Tel's Tales 019: Hethel 4th August 2013
Following the trauma of Steve having a moment with the grass and tyre wall at MIRA we had a relaxing night at the pub near Hethel and arrived in the paddock at 0630hrs and Steve immediately got stuck into taking the b*******ed wishbone off and getting the car ready to accept the donor part from Keith Adams, delivered on time by Barry Slingsby ---Thanks guys. Steve and I got stuck into the repairs and by 0730hrs the car was back in business with replaced wishbone and a fancy yellow offside wing courtesy of Barry and passed scrutineering easily with compliments on the expertly applied duck tape and its effectiveness. We both had time to cycle round the track with John Loudon and realised that it was easy to get lost on this fast and tricky circuit particularly as the entry to the chicanes were very difficult to judge and see whilst pulling big speeds. We would end up getting two practices and 3 timed runs during a well organised day. My problems during the day revolved around more missed changes due to the trickshifter settings being too soft again and a reduction in battery power that I suspect is the regulator acting up. Steve pushed me to the start line a couple of times and seemed to enjoy the exercise. Keeping slick tyres clean was impossible as the grit from the paddock seemed to be magnetic and attracted to rubber. On my first practice I felt like a total novice and a satnav would have been useful. God knows what gears I used or where and sorting out a good line was beyond me. I wondered why I had bothered to come and was apprehensive about the challenge as I really could not memorise the track well enough to go quickly right from the start. I was not alone with this as others talked about nearly going straight on at the hairpin and not being able to see the route/entrance to the chicanes and at high speed this is one hell of a nail biting challenge. I was doing 126mph down the straights and others were quicker so the scenery passes a bit quickly and the black stuff soon runs out. Del and Gary fancied their chances due the power of the supercharged honda and Barry was looking very quick in practice and John Loudon was checking his suspension settings again. David & Chris Hussey were out in the Striker and during the day they lost a front wing as the retaining bolt pulled through and also had busa engine failure, so they were not too happy. Del was still not sure that the reinstalled diff was working right which meant a lack of predictable rear end grip. Mick Cooper and his better half Jan were having a good look round and chatting to most people as they enjoyed another hot, sunny day. Steve was going well and had a smile on his face as he drove around with his newly decorated car (somebody should have told him that yellow and maroon is not a cool mixture of colours) David Cleaver improved as the day progressed.
John Loudon achieved 82.33secs against a target of 83.34secs! Steve Everall picked up 4th place trophy in his class and was well pleased with 86.32secs whilst Barry took 3 runs to get to 80.36secs which is a new class record for us against 81.95 so thats close to 102 points I think so that may be game over for the rest of us in terms of the championship. James Spicer had driven from MIRA to Hethel and was going well when I saw him. Gary Bunn was fastest Westield and 2nd overall with Del 7th overall. Finally I just achieved a new class record with 79.31secs against target of 79.37secs and was 4th fastest overall.
In summary its a great track but a long way from most places. I hope it stays in our calendar but they may change the track so target times will not be available..... lets wait and see.
Speed Series Correspondent
Class G competitor