Blyton July weekend 2018
After 3 weeks way down in the south of France with our motorhome I arrived back home with just enough time to get everything ready for an afternoon arrival on Friday to get set up and see the back end of the trackday. I was hoping for a great weekend of sprinting. The Friday was well supported as was the GF pub meal in the evening. Dave Cleaver and Simon Waterfall were getting in some practice for their double drive and it was good to see Tom Frankland in his immaculately wrapped car. At the end of the day I helped someone ( forgot his name) to reassemble his jenvey throttle body linkage which had come adrift from the throttle linkage. We eventually held it together with a nylon cloths peg that Steve found in his boot and some thin tie wraps so I hope it got him home. I also had a look at Mick Skidmore’s suspension set up with John Loudon and we discovered that It seemed to have restricted wishbone movement due to the wishbone bolts being overtightened. We sorted that and then softened the shocks and ARBs at both front and rear. Some of us managed to sign on and then got scrutineering completed as well to make a more relaxed start for Saturday.
First job after breakfast was to slap on the suncream ( factor 50) and attend the briefing ready for 2 practice runs and 4 timed runs on the Outer track and it was already very very hot and as soon as we put on our race overall’s (babygrows)it was going to be very uncomfortable. In P1 John Loudon was trying too hard and he went off at Bishops. I followed suit and ran so wide I even missed the wide outside yellow rumble strip. A few others were trying too hard as well and had problems staying within the track limits. For me the next 4 hours were a nightmare. I got in the car ready for P2 and guess what?…. the bl**** thing would not start! It turned over ok but no spark and no fuel. With the help of Andy Hargreaves, John Hoyle, Steve Butcher and our kid we checked all circuits and changed the ECU, cam sensor, 2 relays, coils , plugs and everything else we could think of but nothing worked so it was game over. Anyway some people had a good day and after changing Mick Skidmore’s suspension he achieved a PB and beat Paul Dew (aka Tigger). Iain Hooker was out in the Andy Bates beautiful Arion S2 and went well but was only on cheap slicks so he could have been faster with better rubber. Chris King was enjoying his first sprint and getting quicker all the time. Keith Adams went well again in class D and Stephen was trying hard to keep up to him. Adam Phelps was blasting around in the family Busa and Garry Bunn was out in his Cosworth engined car double driving with Derek Hodder and having their usual battle as Del’s engine is still being rebuilt.
During Saturday and Sunday Siltech Racing ( Dennis and Andy Silman) had a display of their fabulous fabricated products and other services offered. They had a lot of interest and we are appreciative of their support of the speed series and competitors etc.
Saturday night saw Ian Told ( Tolfree) BBQ Master and Chris King as the BBQ king cooking people’s burgers, sausages and steaks whilst we all enjoyed the club banter in the warm evening sun. Plenty of beers and wine were drunk and our non competing mates Luke Algar, Tim Nunn and Matt Turner were still singing at 0230hrs in the morning but luckily they were at the top end of the paddock.
On Sunday a guy opposite me ( driving a blade engine MNR) in the paddock came over with a laptop and some diagnostic software and it suggested that my engine had a primary injector fault so I was goosed. Eventually after further checks by John Hoyle and Andy Hargreaves we decided that the power commander was at fault. Thankfully my big mate Stephen decided that his older brother could double drive his car so at least I would get some track time. Today it was the more technical Eastern circuit so the first half was going to give us the main problem as we got to know the corners and braking points. Before we started Paul Dew asked me to look at his set up and like Mick Skidmore’s I believed both front and rear were set way too stiff so we softened it off a lot ( shocks and ARBs) and guess what it worked and he beat Mick Skidmore to get his revenge.
P1- I decided to be Steve’s tyre warmer but nearly outbraked myself into the first lefthander as I discovered that his brakes were not the best ( new pads have already been ordered.)
In P2 Andy Hargreaves recorded a great time but he had missed out a complete corner so it did not count..
In the timed runs John Loudon spun and Andy Hargreaves hit a cone at Bishops and gave a few people reruns as a result. Ian Davenport broke his alternator so John Hoyle helped him remove it so he ran total loss all day with no problems.
The best performances appeared to by Graham Frankland who scored 99.31 points, Simon Waterfall beat Dave Cleaver (who was sharing his car) and scored 99.96 points, Adam and Charlotte Phelps did well in class H and Keith Adams put in a cracking drive to score more than 100 points by beating the target time.
So for me a frustrating weekend but for the club another great event with all the usual club and paddock banter as well as help when problems arose. Thanks to John Williams and all the helpers. I am already looking forward to next year!
Class G Competitor
Silverstone Stowe Circuit 3rdJune 2018
After around a 6 or 7 years break we eventually managed to get invited to attend this meeting although it turned out to be a single lap and not the 2 lapper I remember from the past. We had quite a good turnout of 11 Westfields even though it was on the same weekend as Pembrey (2 events in the south on the same weekend!). The forecast for Sunday was good but as I loaded up the car and set off it was raining hard in York. The first bad news I had was that Mark Anson’s engine had failed in first practice at Pembrey so he was not a happy bunny particularly after his long haul from Blackpool. That track does seem to eat engines for some reason. We could only arrive after 1600hrs to get a decent paddock position but what a shock Steve and I got as it was in the worst condition I have ever seen. Basically it was a gravel covered dirt area with no chance for cars on slicks (one actually punctured on the gravel and you can’t repair slicks) There was dust everywhere and even a sweeping brush had no effect. Steve, Margaret, Simon Waterfall and I walked the “new track” and it looked very tight in places through the chicane in the straight which was about 40m wide so it was anyone’s guess as to where the best line was and there was even gravel patches on that too. On getting back we noticed that the main toilet block was being locked for the night and were told of an alternative hut where there were only men’s toilets so that went down well for the people camping with girlfriend’s , wives and kids. The place reminded me of a rundown building site. We met up with Lee Collar who is now driving Mark Anson’s old orange blade car and it was good to see Richard Houlgate, Matthew Haynes out again. The sunny evening and a few beers with my chilli diner made the world look a bit nicer but sleeping was hard as there were 2 generators running all night. Sunday was a hot, hot day. The contrast between surviving the Siberian cold and wet of Croft compared to today’s Saharan desert sun was crazy but just as difficult as we suffered in our hot babygrows and helmets whilst in long queues towards the start line. Some of us signed on and were scrutineered on Saturday night but Howard Gaskin was panicking a bit as he had left his competition licence at home.
I was lucky enough to have Steve’s wife Margaret acting my pit buddy and carrying tyres as well as doing a great job cleaning them between runs. The first clean after P1 produced two tack nails that she found stuck in my tyre.
We were promised 2 practice and 3 timed runs but an hours delay at the start plus problems with the heat affecting the timing gear meant we only got 2 timed runs. Whilst waiting in line for the start some of us were politely told not to lean on the pit wall which was odd as the event had not even started. It was obvious from early incident of cars hitting the tyres forming the chicane that this was a tricky area that could cause bug damage if you got it wrong. I missed the tyres by a whisker on my first run and I think that Richard Houlgate and Matthew Haynes had to go for a gap between the tyres as they lost their way through the chicane. The timing was also frustrating the drivers as often there was only one car on the track which slowed proceedings down so we did not finish P1 until 1115hrs approx. After P1 there were 10 Westfields in the top 12. Just to add to the fun the Gents toilets became blocked and the café ran out of food. Most of us found that by P2 we were beginning to get an idea of where the track went and starting to get some grip through the tricky bends.
T1 started at around 1400hrs by which time the heat was becoming intense and god knows how many cans of diet coke I drank. T2 was the final run except for me as my engine refused to start as I headed to the start. Despite the help of Steve Carpenter, Roz Kennett, Steve Everall and Howard Gaskin we could not get it sorted. The other guys put in some great times in a field of 110 cars and there were some very close battles going on for class on the day awards as well as our own classes. In the end there were 6 Westfields in the top 12 cars and Simon Waterfall, Matthew Haynes, Howard Gaskin and myself won our classes on the day. I had a personal with Lee Collar and I just beat him by half a second (he looks a good bet for future honours as does Simon Waterfall).
Overall Positions on the day were as follows:
I was quite jealous of the trophies awarded as they were huge and well received by our guys. In summary it was a good challenging track to drive but the weekend did not run smoothly.
Class G competitor
Blyton Sat/Sun 19thand 20thMay 2018 (LDMC event)
It was a good job that I did not get an invite to “The Wedding” as I completely forgot that it was on the same weekend as the Blyton sprints run by Longton DMC and I would not have been able to support Harry and Meghan in church or at their evening do. There was an added bonus in that I did not have to sit through the 6 or so hours of TV broadcasting the proceedings but I understand that it all went well without my support! Back to the serious stuff as Steve and I arrived on the Friday to see the back end a of a Lotus 7 trackday. We had a great forecast for the weekend and I gave out a whole batch of the new red 2018 T shirts. We had a good Westfield attendance and after speaking to Doran (the chief paddock marshal) I negotiated a great paddock position for most of the non road going cars which was close to the results office, toilets, had clean smooth tarmac and was 25metres from the start line! As usual we had a few beers on Friday night and discuss tactics for the weekend which mainly revolved around how much sun cream we needed to apply and at what intervals as this varied for factor 30 or 50.
Signing on and scrutineering was quick and easy and was followed by a convoy run around the Eastern circuit which LDMC had not run before. I went in Steve’s VW Tiguan which was full of tools, clothes, beer, petrol cans and god knows what else and we cruised around at 25mph enjoying the scenery, forgetting all about apexes and braking points never mind what gear to be in. After the convoy run Derek Hodder seemed to have a leaky water problem and the nose cone and bonnet were of as they quickly diagnosed that a mounting boss on their alloy radiator had cracks around the weld edges. Nobody on site or locally seemed to have a welder or be available (Del did not think that alraldite would work) but in the end a Caterham driver took pity and offered a tube of Quiksteel epoxy putty. I have to say that not only did the repair look very neat but it did the job and set almost immediately and lasted all weekend (must get a tube of that stuff for my spares). Also a few of us had got a hook up for power running a long way from the supply point and someone ran over my cable and pulled it out the wires from the plug during the convoy run! Actually it was a doddle for me to repair and we all were back up and running with power to our campers and motorhomes again (mainly to keep the beer cold).
P1 - Immediately after first practice Mick Skidmore noticed that his battery power was low so I quickly tested a few things and found it was his alternator that had packed up so he had to keep charging the battery between runs but that worked fine and it was lucky that we did have 240v power. Del’s air powered actuator for his gear shift seemed to be having an off day as it kept changing up and down the box on its own. Del and Garry were on the case and cured it by remounting the actuator valve in a better position/orientation. The general consensus of the drivers was that this was a very technical and tight course that was challenging everyone in terms of how tight the first section was and the braking point into the wriggler from Curva Grande at high speed. This was compensated for as the long twisty flat out blast from Bunga Bunga was exhilarating and took some guts before braking late for the tight right hand finish.
P2 – I was really on it this time and as I exited the Wriggler out came a red flag so I abandoned the run and as I crawled to Bishops left hand corner there was my mate Mick Skidmore reversing out of the ploughed field but at least he was living up to his reputation. I gave him some stick back in the paddock and suggested he repeated the performance in the timed runs so I could have a rerun on warm tyres. Mick Dent was pushing the limits of adhesion in his Busa and went off near the finish spinning out and taking a cut through between the tyres, to avoid hitting them, only to find himself facing an oncoming Jedi!
T1 - Simon Waterfall was out for the first time enjoying his new (ex Kevin Bamber) car but his clutch adjustment screw had worked loose but was an easy fix. This session saw me getting a bit too aggressive with my right foot at the tight lefthander called Chapmans and I clipped an outside cone and caused a bit of damage to my rear wing and rivets holding the tub in place. Everyone was going well but target times seemed hard to get near as we pushed hard. Newcomer Tony Smiley was out in his Busa and John Loudon and I spent a bit of time trying to change the set up to get it to handle better and it seemed to work.
T3 – Mick Dent threw it off after the finish but still posted a good time.
It was good to see Steve Robinson call in for a chat and catch up with a few friends (and also Ron Siddle on Sunday)
T4 – This would be our last runs and chance to bang in a good time but we had quite a long hold after a TR4 rolled down at Bunga Bunga causing a lot of damage to the car, which was a shame. Richard Houlgate went well as did all the roadgoing cars and they all seemed to put in some good times. Del (fastest LDMC member) just managed to beat Garry and I held off John Loudon in a very close contest. Keith Adams went very well in class D scoring the best points of anyone against target and Steve Everall was finding it hard to match his pace.
Well miraculously nobody had headache from last nights relaxation and all slicks had been cleaned up yesterday. Today it was the challenge of the normal outer circuit with the fast straight from Lancaster to the Wriggler so it should suit the more powerful cars. Today we had Matthew Haynes joining in the fun but no Richard Houlgate and all the Westfields from yesterday were still running.
Practice started at 1000hrs and our two runs were over by about hrs 1130hrs proving just how slick the LDMC crew is.
T1- We went straight into the timed runs and all went well apart from Mick Skidmore who reported what he thought was a propshaft vibration so we whipped off the tunnel panels but all the bolts were tight so he was good to go.
T2/T3 – Things were hotting up now, particularly in our babygrows, and in T3 Del was a bit late on the brakes into the Wriggler and got it all sideways taking out a cone and spraying gravel everywhere. Mick Skidmore thought his clutch had failed but it turned out to be just a large stone stuck under the pedal.
