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2009 Track days

October 2009 Curborough

The only Curborough of the year was booked in early September for Wednesday 14th October.

Now this could have gone several ways - knowing our luck when booking the circuit it was statistically likely that it would be monsoon conditions as far as the weather went. However one of the ritual sacrifices must have done the trick and we had a dry day.

As usual it had been hard work to get the numbers there as for some reason Tiger Owners don't want to turn up to these events. I know some people would argue that this is due to the midweek time-slot but seeing as you can't get more than 8 cars to a weekend Barkston Heath event I don't think this really matters. However arm twisting and gentle persuasion did result in a good field turning up including importantly several first timers.

I did however have one rather interesting problem. The night before I drove round to the petrol station and filled up with fuel, only to notice that the passenger side rear was flat (well a bit more than flat 0psi!). Not being able to do anything about it then I pumped it up and hoped it would hold out - well I stopped in Market Harborough and put some air in, again at Hinkley and after this I think it warmed up enough so it stopped leaking and stayed up for the rest of the day. I have since had to have the tyre bead resealed so it is fine again.

Anyway onto the day, where the weather held and the track dried up. As I mentioned earlier we had several first timers and some familiar faces.

Amongst the first times were club members Steve Tuck and Peter Cotton (who joined the club a week previously, found out about the day and then booked), Pete Walton who came over from Derby. There was also David Hussey there with a Raw Striker new to our little group but with a dedicated sprint car which was amazingly fast at getting off the line.

The familiar faces included Niall Turner, Chris Davison with John Gibson (now with a Rover 200 rally car and not a Tiger), Ben Payne (Duratec powered Elise), Mac Macarthy, Dave Davies, James Castro and of course Matt Gregory with Colin in the pink R6.

The morning started off slightly damp and we had a few lawnmower incidents as people started to explore the limits of grip and found they were slightly lacking. We did have a few mechanical incidents although compared to a lot of previous events they were comparatively minor.

James Castro had an alternator fail but somehow the fuel injection kept running with only 8 volts in the battery!

Mac's Avon featured a new ultralight flywheel and clutch (together they only weigh 6kg!) the downside to this is the 5000rpm that you have to use to get the clutch to engage without stalling on a standing start - this resulted in a few interesting things happening.

Ben's Elise suffered the worse problem as an engine mount has broken and the entire rear clamshell has to come off to replace it.

Other than that we didn't really have that many problems. We ran the morning doing a lot of free (i.e. un-timed) runs and gradually drying the track out. So by lunchtime the grip was mostly there. In the afternoon we decided to do a timed run each. Now for all the runs done in the morning I had been driving well, for the one timed run I ended up starting in 3rd rather than 1st which lost me a load of time. However I still posted a 44 second lap which is almost as fast as in previous years so without the cock-up...

I wasn't the only one to make a mistake on the timed runs - several other did as well. The fastest time of the day was posted by Ben beating Mac by just 0.22 seconds.

After the excitement of the timed runs we went back to enjoying the free runs (and incidentally I never did another 3rd gear start) until at the end we had to leave. Everyone had enjoyed their day and apart from the engine mounting on the Elise nothing was really damaged or broken.

A really good day and the weather held dry despite the late date in the year.

Car Driver Time Racing Excuse
Elise Ben Payne 36.59
Zetec Avon Mac Macarthy 36.87
R6 Colin 37.62
R6 Matt Gregory 38.39
R6 Pete Walton 39.12
Zetec Cat Niall Turner 39.17 Off
Pinto Cat Peter Conner 40.04
Rover Chris Davison 40.98
Rover John Gibson 42.8
Pinto Cat Giles Cooper 44.37 3rd Gear
R6 Adrian 45.2
Pinto Cat Steve Tuck 54.76 Spin

Some Pictures from the day

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