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Graham Coles' Oulton Diary

Gissucar........!....my report below....... One to forget..........

Started qualifying a little concerned when I saw the size of one of the Jags which were to make up the majority of our grid....I don't think the Jade came up to the door handles!

That concern was well founded when after a warm up lap and one faster one during qualifying, my attempt at a flyer ended in the escape road when one of the said behemoths clipped the BACK of the Jade puncturing and mangling the rear wheel and some bodywork in the process. So I was left to stand in one of the marshals posts and gesticulate insultingly at any passing Jag with green in it! (I never did find which one was the culprit as I doubt it even got scratched !). With the Jade beached bythe puncture in the infield, Ben Gunn brought our Mondeo over to tow us back, and after changing the punctured wheel, we finally made it back to the pits.

Some terrific work by Gunn aided by Peter, Ginger, Huw and their crews (Many thanks guys - IOU one!) got the only slick tyre we had, transferred onto a good rim, and after a last minute flat battery moment (thanks Huw) we somehow made it to the collection area for the start.

The race was equally disastrous.

I got a reasonable start but got out-dragged to the Old Hall right hander by the Orange Radical which seemed bloody fast in a straight line! Nevertheless managed to stay ahead on the exit to lead before again coming under challenge from him again at Dentons before getting to the apex of Cascades first. I was looking to get away along the Lakeside straight when our race was effectively over.

The rear bodywork had come loose at high speed and looked set to overtake me over the top of the car when I slowed! The field flew past, including said Jags, as I slowed to a crawl looking for a safe place to stop. We got around Shell Oils hairpin and Brittens before pulling over and re-fastening the top, up and over clamp, which was enough to secure the body. There was to be no chance of getting back to the front though as with only five or so laps complete the red flags came out as Car 54 had been beached (not sure who that was).

It was about that time when I had noticed the Jade chucking out black fog when I accelerated. Something was wrong (sharp eh) and as I passed three Marshals posts gesticulating wildly,  I realised we were on fire. I guess the giveaway was seeing one standing in the middle of the road with a fire extinguisher !

Said Marshal quickly covered the rear end in foam but the undertray was effectively destroyed as it had been smouldering for the last 3 laps when the carbon fibre exhaust can disintegrated. Sadly, it scorched the rear wiring and bodywork before throwing itself off the car close to where Sue and Gunn were watching (Coincidence indeed!). Neither of the buggers picked it up though, so I've got to make another one from scratch. (It'll all be in stainless this time !!).

Unfortunately, the repairs to the rear end means that Silverstone is unlikely for me (And I was so looking forward to driving on the International circuit).

Still, on a more positive note, we did get third WRDA points so retain 3rd overall and the Class A lead. Still that’s likely to be lost if we don't get to Silverstone.....unless of course I can find a car in time.....now who....???

Kind Regards, Graham Cole

Tel: 02920 884524 (H), 07860 421937 (M), 0121230 7215 (O).

N.B If you had a good race, or a few dramas like Graham, please let us know. Just a few notes will do, or a few photos if you have them. Email to wrda@ntlworld.com




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