T5 – For Del this was a bad end to the weekend as he was towed back into the paddock with oil all over the engine and exhaust pipes so something had gone badly wrong and it looked similar to a problem he had with the engine at Croft last year. Fingers crossed that it is an easy and simple repair.
T6 – John Loudon was pushing really hard as he battled with me in class G and he hit a cone and split a wing. (more gaffer tape please!). Keith Adams had a senior moment as he presumably forgot to clip down his ally boot cover which was picked up by the marshals about 20m after the start line…whoops !
Garry Bunn was best LDMC member, I beat John Loudon after an epic battle and I took most points against targets. Simon Waterfall had another good day as did Keith. Steve’s car engine needs stripping down and taking to Exon Racing to cure the head porosity problem it has which was getting worse.
Well I hope I have given a report of some of the weekends entertainment which was made all the better by LDMC’s efforts where we had 2 practice and 4 timed runs on Saturday and 2 practice and 6 timed runs on Sunday and I was home for dinner by 1815 after a 90 minute drive. Maybe a contender for event of the year?
Class G Competitor
In the end the WSCC Speed Series was represented by 7 entries at Shelsley Walsh, four Westfields in the WSCC dedicated class, Mike West hiding in the Road Going Specialist Production class (which was merged with various other classes throughout the weekend), Mark Schlanker in 1000cc to 1600cc racing cars and myself in a (non-WSCC scoring) National A Formula Ford class. Stu Hill and David Birch were there spectating and providing support in the paddock. I would guess David consumed multiple ice creams during the day.
We awoke on Saturday morning to a slightly misty Teme valley that was soon burnt off by the strong sun providing us with immediate track heat and perfect conditions from the first practice run on Saturday through to the last competition run on Sunday. With temperatures were well into the mid 20's from early morning the paddock garages provide much needed shade. The organiser's warned us of a "green" course as this was their first event of the year, but practice times showed that this was not worrying many drivers.
Both days progressed like clockwork, MAC running the event in their normal almost military-like fashion, and the drivers didn't connect with any immovable objects and had very few breakdowns. Saturday ran so smoothly that we (Nation A lot) were even offered a third practice run, though not many took the opportunity as had retired to the camping field and averting serious cases of dehydration with consumption of ice cold beer.
Sunday was equally as perfect, seeing many PB's being set. The Westfield drivers showing what can be achieved in these great little cars, in front of 100's of spectators.
Tim Pennington took honours on both days with the other Westfields close on his heels. Mike took a class win on Saturday but only to be beaten on Sunday by a very well presented and driven Westfield (ex Paul Morcom ) by John Bradshaw. Mark was on his own in his class on Saturday and then joined by some quick 1600cc race cars on Sunday but was the quickest up to 1100cc car on both days (excluding the National A runners). I came second in the National A Formula Ford class, only 0.1 seconds behind the winner.
For those that have not experienced the atmosphere and challenge of the Shelsley Walsh hill then there is still another round of the of the Speed Series on 17th June (get your entries in quickly as will be over-subscribed), so enter the event or come along and spectate.
Or join the WSCC Speed Series 21st Anniversary Celebrations on Saturday, 23rd June, for some non-competitive runs up the hill - you can drive any kind of car but the more Westfields there the better.
A great event, enjoyed by all.
Report by Paul Morcom
Anglesey May weekend 2018
The second visit to Anglesey this year was arranged by MGCC (NW) and was 2 laps of the National circuit on Saturday and 1 lap of International on Sunday with 9 Westfield drivers on Sat and 8 on Sunday. Friday afternoon saw the Westfield mob arriving in bright sunshine with wall to wall blue skies such that I even had my shorts on and my legs frightened most of the paddock. Del and Garry were preparing their car in the garage and I watched Garry cleaning their wheel rims with a sponge and soapy water. He made a great effort but failed in his task as Del rejected them and they needed cleaning again. Several of us continued our preparation in the bar until the bar closed at about 2230.
Saturday morning came and was a bit of a shock. Where was the sun and why was it only 6 deg C windy and cloudy when the rest of the country was having a heat wave? Thermals, race overalls and fleeces were definitely needed to keep warm and we exchanged our problems of freezing cold fingers as well as steaming up visors on the start line. Richard Houlgate was out in his class B 2.3L duratech engined car along with newcomer Chris Griffiths and his 2.5L Millington Diamond engine class H car.
P1 ( the only practice as it was 2 laps) did not see too much drama apart from Steve Everall’s gearbox breather pipe coming loose and a bolt holding my cycle wing on stripped its threads but it was cured in minutes by the use of locktite and lashings of matching black duct tape.
T1- John Loudon aborted his run as he had to deal with a large stone stuck under his clutch which made it slip. Mick Skidmore reinforced his surname by spinning at the hairpin on the cold track (that was his excuse). Meanwhile Del’s car seemed to have developed a bit of a misfire which he was trying to trace or at least understand what was causing it but it was still setting the pace. Tony Mitchell was covering both days as photographer and was clad in his warmest clothes under his HV vest but he still looked very cold as he wandered around trying to get the best pictures.
T2 & T3 – saw the competition hotting up and personal battles made the times very interesting. Garry Bunn just got the better of Del in class H . Chris Griffiths had a flat battery issue which I eventually found was a wire on the alternator had come adrift so that was an easy fix. The track remained cold so getting near to target times was becoming very difficult despite our efforts. John Loudon and I were having a close battle but John’n missed gear change just after the start ruined his last run leaving me fastest in class G by about 0.4secs. Howard Gaskin won the class D contest with Steve. Eventually Westfield cars performed very well with overall positions as follows:
Garry Bunn -2nd
Derek Hodder – 3rd
Terry Everall – 4th
John Loudon – 6th
Chris Griffiths – 7th
Howard Gaskin – 8th
Steve Everall – 10th
As usual we all congregated in the café bar at night and with the help of a few drinks and a disco (with dancing, at which Howard Gaskin excelled). A few more of us were dragged, screaming onto the floor by Julie Hodder and Sandra Bunn but it was not a pretty sight. We left at 0030hrs for a bit of sleep.
Sunday’s weather was cloudy and cold (warmer than Saturday) due to a continual seafret most of the day so we did not see any sun until around 1600hrs and at times visibility was around 200m.
P1 and P2 was interesting as when you were flat out on the back straight towards Rocket it was tricky see exactly where you were going. Del got a rerun after a Morgan went off a nd he never got a red flag. John Loudon also wangled a rerun and the cheeky monkey cane back into the paddock to “refuel” when actually he was resetting his flatshifter. Steve Everall refused a rerun as he had water blowing onto his helmet from the header tank after overfilling it slightly.
T1 – John Loudon continued to make lots of adjustments to his car including changing his rear springs, altering front camber and tracking. It seemed to keep him busy but he looked like a cat on a hot tinned roof. He was setting the pace and I could not match his times so I needed to pull my finger out. Chris Griffiths was going well and putting in some good times in class H but Del and Garry were having the usual close battle.
T2 – witnessed Del’s car being pushed back into the paddock from the track but it only because the car had run out of compressed air for the gear shift system. Mick Skidmore (who was battling with Steve on similar times) found his gearbox to propshaft bolts had come loose but quick action with his spanner solved that issue.
T3 – no big incidents but Howard banged in a quick time.
T4- was a bit strange as we did not run in order and just queue for the last run. Mick Skidmore had a big moment as he went off at high speed on the hill up to Rocket where he touched the grass on the outside of the track and ended up in the tyre wall suffering damage to the offside rear arch and tub. It did not look too bad so hopefully not an expensive repair. Steve Everall had to pull out of the queue to the strat as the car would not start due to either a battery issue or a starter problem.
So that was it …..John Loudon beat me by 0.06secs and Garry was fastet Westfield again.
Positions in top ten were
Garry Bunn- 2nd
Derek Hodder – 3rd
Chris Griffiths – 5th
John Loudon – 6th
Terry Everall – 7th
Howard Gaskin – 8th
Class G Competitor
Anglesey Sat/Sun 7th and 8th April 2018
After a very disappointing Easter Monday event at Croft which was wet, freezing cold and probably should never have started about 10 drivers were entered for this LDMC extravaganza attended by approx. 70 cars. The Croft event was abandoned before any timed runs had been offered, so we all scored a miserable 75 points (I will be discarding that score).
We all arrived on Friday to find plenty of room in an almost empty paddock and plenty of space to get an electric hook up for our campervans and motorhomes. This was a bonus as it was quite cold and heating was essential as we had to leave the onsite café/bar due to too many staff and not enough business.
Saturday morning saw a wet, gloomy start and the rain continued all day until 1700hrs when we finished sprinting! The day saw some great battles between all classes as well as individual personal targets irrespective of which class you were in. This would become the first event in 19 years that I have used wets all day rather than slicks and the competition was close and hard fought on a track that was wet but perfectly driveable and created a bit a level playingfield between cars of different specs/engines etc. During practice the pace was set by Richard Kerr and myself running around 10secs slower than the target time. It was good to see Mick Dent out again after his broken ankle caused a premature end to his 2017 season and his busa was going well. He also had his son as a secret weapon cleaning tyres and checking the car was going ok after the Friday trackday sessions. Their car would not start despite charging the battery and I quickly diagnosed a seized starter motor. Luckily they found a local supplier who had a secondhand one and they did not miss a run !.
There was a lot of slipping and sliding mainly on the black stuff as well as a few spins but I did not witness any damage to Westfields. Mike West was enjoying the conditions and during the day he reduced his time down to 78.10secs from 82.74secs. John Loudon kept changing front springs for stiffer ones to improve grip and handling and it seemed to be working as the two of us were having a close battle in class G. Derek Hodder, Garry Bunn and Richard Kerr were after the class H points chasing Mick Dent. Steve Everall and Mick Skidmore were close in terms of times but running in different classes ( D and F respectively)
We had 5 times runs and in the end Richard was quickest banging in a last run of 63.23 to better my time of 63.98secs and Mick Dent’s 64.10secs. We were 3rd,4th and 6th overall fastest with John Loudon 9th.
Well it was a cloudless night and there had not been any rain but it was a cloudy start but it stayed dry all day and the afternoon was very good and we had a drying track to play on. Mark Anson had arrived at 0230hrs and was joining us in the Jedi. He had a few jobs to do fixing the front wing brackets and softening the trickshifter. During practice 2 Mark came back to the pits on a tow rope as it turned out he had fried some wires in his harness. This took him around 3 hours to trace the 12v power issues (or lack of power) but eventually he sorted it. I helped a bit by making him a nice cuppa tea. It really was a dream to be able to drive a dry track and push on a bit. We now saw Del and Garry showing the pace of their car whilst Rich K was trying to repeat his Sat performance. Unluckily for Rich when he came in after T1 the engine bay was full of oil and it looked like a blanking plate on the block had come adrift and ended his weekend. My weekend nearly ended too as I was way too quick into the left hander at the end of the garages and as I ran off the end of the outside rumble strip I hit the soft wet grass and soil to do a 360deg spin. I ripped off part of my carbon fibre floor but back in the paddock Steve, Mick Skidmore and John Loudon did a quick and great repair job to keep me running. The car looked like it had been used for grass tracking and the amount of soil and mud under the bonnet was ridiculous and took some cleaning up.
Later in T3 Mick Skidmore ran over a rumble strip coming out of corkscrew and split part of his tub. In the end we had 5 timed runs and were well pleased with the day. Garry just beat Del and was 2nd fastest overall with Del being 4th, me in 5th and John Loudon 6th. Mark Anson with only 2 runs was 3rd overall so an impressive performance by him. That made 5 Westfield speed series drivers in the top 6. A newcomer was Chris Griffiths in his class H car and he was 9th overall behind Rich Kerr 8th. (7 cars in top 10!)
We return in 4 weeks time to do the MGCC weekend.
Class G Competitor
Rockingham Sunday 25th March 2018
So the miserable cold wet winter “closed” season was over and it was a return visit to the fast circuit at Rockingham. Despite the wet weather we have had recently the forecast was ok and so the drivers were looking forward to being out on track again despite the tarmac temperature being cold. I had only changed my engine oil and put a new set of radial slicks on the car but with Steve’s car we ended up changing oil, refurbishing the starter motor, welding up and repacking the silencer ( great service from Wunoff ), a lot of rewiring after a small incident with a wire shorting out on the block, plus a complete flush of the water system after we discovered a lot of creamy emulsion deposits floating in the header tank. This year both cars were going to ready well in advance but it actually a couple of days ….which is what happens every year. My other mission was to take a new set of Force rims to be delivered to Mick Skidmore via Craig Spooner and luckily I did not forget to take them.
We decided to travel down on the Sunday morning which meant being up at 0430hrs and on the road at 0500hrs for the 127 mile trip and this was made even worse as the clocks went forward so it felt like 0330hrs. I did not think it had affected me much until after driving 5 miles I noticed I was still wearing my indoor Crocs and had forgotten my trainers. The convoy of 2 arrived at 0740hrs and we rolled up to our garage and met Craig Spooner, Mark Bishop, Matthew Haynes, Pete Goulding, Steve Carpenter and Roz Kennett and I handed over car stickers and SS competitor cards. The scrutineering was so slow that Steve and I missed out on the convoy run but the report was that the track was very wet so that was not good news.
