Would we be spared the rain? Was it to be sun cream or water repellent,
they were the questions in the back of everyone’s mind. As it turned
out, it was overcast with dark clouds, and a few spots of rain once or
twice, before lunchtime, but not enough to make the course anything more
than damp in a few small places, as the wind was reasonably strong.
The merry band of eight cars and ten drivers saw John and Andrew Forsyth
sharing the Alfa Dana alongside Charles and Nicholas Reynolds in their
Mk 9 Cooper. It was good to see Dennis Williams out again with his
Arnott in addition to the other regulars, although both Patrick Riley
and Alistair Dent had decided not to run.
The first practice runs went without a hitch, with Mark Riley and John
Dent setting a fast pace at 43.8 and 44.8 respectively, before the next
group of John F, Charles R and Andrew F in the 46-47 bracket. This left
the rest of us to chase hard from 50+.
The second practice runs were on a drier track, with improvements all
round taking nearly everyone under the 50 mark. John Dent was foiled by
ignition problems causing a fail, and a few other niggles were to need
attention over the lunch break. The rev counter drive on Charles’ Cooper
had failed at the timing cover end and Tony had fuel issues at the
carburettor. However, the latter was fixed by master mechanical magician
Mark, diagnosing an oversized main jet, which was substituted by a much
smaller version loaned by John D. A binding rear brake was also found
and fixed. Together, these remedies meant he was able to go on and break
the 48 second barrier.
Focus! Photo Pat Dent
By the start of the afternoon runs it was very warm and sunny, so the
track was nice and dry. Everyone was ready and our group of runs was
starting when a nut fell off the pedal bar of Dennis’ car causing the
engine to rev uncontrollably and forcing him to switch off. Fortunately,
‘wizard’ Bruce managed a quick fix and Dennis was able to do his run a
couple of minutes later. Alan also had a rare failure when the tubular
gear lever broke half way through the run, but he still made the finish.
The quill shaft on the Alfa Dana cried ‘enough’ and sheared, which meant
a return to the paddock behind a tow truck for John F, although he had
recorded a time.
Back in the paddock Charles did more work on the rev counter mounting
and once again Bruce used his skill to do a repair on Alan’s Cooper,
with part of a spare bolt.
And so to the final run of the day. Eight drivers set off with vigour,
many managing to reduce their times and so be happy with the results.
The only issue was for Charles, who had the rev counter fall into his
lap, so understandably lost a couple of seconds!
The final results showed Mark was once again the one to catch, he really
is in the groove, but there are others coming up fast and then a good
close group getting everything together.
Photo Pat Dent