SILVERSTONE JULY 21/22 2007 a report by Helen Deeley
RACE 1 - Saturday
Saturday morning dawned cold & wet, and the rainy practice session saw the cars sliding around on the skid-pan that was the track. However, things improved to the end of the session and the 2nd drivers got to go out on to a rapidly drying circuit.
About 20 minutes in down came the rain again. The grid positions were set on combined times, and we all tramped back to the paddock to try & stay dry & contemplate how desperately we wanted to do any repairs on our cars.
The race began in damp conditions, with a gaggle of 7 cars all fighting for 1st place. Further back was more battling, including me, as I had a great scrap with Derek Coghill, Baker/Svensson & Allan/Lister for 8th place.
As the track dried out, every car got faster, with all 14 cars putting in their best times in the last 6 or so laps. Phil Myatt eventually blew the competition away, winning by 30 seconds with Byatt/Callendar just holding off Fritchley/Sullivan for 2nd.
RACE 2 - Sunday
Sunday morning was dry, sunny & almost warm! With no practice session, it was a case of hanging around waiting for the race, due off about 1pm. Sammie decided rather late in the morning that her car did need a new steering rack after all, after competing with it broken yesterday and then the day ran ahead of schedule, causing a few anxious faces among the ever-eager mechanics as we dashed to the assembly area!
I managed to get a decent start for a change, and the pack barrelled into Copse & Becketts for the first time. On lap two I attempted to overtake David Sullivan by sneaking up the inside of Becketts, unfortunately he didn’t know I was there & I hit his rear wing, pushing him into a half spin.
A few laps later I suffered a similar misfortune when Frank Barnard went for a slightly optimistic gap & got himself hooked up on my rear wing. Apparently this was quite a spectacular incident, as we came out of Woodcote in a cloud of tyre smoke!
Determined to get away, I put my foot down, and followed Christian Callender's advice that Copse was flat in top (I think he was joking, but actually he is quite correct if the track is dry), the flapping wing appearing to make little difference.
There were a few other incidents :- Ben Allan stopped after 8 laps, Darren Baker went off-road with his car resulting in an interesting modification to a 3 wheeler and Steve Panas stopped at Woodcote (onlookers reported 2 loud bangs).
After my pit stop I had quite a lonely race until the last few laps, when Aubrey Brocklebank decided he wanted a race, and we diced for 6th. The positions changed several times, and I was very relieved to see the chequered flag with me in front!
Phil Myatt & Ainslie Bousfield had a titanic battle for 2nd, getting as close as they possibly could side by side over the line, only 100th of a second between them, proving, if proof were needed, that a one hour enduro race is full on, dramatic & exciting from start to finish.
The winners garland was presented to a bemused looking Trevor Williams, proof that his 9 hour/ 86mile journey on Friday was worthwhile! All in all, a fantastic weekend, with a lot of happy faces around the paddock afterwards. I can’t wait till Mallory!
SILVERSTONE JULY 21/22 2007 a report by Frank Barnard
Car 68, entered by Hollis Motorsport, driven by Frank Barnard & Richard Hollis:
Qualifying, RH qualified sixth, FB fourteenth & dead last due to wrong gear selection & muddling up high revs with actual speed
RH took start, was nudged into spin running with leading group, then did another one for free. FB took over on lap 18 & ran alone until the flag, neither overtaking nor overtaken. Car never rose higher than seventh, finished twelfth
FB joined Helen Deeley & Aubrey Brocklebank in squabble for seventh but lost ground after contact with HD at Woodcote. Then circulated with AB in traditional close company for ten laps, occasionally leading but hampered by fuel-starvation at Copse & on rising approach to Becketts.
Lost time adjusting belts on changeover, so RH had similarly lonely stint to FB in Race One, finishing ninth.
A mid-field weekend, then, but nonetheless some great wheel-to-wheel competition..
Frank Barnard 28.7.2007
Oh to be in England, now that summer's here...... by Derek Coghill
Unfortunately, summer did appear to be here, it's just that I was going there, where it was monsoon season. I found somewhere dryish (less wet) to pitch my tent - slightly above the general bog level.
Both qualifying sessions on Saturday morning were combined to make up the grid for the first race, the result of which would give the grid for the second. I ended up 9th on the grid.