P1 did not produce any dramas for us but whoever described the track as a bit wet wants a good talking to! I had looked at the track from a distance and it looked to be drying and not too bad but in reality it was lethal. I had my new slicks on and the understeer was unbelievable and I wondered what the hell was wrong with the car. Clearly everyone else had similar problems as I still posted the fastest Westfield time of 92.88 secs with Steve in second with 97.65secs but my target was 74.31 secs so I was a bit concerned.
P2 saw an improvement in track conditions as things dried out but it was still a bit tricky and a few spins and offs were slowing down ( it was mostly the Cateringvans that were having issues and they did have a big entry) the proceedings so we did not finish the practices until about 1300hrs.
T1 started late and the lack of a good PA system and no proper paddock marshalling made getting ready at the correct time a bit of a gamble. The delay did have one benefit in that the track was now dry buy still cold as the sun struggled to get through the clouds. Times were beginning to tumble and get nearer to the targets so we all were looking to give it the full beans on the last run
T2 saw improvements with most people setting their quickest time apart from Mark Bishop who was towed back to the paddock after an off as his throttle stuck wide open and he took a trip into the kitty litter. Apart from coming back with enough gravel in the car to lay a new path he was ok but he was baffled about what had caused the problem.
In the end it was a good day for Pete Goulding in class J2 and we had 3 class trophy winners on the day.
Class A Mark Bishop 86.31secs
Class B Matthew Haynes 84.27secs
Class C Craig Spooner 81.85secs
Class D Steve Everall 80.66secs
Class G Terry Everall 74.45secs
Class J2 Pete Goulding 68.35secs
Class G Competitor
Curborough Figure of 8 Oct 2017
This event was run by MAC and the figure of 8 has become a popular layout compared to the single or double lap options. There were 12 speed series competitors (including 3 in class J2) present and a few Westfield supporters visited to watch the runs. At the briefing we were told that the event was oversubscribed and a few of us wondered why that had happened! The result was that special arrangements had been put on place to make sure we got 2 practice and 2 timed runs before 6pm. For me, I had a frantic early morning start due firstly having to do a one mile walk at 0500hrs to free off my sciatic nerve pain and then when I set off the trailer lights decided to have a mind of their own and switch on and off at random. A swift kick sorted that problem out! It had rained overnight and the track was still damp but a cloudy dry day was promised and that is what we got despite some threatening dark clouds.
P1 was marginal and entertaining for the slick shod car drivers and Matthew Haynes spun off whilst Derek Hodder and Adam Phelps put in quick runs. I then helped Martin to soften off his shock absorbers to try and get more grip.
P2 the sun actually began to warm the track and the tyres (not had much of that this year) so times tumbled. I watch Garry Bunn on his very aggressive run and was amazed he made it through 2 of the corners but clearly the car is handling brilliantly including speeds of around 115mph through the finish. Derek Hodder posted 57.00 secs ( target of 58.09secs) and Adam was not far behind in the Busa with on 57.31 secs which he could not reproduce in the timed runs as the track got colder.
T1 This started after lunch and saw Del and Garry tightening up the paddle shift which had worked loose ( Garry is a bit of an animal!). Mark Schlanker in the OMS broke a halfshaft so that put him out. Due to the clouds reappearing and Stephen Herbert telling us that rain was forecast after 2pm we all needed to get a good run in the bank. Luckily the rain never arrived.
T2 was definitely a colder track so improving on times was hard. As I queued up for my run Charlotte Phelps approached holding a wheel wrench in her hand. I had previously commented on her sitting on top of the busa’s roll cage and I thought she was going to get her own back. It turned out that the starter solenoid on the busa was on the blink so she had a suitable tool to give it a friendly tap and get it working. I am sure that if I was her and Adam I would have a word with their travelling mechanic/sponsor/dad as I am sure they had this problem at a previous event and it should have been fixed!
In the end Derek, Garry, Adam and Matthew Haynes all beat the target times and banked some good points.
All cars looked undamaged and ready for the final Anglesey weekend despite John Loudon trying a new line straight across the top of the molehill which certainly tested out his ground clearance and suspension but did not improve his time. ( he still beat me!)
See you there and bring some good weather
Class G Competitor
Harewood weekend and Blyton Sept 2017
This year the popular Harewood weekend was a little later than normal but still attracted 15 speed series competitors. God’s own country provide a freezing cold start to Saturday morning. Richard Kerr was out for the first time this year having rebuilt the gearbox etc and was supported by Tim Nunn who was spectating. P1 saw Charlotte Phelps immediately had a problem with the electrics on the Busa car, Steve Everall had the dry sump pump belt snap but saved the engine and Rich Kerr experienced an Alternator problem and it would not charge. Luckily Dave Cleaver had a d new one available and Steve Everall had a spare belt so all kept running after copious head scratching about the correct wiring for the alternator. The track was very very cold and everyone was slipping and sliding around. In P2 Mick Skidmore had a spin after the first corner on the fast downhill section and Rich Kerr got in a late second practice. T1 saw Martin Harvey going well but there were a few people intent on seeing the gree grass rather than the tarmac. These included Charlotte who spun, Richard Kerr who found a new grass cutting route on the approach to Farmhouse and Paul Dew (who often takes to the scenery) who outbraked himself exiting Farmhouse and ended up in the Kitty litter and it took quite a time to get him out of the gravel – I think he liked it so much he thought he was on Brighton beach! T2 saw Mark Bishop have an incident and had a DNF whilst Dave Cleaver did not even bother starting as he had smashed the reorcd for class H in T1 to take a maximum 101 points and it was his first visit to the venue. Later Paul Dew’s coli pack failed and eventually Paul Aspden was phoned and he had one so dropped it off as he was in Leeds which is impressive seeing as he lives in Whitby. The competiors’ ability to carry out running repairs and source spare parts is amazing and unequalled in the paddock as club members help each other when the going gets tough.
Some of the guys had a meal at the Harewood Ars but woke to another damp and cold start day and the usual view of Wharfedale was missing so that at one time I could only see about 150m and rain was in the air.
P1 had us driving in rain on a wet wet track so even the slick guys had wets fitted. It was a very tricky run and several people had big moments including Richard Kerr near the fish line. P2 was a little better but still a great challenge for everyone and we all prayed ( well it was Sunday) for dry weather. By T1 our prayer were answered as the track was fairly dry and just cold. Most us gave it our best shot but I had a moment on the grass and a bg slde at Quarry bend which ruined my time. Paul Dew found he had a failed clutch so had to pull out and dam Phelps clutch cable split but his mechanic dad fixed it for him. Steve Everall achieved a PB which was impressive and Dave Cleaver broke the class H record again. Then guess what happened ……it rained during T2 so most of us did not bother with a T3 run as we could not improve our times. Highlight of the weekend was Dave Cleaver’s achievements in poor conditions and Martin Harvey getting stuck in the trailer park with his motorhome and trailer.
Blyton Saturday 30th Sept 2017
16 speed series entries were returning to Blyton and supporting the first event run by our friends LDMC. It seemed that a lot of the grassed paddock area was not available so most of us were a long , long way from the timing computers and the toilets but we managed. A few Motorhomes (including mine) and campers did get stuck on the wet grass but the Westfield manpower sorted us out. The early morning start was like being in Siberia (12deg C) but we were all looking forward to a good days sport. In the end we had 2 practices and up to 5 Timed runs but the last one for some , including me, was wet but the run did clean my slicks up. In my opinion the track and hence tyres never did get up to a good working temperature so achieving times close to target was going to be difficult if not impossible. P1 caught Richard Kerr out at the first corner as his brakes pulled to the right, he touched the grass with the rear end and the car snapped around on him resulting in a broken steering arm and possible steering rack damage. Derek Hodder and Garry were having difficulty selecting first and reverse on their car ( it turned out to be electrical problem with the sequential air shifter system. As you can imagine times were slow except for Dave Cleaver ( scrubbing in his new wets) who seems to be on a different planet to most of us except for John Hoyle who was chasing hard for maximum points in class F and was bedding in some new ZZR tyres. In T1 Tim Nunn’s car started to misfire at high revs and the problem persisted throughout the day even though plugs and the fuel pump were changed. John Loudon was trying hard but had 4 wheels off at Bishops and Pete Goulding in the single seater ecoboost broke his new carbon fibre rear wing which seemed to break up at high speed. Later in the runs John Hoyle had battery charging problems and I think both Garry and Derek had offs as they battled away with Del achieving a PB. Steve Carpenter and John Loudon also had spins as they tried to improve their times. Steve Everall tried too hard in the rain and outbraved himself into the wiggler resulting in a slide and hitting a bale. This ripped the steering bolt out of the nearside upright and snapped the through bolt. No major damage though. The big scorers were Dave Cleaver (he just took one run) and John Hoyle. Their seasons battle continues to run until the last event at Anglesey.
Blyton July weekend 2017
Well as I look back at the Friday trackday (on two track layouts) plus Saturday and Sunday sprints, it seems that absolutely everyone had a fantastic weekend of motorsport, sun, bbq, gluten free meal deal, beer, buying and selling T Shirts for charity as well as support from families and club members. There was so much happening that I apologise in advance for missing or not mentioning stuff, events, praise, insults, leg pulling, car repairs, car damage and the sprint achievements as I could only be in one place at once. It was good to see so many friends and competitors all gathered together at our own weekend organised by John Williams (and Louise) and much better due to my paddock planning with Nigel Curry (who acted all weekend as paddock marshal) enabling us all to be in the same area. I am already looking forward to the same event next year. I arrived at around 1030hrs on the Friday and things were in full swing with mainly Westfields filling the trackday which was also car testing for a few drivers. Paul Aspden was out in his nice orange car which he has up for sale and Stephen Herbert’s recently finished Westfield 1X was on display for all to drool over. Dave Cleaver was ominously running in some new slick tyres, I was bedding my new front mintex 1144 pads in by running up and down the paddock as I could not pay for the trackday (typical Yorkshireman!). John Phelps was helping daughter Charlotte diagnose their Busa’s battery charging issue which seemed to be the alternator rectifier/regulator but it seemed to sort itself out in the end. During the weekend I did have to keep asking Charlotte what else she had broken , much to her indignation. It was nice to see newcomer Simon Waterfall out in his red Westfield which he had being desperately getting ready in the last few weeks in order to take part in his first Sprint competion. He appeared to be having misfiring and starting issues in the afternoon and for some of us this turned out to be a long project of trying to trace the problem. I reckon that around twelve of us were actively swarming round the car looking at the fuel and electric system on his old crossflow engine which unusually was not covered in or leaking oil. We appeared to have fuel but the plugs were not wet. We did suspect the coil and or the main coil to distributer lead but it also had a Lumenition module fitted so there was lots that could be wrong. At around 2100hrs we had to pack in as we had to use torches to see what we were doing and as the engine started once we got a telling off as there is a noise recorder on site which is monitored. In the morning Ian Morrison (aka Gadget) rang his wife Rosie at 0800hrs Saturday and asked her to come to site and take Simon into Gainsborough to buy a new Coil and leads (it required 2 visits). Then Paul Morcom amazingly produced a matching side entry distributor cap, which are as rare as rocking horse poo, and this was fitted due to the existing one being defective. We put the newly purchased bits in during early Saturday practice but it still would not start. When we were almost at the stage of giving up, Graham Millar (aka Windy) noticed a thin black earth wire on the bulkhead held in place by a chrome self tapping screw so he prodded it and guess what …..it moved. We therefore took it off, cleaned the terminal/wire and fixed it to a bolted earth stud. We turned the key and it fired up first time. Simon’s face lit up as we got his car scrutineered and out for practice just in time. On the Friday Howard Gaskin lost his alternator belt and had to go buy another one to keep going but on the Friday night track walk eagle-eyed Steve Everall spotted an undamaged belt at the side of the track so Howard ended up with a spare. Actually the track walk was just an excuse to enjoy the evening sun and down a few beers whilst discussing approach speeds, apexes, braking points and generally talking about theoretical issues when in the end how quick you go is often down to how brave you can be and also what grip is under the car. Signing on and scrutineering was possible for many on Friday night and this was easy and appreciated by all who did that. The paddock layout meant the Westfields were all together and people seemed to like this but some single seaters had to use tarmac a bit further from the start than they would have liked.
The bright sunshine and warm weather meant that it was time to slap on the sun cream and delay getting into our fireproof babygrows! A fantastic turnout of 39 drivers in the Speed Series were entered and chasing points driving the normal circuit and on Sunday the Eastern circuit. It was interesting to note that the noise meter calibration had malfunctioned and readings were ridiculously high and even the noise scrutineer agreed something was wrong so he adjusted the readings. Dave Birch appeared to be having some problems getting his engine started but succeeded in the end. The first practice showed that the track was a bit green and lacking grip despite the previous day’s track action. Simon Waterfall was up and running in his first ever sprint and he was not put off even though he spun on his first run. Graham Frankland tried a bit too hard and put all four wheels off at Bishops and Maurici Revilla spun off after the finish line and he entertained us for most of the weekend with similar driving. He admitted later that he was trying out a new rallycross circuit using plenty of gravel and off track routes in his long suffering Westfield. Dave Cleaver emphasised how quick he was by breaking the record/target time on his first run and it was clear that close competition also existed through all the classes and in my own class G that was certainly in evidence. Timed run 1 went smoothly for most but our Spanish “rally driver” came in with no offside rear wing and wires dangling behind the car due to hitting a cone (same one I hit last year). He stopped to park up but then reversed over all the lights and puled the wires off. His wing came back in 4 parts and Adam Read helped to fix it back together with tie wraps and duct tape. John Hoyle had engine problems and he stopped on track but managed to start again and drove back to the paddock forgetting to put his helmet back on so he got a yellow card from the clerk of the course (bad lad!) He traced the problem to a loose lead on the battery and was back in action again. Mark Anson was taking part in his first competition with his latest single seater Jedi which developed a slipping clutch in his early runs. It turned out to be an easy fix when diagnosed as a rubber seal in the clutch master cylinder was inserted the wrong way round. Nick Algar in the DJ Firehawk had gearbox failure again and despite Luke bringing spare parts it could not be fixed. He gladly accepted a double drive in Pete Goldings Ecoboost.
