2006 Race dates, reports & results
TR Championship Winning Year!


Finally, victory in the 2006 TR Register race championship...all aboard!

 

  

Class F entry for 2006

  

3 Jon Wolfe 64 Mike Cowing
6 Steve Crane 71 Graham Miller
7 Martyn Adams 72 Colin Pendle
42  Hugh Maund 85 Malcolm Chapman
49 Mark Richards 48 Ian Agnew

Class F points table (Score 8 from 10)

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Total
Maund 9 3 5 2 3 0 5 0 0 8 35
Crane 7 7 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 19
M Adams 5 0 3 7 5 3 0 0 5 5 28
Wolfe 3 9 11 10 9 7 1 0 0 10 60
Chapman 0 7 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 17
Miller 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 0 0 0 9
Agnew 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1

2006 Race dates (Confirmed)

  Date Circuit  Club Weather Grid
o/a & class
Result
o/a
Result
class
Results
(pdf)
1 April 1st Silverstone MGCC Dry, Windy 2nd / 1st d.n.f. d.n.f. MST
* April 4th Mallory Park

TR Track day

  n/a n/a n/a n/a
A May 29th Spa Francorchamps or PMC at Silverstone  

Not Racing - lucky really 'cos it was snowed off!

2 May 6th Donington Park MGCC Wet 4th / 3rd 2nd 1st MST
3 May 21st Snetterton MGCC Dry/Wet 1st / 1st 1st 1st MST
4 June 3rd Oulton Park MGCC Dry and warm 2nd / 2nd 1st 1st  
5 June 24th/25th Silverstone (International) MGCC Hot 1st / 1st 1st 1st  
6 July 2nd Cadwell Park CSCC Hot 2nd / 1st 2nd 1st  
7 July 16th Brands Hatch MGCC Hot 2nd / 2nd d.n.f. d.n.f.  
B July 29th Nürburgring FISC Wet and foggy and dry and hot! 13th 9th n/a  
8 July 30th Mallory Park MSCC

Did not race

9 August 19th/20th Pembrey BARC

      Did not race

10 September 16th Castle Combe MGCC Dry 4th / 3rd 1st 1st  
C October 28th - Birkett 6 hour relay Silverstone 750 MC Dry        

MGCC = MG Car Club, CSCC = Classic Sports Car Club, MSCC = Morgan Sports Car Club, BARC = British Automobile Racing Club

Points are awarded as follows:
4 or more starters in class - 1st = 8, 2nd = 6, 3rd = 4, 4th = 2.
3 starters in class - 1st = 6, 2nd = 4, 3rd = 2.
2 starters in class - 1st = 4, 2nd = 2.
1 starter in class - 1st = 2.

Plus 1 point for each of: pole position in class, taking the start and fastest lap in class. The Championship is decided on the best 8 results. The TSSC has a slightly different points system.

Round 1 - Silverstone, 1st April 2006

Not an ideal start to the year with the all-too-common scramble to get the engine fitted and the car ready to race. Since the oil pressure problems at Pembrey in August 2005 the TR had not turned a wheel and apart from my brief excursion in my GT6 to the Birkett in November, racing has been pretty sparse. The engine was finally collected (from the depths of Welsh Wales) on the Sunday prior to the race weekend and was fitted on the Monday and Tuesday evenings after work. By Wednesday evening it was up and running with all the little pre-season jobs finished too; not to many this time as the car had been pretty thoroughly prepped for Pembrey.

The only changes were a new seatbelt to comply with the new MSA requirement for all seatbelts to be FiA compliant (mine had just run out) and a fire extinguisher service which seems to consist of paying £5 for someone to weigh it with a spring balance. The only other point of note was that I bought myself a HANS device. After my coming together with a Morgan at the 2005 Silverstone International meeting I was given a proper telling off by the medical officer for not having one and he felt they should be compulsory. Trouble is once you've been put in that position and you've been told something which really makes sense then I didn't really have an option. I bought a Schroth 20 degree medium one (after Stacky tried one on for me at the Autosport show) for about £500 and we fitted the required HANS posts to my existing helmet after receiving appropriate technical advice from Stand 21. Once the seatbelts are tight it feels pretty secure, you can't turn your head quite so much but amazingly I found out almost immediately that the only time I do that is on the grid or in the collecting area; it made zero difference in the race. I have not quite mastered the 'getting out of the car without jamming it in my neck' technique but I think that's just practice. When I tried it in the GT6 it was very uncomfortable and I soon discovered why; the shoulder belts must pass back near-horizontally so the HANS is not being pulled down into the shoulders. A re-mount of the seatbelt anchors in that car has made all the difference.

Dave T's GT6 burst its radiator the week before the race so he dashed over and took mine so my GT6 is now radiator-less, come to think of it it's engine-less too so not big deal really!

Practice A very nasty surprise! I had neglected to wash my Nomex balaclava since the Birkett. Imagine wearing the same pair of socks for a couple of days then putting them in a plastic bag for 6 months before using them as a mouth and nose mask for 20 minutes!

Anyway there had been torrential rain overnight and we were all expecting another wet Silverstone meeting however it soon cleared up and by mid morning it was dry an warm (about 10 degrees C) but with a very strong south westerly wind. Practice was good and I spent most of it circulating with Joe Henderson in his silver TR6, we have had some pretty close races in the past and the commentator even suggested that we should be reminded that it was practice, not the race itself!

The result was Joe on pole by 0.3 seconds from me then Martyn Adams, Hugh Maund and Steve Crane all in V8s. Dave Thompson took Class C pole and John Andon was Class D grid supremo. During practice Dave Thompson had a universal joint failure on one of his drive shafts, two of the the u/j cups came loose leading to an horrendous vibration setting in. Back in paddock Chris Sollom set to work and within 2 hours had stripped the side down, fitted a new u/j and kind of bodged the cups in place with circlips and chemical metal. The blue GT6 was back on the road.  

 Not a huge race entry with only 13 cars taking the start but it was to be quite a race.

The race One of my worst racing starts ever! I don't know what I was thinking, by all rights I should have been first into Copse, turn 1 by a good 10 metres but I missed the lights change then was too aggressive on the clutch and span away all my power with a huge fish-tailing get away. Luckily for me Martyn Adams was all-noise-and-no-movement too and I managed to get past him by the entry to Copse and got fairly close to the tail of Joe Henderson.

