Friday, March 2, 2012

Test Night 2012

In just over a week the racing gets underway again for another nine months of what will no doubt be non-stop action!   This winter seems to have flown by and it really doesn’t seem like five months since the last meeting and even more scarily two months since the NEC!

Our plan was always to do the
practice night as long as it was dry so when we looked outside to see brilliant sunshine in the morning the car and spares were quickly loaded back into the lorry ready for us to come home from work and head straight off to Foxhall.   The sun was still shining when we got there and with a fair turnout of cars it had all the makings of a good evening.

The practice is laid out like any race meeting with a running order and a timeslot for every formula; each formula has three runs of approximately the normal race length and although it‘s only a practice everyone out there tends to treat it like a race pushing as hard as ever possible from the off.

It felt great being back out in the car, racing in the NEC is brilliant and the atmosphere is amazing but no matter what you do nothing beats Foxhall Stadium under the floodlights.  Whether it’s a race or a practice, it is just the best and really sums up what Hot Rod racing is about for me.

As soon as I set off in the car I knew all our hard work over the winter had paid off and even after the first few laps I knew the car was the best it’s ever been.   It seemed to get better and better as the night went on and I would certainly say that’s the fastest either me or the car has ever been.   It’s easy to get carried away though - after all, a track with 8 cars for practice and one with 32 cars for a race is an entirely different game.

It certainly was a lot of fun and a great way to prepare for the coming season.   I must admit I was a bit disappointed with my lap times though - the quickest I managed being a 14.9 and the quickest time of the night being a 14.5 set by Chris Haird.   I don’t think the lap times mean everything however, and as I said earlier it would be a different story in a race with everyone’s times being a bit slower.

With the practice over it was straight back in the trailer with the car and off home.   We even managed to do this in record time – we’re normally always one of the last to leave, messing about loading things into the trailer long after everyone else is on their way home.   It’s a three hour trip home from
Ipswich for us and by the time we’d stopped for some food we arrived home at 1.30am.   Ipswich
is the furthest track for us with all the others less than 2 hours from our door.

We don’t really have that much to do to the car before the first meeting and with it going so well I certainly don’t want to change much, just all the usual checks, change the diff and fit the new tyres. There is also an incredibly annoying brake fluid leak that needs sorting.   Every time you drive the car fluid leaks out leaving a small lake on the ground that I spend the entire race meeting paddling around in.

I also started the monumental task of clearing out the lorry on Sunday; we’ve had our lorry for a long time now and it’s not really been sorted out since we stared to race Hot Rods.   I’ve cleared the back out starting with the 44 spark plugs I found in there!  It’s now tidy and organised ready for the new season.   The living quarters and the cab are the next areas on my hit list!

Along with some mutual friends I am heading off to
early on Friday morning for Mr Murray’s ‘stag do’ and I’ll be back with another blog next week as long as I survive the antics of this weekend . . . .  Gavin has pulled his fair share of pranks over the years so maybe this weekend they might all come bouncing back at him!

Thanks as ever for reading.

Until next time


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