DONINGTON PARK, 30 MARCH 2008

FIRST DAY BACK AT SCHOOL!

Simon Diffey reports on his first Ecurie Scalpel event of 2008 – The HSCC Season opener at Donington Park on March 30th. 

The Words of Diff! 

Having been 10th reserve in the ever-popular junior race I qualified 5th of 38 and lined up for the start but 3 of us were not needed as the flag dropped and we trundled back to the paddock to watch from the side lines! 

This left me with the Scalpel's unique F2 Crossle in the Classic Racing Cars trophy, and in practice it had felt superb.  I remembered the Prof saying that Stuart Riley had altered the set up and cured the nose down stance of the chassis and it occurred to me that this was why the Prof had upped his game at the Silverstone finals race. 

The Crossle felt so good with only one clear lap mid-session I brought the car in early to a concerned Riley. I grabbed hold of him and said its magic and ran off for the times. Even Matthew Watts found me and said he would have entered if he had known the Crossle was out. I said if I'd known he was going to parade his sister around in new tight red and white Tora overalls I might have done the same.  Thankfully it went straight over his head. 

And so, I found myself in P2 and along side Ian Gray in the ex-Matthew Watts Brabham on the front row of the grid. 

When the lights went out I was off like a rat up a drain pipe and pulled 5 lengths out of Gray into Redgate, Gray closed and challenged, but I stayed ahead right till the last lap. At that point we came across tons of back markers and with 3 corners to go I found myself fully committed into the left uphill kink of Schwantz, just past the bridge when back marker Rudolf Ernst in his yellow Lotus 22 turned left in front of me. 

I struck him with my front offside wheel into the side of his cockpit.  This launched the Crossle over his car at 45 degrees, my rear right riding over his rear left leaving a tyre mark on his helmet. 

The Crossle felt like it left the ground, but may have just gone high up on 2 wheels as it actually spun along the ground 360 degrees and came to restin the middle of the track. I switched off, unbuckled watched Gray whiz past to win and ran to the side. 

The German came over and asked "Ver are you comin’ from so quickly I answered “Luton””. 

Not being very brave I sent a text to the Prof who was in the USA and said we would need some new wheels, he phoned back to see how I was and discovering it was only whiplash, denied me a sick note and sent me of to get the car fixed asap! 

The Words of the Owner in Reply!! 

It happens every time I go away – I get it now.  First, I get a call last year to tell me that Blondie Lyons has bent the Junior Lotus into the rough shape of an Italian backmarker using a different route back to the pits.  A totally innocent party, the gorgeous one was very embarrassed of course. 

Now we have the much older, originally blonde and now balding and considerably more tiny Diffey being assaulted by another representative of the Eurozone.  Once again, the Diff was an innocent party (now who ever imagined that phrase ever being used to describe “The Stiffy One”?).  Being a high speed incident, the poor old Crossle is in quite a state but luckily the pilot is nothing more than a bit stiff and sore (there we go again!!). 

Don’t these people realise that I am bloody Irish and a much better European than any of these filthy Brits!  I am running a charity here to keep these English wasters off the streets of a weekend – so please, please give me and the poor old cars a break eh? For those of an evil disposition go ahead and look at the pictures.  At least Arnie Black and the Crossle factory are smiling.

 

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