I then sat on Joe's tail, never more than about 0.7 seconds behind for the rest of the race until I made my move on the Club Straight on the final lap. The TR6s are marginally quicker on the corners than the V8s (100Kg lighter) but have less grunt. Braking is pretty similar. On the final lap we came out of Beckets more-or-less nose to tail and I nailed it past Joe on his right hand side and snuck in in front of him to take the left hander. Joe then came barrelling in from behind and his right front wheel hit my door as he tried to retake me and we both slithered off into the huge gravel trap at the entry to the Luffield complex. Neither of us were happy to say the least and we both felt we had the corner. I could have stayed in 2nd place to take maximum class points but I'm out there to win races, the championship is secondary to that for me. I did get overall fastest lap however.

Hugh Maund went on to take the outright and class win; his first ever I think.

Elsewhere: Dave Thompson won Class C (the bodge/fix worked just fine), Nigel Gibbins was out with a holed radiator and Steve Adams was out with a failed driveshaft u/j yoke. New boy Simon Congdon acquitted himself very well with a creditable 2nd place in Class C (just 1 second ahead of Richard King) in what must surely now be the best presented car in the championship.

Result: Maund (F), M Adams (F), Crane (F), Humphries (D), Thompson (C), Andon (D), Congdon (C), King (C), Gimson (C).
DNFs: Henderson (E), Wolfe (F), S Adams (C), Gibbins (C)
Fastest lap: Wolfe 1:07.242

Round 2 - Donington, 6th May 2006

With a five week gap between Silverstone and Donington there was plenty of time to fix the front wing (minor damage from the Silverstone off) and clear all the gravel from the car. It's always amazing how much of the stuff gets lodged in every nook and cranny in the car and it certainly takes a bit of clearing out. I also fitted a new nearside rubber engine mount (it's a GT6 one and is a bit to close to the exhaust really) and reworked the oil pump mount. As a precaution I also took the front cover off the engine to check there were no oil leaks which could be causing my oddly fluctuating oil pressure problems; all was OK.Other than that there was not a lot to do on the car other than all the standard checks.

Practice A very warm and bright sunny day greeted us on Saturday morning and the week-long forecast of a wet weekend looked unlikely as we all trundled out to practice. About 15 cars took part and with an unusually high number of last-minute withdrawals from the race. As soon as I set out it was pretty clear that there was a problem; every 30 seconds or so the whole car shuddered as the engine shut off; not a misfire but a sudden loss of everything. I tried to drive through it but it was happening about 4 times a lap. I made a high speed visit to the pits where Chris and Stacky had a quick check of the electrical connectors which had been disturbed during the engine front cover removal but all seemed OK. I went back out on the track and did a few more laps before deciding to come in; the problem was costing me at least 2 seconds a lap I believe.

Back in the paddock we let the engine cool down and meanwhile checked the grid times. Somehow I was 4th on the grid but nearly 3 seconds off pole man, Joe Henderson's time. It was then a systematic work through the wiring loom looking for a loose connector - there had to be one there somewhere. Chris checked and cleaned a couple connectors before doing a wiggle test! Chris and his helper (the otherwise taskless Nigel Gibbins who was one of the retirees) started the engine and then went through and wiggled every single wire in the loom until the problem recurred. They discovered that a single wire into the ECU relay had a very poor connection to its crimp connector in the relay connector block. The problem was 100% repeatable; wiggle the wire and the engine cut out instantly. They had found it. Needless to say the engine subsequently ran completely on-song for the race.

Joe was on pole in his TR6 with Hugh Maund (V8) alongside him in 2nd slot. Class F returnee, Malcolm Chapman was in 3rd place and I was gridded 4th followed by Steve Crane and Martyn Adams also in their V8s.

The race After my truly appalling start at Silverstone I was determined to have a good get away especially as the long promised rain had made its appearance. The track was very, very wet as we did our two green-flag, sighting laps (you always get an extra one in the wet) but I knew that Hugh hates the rain and getting past him would not be too difficult. Martyn Adams, another disliker of the rain, had decided not to race at all so there was a space on the grid behind me too.

Well, I had a great start from the outside of row 2 and was in 2nd place behind Joe's TR6 by Redgate (turn 1). From that point onwards he just disappeared into the distance and I was in no mind to chase as I needed some points to keep in the championship game... For about 4 laps it was treacherously slippery and I was closely hassled by Malcolm Chapman who got past me on about lap 5 but I then stuck on his tail and re-passed him 2 laps later; he subsequently disappeared from my rear view mirror never to be seen again and I later learned that he had spun out and down to last place.

Steve Crane then took up Malcolm's place right on my tail and he too passed me after a few laps. With it being a 20 minute race I knew I had time to retake the position so just put Steve under loads of pressure, often only a few inches off his tail and it was working; his car was all over the place! I know from Stacky that he had a big slide on the start-finish straight and nearly put it in the pit wall but he's a very good driver and got away with it. I finally dived past on the inside at Redgate at about the 15 minute mark and saw him wildly trying to recover from his late braking effort, I then pulled out a 7 second lead over the next few laps to secure 2nd overall (7 seconds behind Joe) and first in class. Malcolm Chapman secured fastest lap (and a bonus point) on his recovery drive to 3rd in class.

This result has put me right back in Class F contention after the controversy of Silverstone but with Snetterton looking very unlikely and for Mallory we shall be in Germany,  I shall need some consistent, good results throughout the rest of the year.

Elsewhere, Steve Adams (Spitfire) kept in 6th place for the first 5 laps or so but then lost concentration and dropped back a few places followed by a spin onto the grass...twice! Oops, been there and done that enough myself to know how that feels! New boy Simon Congdon won Class C with The Mighty Dave Thompson in 2nd. The ex-Dave Beardlsey/Andy Jowett/Bob Mosely Spitfire made a reappearence in the hands of Ian Smythe who was credited with his first race finish.

Result: Henderson (E), Wolfe (F), Crane (F), Chapman (F), Maund (F), Congdon (C), Humphries (D), Thompson (C), Jepson (D), Gimson (D), S Adams (C), Styles (C), Davis (A), Smythe (C)
DNFs: King (C)
Fastest lap: Chapman 1:39.587

Round 3 - Snetterton, 21st May 2006

Another poor grid for the TR/TSSC championship and much speculation in the paddock about the future. Nearly all the pre-TR7 cars have left the championship and of the TRs Paul Madden was the only non-TR7 there; some have gone to the struggling Thoroughbred Sports Cars (also poorly supported at Snetterton) and others to the Classic Sports Car Club. We have lost a few to the HSCC and FiA racing over the years too. For 2006 we seem to have lost a few regular competitors and that has seen the average race entry to drop to around a dozen for the the first three rounds whereas is was around 16 or 17 in 2005. With no other championship that takes TR7s then we'll all stick around!