Saturday's race started off with a wet-ish track and it stayed damp until about half-way through. I had a fairly uneventful race (apart from a moment avoiding a spinner, and watching Richard overtake and then spin a couple of times) until after the pitstop; I believe I was first in as there wasn't a "pit open" board but I got round this by a cunning technical wheeze called having a clock in the car. Then I got involved in a splendid 4-way scrap for 8th place with Helen Deeley, Ben Allan and Darren Baker - I ended up in 8th but given another couple of laps it might not have been so!
There was then an overnight refreshment break....
Sunday was dry and bright, if not almost sunny! I got a stormer of a start from 8th and was up the outside of the pack going up to Maggotts when Christian's car appeared sideways out of the middle of the jostling pack a couple of feet in front of me. Bump. A bit bent, I carried on....no major rubbing noises, the engine continued to run smoothly so I started chasing some of those lost places. I think I passed about 3 people before I stopped; after that, I was lapped by the 3 leading cars and tagged on to their train. Much to my surprise, I was able to keep up and stayed there until the end. Another 8th place, going a lot faster this time.
I had to partially strip my engine for the scrutineers....never had to do that before. This didn't help my quick getaway plans, although I did manage to get home before midnight!
What a fun weekend's racing. And over a month until the next one.....
Derek Coghill 29.7.2007
SILVERSTONE JULY 21/22 2007 a report by Trevor Williams
Where can I start? I suppose at the beginning. Torrential rain had fallen over Oxfordshire during the morning, so my journey to Silverstone was very eventful. Firstly I had to have a replacement gearbox fitted to the motorhome, and this was only completed on the Friday morning.
The journey was horrendous! 9 hours to do 86 miles, the slowest I have ever travelled on the fair roads of this fine country. Didn’t help that the service station on the M4 was closed due to flooding, and that I was rapidly running out of diesel whilst stuck on the A34.
Saturday was a lot better. Qualifying was fun, with the circuit starting wet, then drying, and then getting wet again near the end of the session. Once again I found myself 2nd on the grid behind the car of Myatt and Robertson. Another storming start saw me again in the lead attempting to build up a big gap. As usual, this did not appear, and pretty soon there were 7 cars vying for the lead. Once the stops had sorted themselves out, I was battling with Wayne cowling for 4th position. I managed to overtake Wayne on the last lap at the Brooklands / Luffield / Woodcote turns, and was again very pleased with 4th place.
After rather a large amount of Jack Daniel’s, Sunday saw the sun come out to play. After what seemed like ages, as we only had the race to do, we all lined up on the grid again to go racing again. I don’t know where I have learned to start so well, but again, I had a stormer, and found myself at the head of the pack again. There was much swapping of places with Wayne and Matt Riley and soon it was time to do the pitstops. This time we had a stomer! Back out and raring to go! A few laps later I was caught by Phil Myatt, and had pretty much resigned myself to watching the red car get smaller in the distance until the chequered flag. However, with the help of Ainslie Bousfield in the Gadget car we managed to hold the gap at no more than a couple of seconds.
With the help of the slipstream we managed to get on the rear of phil’s car by Brooklands, but the better handling of the Tete Rouge car saw it pulling away again through the corners. This got me planning my last lap move, but not having a last lap board it was a case of watching the clock to judge the right time to make it.
Fortunately, as Ainslie and I came out of Woodcote, Wayne was hanging over the pit wall signalling that it was the last lap of the race. After a fantastic slipstream down the national straight, we passed Phill before Brooklands, and all I had to do was make the car as wide as possible to prevent him or Ainslie coming back at me.
Coming round Woodcote and seeing the chequered flag was a very strange experience.
Had I won? Was Phil actually a lap ahead (as is normal!), was there another car in front of me? These and many other thoughts went through my mind, and it was only when I pulled up in the pit lane that I actually realised that I had crossed the line in 1st place! I don’t, even now, remember when I put the garland around my neck, and I can honestly say I was lost for words!! There is a small down-side to being on the podium, but having to strip a cylinder head down to enable the valves to be checked is a price I will gladly pay every time!!!
Thanks to Tim and Bully for putting up with my crap mechanicing skills, Pete Sparrow for setting the car up and proving that it is a top three car at Brands Hatch, and Phil Myatt who graciously donated his trophy from the Saturday race, as BARC had not brought enough for the Sunday race!!!
What a weekend, certainly one that I will never forget! If I had known that it would only be two weeks from resigning as Chairman to winning my first race, I would have done it years ago!!!
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