T2 took place after lunch and saw John Loudon with 4 wheels off, I got a rerun by catching a car with a loose bonnet but I had to queue for the rerun so in my opinion my tyres were cold. However, it was my fastest run! Mike West appeared to have a broken engine mount but found a welder and fixed it on site. Matt Turner was having gear change issues and Del and Gary had a misfire that was a suspect TPS or the traction control setting/sensors.
T3 saw Jason Brown going well but he had a gear shift problem that he was trying to cure, Paul Dew (aka Tigger) had a hairy moment at The Wriggler chicane and went straight on rather than revisit the field he ploughed last year. Interestingly Matt Hillam made the top 12 British Sprint run off even though he was double driving Keith Adam’s car. So, in summary, Dave Cleaver wiped the floor with everyone and set a new class record with 62.21 secs with other class winners as follows:
A1 Adam Read 69.23
B2 Maurici Revilla 68.68
C Craig Spooner 71.20
D Martin Harvey 68.57
F John Hoyle 65.08
G Terry Everall 64.89
H Dave Cleaver 62.21
A1 Dave Richings 73.94
B1 Steve Carpenter 70.04
C Jason Brown 71.55
F David Birch 71.51
Most drivers seemed to have recovered from the previous night’s BBQ, beer and wine ( the Marlbec and Merlot red wine provided by Paul Morcom and Martin Harvey at Del’s camper was delightful and not much was left at the end of the night) Today’s track was going to be a different challenge with only a few drivers ever having driven it and the trackwalk had highlighted some tricky areas, particularly for braking as well as the very twisty first sections. It was hoped that today the people having issues with loose alternators would have trouble free runs.
P1 saw Matt Turner going very quickly as he had driven this layout before but once again Dave Cleaver banged in a time of 66.58 secs that was not much slower than the Gould single seater car. Keith Adams also had a DNF along with Adam Read.
P2 Maurici threw it into the gravel again and DNF but maybe he was trying out a new line? John Loudon spun after the finish, Mick Skidmore had all 4 wheels off at Bishops and. Andy Hargreaves who has ventured into class G was going great on 3 year old slick and was well as being on the pace in his Yamaha R1 car. John Loudon and Matt Turner were both having gearshift problems to deal with. Due to the 120 cars it was taking quite a time to complete runs and this was not helped by the number of offs which deposited gravel on the track, so it was looking like we would only get 2 runs and therefore they had to count.
T1 John Hoyle posted a good time but his offside rear wing took a battering but luckily he had not repaired it since his last altercation with a track cone. John Loudon was trying too hard at Bishops and had a spin whilst Paul Dew seemed to be having a problem with braking. It turned out that “somebody” must have forgotten to insert the little R clip retainers for the 2 pins that hold the pads in place. Luckily he still had 2 so just use one on each wheel which seemed to work fine. Steve Carpenter was judged to have had wheels off the track and got a DNF which was made much worse as the same happened on his last run.
T2 Dave Cleaver found an oil leak on his dry sump tank so decided not to take his last run. Maurici also decide that his car and tyres could not take any more abuse so he also DNS. Matt Turner spun at the chicane suffering from “tryingtooharditis”and this contagious illness had spread to his mate Andy Hargreaves as he threw it off at the finish and also had a DNF. Despite his gearbox Jason Brown was flying and recorded a great time which would have won our class C outright.
A2 Adam Read 75.37
B2 Maurici Revilla 89.55
C Simon Broadbridge 77.74
D Martin Harvey 73.11
F John Hoyle 69.43
G Matt Turner 69.61
H Dave Cleaver 66.02
B1 Roz Kennett 84.39
C Jason Brown 76.44
F David Birch 78.66
My highlights were Dave Cleaver’s awesome times on both days, my battle with the guys in class G who are all quick, Jason Brown’s Sunday result, Steve Carpenter and Roz Kennett’s £175 engine that goes great and has now done several events, Simon Waterfall’s efforts/enthusiasm and members support to get him running on Saturday, warm dry weather, the Westfield crowd craic and the BBQ
Thanks to all for the organisation and friendly atmosphere and I am looking forward to next year already.
Class G Competitor
Pembrey June weekend 2017
After a 7 hours 297mile drive I arrived at about 1845hrs and was pleased to see my Westfield mates had adopted the best paddock position and saved a place for my motorhome and trailer. I thought I would break out the beer but was told I could sign on and be scrutineered straight away so that was a big plus meaning a relaxing Sat morning start. Good organisation I thought……unfortunately the weekend did not run smoothly for a range of annoying reasons. Firstly on Saturday we had 110 entries when 100 was supposed to be the maximum, then we had rapidly changing weather which caused delays, the timing arrangements by TSL only seemed to cope with 2 cars on the track at any one time, the results took ages to produce on Sunday night and the awards were sometimes given to the wrong people!! The good part was that we had two great track layouts to challenge us and a good turnout of Westfield Speed Series competitors. (13 Westfield and 3 drivers in class J2)
After the car was back in the trailer I got some food sorted out whilst John Loudon (the domestic goddess ---Jane was not with him) heated up his pizza. When it was ready it looked good but he had forgotten to remove the packaging from the bottom!!! Several people including Steve Carpenter, Roz Kennett, Paul Dew (first time out this year) had not been here before so nearly everyone did the obligatory track walk in the warm bright sunshine. When we got back Steve and Roz had to put up their newly purchased tent and camping beds and the thought of “all the gear and no idea” briefly crossed my mind but they got it all sorted quickly and apart from Roz being a bit cold in the night they loved it.
P1 was dry, although it had rained a bit overnight, and Dave Cleaver was immediately on the pace and banged in a 106.31 secs run to make the rest of us look a bit tentative and pedestrian. It soon became clear that progress was slow and tedious even after one run. I think it was during this practice that Paul Dew (aka Tigger) discovered that to keep his engine running he needed to have filled the fuel tank so was a bit embarrassed to run out of fuel. I noted that at the end of my practice (which included a rerun) my oil temp was at 129deg C so I checked that my oil pressure was still ok but the readings worried me all weekend and I need to check for a sensor problem/wiring fault. Just before the first batch of Westfields was called for P2 it started to rain. We got into our cars and queued but by the time we got close to the start it was lashing it down and a few of us, especially those of us on slicks, pulled out and returned to the paddock. John Loudon who only had slicks went out but came in after just one lap and he was completely soaked from head to toe. Later the track started to dry and much to my amazement, even though it was already way after 1200hrs, there was an announcement that anyone who had not had a second practice could now have one and this wasted a lot of time. Practice ended at 1330hrs and we were all getting worried about timed runs and the British Sprint run offs which all had to be finished by 1800hrs. We all thought that when the rain started they should have taken an early lunch and given the weather a chance to improve. Luckily for T1, which started at 1400hrs, the track was nearly dry with just a few damp patches but target times were going to be hard to achieve. Dave Cleaver went quickest with a great time of 105.83 secs after a rerun. The final T2 run saw slightly better conditions but only a few improved their times and because of the curfew of 1800hrs Steve Carpenter and Roz Kennett never got their last run and if I was them I would have been very annoyed. In addition there was no top 10 run off and this was on a day when there were very few incidents to slow things down. So Dave was fastest Westfield and Adam Phelps second fastest in his 1300cc Busa which was going well. It appeared that Adam and Charlotte had hired in John (their dad) as labourer, mechanic, odd job man and general support but I did not see any money change hands! In class J2 Steve Broughton was quickest beating Carol Torkington and Matt Hillam and Nick Agar was going well in his DJ Firehawk until he broke the diff on Sunday.
I was having a good sleep in my Motorhome until about 0500hrs when the rain started and it kept at it until about 0700hrs. By the time we were called for P1 the heavens had opened and it was lashing it down so several us declined the offer of practice in preference to trying to stay dryish and most were wearing various styles of waterproof overalls and wet boots and would not have won a fashion show. Myself , Paul Dew, Derek Hodder, Garry Bunn and Keith Adams decided a brew and biscuit was better than a wet bath. By P2 the rain had just about stopped so we all went out but the track was treacherous and particularly the bits of new tarmac on the revised track layout. There were some very scary slides and slipping about except for Dave Cleaver again who went way quicker than anyone with a time of 127.82secs on his wets. Mick Skidmore lived up to his name again but doing a 360deg spin for us all to admire.
T1 This saw Tigger so eager to get to the start line that he left his brains behind and forgot to regas his compressed air bottle to activate his gear changes. He ran back to the paddock with a red face after explaining to the marshals why he had abandoned it. The track was still wet and after changing my tyres about 10 times (much to the amusement of others who do not clearly understand the trauma of deciding on slicks or wets.) I decided on wets but John Loudon only had slicks so he had to make the best of it. There was some brave, fast driving on a track that was giving decent wet grip but we all came back to the paddock praying for a dry run. Our Welsh prayers were answered as for T2 that’s what we had with a dry track and only minimal wet patches. As we waited to fit the slicks John was into his OCD mode checking everyone’s actual tyre widths and tread patterns on front tyres and eventually increasing his tyre pressures. So in the final runs we all got to grips with the new layout and had some excitement trying to brake as late as possible for the new left/right chicane and to post a good time as big points were at stake. Steve Carpenter beat Roz in their budget zetec engine car. In classes C D and F. Paul Dew beat Keith Adams and Mike Skidmore with Simon Broadbridge close on time. In Class G I held off John Loudon and in class H the order was Dave Cleaver, Garry Bunn, Derek Hodder, Adam Phelps and Charlotte Phelps. So for us all the track was great but the rain and other stuff spoilt it a bit. The awards took place one and a half hours after the results were published and I eventually arrived home after 297 miles at midnight. All in all a great weekend which was due to the Westfield banter and friendliness between all competitors, wives, friends etc
See you all at Blyton.
Class G Competitor
TEL's TALES 06/17 3 Sisters 21st May 2017
As most of you know the future management/liquidity of the Three Sisters venue (or parts of it) are under review and it is to the credit of Longton DMC that they managed to keep this event on. The entry was not massive so everyone was looking forward to good weather and lots of runs in the normal LDMC tradition. The weather did stay dry all day which was a bonus as some weather forecasts had predicted a bit of the wet stuff which we would not have been amused about particularly those of us on slicks. There were 11 Westfield club members, many of who are also LDMC members, so some good completion was on the cards. P1 was completed in about 40 mins without any problems at all and Dave Cleaver’s pace showed he was out for maximum points as was John Hoyle. Del and Gary had managed to put their spare 2litre honda engine in the car whist the bigger engine is repaired and with the supercharger they were going to be fast. With motorsport you always get an unforeseen problem and this time it started in P2 and continued into T1 with major anomalies in the recorded times and delays due to reruns. The LDMC officials were on the case and did their best to sort the problems out for the afternoon runs which , in general, went well and meant we had 6 timed runs which is good value for money. During the day John Hoyle was suffering from an electrical fault on his gearchange system and his rival Dave Cleaver got stuck in with the laptop and his IT knowledge to help sort it out. The efforts even included calls to Kevin Jones at home in Harrogate to see if he could come up with any ideas. In the end John just ran with all the high tech disconnected so he could get a decent time. Mick Dent was enjoying his first visit to the track but was a little off the pace in his slick shod Busa so myself and Adam read came to his assistance to adjust the suspension and also get the wishbone bolts loosened as they were stopping movement of the shocks.He also had a sticking throttle which caused a nice spin but no damage. Matt Turner and I were ready for the battle in class G and it was Matt’s first time out this year to defend his track record. I had an interesting day softening off my suspension to suit the radial slicks I am using this year which is work in progress as I still do not have as much rear end grip as I would like. Steve was alone in class D and posted some consistent times throughout the day. Adam Read was in class A2 and had his personal ding dong with Maurici Revilla in class B2 who managed to keep it on the black stuff this year and avoid the tyre wall. It was good to see Steve Wilson out in his black Lotus Elise and he won his class to score well in class J3. The highlights of the day were Matt Turner beating me by 0.05secs on the last run (I am usually the master of this technique) which made his day, Del just pipped Gary in class H whilst Dave Cleaver took a well deserved FTD and only bothered with 2 timed runs as he had maxed out on his score. Five Westfield took the top five spots with very close times and they were Dave Cleaver, Derek Hodder, Matt Turner, Terry Everall and Gary Bunn so it was a Notts and Derby plus Yorhshire clean sweep. Mick Dent and John Hoyle were also in the top 10 so a great Westfield performance particularly as there were a few Cateringvans competing.
