Pembrey -South-West Wales
Well I'm not as good as Riggers at write ups so don't expect to be so enthralled with this round of debut sprinting.
Well my start didn't go so well as Riggers, my first mistake was taking a half day off work on the friday. I went home to pack the car and didn't end up leaving until 3.30pm not realising just how long it would take to drive there. 12.30am I went to bed.
Next morning I woke up and felt ill, the nerves were terrible, after a bite to eat I went straight to the track to get enrolled etc. Nerves were still terrible even though my lass was trying to calm them. Spoke to Riggers et al and they told me to just get out there and have fun. Last words from Simon were "no one scores points for hitting a fence" - cheers for that
So out for the practice laps, one and half laps of the track. Off the line and up through the gears, not flat out but giving it some, why not?
To the first corner (hard right) slowing, onto the brakes and down to second, squeeze the throttle and off we go into 3rd, round another right hander still in third and into a long double left. At this point I have no idea what my brain was thinking? Mid corner I'm up to 5k rpm ish and for some reason drop into 4th and kill the boost. End of the corner and on the power. Lifting off for the approaching right then onto the brakes down a cog then gently onto the throttle taking a nice line and clipping the apex, that's better but then into the next corner too hard, the car feels nose heavy and I drift wide.
Still it's only practice, just remember to jump on the middle pedal a bit earlier. Anyway bury the throttle for the long straight and up to 4th before the next right corner, this is a quick one, on the brakes then mid bend back on the throttle, we're cooking on gas now. Back off the throttle and roll round the next quick right hander then on the pedal again. This is a huge straight. Foot on the boards and up through the gears to 5th. Pass the start line and keep it buried.....this was a mistake. I'm now off the throttle, hard on the brakes and dropping gears but the cars not slowing quick enough. Finally almost stopped too far on and take the first right at snails pace. Complete the half laps and then back into paddock, head in hands. Far too many mistakes.
Second lap I'm back on it again trying to remember my mistakes, round the first couple of bends then into the double left. I'm all over the place. 3rd is too short 4th is too long, try to drop back to third and the car is unsettled, the back skips out and I correct it, too far unfortunately and it dug in spinning the car the opposite direction and off the track. There's a loud bang and the car stops. Erratic tick over, oil light and engine light on so I knock the engine off for a tow back to paddock.
Fearing the worst I have the bumper off to inspect the sump and filter etc. Nothing. Try to start her, nothing. Oh shit! Have a bit more poke about and can't see a thing wron. Try to start her again and she starts to spit, this is it, then she chugs into life. Perfect.
I put the bumper back on and take a rest. My confidence is knocked badly and I worry about getting back home. Now it's lunch so I go out for fuel and to make sure the steering is ok and all seems well apart from a couple of battle scars from the grass and a lump of turf stuck in each wheel.
After a lot of convincing by my lass and Riggers I decide to have a go at the timed laps. The rules have changed and the laps are down to only half a lap.
So here we go. I get a good launch off the line and down to first corner. Sweet as a nut then through the second. Now my nemesis, in third I stick at half throttle all the way through and come out the other side, up to 4th. Then on the brakes for the right, down a cog and back on the throttle, hard on the brakes for the final right then back on it across the finish. It felt slow but I got roun. 55 seconds.
Next lap all goes well and I'm on it more through the double left, cross the finish line in 52 seconds. This was my best time of the day. No matter what I done I just couldn't get that off out my head and couldn't get to grips with that corner, 3rd felt too short, 4th too long.
All in all a disappointing day but a good experience. Finally getting my mojo back towards the end of the day. Looking forward to Castle Combe. With the setup I have there's no way I'm going to be able to compete with the big boys in my class, but it's a hoot.