As for my car, there was not really a lot to do from Donington other than do the normal checks and fit a new tyre. The only significant thing was to change all the roll cage nuts to nylocs after the scrutineers picked up on that. Seems over zealous again as the cages are supplied with plain nuts from the manufacturer and nearly every car in the paddock has the same issue. It was a real bugger getting the old nuts off so I really don't think it was a problem.

The biggest complexity for the weekend came from Noreen doing the 26 mile walk-the-walk charity event in London on the Saturday night, setting off at 11:30 PM! The kids and I dropped Noreen in London on Saturday evening having already despatched Martin in the RV, with the TR in tow, to Snetterton that afternoon. We collected Noreen again at about 8 on Sunday morning at Hyde Park and sat-navved to Snetterton in just under 2 hours. Thank goodness for TomTom otherwise I'd probably have still been struggling round the East End by noon! It's 2 year since I last raced at Snetterton and there have been some good developments there with a new scrutineering shed and revised paddock layout; all part of Jonathan Palmer's investment programme which intends to lengthen the track by a mile and build a hotel on the site too.

Practice The forecast rain had not arrived as we set out onto a dry track but it was starting to look grey in the south west. The session was all pretty uneventful but the car was pretty good (if sounding a bit odd) and I managed to get on pole by about 0.5 second from Malcolm Chapman.

Grid (11 cars): Wolfe (F); Chapman (F); M Adams (F); Maund (F); Humphries (D); S Adams (C); Jepson (D); Thompson (C); Madden (D); Davies (H); Davis (A)

The race As I lined up on pole the grid marshall came over and said to be careful as there was oil on the track under the car! Great; just what I needed! We did 2 laps of warm up as the rain was here now and the track was soaked. We all lined up, lights on and ready to go. When the reds go out the race starts and we all gingerly gathered speed to get away. I had horrendous wheel spin until I had cleared the oily patch letting Malcolm get away into the lead; as soon as I had grip though I nailed it and lead into turn 1. However I over-cooked turn 2 and ran very wide and onto the grass losing out to everyone. I rejoined in last place!

By the next lap I was back up to about 6th when I lost it in the Russell complex and spun again, narrowly missing Dave Thompson as he expertly spun to avoid me. Back in 8th again! It took 4 more laps to pass everyone and get back up to Malcolm and pass him. We then swapped lead for the next 5 laps and I finally got him properly on turn 1 of the final lap. I then drove defensively to keep him there. For some reason his car is so much better out of turn 2 than mine and we raced door handle to door handle down the back straight in the rain at nearly 140 mph until I out braked him into the Esses. There was a moment of risk as I lapped Paul Madden on the inside, waiting until I was 100% sure he'd seen me before easing through and into Russell and onto a narrow victory of 0.45 seconds over Malcolm. Hugh Maund was 3rd, 26 seconds adrift and Mark Humphries 4th, 15 seconds behind Hugh. This puts me in the lead of the Class F and overall TR Championship.

John Davies finished the race. Come on everyone else! Where are you all?

Result: Wolfe (F), Chapman (F), Maund (F), Humphries (D), S Adams (C), M Adams (F), Jepson (D), Thompson (D), Madden (D), Davis (A), Davies (H)
DNFs: None!
Fastest lap: Wolfe 1:42.483 (Wet)

Round 4 - Oulton Park, 3rd June 2006

A rather better race entry for round 4 at Oulton Park for the most northerly circuit on the 2006 calendar. This is probably the most picturesque of all the British circuits and was built in the grounds of a the now long-gone Oulton Hall. It was very pleasant surprise to learn we were using the full circuit including the banked and very fast 'Shell hairpin'; in 18 years of racing I have only raced on that circuit twice before as we normally use the shorter Island or Fosters configurations.

With the late addition of Nigel Gibbins we were up to 16 cars (making us the biggest grid of the day) and although far from perfect it was a reasonable Triumph turn out. For some reason quite a number of championships are really struggling to pull the entrants this year and this is true across the whole of the MGCC and is causing some concern in the ranks and in the management team. Rather like at Snetterton, the once mighty Thoroughbred Sports Car championship was made up of only 9 cars and I think they have suffered badly at the hands of the Classic Sports Car Club which has an attractive series for 60s style sports cars. Bizarrely though the guy that won at Snetterton was last at Oulton Park!

One note on travel to the circuit; don't always trust your SatNav! I set Cotebrook as my destination (that's a village right next to the circuit) only to discover that there are 2 Cotebrooks in Cheshire...the other is about 15 miles away and sent me off on some stupid cross country route before Mrs Wolfe spotted the problem and MapNav kicked in! 

No Stacky assistance this time (first time for ages) as he was blasting down the M4 to West Wales in a Ford Transit to get our new engines. They look absolutely superb but how will they go? By Sunday night Stacky's was in and running, my GT6 engine was in place but still with hours of work to do.

Practice 15 minutes of frantic lappery in the company of Steve Crane who was going far too well for my liking. My engine was not quite on song again but didn't seem down on too much power and an odd misfire early in the session soon cleared. At the end of the session I was 2 tenths off pole with Hugh Maund taking that spot and the bonus class point. Back at the paddock Chris notice that one of the plug leads was off on the coil pack! No wonder it was running rough, that costs around 40 BHP!

Dave Thompson was pipped to Class C pole by Simon Congdon and the unfortunate Nigel Gibbins had more bad luck with an engine fire; that bloody exhaust wrap again. Seriously, that stuff should be banned; it's a nightmare for retaining petrol and oil which then ignites under heat from the pipes. Nigel's engine was blasted with dry powder extinguishant which makes the most awful mess and required a complete carbs-off strip down. At this time Nigel also pulled the head off to find that 3 and 4 piston crowns had melted (again) so he was a D.N.S. for the race. Ian Smythe's Spitfire engine also had problems and he too would not take the start; that car has an illustrious TSSC racing past and was built by Dave Beardsley and me back in 1996 (it won the TSSC championship in 1997) and has since then passed to Andy Jowett and to Bob Moseley who both raced it.

The front of the grid was the V8s of Hugh and me followed by Steve Crane, Martyn Adams and then Dave Bailey in his orange TR4.

The race With the plug lead back in place it looked likely that I'd get a better get away than anticipated and then when the red lights came on at the end of the formation lap it caught a few folk napping! For some reason we lost the green flag lap.