A great day for all and no serious damage to a car with the promise of a return visit in July (which I can’t do as my family have booked me on a holiday!). I may see some of you at Pembrey in two weeks time.
Best Times were
Class A2 Adam Reid 48.12sec
Class B2 Maurici Revilla 49.64secs
Class D Steve Everall 49.23secs
Class F John Hoyle 46.35secs
Class G Matt Turner 44.91secs
Terry Everall 44.96secs !!!!!!!!!!
Class H Dave Cleaver 43.73secs FTD
Derek Hodder 44.82secs
Gary Bunn 45.11secs
Mick Dent 47.49secs
Class J2 Steve Wilson 54.20secs
Class G competitor
TEL's TALES 05/17
Snetterton weekend 13th/14th May 2017
Well I am just back from a great weekend run by Borough 19 at Snetterton where we had 13 speed series cars on the Saturday and 15 on Sunday so it was a good turnout and a well run event. I delivered another set of Force rims to Pete Goulding and also transported a nosecone. Despite the worry about paddock space due to a massive Mini/racing weekend on the outer track we were mostly on the tarmac apart from a few who arrived on Sat am or Sunday who were on the grass but found it ok if annoying that they were split from the rest of the Westfield crowd. Having arrived late on Friday a few of us walked the track to see if it was all still there…..and as usual Steve Everall spent most of the time picking up nuts, bolts, screws and washers of all shapes and sizes from the trackside and I pocketed the good ones for future use. There was some debate about whether John Hoyle could walk at all as he had damaged his knee at work and looked in a lot of pain walking, never mind driving. As he does not drink alcohol I could not offer him any pain relief. Sadly Derek Hodder and Gary Bunn had not made it as the engine repairs and clutch installation had not gone smoothly and the engine had to come out again. I understand they eventually found a broken clutch plate rivet jammed in the clutch housing behind the springs. Steve Carpenter and Roz Kennett only completed the install of the £180 replacement engine from ebay (after the Ty Croes big end problem) at 2100hrs Sat night but they did manage to compete on Sunday.
Weather was good and we all passed scrutineering and got 2 practice runs and 1 timed run before lunch on a dry track which seemed a little lacking of grip early in the day. Simon Bainbridge had his son with him who was being very professional as pit mechanic and wheel cleaner/polisher during the weekend. I noticed Steve’s car had the end of the nearside bottom wishbone bent upwards so later we got out the big hammer and straightened it as he had forgotten to bring his spare wishbones with him but knew where they were in his garage! John Hoyle was quickest in practice but at the end of P1 Steve came with the oil warning light on and the oil pressure gauge reading zero but the engine sounded OK which was a bit odd. I checked the sensors were ok so it did not look good, however John Hoyle said he had previously had issues with a sticking release valve in the dry sump pump. So as usual the Westfield crew got stuck in and with John, Dave, Mick and myself and a clean bucket and trays we drained the oil and removed the dry sup pump during P2. I found a small piece of grit on the valve so we cleaned it and put it back in and the job was done with oil pressure now ok. Mick provided a massive industrial sized roll of blue paper towel son we mopped up all the spillages and all was good with the weekend saved by Steve’s mates. Steve has asked me to thank everyone! John may have been going fast but his timing strut was deemed inadequate and not sticking out far enough so that was quickly modded. In the timed runs Dave Cleaver was seriously quick and smashed the class target time/record with 88.24secs on his first run. John Hoyle was chasing him but it looked like the ZZR tyres could not deal with the grunt and power he has. Steve was so happy with his car repair that he was sideways for much of the time. Jason Brown was getting to grips with the track and eventually beat the target time by a good margin on his last run. In class G I had been having a good battle with John Loudon and was over a second up until on the last run lady luck appear for John. Mick Skidmore lost it on his run and went off meaning that John Loudon and Dave Cleaver got a rerun… so now maybe he had warm tyres and put in a great run to beat me by 0.47 secs. As a result I have now requested that he is renamed Mick Skidless! In class J2 the 5 competitors were matt Hillam, Steve Broughton, Carol Torkington, Pete Goulding and Paul Morcom in a wide variety of cars. In the evening there was a live rock group in the bar which most of us really enjoyed as we had a few refreshments. Mick Skidless, Steve and I were still in there at 2345hrs until they finished and once again I was reminded that Steve knew all the words to the songs but not necessarily in the right order as Eric Morecambe once said.
It rained during the night and the practice runs were very wet and slippy with most of having an entertaining drive and a few slides and odd car angles as we got round the circuit. I think Roz Kennett had an off in P1 but the car was running well on its £180 engine. Steve Carpenter was trying so hard that he had an off in P2 so he would not feel that he missed out on anything Roz had done. Steve Everall had two big moments at the start line hairpin and Pete Goulding did a nice 360 deg spin for us. During the day John Loudon had to fix his alternator bracket alignment and then his alternator would not charge so he just used battery power. Once again Dave Cleaver set the pace and was showing us how its done and he only bothered to take 1 timed run as he smashed the target time and record with 88.16 secs. After T1 I was leading john Loudon by 0.04secs but in T2 he posted a very quick 91.24secs to beat my old record of 91.37secs and take the points. Jason Brown beat target again and Steve Carpenter also broke target time so the rebuild was worth it. A great weekend and I have only mentioned a little of what went on…
The battle is now hotting up as Dave and John Hoyle are scoring big points but there is still plenty of time for others to challenge.
Class G competitor
TEL's TALES 04/17
Ty Croes, Angelsey weekend 29th/30th April 2017
This event was run by MG car club (NW) with 2 laps of the National circuit on Saturday and 1 lap of the International on Sunday. The weather for all 9 Westfield drivers was very windy and very cold but despite the weather forecast it did not rain apart from a few early showers on Saturday morning during practice.. The big bonus was that it was a medium sized entry, well run and we got loads of runs particularly on Sunday. From a personal perspective I was happy to be back in action as I had clutch failure and then the big ends went at start of April so I have had almost zero seat time and not really scored any points. I have installed another blade engine and used the honda HRC kit ECU and Powercommander V, so had to get it on the rolling road again. I do hate watching as the engine is mapped and has it neck rung at in excess of 14000rpm and watching the oil pressure , water temp, etc is very traumatic. Happily all went well and it produced some reasonable figures. I have also had to work with Steve changing his gearbox after an expensive rebuild due to the cost of quaife gears. Thanks to Graham Millar for a brilliant service and quick turnround.
Some of our southern softie drivers were sharing a garage and quite early on Saturday they were working on changing John Loudon’s alternator as it failed during the start of practice which he missed (lucky he had a spare and had previously driven the circuit so knew where the corners were). I got to the noise test only to find out that my tacho was not reading the correct revs so I just blagged it and got through. It was clear that apart from the Westfield classes there would be some “personal battles” going on and some quick times were expected. In the timed runs I was one of the first to have problems as in T1my flatshifter decided to give up the ghost and have me missing gear shifts so I was not amused and disconnected it for the weekend….now I had to learn how to change gear using the clutch. Steve was having his usual battle with Mick Skidmore who started to lose oil from his gearbox. Steve Carpenter and Roz spent ages helping a guy called Chris in his ailing Westfield which appeared to have sensor or wiring problems but they kept it going all weekend using a spare battery Steve had. As the day went on it became clear that some of the target times were going to be very difficult to achieve ( class G ??) We had one practice of 2 laps and the track was cold with limited grip. During the day things got a little better but it was hard to go faster. Dave Cleaver in class H on slicks, chased by John Hoyle set the pace and did a 106.65secs against a target of 106.37secs. John Hoyle scored high again as he beat the class F target with 109.77secs on his last run. John Loudon beat me in class G with a good drive and 110.26secs against a very hard target of 107.94secs. Steve Everall was wearing odd shoes on each foot for some reason. I thought it was some new speed enhancing technique but it was because he was having trouble with a painful left foot!. The evening was great as we all ate together in the bar and had a good craic until we were thrown out.
Mark Bishop was out first still running in a true road going class and finding the targets hard but had a smile on his face all weekend. Dave Cleaver was constantly adjusting his car geometry and I joined in, using the flat garage floor, to adjust my nearside front camber. John Loudon was convinced that he needed wider front tyres as his new slicks were getting some severe abuse on the fast International layout and my new slicks were not looking much better. The times were not consistently available to drivers as they finished, so a few of managed to get onto the TSL website for live timings. Fastest 3 in practice were Dave Cleaver 87.15secs, John Hoyle ( on ZZR tyres) 88.73secs and me on 90.33 secs. At the end of T1 John Hoyle had problems with the clutch cable needing adjustment and I had an exhaust manifold pipe fracture almost in half. Once again the Westfield “crew” sprung into action and with an old diet coke can, some jubilee clips, snips and some gloves to stop hands being burnt a repair was effected and I have to thank all those who helped including Dave Cleaver, Steve Carpenter, Roz Kennett, Mick Skidmoe etc . I hardly got involved and the repair was great. In the end we had 5 timed runs and set some good times. Dave Cleaver was once again fastest with 85.77secs and beating target. John Hoyle beat the target with 88.128secs against the 89.50secs target and packed in after two runs. I managed to get revenge against John Loudon and our times were very quick with 88.13secs and 88.44secs against a target of 88.02secs. Steve Carpenter had gone well all weekend but his ST 170 engine expired with big ends knocking on the last run. Roz Kennett was very pleased to pick up the fastest Lady award.
So a great weekend and enjoyed by all with some good drives on the ragged edge.
A few repairs and I hope tpo be out and see some of you at Snetterton
Class G competitor
Tel’s Tales Anglesey 1st and 2nd April 2017
I guess that any of us involved in motorsport have a bad break, once in a while, such as my clutch issue at Rockingham but things can only get better……or perhaps not in my case. I thought that it was just an unlucky start to the season but more doom and gloom was on the horizon. It was my oldest grandaughter’s 18th birthday on the Friday so I delayed my 4 hour drive and set off at 1830 thinking I will miss the traffic on the M6. I was correct and Steve and I flew along until we hit the M56 where there seemed to be accidents every 5 miles or so. Then the Welsh Highways department played their best card as they had apparently (with little warning) closed about 10 miles for roadworks, with no diversion routes shown. After what seemed like hours of ignoring my satnav request to “turn around when possible” we went through Chester and back to Queensferry. Arrived in the paddock at about 2330hrs too late for a beer or two so just went to bed! Woke at 0100hrs to the sound of heavy rain belting down on the motorhome roof which even drowned out Steve’s snoring.
Saturday was a bit dull and cold but the damp track was drying and with only 35 cars there would be lots of track time….for most people! Some Speed Series stickers had been dished out by Tim so they were being slapped onto car sides. Scrutineering was easy and away we went at 1000hrs prompt with 2 practice runs. Alas, in P1, Craig Spooner hit the tyre wall somewhere near Rocket complex and having hoped that things were repairable he found a damaged chassis so had to pack in so that was a big blow for him. I was fastest car in P1 and P2 and I was predicting that a Westfield could take FTD on both days so things looked good. Steve’s gearbox was still playing up and no matter how much we adjusted the clutch cable he had problems all weekend with selecting 2nd or 3rd gear and as a result his times suffered. I set off for T1 like a scolded cat but after about 200m approaching Rocket the engine note changed and I lost most power so I killed the ignition and came to a halt for a tow back to the paddock. The engine would start but sounded awful, no sign of plug or piston damage but that was it I was out! Tim Nunn was having a problem as he was losing power at around 10000rpm in the blade car. Mick Dent was continuingly having to tighten up his nearside front hub axle to prevent it coming off. In T4 John Hoyle got a bit giddly approaching the LH hairpin near the finish and came off so he could test the grass surface grip. This was not a god move as his car literally got bogged down and filled with soft brown mud resulting in damaged bodywork. Even the recovery vehicles got stuck and could not pull him out. The long break whilst they sorted this out helped people refuel and get a cuppa as the runs were coming fast and furious. In the end there were 2 practices and 8 timed runs by which time most people had given up trying to go faster. Great value for money and day for Derek Hodder as he took FTD closely chased by Gary. Tim Nunn had a good battle with class G newcomer John Loudon and only just won. Mick Dent running in class H with his Busa was really quick and only 1 sec behind Del. As this was a new circuit there were good points for many. The final straw for me was when , due to only a few of being in the bar, we were kicked out at 2100hrs.
Sunday- Mark Anson had turned upon Saturday afternoon and stayed over to spectate with me and help around the paddock. He biggest complaint was that he had to pay a fiver to get in. I had been appointed as a Steward for LDMC so I asked the lads to be polite and give me some respect in view of my position…that had no effect at all.
During practice Tim’s replacement fuel pump seemed to be working ok but in the end a change of plugs was probably what cured the loss of power. John Loudon was running out of revs and on the limiter for a long way down the back straight and was a bit puzzled as his new Elite box ratios should have given him a top speed of about 135mph. It seems that his drop gears may have been installed incorrectly which helped his acceleration but not his top speed. My old tyres seemed to be working well on his car so he will now need a new set particularly as there were 2 practices and 12 Timed runs available which is unheard of. In T2 Mike Skidmore’s prop shaft failed at the universal joint so he put the car on the trailer. Del and Gary were going well but their WIFI gear change system seemed to be sticking and cause shift problems. In T1 John Hoyle beat the target time and scored 101 points so was a happy bunny. In the end Gary Bunn beat the target and took a well deserved FTD in Del’s car so they did the double and did Westfields proud.
