Tel's tales Issue 004- March 2013
Speed Series Correpondent
Castle Coombe 23rd March 2013
Report by Stu Hill ( Woodman) / Terry Everall
Well we are off at last into the new 2013 season, not so much a flying start but more like a damp squib! Many competitors still seem to be building engines or putting cars together so well done to theose that got ready on time. It never ceases to amaze me how every year its always down to the last minute.
Due to a massive 50% oversubscription for the event some Westfield competitors may not have gained an entry to the opening round of the 2013 championship. However, they may be counting their blessings now as challenging conditions greeted the Speed series competitors who made the trip. The forecast early in the week had promised snow but in the end it was only a bit of rain, sleet a bit of now and a cold wind which prevailed through a practice session that, I believe, had been curtailed from the usual 2.75 to 1.75 laps. This was probably due to the many spins and accidents causing delays as people got too enthusiastic with their right foot and levels of grip were tested. Brass monkey weather made life a bit tricky particularly with any mechanical problems as cold hands are not good at holding spanners.
Their were seven Speed series competitors in classes A,C,D and F who were joined by Matt Hillam who had a guest drive in Mark Smith's SBD Reynard single seater. I am sure the prospect of driving this type of racing car in these conditions will have really focused Matt’s mind and caused him to have some very tensed muscles particularly due to the slippy surface of the track.
In Class A speed series ‘newbies’, James Alexander and Roger Donaghue lined up with the more experienced novices Mark Wendon and Simon Broadbridge. Simon had upgraded from X/Flow power to a Zetec, in the well sorted car that was formerly driven by Tom Couldicott.
Class C was represented by Graham Frankland ( Mr Rollover- Loton Park)) and Class D by Rob Crossland. Rob was keen to try out the full potential of his new power plant fresh from a recent setting up by Dave Pillenger.- maybe today was not a good time to test it to its limit!
Martin Watson, another newbie, topped off the entry with his Class F machine.
So first practice was a real ‘baptism of fire’ for James, Roger and Martin but they all came through unscathed . Mark decided to try out the escape roads at both chicanes. Graham and Simon tested out the handling through 360 degrees.(they were not attempting doughnuts). Rob had a shortened practice due to a RS 2000 coming to grief at one of the barriers. Martin kept it all together and was pleased to have had a relatively safe run. This was definitely a day to keep it on the black stuff and try to keep it smooth and even getting off the start line was difficult.
All the competitors were glad that the weather seemed to be improving for their first timed runs and that the wind was helping to dry the track a little, however there were still large puddles and a very slippery surface to contend with.
James posted a massive 36 sec improvement from practice with Roger only slightly seconds adrift. All the others made gains and kept their cars facing the right way with some smooth driving and a bit of oversteer as they tried to get the power down.
Unfortunately I ( Stu Hill) was unable to stay for the final timed run ,so I hope the weather didn’t get any worse and they had a good, safe run and a bagful of points to boot.
The final results showed that the dry target times were not going to be achieved so 100 points were up for grabs for class winners Martin Watson, Graham Frankland and Mark Wendon who took Class A. The other Class A guys were all very close and I think have caught the bug. Hope to see you all out again soon in some drier, warmer weather and glad you all got through your baptism of fire ( or should that be water?)
Speed Series Commentator