Hugh and I charged hell for leather the Old Hall (turn 1) and he was through first and down the Avenue. Unfortunately we touched at this point; not hard but enough to upset the balance of both cars and we both went into a high speed spin. Behind us Martyn Adams spun in sympathy! I managed to slot into reverse and nail the throttle keeping me clear of the barrier but Hugh clipped it and spun down into the tyre wall at the bottom of the hill while I managed to get back on the track in last place (again! See Snetterton report). "Here we go again", I shouted out loud as I began the chase through the field.

To be honest I carved back up through the other cars pretty quickly getting past most cars fairly easily. Apparently the commentator was getting quite excited about it as I set faster and faster laps. Getting up to 3rd was routine but then it got harder. Martyn Adams was not going to give up 2nd place easily and defended exceptionally well; gone are the days when I could dummy him and easily slip past. It took a lap to get past and it was as good as I could do before that to keep on his tail without contact. 130 mph and about 6 inches apart is proper racing.

I can't remember where I finally got by but I then then set off for Steve Crane with the aim of ruining his day. He was well ahead but my car was absolutely flying and I caught him in just 2 laps but he simply threw it away making it very easy for me! It was coming out of the first chicane he just lobbed his car into a gentle spin onto the grass. I suspect he was very annoyed with himself as it was the first time he had ever been in the lead. To be honest the first few times you lead a race or are on pole position it's very unnerving and I can see how he did it; one minute Martyn Adams was there and he felt safe, suddenly it was my blue wedge and I was on a mission! A momentary loss of concentration and it goes all grassy.

I got into the lead on about lap 5 and kept it there, pulling out a 31 second winning margin by the flag just lapping Neil Revington in his beautiful TR5 just before the line. It was a good win but very much toned down because of the incident with Hugh on lap 1 which had left him stranded against the tyres. On the slowing down lap I hearly had an accident of my own; on the last lap Craig Jepson (TR7) had clipped the tyre wall at the Knickerbrook chicane and spilled tyres all over the track, it was as much as I could do to avoid them. Incidentally the chicane is so named after a pair of ladies undies were found in the brook by Blaster Bates (the infamous demolition and explosives expert) when the chicane was being constructed in the early 90's.

Elsewhere Dave Thompson took a class C win after erstwhile class leader Simon Congdon suffered engine problems (overheating I understand), John Davies finished again (quite a run for him now) and John Whiteley failed to finish. I spoke to Hugh back in the paddock in an effort to smooth the waters; his car has suffered some body damage but doesn't look as bad as I was expecting, hopefully he'll be back on track in 3 weeks at Silverstone.


Oulton 2006 race win sans spoiler!    (picture:  N Gibbins)

So that's 3 class wins in a row for me and a reasonably championship lead now especially as Joe Henderson had to withdraw from the race following a gearbox failure in the practice session for the Thoroughbred Sports Car race.

Result: Wolfe (F) Adams (F) Bailey (D) Crane (F) Humphries (D) Jepson (D) Thompson (C) Revington (H) Davies (H) Davis (A)
DNFs: Congdon (C) Maund (F) Whiteley (E)
DNSs: Henderson (E) Gibbins (C) Smythe (C)
Fastest lap: Wolfe 1:59.911 (dry)

 

Round 5 - Silverstone, 24th/25th June 2006

Certainly not the simplest race weekend as I had decided to use both the GT6 and the TR7V8 at this meeting, the biggest one we attend all year. It tends to attract bigger grids than other meetings because  it’s on the International circuit at Silverstone rather than the more usual Club one. Also it was the first time out in 2006 for Stacky's freshly rebuilt Gulf 33 Spitfire. I was racing my GT6 in the 75km all comers race on the Saturday and then the TR in the Triumph race on the Sunday and as this provided a couple of test sessions on the Friday, it gave a chance to shake down the GT6 before the Germany trip.

The GT has a new engine after the failure during the 2005 Birkett where it ran well until a big end bearing failed. Rather than just throw the thing back together I decided to get a professional job done and got my long time engine man, Greg Margetts, to put it back together. Suffice to say that it has rather more power and torque than it did before!

The logistics of racing 2 different cars (3 if you count Stacky's Spitfire) in the same meeting should not be underestimated and that in itself put pressure on for the weekend, however it would not have been so bad if the GT had run more smoothly!

We took the GT6 and the Spit up to the circuit first thing on Friday morning to get ready for the test sessions and that is when it started going wrong…

The GT6 just would not start which was very odd as it had been fine for three weeks while at home. A quick check revealed that the rotor arm had split in half and destroyed the Lumenition chopper disc. Dave T had a spare rotor but nothing else and the only suggestion I had at the time was to get home (somehow) and get a spare chopper. Luckily Noreen was at work and was able to call Lumenition for me to find a dealer near the circuit and luckily I was able to get one. Trouble was that it took so long that I missed the first test session.

To make matters worse, because the chopper was not exactly the correct one it took bloody ages to get it fitted and get the engine running properly so I missed the second test session too! I was getting a bit fed up with it by now…

I finally had everything sorted and went out in the third and final session for just a few laps. I also managed a couple of tours in Stacky's Spitfire. The GT was OK but still over breathing and had started making an horrendous noise from the exhaust. It looked like I had a very bad manifold gasket failure (black marks on the block) so I fitted a replacement one but the noise was still there; annoyingly I had also lost the Lambda probe blanking plug which meant making a temporary stopper! Suddenly everything was looking better.

 

Practice (Saturday) Rain greeted the early risers but it soon passed leaving the remainder of the weekend dry and hot with the track becoming progressively faster as time went by.

I did about 10 laps of practice and I have to say the GT was good; it felt powerful and was handling and braking pretty well too. It was still over breathing and when I came in there was a film of oil spray all over the bulkhead and a lot in the catch tank; something had to be done. We disconnected and blanked off the block breather and routed the rocker box breather round the engine to try and condense some oil.

I had qualified 22nd out of about 45 cars, a bit quicker than Dave in his GT6.

Race (Saturday) As I sat on the grid it looked like the car was on fire as there was so much oil vapour coming up through the bonnet slots but I was more interested in making a good start to be honest. In actuality I had an awesome start and was up to 10th by half way round the first lap!

Two laps later Tom Stewart (leading in his MGB V8) had an almighty crash and rolled his car; it was heavily damaged and the race was stopped. Tom was OK.

