Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Last Meeting

I love Birmingham Wheels; no matter what sort of meeting I have it’s my favourite track so I was thrilled that the last meeting of the year was there.   We had very little to do to the car from Hednesford and apart from changing the diff and fitting the tyres it was just set-up work and checking everything was ok.
We arrived at the track in time for practice and I went out and had a couple of runs just to make sure everything was as it should be.    I know I keep saying this but the car was easily the best it’s ever been.   It is such a pleasure to drive.   I often wonder just how good it would be with a half decent driver behind the wheel!
I was starting in the middle group again all night and being so low down the points I’m really just not worried about results anymore, I’m going to enjoy my racing and make the most of every lap out there whether I’m first or last.    I was outside for the first race and once again the car was brilliant and I finished ninth so picked up a few points.
The second race wasn’t quite so successful.   Things were going well enough to begin with and I was up in the top ten.    A pack of us came into turn one and I got pushed onto the rumble strips and spun.   Luckily I went round and ended up right tight to the bank on the inside of the bend and off the track.   That was the end of that race . . . but never mind.
As I was sitting on the start line for the final I noticed the temperature slowly rising on the car.  Normally the fan cuts in and cools it straight back down again, but for some reason this time it didn’t - and I couldn’t turn it on with the switch either.   The warm-up laps cooled it down a bit but it started to rise again as we sat waiting for the green flag.    With a stoppage on the first bend and a complete restart it just kept climbing, and as the green flag dropped for a second time the warning light came on telling me that it was just too hot to drive.   I gave it another lap hoping the air rushing through would start to cool it but it didn’t.    I pulled off into the middle bringing my racing for 2011 to a close.
It’s been a pretty mixed year for me overall with some obvious high points, but there have been some pretty rough times too.   I guess that’s racing though and you can’t have it all ways. The car is now in the workshop and everything is stripped off it.   My plan is to get it rebuilt ready for the NEC then spend some time afterwards playing with set-ups etc and see what we can learn.   I also fancy a few nights off - I reckon we’ve been in the workshop every night for the last two months!   One of my good friends Carl is getting married this weekend so I’m heading across to stay with Gavin so I can go and celebrate this happy event with them.
I’m pretty sure this entry marks a complete year of blog writing now.   I just want to thank every single person who reads it and everyone who has a part to play in my racing.  There is far too many to thank individually, but I really do appreciate everything everyone does for me.  I’ve no intention of stopping and will be back next week to tell you what we are planning with the car.   I’m going to look back over the 2011 season for a couple of weeks after that and then you’ll be able to hear what happens when a group of us head over to the east coast for my birthday.   That should be a lively weekend!
Thanks as ever for reading.
Until next time

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