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2012 Track days

July 2012 Curborough

It had taken a long time to get this one organised, for some reason Adam couldn't ever make contact with David Patterson (Curborough booking person). However one morning I tried and got straight through and got the date booked. So with the date booked and placed sold we were ready.

Unfortunately looking at the weather on the previous few days I wasn't exactly confident of having a good day for this event. (On the day before I had been working on the car and was very glad it had been in the garage and not outside).

But the forecast was for mostly dry and at 6:30 it wasn't raining as I set off. The journey down was uneventful and apart from losing the location of where to get the keys from it passed without incident.

At 8:55 I pulled up outside the track gates to find nobody else there. But as I unlocked the gates a few started arriving.

By 9:30 most of the participants had made it, a couple were running late but by 9:45 everyone had turned up. As usual after the signing on we ran a couple of sighting laps and then it was business as usual. For most of the morning session everything ran smoothly. That was until Simon Bunker's MEV refused to start.

Now according to Simon the car had done this once before after which he had left it and it had been OK since. (time for a bit of head scratching) So we all dived in to have a look. There wasn't a spark and didn't seem to be any life from the injectors either. This then lead us to look for the crank sensor - figuring if this didn't say the engine was turning then it wouldn't do a thing. That seemed fine (more head scratching) and it got left for a bit. We wondered about an inertia switch but couldn't find one. (someone was going to get a bald spot at this rate). Then I had a thought - there were two relays mounted next to the ecu, although we didn't have a wiring diagram it seemed logical they would be connected to it. However the relays didn't make any noise.

Forgetting everything else I started checking the fusebox, pulling each fuse in turn and checking it wasn't blown. All were fine until I got to a 7.5A fuse which left one of the terminals in the socket. As someone had a spare we swapped it over - and the car started. It was a cheap fuse that had broken.

The major excitement for the morning over the rest of the session went smoothly.

After lunch I decided to go and get some photos by stationing myself down at the end of the first straight. After getting all the cars that were running bar one (my own), I thought I need to get someone else to take over the camera - however at this point Adam came by driving Simon Bunker's MEV and took a very long time to come back. I went to look for them and found it had cut out again with a lack of acceleration. It got pushed back to the parking area and then after a while started and ran perfectly for the rest of the day.

Still this was a good excuse to ask Niall to take over the camera and allowing me to have some action shots of my own car for once!

The rain stayed off all day and we just got a few small drops as people were getting ready to leave after 5pm. However I have to say the roads for me at least stayed dry until I got back to Peterborough.

A good day all round and we just need the same weather for the next running - on the 24/25th September.

July 2012 Curborough

Well I decided to organise a 2 day Curborough event, and chose the worst pair of days (weather wise) that it was possible to do.

The two day event was always a bit of a gamble as it would require getting a minimum of 19 cars there just to cover my costs. Well after a lot of effort I managed to gain enough people to make it pay. I would also add that this is entirely my organising and the club does not share any costs or profits that may occur.

The weather forecast for the days had been getting steadily worse for the last few days before the event. At one point camping on the circuit had been considered but I went and got a hotel room instead as I didn't want to drive the 200 miles overnight to go home and then come back. I was really glad that I did.

After driving down Monday morning in heavy rain, I picked up the keys for the circuit and drove to the gates. Now anyone who has been to Curborough will know there are two sets of gates, the first is an Armco barrier and the second is a pair of large steel gates. Not normally an issue but on this morning there were 3 inches of water covering the road between the gates. So I had to unlock the first barrier and secure it, then walk through the water to the second pair of gates and unlock those before walking back to the car to drive in. - Yes my feet were already soaked and we hadn't even started.

Over the next hour or so all of those who said they would be coming actually turned up - I was honestly expecting a few no-shows on the grounds of the weather being that bad. However a few of them turned up wearing jeans - I know in the notes that went out it said wear cotton or natural fibres but waterproofs over them are recommended unless you want to be glued to them all day.

There were some notable things from the first day.

Chris Davison has now got a new rally car which is ultra light - so light the previous owner took the heater out. Think about this, a rally car has two occupants and often competes in the middle of winter without a means of demisting the screen?

Bill brought a MK2 Escort with a Cosworth Turbo engine, every time the turbo kicked in the car fishtailed down the track as the wet tarmac overwhelmed the tyres grip.

James Haywood brought an MX5 with R888 tyres on the front and T1R on the back, the R888s did their best to not grip the road as they were aquaplaning.

James French has to win a perseverance award for wearing jeans in a car with no weather gear and staying for the whole day.

The rain continued for most of the day and both the back road into the circuit and paddock turned into lakes. However as the day was drawing towards the end the rain slowed down before drying up overnight but it wasn't enough to let the track dry out.

So that was day one - would it be better on day 2.

Well after somewhat drying out in a hotel room overnight day two started bright and sunny, getting to the circuit I found that a lot of the water had dispersed with at least the entrance road being above water. The paddock had also drained somewhat so most of the tarmac was dry along with the entrance road to the track itself. The omens were good for this day. Unfortunately it didn't last long from getting to the circuit at 9AM, we had until 12:00 before the rain started and it then kept on raining until the end of the day. So in the interests of fairness neither day had good weather its just down to differing levels of rain!

We had the usual mixed back of runners for the second day, although there were more Tigers than other cars on the second day - Monday had featured only 4 Tigers and 6 others, whereas Tuesday had 8 Tigers and 2 others.

The morning went off very smoothly, the afternoon less so due to the rain. The highlights of the second day included:

Ben's Clio proving it does need new tyres - he had only owned it for a week or so and the combination of a wet track and 4 different (cheap Chinese) tyres made for entertaining handling.

Philip Hill driving a Tiger round a track with the roof and sidescreens fitted - I have never seen this before at Curborough since the visibility out a Tiger with the roof up is abysmal.

And finally Niall's second driver Gavin, who was having so much fun at the end of the day in Niall's car that I ended up asking for Donny to block the entrance to the track so we could all go home!

After two days I was tired, cold and having been soaked two days running was ready to head for home! On the god side though everybody who turned up seemed to enjoy the day and we just need to look at booking some more for next year - which will hopefully be a bit drier.