Tel's Tales 023: 5th /6th Oct 2013
Well this was it guys, the final countdown and the last two events of this year's speed series to finish off a great season. Barry Slingsby had already sewn up the overall championship but several of us were keen to attack records and see how quick we could go on probably two of the best circuits that we compete on. As usual the weather was unpredictable and windy but we did not need wets even on a sometimes damp and cold track. It was good to see several people who were not competing as well as wives and partners enjoying the paddock atmosphere in this great location. Barney, Paul Edden, Mark Anson, Barry Slingsby and ACWatkins who handed over the Wedgewood bowl to Barry as the new champion. Del, Gary, John Loudon and David Cleaver had gone up market and rented one of the new garages which looked very posh! Excuses for the weekend seemed to be me with a frozen shoulder and Stephen Herbert with a touch of arthritis. Del has become an expert in diff rebuilding and was very pleased with his efforts which worked very well indeed.
P1 and P2 was on a dampish cold track after overnight rain but most of us went well with Paul Mprcom trying out some Avon ZZRs, Ian Davenport out for his second event this year and he won the best prepared car award. Stephen Everall and Stephen Herbert were having their usual personal battle. Initial problems were with Del's launch control not working due to a speed sensor malfunction and I had a misfire at high revs. After changing the plugs, coils and checking wiring it turned out that my alternator/rectifier had failed and the ECU was not getting a stable voltage. Luckily for me Gary Bunn had his powerpack so I could charge batteries between runs and I also piggybacked an extra battery in place to ensure that the ECU had more than 12volts supply. In the end we had 2 practices and 5 timed runs (this has to stand a chance of the best event award) and the drying track helped times to come down. John Loudon beat class C target time to set a new record of 56.56secs, Paul Morcom (who needs longer and softer springs) went well and to his surprise won the best Novice award, as did Mark Bishop in his crossflow car and Stephen Herbert just pipped my brother ( our kid) by 0.14secs on 58.54secs. Steve Davies was just the victor double driving Marshall Rowland's road going Elise. The top 3 cars in Nat B were Gary Bunn on 54.67secs just pipped by Derek Hodder on 54.29secs and myself taking FTD with 54.12secs in the Andy Bates powered blade car. I was well chuffed but we would see what happened tomorrow with the threat of rain.
True to form it rained overnight and was still wet for P1. All cars were still running but during the day Paul Morcom split a water hose which we repaired quickly but Ian's car was running a high water temp and he suspected a blown head gasket so retired later after T2. Marshall Rowland also had an early bath after T2 when he noticed a split CV boot and he did not want it to fail as he needed to drive home. We eventually had 2 practice and 3 timed runs on the fantastic International circuit as the track became dry but it was cold and windy with buffeting on the back straight. Most of were on old, end of season tyres so records were hard to break. (Steve Everall's nearside rear tyre looked like a slick!) There were a few hairy moments for some and I had a big tank slapper coming out of Church onto the straight and Steve Herbert spun going to hot into the Rocket complex. David Cleaver seemed to be enjoying the drives and did not have any dramas as far as I know.
Once again the fastest 3 cars in Nat B were Westfields with Gary Bunn taking a great FTD on 89.43secs, Del on 89.76secs and me in 3rd on 90.00secs. John Loudon set another new record completing a successful weekend for him and Steve Everall reversed yesterdays order beating Steve Herbert by 0.09secs on 96.56secs. There was no time for a final timed run due to a car failure on the track and it was just as well because within minutes it started to rain. At the awards Gary Bunn made a nice speech and thanked Del for allowing to double drive a fantastic well built car for the last 2 years and it was announced that I had won the Longton and District Sprint championship so that ended another great season. Final points are awaited and I thank Tigger for his efforts in compiling and maintaining the spreadsheets etc. I hope to see many of you at the awards dinner on 9th Nov 2013 and remember its open to anyone and their partners so come along for the evening ( tickets are only £35). It should be a great night.
Wonder what we can do about target times for next year in class F as Barry has bettered most of them in class D.?
If I have missed anyone out or not mentioned problems or other events during the season I apologise but I can only write down what I know or get told and I only make up a little bit.........
Speed Series Correspondent
Class G competitor