From Chalk to Cheese


Brands Hatch SuperPrix Meeting


June 30 – July 1 2006


In complete contrast to the lack of power in the Formula Ford Elden, the excess of power in the F 5000 Chevron is a joy to master and so with only a choice of slicks as the rain came down for qualifying, I was very happy to be 5th fastest until all the other runners came in for wets and I dropped to 12th with a 1.46 by the end of the session.


 In the first race , I got my act together, made a good start and  managed to  catch up  and squeeze past Marcus Pye’s Lola 332 and then Frank Lyons in the blue and white Lola 332. James Denty took some beating in the Lotus 70, but in doing so I had made my way to the front and 4th behind Tony Trimmer by mid distance. At one point I got very close into Stirlings and stayed with him through Clearways, but he went very close to the apex, near the entry to the pit lane, clipping the verge, which threw up mud and stones at my visor.


Oddly this shocked me for a few seconds and I dropped back and was unable to close the gap  and there I stayed with a best of 1.29 only a second slower than Trimmer, but 3 seconds behind Peter Dunn’s March 732 and Sean Walkers rapid F2 March 782.


Race 2 was dry and I found myself on the second row alongside Trimmer and behind Sean Walker. At the start Mark Dwyer got past me into Paddock Hill bend, but went a touch wide , so I gunned the Chevron down the hill to get ahead at Druids and back up with Trimmer. Unfortunately out of Druids Trimmer tangled with Walker and they both went off and brought out the safety car. At the dash for the finish Dunn stayed ahead and I managed 2nd with Dwyer right behind in 3rd.  However, although this is the summary there was a little more to it than appears at first sight!!


We only just made race one as Harry had discovered a water hose, leaking and coming lose and there was no way it could be put back with the engine in situ.


Tom, Simon and Frank concentrated on the other 3 cars leaving Harry to put the front of the car back together and me with my girly hands (now cut to ribbons) to try and get between the tub and engine with a new, more bendy Hadfield, piece of pipe and 2 strips of lock wire instead of a jubilee clip, which although I could slide one on with washing up liquid and finger tip feel, there was no way of getting anything in the space to tighten it up.


As they called for collecting we still had the car elevated at the front and bleeding the air from the rad and all the bodywork and seat out of the car.


In the end we had Dan Collins the Lotus TGP driver, my Dad, Mike Lyons, Tom and Harry screwing the car back together at the final call and I just made it.


I was a bit nervous and really did watch the gauges in race one – the water did not exceed 90 degrees, fuel pressure bouncing between 100 and 120psi with oil pressure at 80 lbs. I also remembered to turn off the high pressure fuel pump off on lap 2!


I admire Mr. Trimmer, but I can't help thinking that he takes no prisoners. In Race one, I did give him a show up the inside of Paddock Hill Bend, but with no intention of pushing through and it was a good job as he really shut

the door and I remember thinking it was a bit naughty.


So I'm sorry to say I think he was very keen for a win in race 2 and in his eagerness to get ahead of Sean Walker on the exit of Druids, he accelerated into the rear offside wheel of the March, which broke the upright spearing Walker from the far left across my bows into the tyres on the right. I had a feeling that something was happening as we approached Druids as Trimmer had already squeezed Walker to the outside and he was kicking up dust and I thought it would be Walker who would have to yield and run down the grass on the left and so I took a very tight line around the apex to stay out the way on the right.


As it was, Walker must have really nailed it and stayed on it all the way round the outside. Trimmer must have assumed he would back off and continued his increasing arc to the outside, but somehow Walker was ahead and so Trimmer tagged him deranging his left front wheel and steering, pulling him to the left and into the barrier, ripping off the front corner and spinning him back on the track.


I looked at Walkers car afterwards and it was surprisingly undamaged, just a wheel rim and the rear upright and a bit of body damage to the nose!

You do not want to hear about the Frank Lyons owned Lola that Tony Trimmer was driving.  Suffice to say that Frank was very pleased indeed that he had insure the car for the occasion - he will need it all!!

Next up for the car is the Silverstone Classic with team leader back in the seat.





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