Report 16/08/2020

PAUL MATTY SPORTSCARS LOTUS CHAMPIONSHIP

SHELSLEY WALSH 16TH AUGUST 2020

 

Well, another incident packed meeting.  It began on Saturday afternoon when Steve and Helen arrived sans trailer, as its lights had packed up! Annoyingly, his 51 was fine but no trailer, no car so they came anyway to support the rest of us, and Helen to help Clive with the results, which was much appreciated.

Our pre-race gatherings have evolved into a more casual dining experience of alfresco fish and chips (not forgetting the mushy peas!)/pizza/Thai green curry from the Shelsley restaurant (thankfully, the weather has been kind to us so far). The venue and menu may have altered due to current restrictions but the camaraderie and enjoyment have not.

Still missing from the meeting was Chris Westwood due to his broken hand, and Steve Millward pulled out due to not feeling 100%. Hope he is recovered for the next meeting.

Sunday morning was raining as preparations began and Clive started his car to warm it up and a rather nasty noise came from the engine which meant his day’s racing in the 61 was over, but he was able to swap his entry in time to dual-drive Karen’s Elan. Update is valve seat problems.  It’s hoped it will be ready for the next meeting but not yet sure how much damage has occurred.

The rain soon stopped but our first runs were in the wet and Top Ess was particularly lethal but we all got to the top in one piece, albeit only just for a couple of us!  I was under strict instructions to not use too many revs on the first couple of runs due to the rebuild after last Sunday’s debacle, but the engine sounded sweet and hopefully I will become more familiar with its different set up over the next three events.  My immense gratitude to Tim and Paul for their monumental efforts to get both my 69 and Karen’s Elan repaired in time for Sunday, especially in last week’s oppressive heat.  However, on Karen’s second practice, there was another problem with the Elan and the Buffeys’ competition was over. Back to the workshop!

It was a little tricky to work out the handicaps as the track was rapidly drying out and there was a risk of rain but Paul and Tony Wallen, with Stephen sitting in, worked their way through it and decided to give everyone the same handicap of 3 seconds over their PB.

It was warming up nicely for our first timed run and the track was dry bar a small section out of Top Ess, which an MR2 in the batch before us discovered when it hit the left-hand bank coming out of Top Ess. The driver was unhurt but a half hour’s delay ensued.  With the forecast for thundery showers predicted any time after 3pm, it was hoped, as the last class, we would manage to escape it.

Dick Swindall called Botty halfway through the afternoon to say he was watching the live stream and that the track was now dry. Our spy in the sky! We look forward to seeing Dick for the remaining couple of meetings.

The dual drives went off for the first timed runs and Briony managed to knock over a second off her best practice. In fact everyone dropped at least a couple of seconds or more due to the now dry track.

The final run was quite exciting with the two Tony’s only 0.13 between them with Tony S just pipping Tony W, taking second and third respectively on handicap . Geoff and Briony were a fraction slower than their first runs but everyone else improved, the best one being Sarah in the 20/22 with an extremely respectable 32.73, taking a deserved first on handicap and setting the bar for the rest of the ’33-ers’! My old car obviously suits her!

Looking forward to seeing everyone on Saturday 29th August.

June Matty