HSCC Doubles Meeting 9-10 June 2007


Here is the story from the view point of the driver rather than the absent owner!!

After last years maiden visit to the Norfolk track in the Scalpel Surtees 5000, I was over-joyed to hear that the Prof would again be at the operating table and I was to stand in with the new Chevron B28 5000.

Just when things couldn't get any better, I received a message to say the Elden Formula Ford was ready after its 2 year rebuild and I was to give it a shake down the same weekend.

Practice in the Chevron proved the car to be fast and easier to handle than last years Surtees. The power deliver from the injected V8 lacks the initial grunt of the carburettored Surtees, but there is no flat spot in the middle range and it just keeps pulling.  The brakes are the biggest improvement, very progressive and so you can brake later and really stand on them without lock up.

Practice wasn't without its problems.  I found after cornering and getting half way down the Revitt Straight that there were overpowering fumes in the cockpit and I had to open my visor a touch to get fresh air. I was also unable to heal and toe which didn't help the awkward selector, so shifting up and down, especially 4th to 3rd to 2nd and you often found yourself fumbling for a gear during braking, not ideal. Anyway for race one we adjusted the throttle pedal for my girl's feet and propped me up in the seat to get my face in the wind. All this helped and I bagged a 2nd place.

Race 2 and I was feeling very comfortable with the car and was able to hang on to Frank Lyons Lola which lead from the start, however his bravery and ability to stay on the power all the way from Bomb Hole, through the huge right hander of Coram and down to the chicane meant he could pull 3 lengths on me and the only place I could make any time up was off the end of the Revitt straight and into the Esses. The Chevron is very sure footed and turns in on the brakes, so where Frank was going wide for the entry to the Esses, I could stay on the power a bit longer and straight line into the first turn and close up.  However this is then followed by the Bomb Hole and Coram and I only felt confident enough to take this complex in 4th, whereas I'm sure Big Frank was hard on it in top.

I was losing ground and a little out of shape a few times so Frank was the length of the straight ahead by half distance.  Suddenly I seemed to be gaining on him and my pit board was showing the gap closing. I did not know it, but Franks removeable steering wheel was falling apart and he was struggling with an inch of play.

However I started to get my head down and could see I was making ground fast, then the engine started coughing, gauges all good, fuel?  Tried weaving, which, helped and I hoped it was the last lap. I limped to the line with the engine dead, but no flag, I was 2 laps short!

From the side line I could hear from the commentary that Frank had run out of road and gone straight on at turn 1, stalled, selected first instead of reverse and shot straight in the corn field, before producing a crop circle and getting back to the flag just in front of Mark Dwyer in the old Edwin Jowsey Lola T400.

It would seem that I had used all the fuel in my right tank and the transfer valve from the left tank was stuck..... Ho Hum.

Formula  Ford  to follow.



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