So it was a great effort by LDMC in running this event early in the season which I believe will be well supported next year based upon the weekend weather and number of runs made available.
Class G competitor
Tels’s Tales Rockingham 26th March 2017
Well what a way to start my season! Spent most of the winter putting spare engine in and doing several other mods so hoped for a good shakedown but my clutch failed to work after convoy sighting run. I was not too pleased to say the least but Steve offered me a double drive in his car so at least I would get out on track. The day was bright, warm and sunny so the other 12 competitors got ready to score good points in both Expert as well as Novice classes. It was good to see some old faces as well as some new ones joining in this year’s competition which has around 60 registered drivers. In the Novice class B1 four people battled it out over the 2 practice and 2 timed runs. Steve Carpenter came out top with Simon Jones, Roz Kennett and Matt Haynes getting quicker throughout the day. Paul Beesley blasted round in the busa for a fastest time of 78.13secs and he was quickest novice.
In class A2 Mark Bishop beat George Newrick by nearly 4 secs whilst Barny Francis was fastest Westfield on the day with 76.45 secs and Steve Everall had a good run with 79.92secs despite a clutch and gearbox problem but he was happy to be back on ZZR tyres. Craig Spooner went well in class C with a best of 81.61 secs whilst Michael Skidmore’s first timed run was his best with 84.52 secs
In class J2 Pete Goulding was second in his class so picked up 100 points.
For most this was a great start to the season but I spent 9 hours on Monday diagnosing and trying to rectify the problem on the spare engine I am using for the moment. It had been stood in my garage for since a rebuild 18 months ago so I did not expect to have problems ……but that’s motorsport. I hope to be ready to set off for Anglesey on Friday so hope to see you there either in your cars or spectating
Class G competitor
TEL's TALES 071/16
Ty Croes weekend 1st/2nd Oct 2016
The third visit of the season and the climax of our speed series saw 22 competitors plus Dave Cleaver who was tyre testing. The overall championship had already been sewn up by John Loudon so the pressure was off him but there was a great battle between Maurici Tevilla and Barny Francis which would be decided over the weekend. Derek Hodder was tyring to overhaul me to get 4th overall and Matt Turner was in with a chance of beating me for the class G championship. Friday afternoon saw many of us setting up and enjoying the late afternoon sunshine but dreading the rain forecast for Saturday. Sure enough at about 3am I was woken by the noise of heavy rain on the motorhome roof. By morning it was stil raining and the track was soaking wet with standing water on many corners so there would be no cutting of apexes. For the slick shod cars in class G, H and J2 this meant we all put our wet tyres on and in act they stayed on all day! There was too much going on over the weekend for me to give you a full run down as we were in covered garages as well as in the paddock so it was hard to keep up with events. Most people had spins, big slides, gear shift issues and in Matt Turner's case a red oil warning light that worried him all weekend. The timing was causing a bit of concern as some times were clearly wrong and faster cars caught slower cars which messed up the timings and produced several reruns. Indeed Gary Bunn had so many reruns that he was nicknamed “Re Run Bun” and Barny Francis nearly ran out of fuel as he did more reruns than Gary! The conditions during the day were very wet and it was only on our second and unfortunately final timed runs tah the track dried a little. As the road going cars ran more than an hour later than the slick cars they were the quickest Westfields. Despite trying his hardest Maurici Revilla could not beat Barny Francis who was the fastest Westfield and nearly took the National B fastest time of the day whilst also securing the Overall Novice Championshipso he was very pleased. Roz Kennet won the fastest lady trophy on the day and Barny picked up fastest novice.
The evening celebrations were great and quite noisy as the 20 or so Westfield crew took over the bar and the booze flowed. Richard Kerr had a free massage from Julie Hodder who pinned him to the floor and she was later seen sandwiched on the settee between Richie and Tim all wearing ginger wigs( whoops..except Julie).After we were thrown out at about 1130pm Barny finished the evening befriended the infamous Richie and Tim duo who had a date with Captan Morgan. After the bottle was finished Barny left for his bed. Next thing he knew it was about 5am and he had apparently spent a very uncomfortable in the gents loos overnight! He was up bright and breezy ready for battle on Sunday as we woke to a glorious sunny day. At lunchtime we gathered together to congratulate John Loudon on winning the overall championship. He is a worthy winner and has set some great times over the years and his persiverance has paid off. Sunday saw us get 2 practices and 2 timed runs in dry conditions although P1 was a bit slippy. We had a stoppage for sheep on the track and timing issues (reruns) lost us valuable track time. Highlight of the day was Derek Hodder breaking the class H record and moving into 4th place overall and moving me down to 5th as I was beaten by Tim Nunn and Matt Turner on both days. Mark Anson won his first trophy in the OMS and was very pleased with how it went. All cars kept running and were not damaged as far as I know despite the usual mechanical and electrical gremlins that happen. Dave Cleaver was testing his car on a combination of slicks and ZZRs but I think his gearbox shift system was not playing ball. In summary I think everyone had a great weekend but struggled with the traffic jams on the way home. Hope to see many of you at the Awards dinner and hopefully out competing next year.
Class G competitor
Tel's Tales 070/16
Curborough Figure of 8
27th Aug 2016
With a late entry for Pete Goulding in his Mygale FF single seater there were 6 of us compared to last year's 8. This ws probably due to the clash with the Loton hillclimb weekend and LDMC's Harewood event on Sunday. In the end it was a disappointing/frustrating day mainly due to the number of cars and the weather resulting in only 1 timed run for most of us. There were actually 80 entries with thousands of Porsche cars and Cateringvans. P1 was mostly uneventful but did take nearly 2hrs 30mins and this prompted the BMMC orgainers to run nonstop with no lunch break in an attempt to get the 2 practice and 2 timed runs in. John Loudon seemed to have a lack of power exiting Fradley hairpin and my Dash2 display was going bonkers with intermittent faults which need tracing...my least favourite job. For T1, which started around 1400hrs, the track was still not warm after the early morning rain so most of us went for a banker run rather than flat out. Towards the end of these runs there was a big downpour which was really “game over” and we all put our cars in our trailers. Unluckily for Steve Everall he had already left the paddock and was stuck in the start line queue getting soaked. He did his run and on his Avon ZZS tyres was about 10secs slower thatn T1 but was quickest in his class on the day in the wet but not in the dry!.
It was good to have quite a few visitors during the day who had braved the bad weather forecast. In the end Pete Goulding was second fastest car just missing out on FTD. Pete was awarded the trophy as fastest “Westfield” driver but the real fastest Westfield on the day was Derek Hodder in his supercharged Honda car beating his mate Gary Bunn.
Pete Goulding class J2 55.91 secs
Derek Hodder class H 58.09 secs
Gary Bunn class H 58.44 secs
Terry Everall class G 59.01 secs
John Loudon class E 60.78 secs
Steve Everall class B2 66.06 secs
Speed Series Correspondent
Class G competitor
TEL's TALE's 069/16
Three Sisters 30th July 2016
This was the second visit to the Three Sisters track near Wigan and used course number 2 again. A total of 9 Speed Series guys were entered and the weather forecast was good and indeed it stayed dry all day. I was on holiday in the south of France and did not leave Nimes airport until 1030hrs Friday and in less than 24 hrs, by 0715hrs Saturday, I was in the paddock and ready to rumble. It was good to see Graham Frankland taravelling north and seeing what the track was like but he nearly did not make it as he almost forgot his passport. Scrutineering passed ok but there was talk of all seat belts needing to be in date next year and the use of Logbooks. Dave Cleaver and Andy Hargreaves both had their road legal cars cars logbooked. There was a reasonable sized entry and at the driver's briefing we were promised as many runs as they could fit in subject to the weather and cars staying on the black stuff…......
P1 started prompt at 1000hrs and we all found the track lacked grip even though it was quite warm. P2 showed that matt Turner and Dave Cleaver were quickly on the pace and showing how its done. Mick Skidmore was initially going well (after fitting a new clutch as it failed at Blyton) but started to get a missfire and found that he only had about 11.5v at the battery. Eventually the penny dropped when found the alternators wires not connected up following taking his engine out to do the clutch..whoops. T1 and T2 took place before lunch with Steve Everall and Graham Frankland setting their best times of the day in T1. Steve was 2.5secs (5percent) off his previous best and blamed it on the ZZS tyres. Maurici Revilla was really trying hard but in T2 he had a big off at Lunar bend and although he was only shaken up a bit his car needed repairs to chassis, bodywork and suspension so that ended his day but his first run would score him good points. Mick Skidmore was still having missfire problems which we could not diagnose as it was dependent on throtte position. I suspected the throttle pot we we did not have a laptop and software to check it and on the last run the car cut out completely. Mark Anson was still struggling a bit to get a good time out of the OMS but at least his J2 target time was easy compared to the other classes. Andy Hargeraves and Dave Cleaver posted good times whilst Matt Turner was driving really well and out to beat me this time. I was struggling with a frozen shoulder, jet lag, a painful right knee, old slick tyres (18 events) and a trickshifter that decided not to work....apart from that I was not going quick enough despite trying a few suspension set up changes.
After lunch we had another 5 runs making 2 practice and 7 timed runs in all and we still finished at 1630hrs...brilliant. For me the star of the day was Matt who posted all of his 7 timed runs between 44.48secs and 44.99secs for consistent on the limit driving leaving me to pick up the second place trophy whilst he took first.
Best times were
Steve Everall class B2 51.10secs
Graham Frankland class C 51.95secs
Andy Hargreaves class E 48.45secs
Michael Skidmore class F 52.21secs
Dave Cleaver class F 45.71secs
Matt Turner class G 44.48secs
Terry Everall class G 45.62secs
Mark Anson class J2 46.10secs
Maurici Revilla class B1 49.53secs
Blyton Westfield Sprint weekend
9th and 10th July 2016
This was the long awaited Westfield organised Sprint weekend and also a Friday trackday attended by many Westfileds and a few Competitors. Much work had been put in by John Williams and his team of helpers and by this time they have already received our thanks. The weekend also saw a great effort in raising approx £730 funds for “Hope for Cancer” charity which was well supported and offered nice cakes and a raffle. Many of us arrived on Friday afternoon and some of us managed to park up in our paddock positions. There was a bit of light hearted mumbling about how the roadgoing classes had ended up on new tarmac but the slick cars had to contend with gravel areas so maybe we can look at this next year and also try to keep all the Westfield guys together in the same area so that Tim, Rich and Matt can keep everyone awake! There was some off track amusement provided by Matt Turner erecting his camper awning which lasted some considerable time but amazingly did not involve any swearing. Also in a short space of time and before beer refreshment Steve Everall broke one of my bestest camping chairs and then lost his car keys...talk about panic stations I have never seen him move so fast in his search to find them. They turned out to be in the cup holder pocket on my camping chair so I got the blame even though I never touched the keys. Mind you , I did loose the motorhome keys later on ....found them in the door lock! The track day seemed to go well and there was good track courtesy as well as some over enthusiast driving by some who seemed desparate to destroy their tyres with big slides and screaming tyres. Steve Carpenter and Roz Kennett were trying different suspension set ups and made good use of their track time and Adam Read was instructing again. The evening saw BBQs out and a “little” alcoholic intake as well as a magnificent sunset..... but the saying of “Red sky at night, shepherd's delight”turned out to be false as we awoke to a very wet morning of rain whick got heavy at about 0930hrs just as we got ready for P1. Due to the large numbers of Westifelds I apologise if I miss out some people or problems but it was a big paddock and I could not keep track of the many incidents etc.
It was good to see Phil Nicholl's out to play (but there was no sign of Vodka jelly) as well as Paul Dew (aka Tigger) for the first time this year. Everyone was looking at weather apps on their phones and the concensus was that it was going to be wet on and off for most of the day. In P1 most of class G and H kept their slicks on and had very scary drives with no grip and unpredictable surface water but at least it cleaned the tyres up. As I was keeping dry I couldnt see a lot of the action but I know Tigger's enthusiasm got the better of him as he had an off exiting the Wriggler chicane but the car was ok when they pulled it out of the field and farmer's crops. There were the usual tales of near mishaps, lurid slides, no grip on the start line, opposite lock and lucky escapes. In P2 it was even wetter than before and some of us used our wet suits to keep dry and the slicks came off to be replaced by Wets for everyone. By this time there was standing water so keeping it smooth and dealing with the standing water was the main issue especially in the braking areas where most of us suffered as the cars just refused to stop. In practice we had about a 45 mins delay as the track conditions were assessed but most of us just wanted to carry on and deal with whatever we had to drive in. At last it stopped raining and after a break for lunch it was drying up quickly and the sky looked promising.
T1- Michael Skidmore had total failure of his clutch so unfortunately that was his weekend finished so he has had a bit of bad luck recently and he was keen to get the engine out on Sunday and see what had happened. ( turned out the clutch plate and springs had all collapsed due to his power and sequentail box). Steve Everall forgot it was still a bit damp on track and nearly went straight on at the Wriggler chicane and quite a few people had spins or had all four wheel off the course so had a Fail. Also all four wheels must be inside the white lines at the finish and quite a few did not manage that as they slid around the fast last right hand corner across the finish. I was determined to get a good first run but clipped a blue cone on the apex of a left hand corner which knocked my silencer back by 25mm and put a big hole in my left rear wing but that was quickly patched up with a bit of duck/duct tape in a matching black colour. Matt Turner had a spin and Mark Anson, in the OMS, was finding it hard to post a good time as he is still getting used to the car as is Mark Schlanker, both on OMS 2000M cars.
