap the alternator, but I discovered that the alternator had got a loose connection, and when it was reconnected the battery would charge with the car running (problem fixed I hoped)
When race 2 was about to start, again the car had no power so I needed to get pushed to start the assembly lap, I was just hoping that I would get round the circuit to start the race (I was also terrified that the car would stall and I would not be able to restart it) but I managed to start, but the ABS system was then off, so I had to learn quickly to drive the car with no ABS, this also meant I lost touch with the other cars in the race, but a red flag stopped the race, and it meant that I could get back the gap, and for some strange reason the marshals pulled me to be alongside Paul Bellamy on the restart (I could not understand why this was, so I let the other cars that were behind me through first, as did not want arguments after)
On the race 2 restart, I noticed that the ABS was functioning again, so I attacked Ralph and Neil, who were in front of me, Paul B had an off on the first lap so he was also behind me, but attacking, we had contact on one corner, I could not move over anymore, and hit the tyre wall with the drivers mirror on my car, but we touched my front wing/bumper with the rear drivers side on his car, it was an enjoyable race, and I finished 7th out of the 8 class D cars that were out this weekend.
Lets just see if I get more than one race at snetterton, a circuit that I have not previously raced at, but from last years race (with 2 or 3 red flagged races) it could be an interesting weekend.
There is a video available on Facebook for the race 2 restart
This video was originally posted on Facebook and filmed by Kalie at the Croft Race for the bmwrdc in 2010