Tel's Tales 014 – Curborough 16th June 2013
Behind the scenes people such as John Fisher, Emma Gaskin, Nick Algar etc had worked their magic and organised the 2 day event including the sprint school on Saturday and the speed series event on Sunday which was blessed with sunny weather all day until it started to rain a bit after the awards ceremony which was brilliant timing.
Following my engine problem at Pembrey I was desperately hoping that the new trigger wheel I needed would be ready to fit but it turned out not to be possible! I was not happy but Steve again offered me the double drive so that I would at least keep my hand in although the cars and competitors in class D looked fast and I would not score any points. (Round 19 of the year and I have only scored twice not counting practice at Pembrey. We had a small but quality field consisting of experienced as well as keen new faces out to do battle with the short, sharp narrow track including the Molehill and the Fradley hairpin. The need to push really hard into the first left hander is always difficult but lots of time can be saved there and cars need to handle well to not experience understeer exiting Fradley hairpin whilst trying to get the power down for the finish straight.
Ian and Dave (gadgetman) were on start line and achieved an all time record number of starts whilst Richard and Luke played with their walkie talkie radios to keep the paddock and start line moving well throughout the long day. There were quite a few double drives taking place including ACW and Stu Hill, Barry Slingsby (Mr 102) and Matt Hillam (Fatbloke), Derek Hodder (Del) and Gary Bunn, Kevin and Paul Jones.
The day turned out to be one of the best run and slick meetings, helped by few breakdown or incidents where people went grasstracking or attempting to climb the mountain. We had two practice runs and 2 timed runs before lunch and it was all go with no time for bacon butties or pots of coffee never mind trips to the loo!(weight saving exercise)
Rob Crossland had a bit of a misfire which turned out to be a faulty plug and Mark Schlanker blew a water hose off at the start but thank god it wasnt an oil pipe. The Jones boys continued to occupy themselves with technical issues throughout the day but they posted good times with Paul just quickest. Kevin was busy logging tyre temperatures for later analysis.
When I did my first sprint here a lot of years ago Paul Aspden walked around the track with me and said that anything under 40secs was a good start...... and it still is but the cars are now getting much , much quicker so that below 35 secs is achieved by many.... thats progress for you!
In class A, with 6 competitors, Chris Bennett was the big point scorer with a time of 34.97secs
Rob Crossland drove well to achieve a 34.40 winning class D. Peter Steel only did 2 timed runs but I dont know if he had a problem. Class F was close between Martin Watson and James Thatcher who did only 3 timed runs each ending with 33.92 and 34.18secs respectively.
Class C was close with Stu Hill just beating John Loudon as well as the target time with 32.23secs. In the experts class D was won by Barry Slingsby who ran 31.21secs to secure his 5th 102 result in a row. Tim Pennington also beat the class record with 31.95 secs. Matt Hillam, Howard Gaskin, myself, Stephen Everall and Stephen Herbert were all close behind on the dry track and in good conditions.
Andy Hargreaves and Matt Turner drove very well in their BECs in class E and G. Matt's new colour scheme looked the dog's danglies. The battle in F was great to watch and ended up with Pete Gouldingjust pipping Paul Morcom with 31.85secs. I must not forget Steve Davies and Marshall Rowland in their Elises (class J3) where Steve beat target with a fast 34.69secs.
In class H Del produced the goods with some aggressive but consistent driving to take FTD with a his T1 time of 30.36 secs (0.5secs quicker than Bunny) in his supercharged honda beast.
This was a credit to the club and thanks are due to all the organisers and helpers without whom the drivers would not have been able to have such a great day.