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