Snetterton Blog June 2021 weekend sprint
In 2019 we did not get the opportunity to compete at this popular venue so it was good to see it back in our calendar and arranged by Borough 19. Although it was very expensive (mainly due to hire cost for the circuit) there was a good attendance of WSCC Speed series drivers including class G with the single seater guys. The trip down from York picking up John Hoyle and my brother Steve to travel in convoy worked well for a few miles until we hit very heavy traffic on the A1(M) heading south. The route north also looked as bad so we just had to put up with it. The rout took us via Kings Lynn and that was not much better meaning that it too me five and a half hours to do the 175 miles. Luckily Mick Skidmore was in the paddock and managed to save us a good space for all 3 of us and it was near the start line too. As it was a while since we had driven the track we loaded up provisions (beer) and set off to walk the track and try and and memorise the rubble strips, apexes and tricky parts of the 2 lap track. Luckily everything was where it should be so this was more of a lazy stroll in the evening admiring the scenery. We did have a laugh when John Hoyle said he would take the long lefthander flat out onto the paddock straight. Now John is good and his car is fast but there is no way you can take that corner flat!!
Saturday morning was cold and dull but at least it was dry. There were 6 Westfields and 6 single seater speed series drivers so that was quite a good turnout and supported the Borough 19 club.
The first thing that was noticeable was the need to wear masks when working on people’s cars and the lack of consistency in applying the rules throughout the whole paddock. As we got the cars ready for P1 and warmed up our engines it became apparent that Dave Cleaver had a problem. It seemed that the car would start but not tick over and eventually stalled. We used bigger batteries and jump leads to try and see what the problem was. Eventually we noted that the voltage was dropping and not great even when running. Dave then disclosed that he had changed the alternator pulley for a different size and that was clearly the problem. Luckily Mick Skidmore had a spare alternator pulley that was just the right size so they set about changing it. That was the good news but the bad news was that Dave put his hand too close to the exhaust and burned it very badly which resulted in a trip to the medical centre to get it cleaned up and bandaged. It looked very bad!
Before he could get the pulley fitted we got him out for practice by pushing him to the line (muscle power from me , John Hoyle and Mick Skidmore) and then he ran on battery power only. Later on when sorting out the alternator he forgot about the hot exhaust and burnt his arm this time!
In P1 Steve Everall began to have gear selection problems with the paddle shift system on his blade car. This problem persisted over the weekend until we discovered some loose set screws that were at fault. Late Sunday he was back on the gas with the problem temporarily sorted. Mick Skidmore once again lived up to his name with a spin during T2. It was clear that Dave Cleaver was really on form and his times were better than some single seaters. John Hoyle was hoping to give him a good run for his money but he did not seem to have good front end grip and the car understeered all weekend despite changes of springs , ARB settings and shocks. His Avon slicks on the front were also at the end of their life and this did not help the situation. John Loudon was putting in some good times against Mark Anson in the Force and Jedi respectively. The SBD crew were all going well as was Pete Goulding in the Ecoboost Mygale. With all the action around soft or stiff suspension set up I decided to alter my car to a much much stiffer set up to try it out and guess what? I went quicker by over a second and so left it like that for all my Sunday runs. I also had noticed my water temp raising quicker than normal as I queued for the start and investigation showed that my alloy header tank cap had done a runner and was nowhere to be seen. A quick chat with some other competitors found an old but usable cap from an old Mini or Ford which fitted perfectly. Back home I bought a new one for £6.83p and wired in on so it can’t go missing again. In the end we had 1 practice and 4 timed runs all on a dry track.
The results were very good and Matt Hillam took national FTD with Dave Cleaver taking the Interclub FTD with some blistering runs.
Sunday was overcast but again dry and warm. Richard Houlgate in class W2 on his own drove well and was pleased that his last run was 99.98secs and under the 100sec barrier. Mick Skidmore improved a lot and got down to 95.27 secs so was well chuffed. John Hoyle jst beat me on 92.03secs compared to 92.29 secs but that was not bad with my bike engine power on a big track. Dave Cleaver blew us all away with 85.89 secs so was well pleased with his weekend apart from his burns.
So in summary it was a good weekend and well run by B19. Lets hope MSV don’t keep putting the price up !!
And the bonus was it only took me 3hrs 15mins to get home as there was no traffic