After the restart I was having a great scrap with a couple of MGBs, a Toyota Startlet and an MG RV8 when I got squeezed from both sides coming into Luffield. The car span and I got it onto the grass while the Starlet veered past and into the side of the MG RV8 bursting the latter’s front tyre. Mine just suffered a scuff on the wing and a damaged front wheel which will need replacing.


All going wrong in the 75km race

I lost about 20 places getting back on the track and it was soon obvious that I had lost power. A trip to the pits revealed that one of the throttle linkages had been displaced and although it was easy to pop it back on I lost 2 laps doing it. This put me in last place. Deciding that I needed some track time, I went out and did some good lap times and even recovered 2 places.

The engine however was poorly – over 2 litres of oil in the catch tank is bad! The engine is now out again and being rebuilt for Nűrburg in July. Meanwhile Dave finished well and without any dramas.

There was no time to relax though; as soon as the race was over the car went onto the trailer and we took it back home (about 40 miles) to get the V8 for the Sunday!

Practice (Sunday TR/TSSC) Compared to the previous 2 days it was a breeze. We had been merged with the Powertorque Morgan championship (not popular either way round) to make a grid of about 42 cars. Having raced on the Saturday I was pretty fired up and managed to get 5th on the grid behind some pretty rapid 4.6 litre Morgans and was 3.5 seconds a lap quicker than the next Triumph. Getting back in the TR after being in the GT was like getting back in your own bed after being away; the GT is still not quite right and does not feel comfortable yet.

Steve Crane had yet more engine problems and was out; not good for me either as it dropped the Class F entry to 3 which is below the full points watermark. Stacky went well being 2nd quickest Class C car in a field of 9 cars with John Thomason on Class C pole and considerably quicker than everyone else.

The race (Sunday TR/TSSC) I had another stonking start and nearly got into the overall lead by Copse; I backed off not wanting to rub any of the Morgans and recognising that the aim was to beat the other Triumphs. I then had a fairly uneventful race and finished 6th overall and well in the lead of the TR/TSSC race, after which I was pulled over in the pit lane to be handed a winner’s wreath which was nice especially as I owed one to my daughter Natasha having given Howard the previous one!

I then learned that Stacky had only managed 1 lap…later inspection in the paddock showed a broken rotor arm. Better luck next time I hope. Dave Thompson had finished 3rd in Class C and I tossed Stacky’s broken rotor arm at him; trouble was that Dave instinctively caught it and dropped his (glass) trophy. Oops. Luckily the organizers had a spare ‘3rd in class’ one otherwise I’d have been down the local trophy shop having one made… 

Elsewhere, Richard King (C Spitfire) was punted off by a wayward Morgan – Richard was pretty philosophical about it really; I am not sure that I would have been. Mike Hughes (TR5) was a DNF with oil pressure problems and Andy Vowell (C Spitfire) finished second in class C in his first appearance since a big accident in November 2005 which required him to fit a replacement chassis.

Ian Smythe (C Spitfire) did not take the start after yet another engine failure – we think you might be trying too hard; get a proper, reliable motor then come back! It does not have to be super powerful… 

A very tiring meeting with a plethora a mechanical problems throughout the entrants – even this race report is up late because I have been so busy getting the GT engine out and dispatching it to Wales for it’s strip and inspection. I have a sneakly feeling a ring or land has failed on one of the pistons. I’ll let you know in due course.

As I write this, Cadwell Park is only 48 hours away where we can do it all again…bring it on.

Round 6 - Cadwell Park, 2nd July 2006

Cadwell 2006 will go down as one of the hottest race meetings ever with temperatures around 31 degrees C all weekend. Another poor turnout of TR/TSSC cars with just 11 entrants and 9 on the day making it one of the troubled UK championships of the moment. There were only 2 cars in Class F as Hugh decided it was just too far to come from the West Country and Steve Crane’s engine problems from Silverstone had not been sorted out. This means just half points for Class F.

Practice At the end of the Silverstone race the gearbox had been getting pretty slow into third from fourth; this is usually a sign of problems to come but for now the ‘box was operating fairly well. These LT77 gearboxes are much maligned but they are actually pretty strong (and cheap) – the failure is in the bearings, especially the front one and that leads to the gears not sliding properly on the shafts.

With only 9 cars on this two mile circuit there was plenty of space so once I had bedded the new brake pads in I did 3 or 4 quick laps to set a pace as second on the grid behind Joe Henderson’s Class E TR6. Joe holds the outright TR/TSSC lap record at Cadwell, a circuit that favours the cars that handle well over the grunt of the V8s. Notably the Class C lap record is only a couple of seconds slower than the outright lap record. I reckon that on a good day a well sorted Spitfire could take that outright lap record.

The race As we lined up on the grid, one of the marshals pointed at me and indicated that my race suit wasn’t done up so that delayed the start by 30 seconds while someone fumbled about to do it up for me.

I had a shed load of wheel spin off the start and Joe pulled across in front of me allowing Martyn Adams to sneak up the inside and nearly get in front of Joe. I was third into the first corner and up the hill to Charlie’s and was too far back from Martyn to have a go that lap.   I kept close for the rest of the tour, never having a proper opportunity to get past on the very narrow and twisty circuit.

On the first blast down the start/finish straight I set Martyn up for an overtake on Park straight (half a lap later) by dropping back at barn to let him pull away. I knew I could take the hill then Charlie 1 and Charlie 2 faster than he so needed to time it so we came out of Charlie 2 together but me doing 10 mph more. It worked first time and I eased past him as planned on Park Straight. As soon as I was in front I was able to pull away at around a second or two a lap.

I could see Joe in the distance but there was no way I was going to try to catch him. He’s too quick on this circuit and I need class points not crashes at this stage so I set to keeping a good distance from Martyn. Half a lap later the gearbox broke and I only 1 gear left! Luckily it was 4th. I did the remaining 7 laps in 4th gear setting some pretty good times to be honest, that’s the beauty of a V8 with loads of mid-range torque to pull you through corners. I finished in a distant second place but happy with another 7 points towards my total.

Elsewhere in the race Andy Vowell won class C from Clive Gimson with Steve Adams 3rd and Dave Thompson 4th.  Jon Whiteley made the numbers up 10 starters but was a d.n.f. on the penultimate lap after starting from the back of the grid because he missed practice…

Mik Davis won class A again: not too surprising as he is the only class A entrant this year and likewise Craig Jepson won D.

This leaves some work for me to do for Brands Hatch in 2 weeks. A gearbox swap is not difficult but does involve lifting the car up on stands and removing the exhaust system first. I should be able to do it in a couple of evenings as I have a fresh spare 'box to go in.