T2 – Matt Turner had a big spin after the finish and Tim Nunn pushed hard but did not have all four wheel on through the finish.
I wont try to analyse the resuts as we had 33 competitors out there and its hard to pick out individuals as there were some great battles in all classes.
We had a better forecast for the weather today but the sky was full of threatening clouds and we did have some rain in late in P1 and P2. T1 was drying and T2 was bone dry. At various stages through the day people had spins, Richard Kerr went straight on at the chicane, Adam and Charlotte Phelps had fuel swirl pot lift pump failure on the Busa (luckily Rick Kerr had a spare) as well as a defective starter. In P1 Tim Nunn had a spin at the first corner and Rich Kerr was having gear shift issues. In T1 John Gilmour in the Kevin Jones's R1 car took out the timing gear at the finish. Paul Dew was getting to grips with his car at last and posting decent times. Phil Nicholl's car failed to start due to a broken starter motor so he needed pushing for rest of the day. Steve Everall went better than Saturday but his times reflected the apparent poor grip from the Avon ZZS tyre compared to the ZZR he was used to last year. Ian Davenport was enjoying being back in the paddock and put on a great display for the spectators at the finish line. Gary Bunn just got the better of Derek Hodder and Barny Francis put in a very good drive again and continues to improve. Maurici Revilla won his class on both days with excellent drives whilst Dave Cleaver was also well on the pace and beat some of the slick shod cars. Tim Nunn won class G on both days with Matt Turner taking second on Sunday with a great drive.
In the end we all had a busy and interesting weekend fighting the weather and the track. The paddock banter and support was the best this year and John and his team did the club proud. Thanks to everyone who helped.
The only downside was probably that very few people actually got anywhere near the difficut target times and scored low points in the championship.......maybe we need to move away from Target Times! Interestingly the Saturday event was nearly declared a 1.6e event (Wet rules apply) as approx 45% of drivers were more than 10% slower than the target time even though the timed runs were dry.
The date for our return in 2017 is already booked so get it in your diary early.
TEL's TALE's 067/16
Well Aintree is not one of my favourite tracks since I went bike engined a few years a go. With only 69 ft lbs of torque and a long, long straight its hard to get good terminal speed especially if there is a headwind......and guess what we had one so target times were going to to be very very difficult. My brother Steve quite likes it and we decide to give it a go as he needs the event for the championship following his engine blow up. Alarm went off at 0430 hrs so it was another early start and 2hour drive over the Pennines into god forsaken Lancashire and it rained most of the way. Luckily when we arrived it dried up and apart from a shower the day was fine, even for slicks. The target times for classes G and H had been set in 2013 with a following wind and warm track so I was moaning right from the start!
Liverpool motorclub had a big entry of 136 cars and yet still managed to give us 2 practices and 4 Timed runs (approx 816 starts) so it was a good value event and we need a few more like them. Scutineering was quick and efficient but I did not see anybody questioned about the use of list 1A, 1B tyres for road going and there was rumour that a non Westfield was running ACB 10 crossplies which I thought were banned for road going classes. There were 10 Westfields including John williams and Steve Everall in Road Going classes as well as John Gilmour and Graham Ware (both novices) double driving Kevin Jones's R1 car with him watching anxiously from the start line. At least Graham did not break the seat this time. Dave Cleaver and John Loudon were the guys looking for big points as their class F and class E Target Times appeared to be fairly easy compared to other classes.
I do not remember any dramas in P1 and P2 but a little care was required as the track was dusty and then a little damp after a shower. The start line seemd particularly slippy and the slick cars had slower 64ft times than some roadgoing cars as Graham Frankland proved. However, Steve Everall's reused number 4 on his car came adrift but it had been used about 8 times and it nearly broke his heart to use a new one!! …..and you thought I was tight!
In timed run 1 John Gilmour ,who was battling with Graham Ware, had a spin at Beechers and took 111.62secs whilst quickest was with 44.53secs. I jumped in my car and got belted up and helmet on, pressed the starter to hear a strange “whoosh” and see all my power fail. A few expletives later and I was out trying to diagnose the problem as others returned from their runs. My battery was showing 8volts so I replaced it with my spare as we could not find any blown fuses or loose connections. Same thing happened again so we had to find out what was puling down the voltage. It turned out to be the fuel pump which had probably fried itself. Luckily I had a spare and after draining the fuel tank we installed it and put another of my spare batteries on and all seemed fine with the bonus that I got my T1 staright after the lunch break. I have to thank John Williams, Dave Cleaver, Kevin Jones, Steve Everall, John Loudon and Graham Frankland for massive support and assistance over lunch in providing tools, tea, ground sheet to lay on, 2 drain trays and a huge 747 fuel funnel from Graham. This club is brilliant at keeping cars running and helping when the going gets tough. At this stage Dave Cleaver began to suffer problems with gear selection on his Sadev box electronics etc and he withdrew from T3 and T4. Also prevalent during lunch and later was the debate about BREXIT and admiration of Graham Frankland coffin. Sorry I meant toolbox storage mounted on the front of his trailer although we did think it would make a good bar with a few kegs of beer and pumps on top of it. In the end the astest Westfeld was Garry Bunn with 44.49secs just 0.04 secs quicker than Del on 44.53secs. John Loudon had a good event breking the class record twice and ending with maximum points and a time of 46.27secs on his first run. I struggled and ended with 46.72 secs and Dave Cleaver's best was 45.60 secs also on T1Graham Ware beat John Gilmour and was well pleased . Graham Frankland ended with a best of 51.91secs from T3, Steve Everall with 51.28 in T1 and got a trophy for 2nd in class whilst John Williams enjoyed himself with a steady run of 56.75secs in class A1.
See you all at Blyton
TEL's TALE's 066/16
Ty Croes, Anglesey 18th and 19th June 2016
This was my first trip to Anglesey in the motorhome and also with Margaret so I was hoping for some good weather and socialising in the paddock and certainly a better night's kip compared to sleeping in the back of the trailer and I was looked after with sandwiches etc and we had a good BBQ Friday night. It was good to see that Michael Skidmore was back out following his problems at Pembrey. A total of 12 Speed Series on Saturday and 11 on Sunday was a reasonable turnout but not compared to the 30 plus we had a few years ago when we were regularly thrown out of the bar at midnight! Scutineering was pretty slick and some got it done Friday night. The two issues seemed to be that we were asked to use tiewraps to provide extra security for the cameras we use but with Go Pro stuff and roll cage mounts this was a waste of time. Tim Nunn was also challenged about his Cage cage dimensions as it did not have a homologation sticker on it. Luckily he found a certicate that covered it. It was noticed that on Saturday other scrutineers were seen to be looking closely at ROPS sytsems and in some cases measuring the main elements. We were in two classes and Steve was the only true “Roag Going” car in class 01 whilst the rest were in 02.
Saturday 18th June 2016
The weather was overcast but dry and not too cold so it was looking promising for a good day of sprinting using one lap of the International course. In P1 Steve Everall (still getting used to the syncro box ) set off in 3rd gear instead of 1st and still did a 3.31secs 64ft time! Not a lot of drama in P1 but I did manage to be quickest Westfield with 90.69 secs on my old tyres. Barny Francis was new to the track as were Adam and Charlotte Phelps in the slick shod Busa. P2 saw the two Margaret Everall's deciding that moral support would be best provided by them going for a walk down the coast to the old church. Michael Skimore had more problems with his car as the engine cut out and he had to be towed back to the paddock. After changing the plugs due to a suspect spark I fiddled aroud with the connector to the coil pack and the engine sprang back to life and ran ok all weekend but we dont know what the original problem was so a bit more diagnosing is required. In this session my mate and biggest rival Tim Nunn was quickest Westfield closely followed by Dave Cleaver who was on a mission again! Just as we were getting ready for T1 before lunch it became apparent that this would be P3 but who the hell wants P3? After a lot of muttering and debate a few of us did not bother with the extra pointless practice and it actually lost us a third timed run later in the day so we were not best pleased. To add insult to injury Richard Kerr's rear diffuser broke and nearly fell off so he removed it and it did not seem to have any detrimental effect and reduced the car's weight.
T1 and T2 commenced after the lunch break and the battle to get close to Target Times as well as other driver's times was intense. Tim Nunn banged in an 89.90secs agianst my best of 90.25secs but Dave Cleaver pipped us both with 88.99secs on his last run to be quickest westfield. Also scoring well was John Loudon (Jane had gone cycling again) and Barny Francis was close to the Novice D target time and was very happy with his pace although it would be nice if we had more novices/newcomers battling it out together as we saw last year. Charlotte Phelps enjoyed her drives but was also seen helping out the Calders in the big Gould car. Her brother Adam Phelps recorded some consistent times and even go to grips with using Richard Kerr's heat gun to clean his front tyres. Then just as we were getting into it the British Sprint top 12 run off took place and there was no time for a third timed run so that was annoying particularly in view of the third practice that was held.
Sunday 19th June 2016 National x 2 laps
The weather forecast was spot on as we awoke to a light drizzle blowing in the wind, which by the time we stated was proper rain. At this stage some of the southern softies decided to pay for space in the garages and headed for shelter. The hard northern lads – aka tight b******ds- (me, Tim, Steve, Richard etc) decide to save our cash as we were not wet through yet and we would only get a bit rusty rather than sunburnt and also £20 is 11 pints of John Smith's old brewery bitter!!! P1 saw Richard Kerr, Dave Cleaver and Steve Everall post some ridiculous quick times which if correct would have blown away all records so the timing gear was checked to ensure no mess up with the timed runs. In P1 John Loudon was seen in a panic as his car would not start and the alternator had failed. Nick Algar luckily had a spare Lithium battery to keep John going and I heard that Nick also provided Adam Phelps with a starter motor for the Busa. By P2 it was raining hard and the track was deteriorating fast so the slick guys put on their wets (apart from Adam Phelps who did not seem to have any) and Michael Skidmore had a bit of trouble as his engine developed a metallic rattle which we diagnosed as a broken timing bracket on his XE engine. T1 was on a very wet track and as usual nutter Nunn kept it on the black stuff despite taking a few gambles, to record a very respectable 127.15secs time against my miserable 129.99secs as I hoped we would have another run. Adam on slicks stood no chance and did 144.47sces whilst Michael Skidmore and Barny Francis had 4 wheels off and therefore did not record a time. Richard Kerr and Dave Cleaver and John Loudon were in the low 130s with Steve Everall on 139.63secs and Mark Bishop on 146.12ses as they struggled for grip. Steve thought that the Avon ZZStyres were quite good in the wet. Matt Hillam had good results on both days with Nick Algar (not in the speed series) doing well on Saturday but spinning out on Sunday near the finish. After a short break it became apparent that there would not be any more runs due to the track conditions and there was not even a top 12 run off as the meetimg was abandoned. The wet time calculations proved that John Loudon had scored best compared to target and Tim Nunn was second.
I am looking forward to the October Ty Croes weekend and see if we can get closer to the targets when I hope a few more of you are entered.
For those who have not had the opportunity to visit, Pembrey is an airfield circuit located on the south west coast of Wales, about 20 minutes beyond Llanelli. Known as ‘The Home of Welsh Motorsport’, it hosts car, truck and bike racing as well as rally cross, tarmac rallies, track days, karting and driving experiences along with an annual sprint for National A and National B competitors. Facilities include a spacious concrete paddock, plenty of grass areas for camping, toilets, showers, restaurant and a catering van, all of which are basic but entirely acceptable. The track is also very close to the coast, with a country park giving access to a large, sandy beach just a short drive from the venue.
The location itself is barely convenient for the residents of Llanelli, let alone the rest of the country, but the motivation to make the trip is the track itself. The combination of a technical in-field section, some really quick bends, long straights and grippy tarmac makes it my favourite sprint venue. Typical of airfield tracks, it is almost entirely flat, and spotting braking/turn-in points can be difficult due to a lack of distinguishing features, but the run-offs are generous in most places. That said, at least one notable Westfield has come to grief at Pembrey, and a dual-drive Fury suffered significant damage on Saturday, so thought is required. There are corners that can be cut aggressively, bends that you can really commit to and options to stay flat (and clench accordingly) where others may lift, as well as places where you can stretch the boundaries of the track to your benefit.
The track, operated by BARC Wales, was a popular venue for testing amongst Formula 1 teams in the late 80’s and early 90’s, including McLaren and Williams. This illustrious history has led to a small amount of ‘legend’ being cultivated, including Ron Dennis using a test session at Pembrey to attempt to diffuse tensions between Senna and Prost in 1989, and Senna being allegedly quoted as saying that the Dibeni/Paddock sequence of bends was amongst his favourites in the world…. .
The number of entrants for the event was notably smaller than previous years, with the sprint held at Abingdon on Saturday being seen as the culprit, although the finger may be fairly pointed at recent (and much discussed) changes in regulations, too. The Westfield entry seemed smaller too, particularly with Terry and Steve Everall giving it a miss this year due to the 7 hour journey from God’s Own County that it entails. The St Gueno hillclimb in France, held the weekend before, may also have distracted some other Westfield competitors. Charlotte and Adam Phelps, Mike Skidmore, David Cleaver, John Loudon, dick Spanner Racing, and I made the trip and all seemed to be subjected to delays on any motorway that they chose to use.
