Blyton Sat/Sun 19thand 20thMay 2018 (LDMC event)
It was a good job that I did not get an invite to “The Wedding” as I completely forgot that it was on the same weekend as the Blyton sprints run by Longton DMC and I would not have been able to support Harry and Meghan in church or at their evening do. There was an added bonus in that I did not have to sit through the 6 or so hours of TV broadcasting the proceedings but I understand that it all went well without my support! Back to the serious stuff as Steve and I arrived on the Friday to see the back end a of a Lotus 7 trackday. We had a great forecast for the weekend and I gave out a whole batch of the new red 2018 T shirts. We had a good Westfield attendance and after speaking to Doran (the chief paddock marshal) I negotiated a great paddock position for most of the non road going cars which was close to the results office, toilets, had clean smooth tarmac and was 25metres from the start line! As usual we had a few beers on Friday night and discuss tactics for the weekend which mainly revolved around how much sun cream we needed to apply and at what intervals as this varied for factor 30 or 50.
Signing on and scrutineering was quick and easy and was followed by a convoy run around the Eastern circuit which LDMC had not run before. I went in Steve’s VW Tiguan which was full of tools, clothes, beer, petrol cans and god knows what else and we cruised around at 25mph enjoying the scenery, forgetting all about apexes and braking points never mind what gear to be in. After the convoy run Derek Hodder seemed to have a leaky water problem and the nose cone and bonnet were of as they quickly diagnosed that a mounting boss on their alloy radiator had cracks around the weld edges. Nobody on site or locally seemed to have a welder or be available (Del did not think that alraldite would work) but in the end a Caterham driver took pity and offered a tube of Quiksteel epoxy putty. I have to say that not only did the repair look very neat but it did the job and set almost immediately and lasted all weekend (must get a tube of that stuff for my spares). Also a few of us had got a hook up for power running a long way from the supply point and someone ran over my cable and pulled it out the wires from the plug during the convoy run! Actually it was a doddle for me to repair and we all were back up and running with power to our campers and motorhomes again (mainly to keep the beer cold).
P1 - Immediately after first practice Mick Skidmore noticed that his battery power was low so I quickly tested a few things and found it was his alternator that had packed up so he had to keep charging the battery between runs but that worked fine and it was lucky that we did have 240v power. Del’s air powered actuator for his gear shift seemed to be having an off day as it kept changing up and down the box on its own. Del and Garry were on the case and cured it by remounting the actuator valve in a better position/orientation. The general consensus of the drivers was that this was a very technical and tight course that was challenging everyone in terms of how tight the first section was and the braking point into the wriggler from Curva Grande at high speed. This was compensated for as the long twisty flat out blast from Bunga Bunga was exhilarating and took some guts before braking late for the tight right hand finish.
P2 – I was really on it this time and as I exited the Wriggler out came a red flag so I abandoned the run and as I crawled to Bishops left hand corner there was my mate Mick Skidmore reversing out of the ploughed field but at least he was living up to his reputation. I gave him some stick back in the paddock and suggested he repeated the performance in the timed runs so I could have a rerun on warm tyres. Mick Dent was pushing the limits of adhesion in his Busa and went off near the finish spinning out and taking a cut through between the tyres, to avoid hitting them, only to find himself facing an oncoming Jedi!
T1 - Simon Waterfall was out for the first time enjoying his new (ex Kevin Bamber) car but his clutch adjustment screw had worked loose but was an easy fix. This session saw me getting a bit too aggressive with my right foot at the tight lefthander called Chapmans and I clipped an outside cone and caused a bit of damage to my rear wing and rivets holding the tub in place. Everyone was going well but target times seemed hard to get near as we pushed hard. Newcomer Tony Smiley was out in his Busa and John Loudon and I spent a bit of time trying to change the set up to get it to handle better and it seemed to work.
T3 – Mick Dent threw it off after the finish but still posted a good time.
It was good to see Steve Robinson call in for a chat and catch up with a few friends (and also Ron Siddle on Sunday)
T4 – This would be our last runs and chance to bang in a good time but we had quite a long hold after a TR4 rolled down at Bunga Bunga causing a lot of damage to the car, which was a shame. Richard Houlgate went well as did all the roadgoing cars and they all seemed to put in some good times. Del (fastest LDMC member) just managed to beat Garry and I held off John Loudon in a very close contest. Keith Adams went very well in class D scoring the best points of anyone against target and Steve Everall was finding it hard to match his pace.
Well miraculously nobody had headache from last nights relaxation and all slicks had been cleaned up yesterday. Today it was the challenge of the normal outer circuit with the fast straight from Lancaster to the Wriggler so it should suit the more powerful cars. Today we had Matthew Haynes joining in the fun but no Richard Houlgate and all the Westfields from yesterday were still running.
Practice started at 1000hrs and our two runs were over by about hrs 1130hrs proving just how slick the LDMC crew is.
T1- We went straight into the timed runs and all went well apart from Mick Skidmore who reported what he thought was a propshaft vibration so we whipped off the tunnel panels but all the bolts were tight so he was good to go.
T2/T3 – Things were hotting up now, particularly in our babygrows, and in T3 Del was a bit late on the brakes into the Wriggler and got it all sideways taking out a cone and spraying gravel everywhere. Mick Skidmore thought his clutch had failed but it turned out to be just a large stone stuck under the pedal.
T5 – For Del this was a bad end to the weekend as he was towed back into the paddock with oil all over the engine and exhaust pipes so something had gone badly wrong and it looked similar to a problem he had with the engine at Croft last year. Fingers crossed that it is an easy and simple repair.
T6 – John Loudon was pushing really hard as he battled with me in class G and he hit a cone and split a wing. (more gaffer tape please!). Keith Adams had a senior moment as he presumably forgot to clip down his ally boot cover which was picked up by the marshals about 20m after the start line…whoops !
Garry Bunn was best LDMC member, I beat John Loudon after an epic battle and I took most points against targets. Simon Waterfall had another good day as did Keith. Steve’s car engine needs stripping down and taking to Exon Racing to cure the head porosity problem it has which was getting worse.
Well I hope I have given a report of some of the weekends entertainment which was made all the better by LDMC’s efforts where we had 2 practice and 4 timed runs on Saturday and 2 practice and 6 timed runs on Sunday and I was home for dinner by 1815 after a 90 minute drive. Maybe a contender for event of the year?
Class G Competitor