I also expect the GT6 engine to be back this week ready for the 'ring. So a busy period again at Ecurie Wolfe!

Round 7 - Brands Hatch, 16th July 2006

Brands Hatch elicits some of the most polarised views; some folk really love it and other truly detest it. This leads to many people boycotting it and the result is poor grids. We had only 7 cars for the TR/TSSC race and were merged in with the Thoroughbreds and the all-comers race; even so we still only had 13 cars in total!

The weekend was split over 2 race meetings, Saturday was a CSCC meeting and Sunday an MGCC one with far fewer cars than the former's. It's interesting how the grids vary from meeting to meeting; at Cadwell even the CSCC was struggling for numbers but Brands was a different story. Kevan and Mark Hadfield had entered the Swinging Sixties race so we decided to go down on the Friday night and spend the Saturday as spectators, just as well really as Mark had a bit of a prang during practice and needed the expert assistance of Stacky and Dave T to get ready for the race. Kev was gridded about 8th but finished 2nd overall after a good drive and several front-runner retirements.

Practice The car felt pretty good but the session was rather disjointed after being red flagged mid way through and then again right at the end; I was second on the grid just a tenth of a second behind Graham Miller in his V8 on his first outing of the year.

The only semi-drama was the new gearbox fitted after the failure at Cadwell; the new 'box doesn't seem to have a reverse gear! Not ideal.

The race Very short as I binned it coming out of the second corner of the first lap. As I accelerated out of Druids right behind Graham's V8, I lost the tail and parked the car straight into the tyre wall pretty hard and fast. The car's a bit of a mess with both front chassis legs being bent up at the front. It needs pulling out on a jig, new front wings, top panel, flitches and bonnet. The radiator is mashed too along with the front bumper and spoiler too. Looking at it I reckon it's as bad a crash as I've ever had although the one at Pembrey in 1998 in the Spitfire was pretty bad and remarkably similar!


Oops  (Nokia camera phone pic) taken by me 5 minutes after the impact!

Everyone else finished with Graham taking an easy win over the mixed bag field. Points-wise, this really didn't do me any favours and I really need a few more to clinch the championship so the V8 really needs to be fixed for Castle Combe in September as there is really no chance of it being ready for Pembrey.

The concentration of effort since Brands Hatch however has been Nürburg and getting the GT6 into shape with its re-fettled engine in place. That car is now nearly ready to go; once we're back from Germany though the V8 gets the attention and it will need a full front end strip down with the engine and gearbox out.

More on Nürburg next week!

FISC Eurotour, Nürburgring - 29th July 2006

How will racing ever be the same again? Anyone who went to Mallory Park instead of the Nordschleife is barking mad; it is the most amazing circuit and set in a truly wonderful part of Europe. With the race track being so far away we decided to set off on Wednesday evening to have a leisurely trip to the Eifel Mountains which are in the western side of Germany not far from the border with Belgium and very close to the Spa Francorchamps circuit. The trip began with an overnight stay at the glamourous (?) motorway services in Maidstone so that the drive to Dover on Thursday would be just 40 minutes, meaning we would have no trouble getting the ferry to Calais on time. It was a good plan for anyone thinking of doing likewise at some time.

A group of us travelled together in convoy; Dave Thompson (GT6), Steve Adams and family (Spitfire III), Kevan and Diane Hadfield (Herald) and me with Stacky and family (GT6). Also on the trip from the UK Triumph fraternity were Keith Files with John Wood (TR6), Hugh Maund and wife (TR7V8) and John Thomason and local family (Spitfire) and we would meet up with them en-route or at the circuit.

The journey was fairly uneventful and we travelled cross country for the last 60 miles or so from the motorway to Nürburg; this route would have been superb in a car but was a bit narrow, slow and hilly for 15 metres of RV and trailer! We all arrived safely though on Thursday afternoon and were directed to our allocated parking place in the huge paddock behind the F1 pits and garages. From the moment you arrive it's an impressive place with huge fixed stands including the very impressive Mercedes one. The circuit we would be using was a combination of a short F1 circuit and the full Nordschleife meaning a 23 Km lap of fast smooth F1 road and 21 Km of back-lane bumps! This makes it by far the longest circuit any of us had ever been on.

How do you prepare for a circuit such as this? With only 4 laps of official practice and then a 4 lap race it would  be impossible to learn the 40-odd corners properly so weeks before the race we all watched in-car video footage over and over again. Dave Thompson and I even bought X-Box game machines and used the game 'Forza' to get more to grips with the circuit. In my head I split the circuit into 4 sections and learned each one individually so that I could lie in bed at night and drive a full lap knowing exactly where each curve went. The only thing missing in the on-screen versions is the bumps and the gradient which do not really come across properly but I had already been warned of that. We also knew there was a possibility of a 2 hour open test session on the Friday night too.

Thursday evening was warm and dry but on Friday afternoon we saw the rain begin! It was very heavy and soaked everything making the test session feel less attractive. Also we learned that the test session was for absolutely any race car! Loads of folk turned up with their race cars and all the big GTs that were racing the same day as us arrived too. There were some serious 200mph race cars there including Porsche GT3s, Dodge Vipers, various DTM cars and even a new shape Mustang. I made the decision not to go out on track with these guys in the rain; most of the FISC guys concurred but from the Triumph crew Keith Files went out as did John Davies. To be honest John was brilliant; seeing a 1960s estate car being overtaken by millions of euros worth of top class GT cars was the best! I counted over 130 cars out onto the track at the start of the session and it peaked at over 200 cars on the circuit at the same time; impressive in itself!

Keith managed half a lap before the wiper fell off; he came in and never went out again; unfortunately he was starting to feel ill too. With this atrocious weather it was beginning to look like we might have made a serious mistake coming to this place! In the evening was an excellent meal and bar laid on by FISC and we got to meet some of the other racers and had a very convivial time; also the weather cleared to a very pleasant evening of drinking beer and talking rubbish about racing.

Practice A 1 hour session which was truly amazing. The X-Box and Forza are good but you need someone behind your arm chair kicking the crap out of it and leaning it over all the time. I did however know where every corner was and which way each one went before I arrived. This allowed me to set a pretty good time placing me 13th in a grid of 45. I was quickest of 'our' Triumph crowd and was comfortable with the circuit's layout. It is however the only place I ever raced where it was foggy on the track and you could only see where you were by charging into it! During practice is when Kevan had appalling luck with his Herald; his crank snapped half way round the 1st lap but at least he made it back to the paddock and put it straight on the trailer. An interesting thing about this circuit is that if you break down on the track they take you off the circuit to the nearest public road and you have to get your own crew to come and get you!

