7, Jul, 2016
BARC CHAMPSIONSHIP DAY, MALLORY PARK, 29 MAY
Devil’s Elbow is a good name for it, I reckon. Mallory’s famous downhill off-camber left-hander certainly caught me out in the first of the two Sevenesque races at the East Midlands circuit at the end of May.
Rob Grant and I went to the Midlands circuit together with our Caterham C400s and were joined there by Peter Hargroves with his SLR. Peter qualified sixth with me second and Rob fourth on the grid.
Things were looking good for the race but on the 14th of 17 laps, when I was enjoying a good scrap with Rob, I had my little bit of trouble at Devil’s Elbow. I’d tagged the home-built Hart sports racer of eventual winner David Tilley and spun. A loose nose cone earned me a black flag and the resulting pit stop to have it fixed cost me a lap. I finished seventh and last. My only compensation was setting the second fastest lap of the race.
The others did notably better: Rob was third and Peter fourth. Of course, last-place also put me at the back of the grid for the second race. That meant a fight-back through the field which was something of a challenge. But then there were only six other runners!
Still, I was pleased to finish second with Rob and Peter again third and fourth.
CLASSIC AND SPORTS CAR CLUB BRANDS HATCH BONANZA, 5 JUNE
The month’s first meeting at our local circuit certainly proved to be a bonanza for Boss Racing runners.
We might have been there for only one of the two days but it was certainly a busy time for us. Some of our cars were based in the pit garages with the remainder in the paddock which didn’t exactly make things easy for Team Boss. I wasn’t racing which was probably just as well as there was a lot to do with so many cars running.
The two TVRs, the 4.5 litre Sagaris of Dean Cook and the red 4.500 Rover-powered car of Tim Davis, were competing in the New Millennium series race. This 40-minute thrash also involved a pit stop. Tim’s car had been troubled with a persistent miss-fire, but as mentioned in my last blog, we’ve now managed to sort this.
The race certainly provided confirmation. Tim qualified third with Dean starting from pole and dominating the early stages. In fact, with Tim quickly working his way up to second it was looking as though we were in for another instalment of formula Boss.
But it all went wrong for Dean after the pit stops. A misunderstanding between the two drivers meant that both TVRs were rumbling down the pit lane one after the other instead of coming in on different laps.
Even so, Dean was soon back up to second and closing on the leading BMW. But then he went off at Clearways. The treaded tyres specified by the regulations in place of the slicks he normally uses caught the Wickford flyer out. He also stalled his engine and it took a while to get it fired up again.
A late safety car interlude meant that Tim had just five minutes to make the most of the TVR’s power. But at the flag he was just 8.6 seconds behind the E36 M3 of Mark Smith and Arran Moulton-Smith. He would probably have been closer had it not been for the pit-top mix-up. Dean was 16th, three laps down but had the consolation of setting the fastest lap of the race.
Even more exciting, though, was the Gold Arts Magnificent Sevens 40-minuter. We had six cars running in this event: the Superlight R400 of Graham Charman in class D, the C400 of Hugh Coulter in class F, the R300 of Richard Carter and the C400 of Colin Watson in class G and the CSR of Christian Pittard in Class H. Making a guest appearance for Boss was Gary Tomlinson whose Supersport ran in class S.
Christian’s bright orange CSR was a newly-built car which incorporated such relatively new features as paddle-controlled gear-change and launch control. He made good use of it in qualifying, placing it second on the grid with Richard fourth, Graham fifth, Hugh sixth and Colin seventh. Gary was 23rd.
Christian took a narrow led from the second lap and after the pit stops managed to work his way back to the lead. But he was being stalked by C400-mounted Peter Radcliff who’d started from the pit-lane.
By lap 32 Christian had dropped to third but was back in front five laps later but with Radcliff closing fast. Going into the last lap Christian got a bit sideways in his anxiety to stay ahead and lost the lead. But he got the better of the traffic to set up a nail-biting finish. As they swept out of Clearways Christian had the advantage and crossed the line just ahead.
Commentator Mark Werrell put the difference at half a car’s length but I reckon it was even closer than that! Officially, the gap was 0.079 seconds. Our other runners also did well, particularly Richard Carter (third), Graham Charman (fourth) and Hugh Coulter (eighth). All were class winners. Gary Tomlinson was 21st but Colin Watson had spun out and wasn’t classified.
An eventful day’s action closed with the (almost) anything goes Meteor Open Series race, a frantic 30-minute thrash complete with pit-stop. Richard Carter qualified third and finished second to the flying Radcliff. Gary Tomlinson was tenth.
So that was it: a pretty good meeting I’d say. And we’re back at Brands on 11/12 June for the American Festival. Should be good!