right side of the garage is the ADR, which brother Alan has been trying
in the Bikesports championship. It needs a complete engine rebuild (seized
at Snetterton), new rose joints all round, repairs to the rear suspension
mounting frame and loads of other work. To the right is Dad's Westfield,
retired from motorsport after winning the BARC Speed Championship in
2004 and relegated to creating lots of grins around the local lanes.
No contest - time to check out the Westie and try my hand at sprinting.
leak down test suggests the head is not all it could be so out with
the engine and off to SBD to check out the block and head. A quick skim,
new gaskets and studs fix the problem and everything seems OK so time
to put on a new set of List 1B types and get a few road miles under
my belt to get the feel for the car.
there are 14 rounds in the BARC SBD Speed Championship of which the
best 9 rounds will count. A quick check of our diaries suggests we can
only make 9 without severe domestic discontent so no room for error
or mechanical issues if we are to have crack at the class win. Scoring
this year is simple - championship records are set for each class at
each event and the closer you get to that time the more points you score.
If you beat the record, you earn up to 1 bonus point.
make the first round at Gurston so it is with some trepidation that
we load up and head Wiscombe Park in Devon for rounds 2 & 3. This
is a superb hill which twists its way through the trees but leaves no
room for error, especially in the shade of the trees where it rarely
dries out completely. I have driven here once before but that was 7
years ago so the warm and dry start to Saturday is most welcome. A careful
first practice confirms all is well with car and the climb is cleaning
up well. Practice 2 and I am stunned to be within a tenth of the championship
class record. The timed runs are even better and I end the day 1.02
seconds inside the class record.
is damp on Sunday morning after an overnight shower but the sun is soon
out and the hill dries enough for me to lower the record by further
tenth before the heavens open and rain slows play. Unluckily for Clive
Wooster in his Radical SR4, the course is damper for his runs so I snatch
maximum Top6 challenge points as well.
the Lotus test track at Hethel is a round we have to miss so the next
outing is Goodwood. This is my first visit to the famous Sussex circuit
and I was looking forward to seeing if the track is as daunting as everyone
was telling me. I got there early and thought a little walk around the
circuit would be a good idea - forgot to check how long it was! Practice
consisted of a single run of 2 laps which I spent learning the circuit
as best I could. The first timed run was good, just outside the championship
class record so I just went for it on the second run and shaved almost
2 seconds off to take the class win and maximum championship points
- most satisfying! Clive was having an awful day with fuel pressure
problems in the Radical so another maximum Top6 challenge points haul
as well. And yes, it is daunting...
was not on our list so we missed 2 rounds here as well as the chance
to compete against our main class rivals, David and Chris Hussey in
their RAW Striker. At this stage of the championship, Kevin Padley had
the overall lead in his SSC Stylus, closely followed by Derek Jones
in his BMW M3 Coupe and Clive Wooster in the Radical SR4. I am lying
fourth, just 1.8 points ahead of Chris Hussey who has the same number
of scores as me.
beginning of June we headed off to Abingdon for the Motorsport Carnival.
This is a superb weekend of motorsport and I was pleased to leave with
another class award and maximum points for the championship. The event
crams in two timed runs on two different courses but there are an awful
lot of cones to drive through.
later and we were at Castle Combe for round 9 of the championship. I
love this circuit and won here in Formula First and Formula Renault.
Lots of other people seemed to agree with my view because there were
41 entries in my class, many of them running larger engined Caterham
R500s because the ASWMC class structure is different to ours!
end of the day, I took third in class behind two R500s, maximum
championship points and beat the outright circuit class record by 1.56
seconds. I still love Castle Combe but I could do with more than 4 laps
to get the very best time from the Westie!
was Llandow, a circuit I knew because we had used it for testing in
the past. Both David and Chris Hussey were out this time and really
gave me some strong competition. The sun shone all day and we managed
to come away with a class win and set the new championship record time
for the class.