Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Plenty of Fireworks

As soon as I was back from Ireland it was out into the garage again every night getting the car ready for Hednesford.   There was nothing major to do, just some bent suspension and all the usual checks, along with lots of cleaning to get it looking somewhere near presentable again.  Everything considered it had very little damage and we didn’t have to rush too much to get it all sorted.
Because of the fireworks in the evening the meeting didn’t start until three, leaving us waiting around for what felt like days before the racing actually got started.   It was a really nice day with clear skies and no sign of rain, bloody freezing though!
My results from Foxhall meant I started further back on the grid and the first heat saw me in the middle of the second pack.   It didn’t get off to a very good start and I soon found myself towards the back of the field.   I just started to get going again and hunt the pack back down when there was an accident going down the back straight, and cars went flying off everywhere.   I slammed on the brakes and brought the car to a stop on the infield completely unscathed.   I went to pull away and race again only to have both the marshal and the stewards tell me that I had to pull off from the race.   It’s a decision I still can’t really get to the bottom of and have been trying to figure out ever since, but this was never meant to be about politics so we’ll leave it at that...   Thanks to Les though who managed to calm me down enough to at least talk reason!
The second race was a bit of a disaster too if I’m honest.    I was starting in the middle again and due to nothing but errors on my car I found myself at the back again.   The car was going well though, and by the end of the race I was back on the pace.  It was ‘too little too late’ though and I finished out of the points.
I started the final at the front of the third group, it seems along way back starting there and hats off to the boys who do it week in week out and come through the pack.   It’s a little bit beyond me at the minute!   The final was a much better race and although there was lots of carnage and cars strewn everywhere I finished in twelfth and had a few good battles along the way.    How I didn’t hit Paff head on as we came out of turn four I’ll never know - luck must have really been on my side for once.    Saying that, we finished with a few points and a straight car, so we live to fight another day!
Due to having possibly the world’s longest truck and trailer combo we were well and truly wedged in the pits after the final so stayed to watch the fireworks.   It was a very impressive display and a credit to whoever organised them.    All in all a day ‘best forgotten’ and I left the track in a pretty foul mood . . .  one that carried on for several days!
To change the subject completely, the Saturday night before racing saw a group of us head off to Slough to go ‘Ice Go-Karting’ for racer Brendon Smith’s birthday.    It’s just like normal karting except it’s on an ice rink and the karts are fitted with studded tyres for grip.   There were ten of us and we split into two groups of five and each group had minute sessions.   Our group spelt disaster before we even started with Jason Kew, Brendon, Mike Edwards, Jason’s mechanic Dave and me all taking to the ice together.
After watching the first group it was time for us to have a go and it was pretty wild from the start with cones and karts flying off everywhere.   It wasn’t long before we were all stopped, told to keep on the track and calm down a bit.   We finished the session with no major drama and returned to the sidelines to watch the others go again.    We went the other way round the track for the next session and everything was going very well; nobody hit each other and the cones remained mainly untouched for the next ten minutes.    Everything changed in the last five minutes though and as we all bunched back up together it turned into a Demolition Derby.     There were cones and karts everywhere and the session was ended when Jason, Brendon and I came into a corner together and Jason and I ended up having a head on followed by Brendon turning me into the wall up the straight.   I can honestly say I have never laughed at anything quite so much and I’m laughing typing about it now - it was a complete riot and you really should try it!
We are now back in the workshop again and getting ready for the last meeting of 2011.    We don’t have much to do, just the usual checks.    Luck must have been on our side somewhat though as when we lifted the bonnet the belt on the dry sump system was literally hanging off and that would have been an expensive and messy disaster had that come off during the final!
Thanks as ever for reading.
See you on Saturday

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