Hugh Maund's car lost its whole bonnet and front panel at high speed on the fast straight but Larry Jeram-Croft's deft work with some sticky tape soon had it sorted (sort of!) and it survived the race though which was a surprise to me if nobody else... I nearly lost my driver's side screen as the force blowing it out at 120+ mph was immense and I had to hold it in with one hand while steering with the other. I removed it for the race and wore an arm restraint instead.

With only 2 hours between practice and the race it was all activity in the paddock. A strange noise had been coming from the car and it was diagnosed as a cracked brake disc, I had no spares so it was a case of too bad, it would have to do. 


Steve Adams, Dave Thompson, me and Kevan Hadfield at the 'Ring.

The race I was just too excited about it all! The start was a rolling one with us all following a Mini round the GP circuit until we rejoined the GP start/finish to roll slowly up to the green lights. Trouble was that as we left the collecting area I noticed that one of my bonnet pins was not secured properly so drove off the track and to the nearest marshal point to get them to do it up. I lost about 20 places on the grid and slotted back in behind Steve Adams. Once we were off though I had a great charge up past Steve and a group of MGs and then after Keith Files who I passed on the first lap. I overtook several others including Hugh Maund in his V8 and eventually caught John Thomason on the 3rd lap and got past at Bergewerk and out dragged him up through Kesselchen. John was quicker on the straights and I just could not keep pace down the 4km drag to the GP circuit. I managed to get him on brakes, handling and knowing the circuit better and once past I was not troubled by him again. About half way round the 4th and final lap my gearbox let go in a big way on the way into Ex-Muhle. The in-car video really captures the sound of a gearbox being ripped to shreds. I still had 4th (because it's not really a gear of course) and continued on, hoping above all else that it held to the end. I crossed the finish line in 9th place overall and posted one of the quickest laps of the race (11:14) just 7 seconds slower than the race winner's best lap. I was delighted. That cannot be said of Rob Halewijn who crashed his MG Midget very heavily about 30 metres behind me; I suspect he was trying too hard to keep up with me after we had swapped places a couple times. He was OK, the car was badly damaged.

For my first trip to the 'ring I was more than happy; I had beaten the other TSSC guys and the engine stayed together; the whole experience was awesome, right up there with Mid Ohio in 2002. If I hadn't fluffed the start with the bonnet catch thing I could have been 4th but then would not have had the fun of overtaking few Triumphs on the way, so I think I got the best result I could expect really.

For the record, here is a summary of the race result, top 10 plus TR/TSSC cars. 

1st

Adam Cunnington

UK

Austin Healey Sprite

44:50.780

11:07.102

2nd

Neil Howe

UK

Triumph TR4

45:01.394

11:08.180

3rd

Christian Bock

GER

Morgan Plus 8

45:15.064

11:09.666

4th

Christian Aeschbach

CH

MGB GT

45:26.007

11:15.190

5th

Pieter Bakker

NL

Austin Healey Monza

45:34.928

11:19.412

6th

Richard Evans

UK

MG Midget Mk III

45:35.861

11:20.630

7th

Hubertus Carl

GER

Morgan Plus 8

45:46.465

11:15.004

8th

David Gibson

UK

Lenham Sprite

45:47.842

11:16.941

9th

Jon Wolfe

UK

Triumph GT6 Mk II

45:55.955

11:14.993

10th

John Hopwood

UK

Austin Healey Sebring

45:59.883

11:22:102

11th

John Thomason

UK

Triumph Spitfire Mk III

46:08.115

11:20.999

13th

Hugh Maund

UK

Triumph TR7V8

46:46.840

11:31.118

22nd

Dave Thompson

UK

Triumph GT6 Mk II

50:30.825

12:27.631

23rd

Steve Adams

UK

Triumph Spitfire Mk III

50:31.438

12:21.707

33rd

Keith Files

UK

Triumph TR6

54:35.664

11.38.517

Keith Files was feeling poorly all weekend and retired on lap 4 feeling very unwell. He was taken to the medical centre where he was put on a drip and slept for a an hour or so; the doctor suspected an ear infection. Luckily John Wood was with him to drive him home afterwards.

On the Saturday evening when all the FISC racers had made their way home we had a very pleasant evening in the Pistenklause restaurant in the very pretty village of Nürburg followed by a few beers in the local pub on the way back and another at the Ducati owners club bar in the circuit! A great weekend apart from Kev's heartache over his engine and the 825 miles at 12 mpg in the RV!

The FISC tour looks well organised and seems a great place to be and you can be sure we'll be doing it all again soon.

Other stuff  There were just two races on the programme; the one after ours race was a 4 hour enduro of modern GT cars - they were just superb - masses of GT3s (one driven by Sabine Schmitz) and DTM type cars with stonking V8 petrol or diesel engines. So many things to see and all of them fast!

Round 8 - Mallory Park, 30th July 2006

Did not race.

Round 9 - Pembrey, June 2006

Did not race.

Round 10 - Castle Combe, September 16th 2006

On our return from Brands Hatch it was pretty evident that the damage to the TR's body panels and front right suspension was quite severe and would require a significant amount of work to get it straight again. I was already going to miss Mallory due to the Nurburg race and Pembrey was likely to be poorly attended so I knew I could probably skip that too and still have a chance at the Championship. My main points rival was Mark Humphries in Class E who had scored consistently though the year and was not that many points behind. As regards class F points I was already there and could not be beaten. My target therefore had to be the finale at Castle Combe; the car had to be ready and I needed just a few points to be assured of taking the 2006 title. To have lost the title because the car wasn't ready and Mark having a very good day would have just been too much.

As the car came apart (engine and gearbox out too) the extent of the damage became more evident. Critically the chassis rails were not bent or deformed behind the sub-frame; all the damage was to the offside front chassis leg and suspension, the panel work and the turret. I managed to get all the body panels (2 wings, bonnet, top panel and spoiler) and a second hand front bumper very quickly from Robsport and I borrowed their front chassis jig which would confirm when the turrets were correctly aligned with the subframe. By cutting and pulling and a judiscious bit of hammering the chassis leg came straight and a new flitch and wheel arch repair panel were fitted. Meanwhile the turret had been pulled forward by my Land Rover after I had fixed the car down to the garage floor at multiple points. After much measuring of diagonals and an undamaged spare shell that I have the car was definitely straightened so was duly properly welded up.