A warm, dry Friday evening provided the opportunity to explore the track and enjoy the evening sunshine in the peace that comes with a remote location. Saturday began cool and overcast but, critically, dry. The driver’s briefing was performed in the genial, informal manner that seems to be customary for the BARC Wales team, and practice commenced just after. Progress throughout the day was slow, with a number of incidents leading to delays and re-runs. For reasons beyond his control, Gary Bunn made a bid for the record number of re-runs in a day, having been victim of a number of baulks and red flags. Mike Skidmore ran into an issue ahead of Practice 1, but was able to register a time for Practice 2, in which most drivers made good progress. I managed a personal best in Practice 2, but then failed to match it for the rest of the day, which was frustrating. All Westfields registered a first timed run, but Mike Skidmore’s second run was compromised by a gear selection issue, and a particularly quick Westfield managed a double-pirouette at the exit of the kink on the back straight; no time was recorded, but style marks were awarded (and you could smell the rubber from the paddock!). David Cleaver finished the day as the fastest Westfield with an impressive 107.81s, with Adam, Derek and Gary in hot pursuit. To give some context, Fastest Time of the Day went to Colin Calder in the well-known Gould GR55, recording 90.11s. Our own Matt Hillam finished fifth in the Top Twelve Run Off with a time of 94.20s in his Dallara.
Sunday dawned warmer and brighter, and proceedings were notably quicker than the previous day due to fewer incidents. My pit crew (family) retired to the beach for the morning, which is not an option at all Speed Series venues. With the help of some valuable suggestions from an experienced Westfield pilot and a bit of deep thought undertaken overnight, my times started to improve. Derek, David and Garry all recorded practice times of 108 seconds. Mike had managed to resolve his gear selection issues but then fell foul of another problem on his second practice run that put an end to his troubled event, which was a shame. Garry pipped David to the honour of fastest Westfield with a 108.61s, with Derek close behind. Adam consistently recorded 110s runs in the slick-shod Megabusa, while Charlotte made significant improvements on her Saturday runs. John Loudon progressed from a best of 114.28s on Saturday to a 113.31s on Sunday. I managed on new personal best of 121.35s after a very committed (for me, anyway!) final run, which ended my event on a high note. John Graham in a Gould GR55B managed to break the Calder stranglehold on the Fastest Time of the Day by recording an 88.68s run, which doesn’t bear thinking about! All Westfields were done for the day by about 14:30, which enabled a much-appreciated prompt departure in warm sunshine for the long journey home.
Two days of warm, dry weather at a great, albeit remote, track were not without frustration for some, but if you had even half as much fun as I did, you had a great time. If you haven’t visited Pembrey before, grit your teeth and make the journey – it’s worth it.
written by Simon Broadbridge
TEL's TALE's 064/16
Snetterton 21st and 22nd May 2016 ( B19 event)
For me this round trip of 400 miles is worth it as Snetterton is a great track with 2laps and some very tricky and technical corners. Particularly novel for me was the use of my newly purchased Motorhome which would provide fantastic accommodation over the weekend event. I did not find the fact that my total vehicle length was about 13m a problem but my god it does use some fuel and recorded about 24mpg!!! Having said that it would easily travel at the legal limit and was a comfortable drive along the A1, A14 and A11 to the circuit. When we arrived in the paddock my new aquistion had detailed inspection by Jane Loudon, Julie Hodder and Sandra Bunn who all gave it the thumbs up and asked why I didn't do it earlier. There was a decent attendance by the Speed Series guys and gal including a few single seaters and about 1800hrs I walked the track with Steve Everall, Dave Cleaver and Mark Anson. Snetterton is a quick track and wide but even though we discussed apexes and the correct lines most of us would find it difficult to adopt them as the track seems to have a poor grip level so late apexing is nigh on impossible and a visit onto the green stuff is waiting if you get too brave.
It was good to see Dave Cleaver and my brother Steve out for the first time this season after engine rebuilds. Dave's Honda is now stroked and bored and pushing out some serious bhp and torque. I do know the figures but I would have to kill you if I told you. I think it was also Simon Broadbridge's first outing this season so he was keen to get stuck in.
P1 as expected saw quite a bit of slipping and sliding as the lack of grip was the talk of the paddock and posted times were quite a bit off the targets. Dave Cleaver was having a few problems with the engine (I think it was the traction control settings ) which he sorted by switching traction off. I dont think it can have been that bad as he was the quickest Westfield. Steve Everall found it strange using a 5 speed syncro box and the new, less sticky, Avon ZZS tyres. In the single seaters, I think Pete Goulding in his FF Ecoboost had all four wheels off whilst Matt Hillam was straight on the pace. It was Mark Anson's first visit to Snetterton and he was taking it easy and nearly got lost twice.
P2 saw very little improvement in track grip and maybe some of that was due to Dave Cleaver trying to beat me by dropping oil around the circuit from his oil filter housing. At the end of T1 we managed to fabricate a clever blanking plate from alloy sheet and some quick setting sealant did the trick and stopped the oil leak. Mark Anson came back to the paddock complaining about a big vibration at the back of the car. We got it up in the air and got the engine going and spinning the wheels but could only see a slightly imbalanced left rear wheel and a tight halfshaft. As nothing was loose and all bolts ok it was safe for him to go out again but it did seem strange that we could not find anything major on his OMS 2000M.
Nick Algar (not in speed series) had a blown supercharger so set off to the midlands on a five hour round trip to get a replacement only to find that there was too much damage and itcould not just be bolted on and required further work.
T1 was before lunch and Mark had a good run but all was not well. Just before the finish his Kwazaki engine let go and punched a big hole through the block and nearly set fire to the car and Mark who was still sat in it! It was a frustrating end to his weekend, which is not what you want having driven 270 miles to get to the event from Blackpool Both Pete Gouding and I offered him a double drive on Sunday, for which he thanked us but he was more concerned about concentrating on getting his own car sorted. We were all finally getting our heads around the track now and times started to tumble.I think Steve Carpenter had a moment as he did not record a time as he tried to stay ahead of Roz Kennett who was double driving. They were also camping in a tent on site as the cost and lack of nearby B&B meant they had no option. In the end Roz said she quite liked it, apart from the noisy bikers who were camping and they may also camp at the Blyton weekend. John Loudon was the first to set a new (class E) record.
T2 Dave Cleaver (class F) and I (class G) both set new class records on this run so we banked good points and were ready for the final runs. Derek Hodder and Gary Bunn were having the usual ding dong and its never over until the last run.
T3 It was now obvious that to get good times you had to be very brave and trust the car when you threw it into Hamiltons, a tight lefthander at the end of a short straight with not a lot of run off on the exit. The left hander called Palmer's was also technically difficult and getting to the apex or on the inside rumble strip took some doing at high speed. There were a few examples of late braking that did not pay off as people overshot corners or locked up the wheels. In the end John Loudon improved on his record time and quickest Westfield was Dave Cleaver on 90.29secs closely followed by Gary Bunn with 90.53secs and Del on 91.05secs.
In the single seater Pete Goulding went well but Matt Hillam in the SBD Dallara was very quick with 83.15secs.
Just after we finished the rain started !!! Phew. During the day it was good to see a few spectators from the Westfield club supporting us and they included Denis and Andy Silman of Siltech racing who produce some very nice wishbones etc for Westfields.
Paul Beesley joined us in his class F busa to get a piece of the action. The weather forcast was a bit unpredictable but in the end we had a dry and quite warm day. The warm day brought a few more spectators including our old mate Martyn Van Zeller who now lives fairly close having emigrated from god's own county.
P1 Despite the overnight rain the track was dry but still people complained about a lack of grip so it wasn't just my driving style that was causing me to oversteer. Gary and Del immediately suffered from a lack of power which Del quickly diagnosed as a faulty TPS. Off with the old and on with the new and they were back in business in no time at all. Dave Cleaver set off like a bat out of hell to show his intentions again.
P2 Nothing much to report here except for Paul Beesley starting to chip away at his times.
T1 The big issue to report here is that Gary Bunn produced a blinding run of 89.21 secs (new class H record) which he would not better and nobody else could get near it. As the trcak now got a bit warmer it was clear that there would be some good times and records would be beaten again if we were brave enough and had a heavy enough right foot whilst ignoring the brake pedal and any survival instincts.
T2/T3 In T2 Dave Cleaver showed us how not to do it as he ran out of tarmac pushing too hard at Hamiltons bend. Dave Cleaver's, John Loudon's and my last runs were quickest and beat the class records/target times again. Steve Everall, Steve Carpenter, Roz Kennett and Simon Broadbridge all improved on Saturday's times and Paul Beesley saved his best run until last.
In summary it was a great weekend for most of us and excellently run by Borough 19 MC. Steve's time would indicate that the ZZS tyres are about 3% slower that ZZR and the car suspension may need changing to allow for the different grip level.pOn my way home my driving skills were put to the test as a pheasant tried to commit suicide by walking out in front of my new motorhome.....there is no way I would allow that to happen as my pristine coachwork would be smashed to bits ….so a reactionary swerve at 60mph on the A1 saw me miss the stupid bird JUST!. Steve was behind and culd not believe I managed to miss it and said if it had been a cat it would have lost one of its nine lives.
TEL's TALE's 063/16
Harewood Hillclimb 7 & 8 May 2016
This is the only hllclimb I usually do as it is 25mins from where I live, its in god's own county and I used to spend lots of time when I was about about 16 yrs old watching along with crowds of approxiately 1000 to 2000 people. How times have changed! Even the RAC rally used it as a special stage and its other claim to fame is that its the longest hillclimb in England.
Eight speed series guys were entered for both Sat and Sun although Mark Schlanker did not turn up until Sunday morning. For Dave Richings and Martin Harvey it was a first visit tio the hill and I think they enjoyed the weekend. Early issues were that I appeared to have a slow puncture in my right rear slick and Mark Anson pulled the wires out of his trailer connection as he forgot to unhook the connector. Luckily I had a wiring diagram available and over the weekend we put it all back together so he wasnt pulled up by PC Plod on his way home...that would be embarrassing! Due to the British Hillclimb guys being at the event practice and runs were unpredictable in terms of when we would run but as the weather was fantastic nobody seemed too bothered apart from our early finish on Sunday afternoon when we could easily have had a third timed run. Stephen Herbert and Sally turned up to spectate as did John Hoyle who is still wanting to test the mods on his car before coming out again. P1 went ok for everyone but the track was a little bit green. P2 saw everyone knock a couple of seconds off their times as the track gor warmer and a bit of rubber was laid down.
Some early morning banter saw us looking at Mark Anson's purple OMS and his matching overalls. We were all very impressed when we saw that he was not wearing his speed series T shirt but a perfectly matching purple polo shirt …. he even had a small purple note pad in his hand (for recording secret details and car settings, times etc ) We all took the P a bit but then, not to be outdone, Matt Turner showed us that his carbon fibre helmet had orange padding inside and he was using orange work gloves...both in line for the “poser award”
Our T1 was announced at about 1500hrs so we all got helmeted and belted only to sit in our cars for at least 35mins as we had been called too early. I fell asleep twice but avoided snoring too loudly.
After T1 I was quickest with 60.89 secs followed closely by Matt Turner on 61.10secs in class G but we were both well off target time. Keith Adams ( who was quickest through the speed trap) was leading Martin Harvey with 64.46secs in class D. Andy Hargreaves was pushing hard on 62.93 secs whilst Mark Anson n his OMS was having his own battle with Graham Millar in his amazing Mk 2 Escort. T2 followed fairly quickly and Dave Richings got down to 69.25secs in class A1, Martin Harvey was pleased with his 66.05secs but was beaten by Keith on 64.46secs. Matt pulled out a great drive to easily beat me with a time of 58.97 which was very close to the record. Mark was getting to grips with the OMS and went well, ending with a 62.34secs whilst Graham showed how to slide the Escort through the corners and finished with a best of 65.99secs but Andy Hargreaves ended up in the kitty litter (gravel trap) exiting farmhouse. Matt was very pleased with his well deserved win (revenge) for my win at three sisters earlier in the season.
Mark Schlanker arrived with his new OMS to compete against Mark but frst he had to change a broken halfshaft which looked a stright forward job. He was also a bit worried about a high revs missfire which he suffered from at his last event. The day went well but finished early after 2 practices and 2 timed runs on a very dry and warm day. We had Nick Algar, Paul Aspden, Howard and Alex Gaskin supporting us as well as John Hoyle again. Everyone was pushing much harder today including the newcomers. and Graham survived an excursion into the gravel trap at the very fast and difficult at Quarry bend. Apart from lots of gravel the car was fine!. Dave Richings with a best of 68.94secs and Martin Harvey was pleased with getting down to 64.27secs even though Keith improved and got down to 63.35secs. Andy Hargreaves stayed on the black stuff today , in his Yamaha R1 car, and finished on 62.97secs. I had given myself a good talking to overnight and drove more agressively to beat Matt with a good 59.15secs against Matt's best of 59.52secs. Mark Anson won the battle of the OMSes and finished with 60.76secs as he got to grips with the car and its handling. Mark Schlanker had a good day and recorded 64.14 sec on his first timed run but was slower on T2
Due to his off in T2 Graham had to settle for a best of 66.73secs.
In summary I think it was a good weekend but next year we would get mor track time if it was not a British Hillclimb event and we might even get better paddock locations.