Thursday, June 6, 2013

Three meetings and a jaunt over the Irish Sea

All in all it’s been a few busy weeks in my racing world.  We are still as disorganised as ever and have been forced into some late nights in the build up to the meetings.  One day I am determined to be organised and loaded with a bit of time to spare!

The first meeting I’m going to tell you about was Hednesford.  Ever since putting the Duratec in I have been looking forward to racing it round the
Midlands track and it really didn’t disappoint.  The meeting started with a disaster though and as I dropped the clutch on the warm up laps I heard a nasty sound as the half-shaft snapped.  I limped off into the centre green and that was that race over.   I just want to thank everyone who helped get me back out on track for heat two which turned into a much better race with me crossing the line in second place.  The final was a great race too and I managed a fourth in that one.    Even watching Nationals there they look fast, but let me tell you that as you are coming to the end of the straights and hitting the rev limiter it feels like you’re absolutely flying!

The next meeting for me was a Saturday
Ipswich.  I have always said that a Saturday under the lights at Foxhall is what Hot Rods are all about but it turned into a complete disaster of a night for me. The car felt blisteringly quick in practice but I just couldn’t get it together at all in the races.  I had terrible results in all three races picking up I think about 3 points all night!  The car was knocked about and I was left in a foul mood for about four days afterwards.  One good thing about the night though was Chris Haird’s drive in the final - from last car through to win it - a drive that in my eyes will go down in the history books, and one I know would have made David a very proud man.

Once home from
Ipswich we went through every inch of the car checking everything only to find some bent bits of suspension.  This made me feel a lot better and stopped me beating myself up quite so much!  We got everything sorted and after evaluating the whole situation for a long time we headed off to Northampton with the attitude of forgetting the points and going to enjoy it.

I will say now that it is the best decision I’ve made for months and I can’t remember enjoying a meeting that much for a long time.  The car felt good and I had some cracking races.  I was pleased enough with a seventh in the first one but felt there was still more to come, so I went out in the next one and drove the car as hard as I ever could; this resulted in a much better race and a fourth at the flag.  The final was a race I really enjoyed too and after a few good battles including a really good race with Neil Stimson I crossed the line in third but got moved up to second after Neil got removed from the result.   All in all a really good day and I think everyone gave each other some respect which resulted in some good clean racing.

Now in between all this I took a flight over to
Northern Ireland to stay with none other than our world champion himself.    It was a truly brilliant weekend and was crazy as you would imagine.  The good craic started as soon as I got picked up from the airport and lasted until I got dropped off again.   Tullyroan really is some place and I want to get out there and race this season.  It’s so well run and has such good facilities, and the fact that Glenn won a race and I didn’t pay for a drink all night were added bonuses!

After the meeting it was a panic to get back to Glenn’s, get changed and hit the town. The only problem was there were six of us and only five seats in the car!   It wasn’t an issue though and with Glenn tightly locked in the boot we headed off for the antics to begin.   After a brief stop at a party to collect 2-litre legend Adam Hylands we hit Portadown.    I’m sure you can all guess what the night was like and what chaos followed.   My personal highlight was when Sandstorm was played . . . it was a mass movement of racing folk onto the dance floor, throwing some no doubt very dodgy shapes!   At closing time after a few too many vodkas we did what any group of guys does and went back for a good night’s sleep!  Not likely, and we continued the party at Glenn’s until some un-godly hour when we all finally crashed out where we landed - having drunk his house completely dry and given the main man Darren Black an early morning phone call “Just to see what the craic was.”

There were a few sorry faces the next day as we headed off to Nutts Corner to watch the National Saloons.   The day ended with a disaster too, as during a Chinese meal Corb became detached from his chair and broke both his finger and his phone upon impact with the floor!    Now being a top group of friends we did the caring thing and laughed at this - a lot!    Besty did go to the hospital with him later to get him checked out and make sure it wasn’t life threatening!

All in all it was a top weekend with a great group of friends.  I loved every second of it and can’t wait to get back out there again for some more madness!

On a much more serious note it’s with great sadness we say good bye to another of our own - Stuart Carter, who was taken from the world much too young.  It leaves you thinking is this ever going to end?  R.I.P. Stu, you’ll be greatly missed by everyone.

With only one round left it’s going to be an action packed Hednesford.   We have a  bit of work to do on the car but (as you read this) I planned on taking a trip to Crimond to see the end of the Scottish points race with John and the team.   It’s been an action packed few months of racing and I love it!

Thank as ever for reading.

Until next time


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