The racing continues. This time at Pembrey on the 21st of August.
It didn't start well. We stayed at a hotel near to the track and there was an enormous and loud wedding. Not a problem until the bar closed. Not the best nights sleep I have ever had. To top it all off, both my phone and my wife's phone did not wake us and we overslept, albeit only by about 1/2 an hour.
Fuelled up with a cooked breakfast, we made our way to the track. The day was organised by the Vintage Sports Car Club and it was certainly different. The bloke next to us said there was a very expensive ("seven figures") Bugatti racing and I think that was one of many expensive cars. We were put in the main paddock with the vintage cars as there was no room left in the pits. Our fault for turning up late I suppose.
So after we rushed to set up, I prepared for quali. I have not been to Pembrey for over two years so I had to remember the lines. Whilst I had watched You Tube clips, it never really helps. I know from some Go Pro footage that I had lapped at roughly 1.11, two up in the car and before my current set up. We had 20 minutes to post a time and after 10 minutes, I began to build up some speed, only for a car to lunch it's engine and drop fluid all over about a third of the track. b*******. Many did one lap after the red flag and called it a day. I needed the practice and stayed out. I'm glad I did as I posted my best time on my last lap. A 1.09, with odd lines to avoid the fluid! I was happy with that and 14th out of 29 cars.
It was looking like it was going to rain but I held off changing set up and tyres until the last moment. The forecast was for it to brighten up before really starting to rain later in the day. That was wrong. I gambled with the Avon ZZR's (mediums) as they had lots of tread being almost brand new. But.....as we were waiting to go out, it started to rain harder. The organisers gave us opportunity to swap but I kept the ZZR's on and it's a decision I regretted. During the race I had a good start - I was amazed at the amount of spray - it's just ridiculous you cannot see a thing! but then struggled to hold off the chasing pack for about three or four laps and then just lost place by place, finishing 18th. The consolation for me was I couldn't have driven any faster given the tyres and had a great battle with an Elise. We swapped places three times, including me overtaking at Honda which I don't think was expected by the other driver at all. I took a late lunge into the fast right and it payed off. However, I was just pipped on the line and finished 2/10ths behind the Elise having failed a last ditch attempt to overtake on the last corner (Honda again). Close but no cigar. No video as my Wife pressed the wrong button on the Go Pro, we really should have practiced this first as it's a little tricky.
For the second race, I changed my wheels and put the wets on. These were much better (by about 1.5 seconds) but the conditions were even worse by now. I didn't have time to dry out my race suit, nor did I have a spare. I was sitting in the holding area and my teeth were chattering...in late August. I had a great start as it seams everyone else was napping again and I overtook several (3 I think) cars and managed to get to the inside for the first corner but again, despite driving to mine and the cars ability, I steadily lost places. Why are the westies not good in the rain?. I tried to be smooth but it was a fest of gradual understeer into snap oversteer. I held station in 18th but then touched the green exit curb at Brooklands, defencing from another car and then....double b*******, I span 180 degrees. Thankfully the chasing two cars missed me. I straightened the car and continued, finishing 20th. Not the result I wanted but I, other then my spin, I thought I drove to my ability, had a few good battles and that's all I need right now to be happy. I even got some good footage from the race...and the spin which I should really edit out! I finally enter the modern age on the 1st and get fibre. Once I am set up i'll post some video.
So that's 4 races down with Donny a week on Sunday with the CSCC. That's five signatures. I'll get my sixth marshalling at Combe on Monday - a new experience for me and I'm looking forward to it.