Hi Rob, just a few words from Mike Wood in car No 10...A bit disappointed to learn that we were not allocated a garage this time, but having arrived at 8pm after a long drive I wasn't prepared to put up my awning, so I looked to let my car spend the night snuggled up to next to Formula Woman Caterham. With the light of day, I found the other Welsh boys all cosy in one garage. For qualifying it was the general opinion that whilst the track was damp, there was a drying line so it was slicks all round. Qualifying went without any major incidents, and the grid was set with the Stealth up front, and Sarah Parsons bringing up the rear.
After lunch the racing was brought forward as there was a threat of some heavy rain later in the day, everyone kept their eyes on the clouds and again the general opinion was slicks, a tentative drive to the assembly area, eyes firmly fixed on the charcoal grey wall of cloud looming, 'relief' the cloud appeared to be passing around the circuit, and all got strapped in ready for the off. Then... the heavens opened... I, not having experienced this situation before, was persuading myself that they wouldn't let us out on slick in 'this', sigh of relief, it was all back to the garage for a swap of tyres.
So, a few minutes later, with the heavy rain passed, we were all back in the assembly area prior to two green flag laps. And then we were away, gong down pit straight I could see a ********thing, the spray from Dave, Graham and the other cars was unbelievable. So it was time to drop back and find some clear air. Exiting brookland and piling down international straight I came across Andy spinning with his front bumper hanging off, with another car disappearing off towards the tyrewall. So, it was back to the grid......'Red lights off' and oh ********* I cant see flipping thing, but you can't lift off , can you?! next thing, and I still don't know how ...Andy came screaming past me from behind as we went into Copse.
After Cospe I realised that I had lost two places, the first I had to reel in was an Mx5, fair play we dabbled for 3 or 4 laps before I managed to get the better of him keeping a tight line through Woodcote, then I had my sights on a yellow caterham, who had the better of me on the straight, but I found I could out brake and keep a bit more speed up in the corners, so this was my angle, and soon I could just make him out in my mirrors.
I my excitement I didn't pay much attention to this red sports car that looked strangely familiar on the exit of Woodcote, the last time I saw it didn't have a concrete wall attached, oops I thought as the next time round I saw a dejected Graham Cole surveying the damage.Next, up front I could just make out Alex, now this was going to be interesting, so with the 'bit' well between my teeth, it was pedal to the metal, I was thinking he must have a problem, but to be honest I didn't care at this stage, I was gaining... 'come on', and then the flag.!!! There was just 10 seconds in it. Hope this gives an insight in to the race. Regards Mike Woods
We should have known where this weekend in Silverstone was going when Sue scrunched the rear of the camper reversing against the trailer tyre rack on the way to Silverstone on Friday. Still, we didn't take the hint and carried on regardless. I had the re-mapped Jade ready to go complete with new nifty new Oil breather system. All Friday afternoon and until 11 pm Friday evening I took advantage of the fabulous Silverstone garage facilities to set up my suspension cambers, corner weights, and tracking properly, probably for the first time ever ! Alexis by now was on his third can of Worthy's....
So I was fairly optimistic going into Sat qualifying despite the slightly damp conditions. That was until I started the car and re-affirmed that mapping a standing car is not the same as mapping one thats moving. This explains the cars refusal to do anything other than tickover nicely unless on boost ! and on this engine boost means spinning wheels! However, we got going, and despite some lurid first laps and as the tyres began to come up to pressure (they never warmed due to the damp bits) we began to go quicker. This is when the earlier mentioned nifty oil tank decided to make it's presence felt. It spitefully detached it's return pipe from the dry sump tank, and, instead of sending returned oil to that tank, deposited roughly 70% of the contents (Confirmed by Bev) of my dry sump onto the rear Passenger side tyre. This problem was discovered during heavy braking into the drying Luffield when it felt like something on the suspension broke. The effect at that speed was pretty dramatic as witnessed by those kind folk who helped extracted my oily remains from the Luffield Kitty Litter. Many thanks then to that crew, together with Doug, Bev, Amy, Sue, and Alexis, for removing what seemed like tons of gravel from my remains.
Worse was to come though as the heavens opened as we all waited in the collection area for our race. Following our rapid dispatch back to the pits to change onto wets the entire grid re-formed on the startline for our race but by now my off-boost misfire was becoming chronic and inevitably I stalled on the start line - twice - when the lights turned green! I was overtaken by all the field including the safety cars - which I had difficulty catching.! The Jade either misfired or wheel spinned in the slippery conditions, and inevitably my dreadful weekend ended in the outside concrete of the start finish STRAIGHT ! It now lies stricken in the back of my trailer awaiting the day when I snap out of my depression sufficiently to prompt it's removal, and perhaps one day it's repair.
Woe am I...... (Why didn't I do what Gary did) Thanks Graham.
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