Sunday, 29 August 2010

Forrestburn 28/29 August - A class win and a tie!

I'll have to think what to say for this. It was a fantastic weekend and the weather held (unusual for Forrestburn). I won my class on Saturday, beating Dave Exton in his MR2 with a time of 53.93sec - a quarter of a second of my PB from June.
Today proved to be one of the most bizarre experiences I've had in speed events since I started in 2007.
I didn't go particularly well in practice as I was getting to grips with the stiffer suspension I'd put back on the car last night. I was well behind Jamie McDonald in the Elise and Alastair Matheson in the TVR.
But at lunch time, I hd a think about what I was doing wrong and for my first timed run I posted 54.47sec. This proved to be a second faster than Alastair and nearly 2 secs faster than Jamie who had a disastrous run.
Final run came and I was pleased to see the clock stop at 53.97sec - nearly as fast as Saturday. I got back to the paddock and Jamie excitedly asked what my time was. I said 53...... he said "53.97". I said - 53.97 - that's my time - he said " that's what I did". Alasitair had only managed a 55sec so, Jamie and I were tied for the class.
On enquiring with the clerk of the course, we were informed (wrongly as it turned out) that the winner was the person who posted the time first - so Jamie got the trophy. I was quite happy to let him have it since I had mine from Saturday and it wouldn't affect the championship points. In any case, I didn't actually beat him (but then he didn't beat me). - like I said, bizarre!
So, as the season nears its end, I'm sort of looking to next year. Don't know what my plans are yet - I'll have a new baby to deal with first - but I'm sure I'll be back in 2011.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

First time at Fintray

I spent my first weekend at Fintray speed hillclimb last weekend. Thanks to Phil Rowlands who lent me his trailer, my wife and kids were able to come too and we had a great family weekend away. The kids really enjoyed the open space at Fintray and the venue is excellent for families with lots of good spectating, good facilities and most importantly, an ice cream van! Fortunately, the weather was fantastic all weekend.

The entry in class A8 was really excellent - the best of the year so far in fact. Five of us on Saturday and a whopping eight of us on Sunday. Never having been to Fintray, nor even seen a video before, I had no expectations of fast times. That, and the fact that I was up against some seriously well developed machinery, made coming last a distinct possibility.

Anyway, after a late start on Saturday, I got into the swing and managed to get my times down to 35.17secs - very, very far from the class winning 33.09 of Mike Stout in his 6-week old Lotus 2-11. I was closer to Martin Smith in the VX220 Turbo but he was having misfire problems. Anyway, I set my sights on a sub-35 second time for Sunday. That would be almost respectable!

On Sunday, I focussed on trying to brake less for the first corner (called Ruin). This is a very tricky corner as the entry is blind and looks much tighter than it really is. It then has a double apex and I reckon that a lot of time can be lost if you get this wrong.

Throughout the day I managed to chip away at my times getting down to 34.66 secs. Again, this was well down the pecking order but I did manage to beat Graham Sinclair in his 150bhp S1 Elise and Andrew Kinmond in his Zetec engined TVR Vixen. All in all, I was happy.

A quick word about Ian Duncan in the RX-7. He's been competing in the same car at Fintray since 1993 and had a storming weekend - smashing his previous personal best and managing second place on Sunday with a 32.44sec - only one tenth slower than the 2-11 !

The analysis of the 64ft and split times shows I was getting good starts (down to 2.37sec - better than the 2-11 !) but by the first split, I was a second down. So, I need to work on that first corner!

John Stewart took some great photos (more at

Monday, 2 August 2010

Kames 1 August

Not much to say. The weather was much the same as Saturday with frequent light showers. I forgot which gears to be in until the final run and as a result, never really got into the swing of it. Best I could manage was 88.6 sec which only bagged third in class behind Alistair Matheson's TVR on 87.84 wth Ian Duncan taking another class win with a storming 86.15 sec. His RX-7 sounds like a bee in a biscuit tin but it can't half shift. I like it!