Tel's Tales : Pembrey June 2013
Well, much to my wife's displeasure I rushed back from my 3 week holiday after visiting Toronto, driving the Canadian Rockies including Icefield Parkway, Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, Kamloops and Whistler before doing a one week Alaska cruise and finally 3 days in Vancouver. Brilliant holiday and saw bears, whales, seals, bald eagles and had a bit to eat and drink- sod the diet! Arrived home Thursday lunchtime , loaded trailer and car before setting off Friday lunch. Now Pembrey is 298 miles from my home and it took Steve (following in convoy fashion) and I over seven hours to get there and god knows how much the fuel cost! Weather looking great so we walked the course and then had a few cans and “cooked” our master chef meal for 2 which was actually quite nice being bangers, beans, potatoes followed by cold rice pudding. Great preparation for the weekend sport including a good nights sleep in the trailer.
Saturday scutineering was interesting as most of us came across that old question of “ Have you got a CAT fitted?”otherwise known as find the CAT. Several competitors CATs were well up the inside of the silencer and someone had a small CAT that he screwed into his tailpipe. It strangled his engine at higher revs in P1 and mysteriously fell out somewhere. John Hoyle's numbers (they were tall and thin as well as white on one side and black on the other for some go faster reason maybe?)were unacceptable due to a very poor artistic attempt to use cut out fablon and he even blamed his daughter for the uneven result. We soon sorted that with lots of tape and some scissors. Another interesting question was posed by an enthusiastic but uninformed paddock marshall (near the start line) who demanded to see my fully working fire extinguisher! I told him I did not carry one as it was extra weight. He gave me a puzzled look until I told him that was a joke and we didn't need one at sprints. First practice went well for everyone and I did a 113sec run but during P2 my engine just cut out and we could not repair it due to it being either the ECU ( turned out ECU was fine) or the crank sensor which on a blade car is inside the engine up against the bulkhead. At the times multiple expletives are permissible including jumping up and down shouting “Bollix, bollix, bollix.........So for me I accepted brother Steve's kind offer of a double drive for the weekend (actually I think I just said “ looks like I am driving your car then!) but I would not score any points as his is a class D car!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
During the weekend Gary and Del had another very close battle with Gary just pipping Del and continued to adjust the handling due to the altered geometry/tyres etc and also broke the front ARB which was quickly welded and refitted between runs. John Loudon spent most of the weekend discussing the car set up including ride height, rake, spring rates, ARB settings and quite a few other bits. He did better when he just got in it and drove it like he stole it. John Hoyle seemed to have an intermittent ignition cut but it wasn't slowing him down much. Dave Cleaver was out in his spare well sorted trackday car as his best one is still broken. Another car that failed was my mate Jim Belt form York in his amazing Juno which blew up and dropped oil in the car cockpit as well as on the track. There was a big hole in the block and the race V6 jag engine is scrap. The 2 days were great in terms of driving but the whole process seemed to take ages and the top 12 run off for the British Sprint swallowed up too much time and affected the rest of the competitors and limited the runs available. Due to delays the Saturday run off was delayed until Sunday which meant we only got 1 practice and 2 timed runs on Sunday despite a start at 0900hrs. Indeed John Hoyle and John Loudon (cars 99 and 100) did not get their first run until 1130hrs on Sunday which is a bit frustrating when you get up at 0700hrs!
Stars of the weekend in terms of beating target times were Paul Morcom ( in his dreams!), John Loudon, Tim Pennington and the very quick John Hoyle in a red topped Westfield with only 240bhp but nobody believes that figure. John's best time of 110.95 was in P2(Sat) when he had warm tyres after a rerun. During my double drive of Steve's car we used a lollipop stick to cure a throttle body problem and had issues with the battery power being insufficient to start the car when hot. Despite all this I still managed to beat him on both days so perhaps old age and experience is of some benefit. So roll on Curborough when I hope my engine will be back together and also we should see a good entry.
Speed Series Correspondent
Class G competitor
We all want to see Pembrey stay on the Speed Series calendar but the reduced run time available due to the British Sprint guys is very frustrating.
The track is great and is technically difficult in places and very fast, requiring some brave driving, particularly through Honda curve and the long left hander near the paddock entry.