A new TCA (track control arm) was fabricated by a local engineering shop and LEDA repaired and returned the very bent strut very quickly. I made up a new compression strut from a spare Ford Sierra one and managed to straighten the strut brace. I also needed a new ignition sensor from the Ford main dealer. I reckon the repair cost me nearly £1000 in total and took nearly 100 hours to do; not something I want to do again in a hurry!

As with all projects of this nature it seemed to gather pace and urgency as the deadline approached and the last 2 weeks were pretty busy.  Come the Thursday prior to the race it was ready, the engine was running well and the car had been properly wheel aligned and was dead square and set to go. I must have checked every suspension bolt and electrical and fluid connection 50 times!

We arrived at Castle Combe at midnight on Friday, ready for Saturday's championship climax; I was nervous about the car although it did look good and the tape rule and my Dunlop gauges told me it was probably better set up than ever before. I dared not T-Cut it as I think the paint was still wet under the top layer!!!

Practice I took it very steadily for 4 laps to ensure the car was running well and not crabbing or pulling; it was fine so I did a few quick laps too and was optimistically expecting to be on the front row. I was a little disappointed to be only 4th on the grid, 1.6 seconds off Hugh Maund's pace and with Combe-expert, Andy Vowell and fellow V8 man Martyn Adams in front of me too. The only thing I could really do was dial in some understeer to try to destabilise the car and hope to carry more speed through the faster corners.

Stacky had a very bad time as his car failed the noise test requiring him to buy a baffle for his exhaust only to manage just 2 laps of practice but was still 13th on the grid from 17 cars.

The race The start was a shambles. Just as a reminder to everyone: you're supposed to wait until all the red lights go out not nail the throttle when the last red light goes on! Steve Small passed me on the grid before I had even dropped the clutch and Andy Vowell's back tyres lit up as the 4th of the 5 lights came on… In all, about 4 cars jumped the start; even the commentators noticed it and they and I were surprised we did not have to restart the race.


Lap1 - Maund, Adams and Wolfe

To be honest it doesn't actually make a huge difference to me as the V8s have an awesome advantage from a standing start and by the time we reached Avon Rise it was a Maund-Adams-Wolfe, 12-litre train. We stayed in that order until I managed to sneak past Martyn at Camp corner at the end of lap 2 and started the Hugh Maund chase. I got past Hugh at Quarry on lap 5 by diving down the inside on the brakes and almost immediately was able to open up a 2 second gap which I extended to 6.5 seconds by the start of the last lap. I was very cautious passing a back marker on the final tour so finished 5.5 seconds clear of Hugh in 2nd place and Martyn in 3rd.

Steve Small beat my points rival Mark Humphries into 2nd in Class D but I had actually already won the championship by rolling off the line to collect the 1 start point which was all I actually needed! My outright win was a superb bonus and really made my day.

Local man Andy Vowell won Class C as expected and Mik Davies plodded round for his customary Class A trophy. Bizarrely, John Davies threw away an easy finish by spinning out on the last corner of the last lap. Lastly, poor old Stacky was a DNF after he lost a rear wheel half way round the first lap and was collected (unavoidably) by John Davies causing some damage to a rear wing. Not a good day for either of them.

The summary for the year for me was 6 class wins (4 outright) and 2 DNFs from 8 starts. It's great to finally win a TR Championship especially as I have been runner-up 3 times since I first used the V8 in 2001 but worth all the effort; I would recommend it to anyone.

All that's left for me now for 2006 is the 6 hour Birkett relay on October 28th at Silverstone in the GT6; the same 'Sports Six Pack' team as last year: Gibbins, S Adams, Thompson, Vowell, Stackpoole and Wolfe. Hopefully my car won't fall to bits this time!

Thanks to everyone who helped make 2006 my Championship year, but especially My wife Noreen, the kids Howard and Natasha, Martin 'Stacky/Slackplod/Stackster' Stackpoole for his help and friendship and Jo and Chris Sollom for coming to all the races and being ever supportive. Also thanks to anyone who bought my books or other stuff from me; you can guess where all the money is spent!

 

Birkett 6 hour relay, October 28th 2006

For many the race season ends with an entry in the annual six hour Birkett relay race at Silverstone. This is the most eclectic mix of racers you are ever likely to see and long may it continue. Where else in the world will you see a 1920s racing car, a Chevron B6, several modern touring cars and wide selection of sports and saloon cars all out on the track an the same time? With a record 51 teams this year the garages were rammed with cars from the tatty to the exotic.

The weather was very kind to us and the forecast rain kept away for the whole day despite moments when the dark clouds seemed to be gathering ominously. There's not much worse for the pit lane crew than to be out in the rain for 6 hours!

So to the TSSC supported Triumph Sports Six Pack. The same team line-up as 2005 with Dave Thompson and myself in our GT6 racers and then Martin Stackpoole, Andy Vowell, Nigel Gibbins and Steve Adams in their Spitfires. We really anticipated a good race with all 6 cars already being race proven and with good reliability. There is a very tight practice session allowed for this race with only 90 minutes to get all 280 cars round the track for 3 laps (the MSA minimum). The traffic jam in the pit lane was both huge and various! We had been given our running order by Ang our team meister and as 11am approached Nigel was despatched to the collecting area to take the start.  

The race plan (subsequently found to be rather optimistic) was for Nigel to do one hour. Ten minutes later NigOnTheTrack became NigInTheGarage with a wrecked engine. That was his day over and we were down to 5 Six-Packers already. By the 3 hour point Stacky's water pump had spewed its water necessitating a lengthy garage session, my car ran well for 30 minutes then threw all its oil all over the engine bay and was out,  Steve Adams' car chucked a rear wheel off when a drive shaft failed and so did Andy's! Dave however had done a couple of faultless one hour stints!

Stacky was sent out again to try to regain some honour for the team but was soon doing another impression of a kettle... Dave was done in so I took his GT back onto the track again for its 3rd one hour spell. The car ran superbly again and I came in with just 20 minutes of the race left to hand it back to Dave for him to see it through. To the end. A splash of fuel and a driver change later and it was out again to the finish.

In the end Dave's car did over half of the race! We were all dead impressed as that's over 3 years without a mechanical DNF and without the engine being out of the car!


Mr Ten-minutes applauds Mr Three-hours


2006 Birkett.  The moment Dave Thompson realised some other drivers wanted to have a go too.

 

 

 

Roll on 2007!

 

 

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