Thursday, October 23, 2014

No politics in sight

Everyone you speak to at the moment seems to either be moaning about something or making it more into off-track politics than the racing out on the tarmac.  Racing for me has always been a hobby; something that my Dad and I can do together and have lots of enjoyment out of.  We meet great people and create lots of brilliant memories to look back on.  Yes, we have bad days and there have been times I question our sanity doing it, but it’s our way of life and we love it.  Regardless of who got a black flag or what car you can race it is still a hobby.  We all have work on Monday and I am under no illusion that I will ever make a penny from it.  I think if more people took this approach and actually enjoyed each race the formula would be better off!

Since I started racing again I’ve spent more time than ever in the car and it has been a pretty up and down ride the entire way.  Going into the third qualifying round at Mendips I’d scored the grand total of one point!  It would be easy to get carried away with the aforementioned politics about this meeting but I think everything that needs saying has already been said - so I’ll leave it at that.  The car was hateful in practice but after several adjustments for the first race it was better.  The race went pretty well on the unusual track and I managed to pick up a third at the flag.  This was unfortunately going to be the only points for the day with me ending the other two races on the centre green having been spun out on both occasions.  Still, the car was straight and we were heading home with a few points.  I actually don’t mind the track.  It’s different from anywhere else we race and makes a bit of a change from the usual places we go. 

Back in the garage we decided to make a few big changes and see if we could improve the car a little bit and with the Slick Cars running at Birmingham we headed off to give the car a run round.  The atmosphere at a Slick Car meeting is the exact opposite to Nationals - no one rushes around or takes things too seriously . . . they arrive, race and go home again!  There is a mixture of cars and some pretty handy drivers too.  I was starting a lap behind which gave me a chance to play with the car and make changes.  The car got better each race and we left feeling positive progress had been made.

However, feeling there were still more things we could do to improve the car.  We went back up to the Wednesday practice night at Birmingham a couple of days later and after lots of runs and many changes I felt the car was actually better than it was before we decided to take a little break from racing.

So on Saturday we headed back for the third time in a week with thoughts set firmly on racing.  I love Birmingham at the best of times and always look forward to a meeting there.  It turned into a good evening with the car going well and I managed to finish each race in the top ten, collecting some much needed points - and I had a straight car!  The only downside to so many trips to Birmingham is that I am starting to get bored of Big John’s - sad but true!

Back in the garage we had the car in bits again and made yet more changes - sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t, but the only way to find out is to try.  Ipswich had turned into a bit of a problem track for me so we felt we had nothing to lose.  Even from the first lap in practice I knew we’d done the right thing and the car actually felt okay.

Even though it was a pretty intense and action packed night I managed to survive all the chaos and once again get top tens in each race, with a fifth, fourth and eighth respectively.  I felt I could have done better in the final but compared to lots of others I have nothing to moan about.  Even though it’s not my favourite track there is something special about Hot Rods under the lights on a Saturday night at Foxhall.  It was a shame to see the numbers down though, and hopefully they will pick up again after the winter break.

We’re not able to make Tipperary for the Irish Open so that just leaves us with one meeting to go before the winter break.  Then it will be time to get the car sorted ready for my favourite weekend of the year, the NEC.  There’s no telling how the car will go at Hednesford or what will happen, but I’m looking forward to it.

Thanks as ever for reading.

Until next time


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