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.