What a challenging weekend this proved to be. Dave couldn’t make it but my son, Paul, was fortunately able to and he was an absolute star. I was already convinced that this sport is ideal with a team as opposed to having to do it all solo but this weekend just highlighted that.
On arriving at Snetterton in the pouring rain we opened up the back of the lorry to find the boiler had come away from the wall, hit the car and was hanging by the gas and water pipes along with associated leaks! We managed to get it loosely back on its brackets so that we could get the car out.
The first task was to get the car into the queue for scrutineering which had by now grown considerably longer than when we first arrived. I went for a toilet break and on my return had managed to lose the lorry keys! A drastic hunt came up empty handed. A last thought was to see if they had been handed into the Admin Office and oh what a relief to be told they had!! If you are reading this and you were that kind soul – THANK YOU.
Once through scrutineering our next task was to get a space in a garage and park up the lorry to obtain an electric hook up since we now had no gas. Some helpful individual had parked their car behind the lorry, blocking us in; another problem to solve. That was finally resolved and with car and lorry established in/by the garage we thought we had hacked it. However, the organisers had unhelpfully re-issued the garage allocation at short notice and we weren’t meant to be in that garage. It was very kind of one of the drivers, Lee Piercy, to offer his space to us, so we were not evicted after all.
Next task was to try and refit the boiler but this didn’t work so we decided to disconnect everything and take it off the wall altogether. Eventually, at 8.30 pm having arrived at 3.15pm, we had some supper and then did some work on the car to get it ready for the next day’s race.
Qualifying was oh so wet and slippery. I have never been on such a treacherous surface; it was more like driving on ice. I had one excursion onto the grass with no damage and was pleased to have qualified 4th out of 10 Class C cars and 23rd out of 42 entrants.
The start was eventful with a car on the second row stalling off the line. I had an excellent start and made up several places in the first few yards only to collide with a Seat Leon who had seen the problem and braked abruptly. Unbeknown to me the collision had shoved my front offside wheel back by approximately 3cm and damaged the front bumper; the track was that slippery I didn’t know any difference though!
After that it was pretty uneventful although I was running 4th in Class for the majority of the race with the next Class C car some 11 seconds ahead, a gap I felt I couldn’t close up. My main goal was to concentrate on keeping the car off the grass. Much to my delight however, but to my fellow competitor’s disappointment who was running 2nd in Class, his gearbox gave up which promoted me to 3rd. This was relayed to me by my son Paul, who did a fantastic job with the pit board. I was delighted and managed to bring the MR2 safely home. It was a rewarding finish to what was a challenging weekend. All the hard work paid off.
The last race of the season is at Silverstone on the GP circuit in only a few weeks’ time. There is quite a bit of work to be done on the car so the pressure is on but I am greatly looking forward to this next race since it is on the iconic GP circuit.