SILVERSTONE, 07 JULY 2002

HIGH SPEEDS AND WRONG DIRECTIONS

The latest venture for the team took us to the high octane atmosphere of the British Grand Prix meeting at Silverstone to take part in a special invitation race immediately following the main event. An amazing list of over 40 cars turned out with only 35 allowed race – a full grid. Divided into classes we were hopeful of a good result in our group dominated by Lotus 23B’s. The paddock saw an amazing array of magnificent cars from yesteryear including more than one former Le Mans winner. Celebrity drivers were all around led by Sir Stirling Moss – the owner of our car. Also racing was David Piper with one of his famous Le Mans Ferrari’s and Win Percy best known for his exploits in Jaguars both modern and historic.

Back on historic Dunlops qualifying started at the end of Saturday on a dry but very slippy track with our cars using the historic GP circuit rather than the modern version – cutting out two of the more recent chicanes. The session was red flagged after only two laps when some drivers took the wrong turning and used the modern circuit. Quite alarming for the marshals! With so many cars on track a clear laps was nigh on impossible but we were pleased with our time of 2:09.998 putting us 22nd of 46 cars out and second in class.

Race day dawned cold and damp as we waited for the big boys to play. Thanks to a generous gift from Bernie Ecclestone of two F1 paddock passes we were able to spend some time star gazing in the surroundings of the most extraordinary hospitality suites on earth. The new McLaren Communication Centre is as amazing as reported and special thanks must to James Southerland of McLaren for the guided tour of the pits.

Although it rained for the GP out event was held in sunny and dry conditions. We made a good start gaining a few quick places. Settling down to a pace the car ran faultlessly for 8 of the proposed 12 laps. Still lying second in class but by now up to 12th place disaster struck. Coming into Copse corner the car suddenly lurched sideways and proceeded to do the same thing at the Becketts complex – all the signs of a puncture or loose suspension mount. Retirement followed for safety reasons which was very disappointing for all concerned. However, overall it was a wonderful weekend and we will be out again in Cadwell on July 14th still searching for the elusive win. In the meantime look at the photos attached.

 

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