Report 18/09/21

Shelsley Walsh
18th September 2021

Here we are at our last event of the season. We all met up at the Bridge on Friday evening for our final pre-race dinner/gathering, except for Stephen and Helen who were attending the MAC AGM and we are pleased to announce that Stephen has been elected to the MAC committee. Many congratulations to him.
Also, at this point, we would like to thank Karen for organising the pre-race gatherings.
Missing at our last event were Dave and Marion who were on a flotilla around the Greek islands (not envious at all!) and Keith B and Tim as Keith was at the Goodwood Revival meeting doing Stirling Moss Tribute laps in his 19. Tony W was racing at Mallory Park.
We arrived at the track on Saturday morning to fog that had descended on the track, which caused a delay to the start of the meeting. It was not our usual format as all the cars except the dual drivers were in the first batch following the Autocar Shelsley Walsh Young Drivers Championship.
Once the sun appeared and the fog cleared enough to race, we approached the start for our sound check. Unfortunately, Geoff’s 61 was popping and banging and it took a time for the Steward to obtain a reading but eventually it was fine.
Clive Buffey was sharing Karen’s Elan, setting out first to warm the car up for Karen. Sarah also had a change of car in the shape of her recently acquired 69 Formula Atlantic, a beast of a car. Malcolm was the victor this meeting but when she’s mastered the gearbox, she will be one to watch! Chris Westwood just managed to get the Elise’s rear end fixed and painted in time to race and John Palmer was back in his Lotus 61 after converting it back to a Formula Ford spec. but sadly had carburetor issues. Bev joined him for the final meet of the year having finally managed to get a flight from Canada. Keith W raced his 23B for the final time as it is now for sale at the Matty emporium and will be using his Elan next year.
Paul had previously been having problems with selecting second gear and had adjusted the gears after the last meeting. Unfortunately, first gear was now a problem, even though it had been fine when tested. That’s racing cars for you! With assistance from Roy and Tim, he quickly got it sorted and was allowed to take his first practice out of programme order.
Apart from these few issues, the practices all went smoothly and everyone improved on their second attempt.
Lunchtime loomed and Paul, Clive and Stephen huddled to work out the handicaps.
Iain had already secured the Championship at Harewood but the battle was on for second, third and fourth between me, JJ and Steve M respectively. At the start of this final meeting, I was 6 points clear of JJ who was only one point in front of Steve. It was all to play for! My first timed run was a dream – everything felt right and, as I crossed the finish line, I thought to myself “if that’s not in the 32’s I’m packing up!” Fortunately, it was 32.96, hallelujah for 4/100ths of a second! A new PB and 0.64 under my handicap. JJ beat his handicap by .25 and Steve was 0.14 over. So far, so good.
My second run was messy, I tried too hard and was slower, as was Steve but only very slightly. JJ improved a little but not enough so we finished as we started with me taking second, JJ third and Steve fourth.
The handicap results for this final meeting – Clive pulled all the stops out on his second run in Karen’s Elan to go first on handicap. Definitely, the first and last time in the Elan, Clive! Iain only managed second this time(!), I was third and Stephen P was fourth, frustratingly only 0.02 off his PB. Next year Stephen! Many congratulations to Tony S for retaining his win on Scratch in the Racing Class and to Pete B for getting first on Scratch in the Road Class. For Pete to still be so competitive after 30 years is commendable. Many congratulations to all.
A double celebration for Tony (and Lyn) as their son, Robin, who had recently won the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb King of the Mountain for the second time, came over from Los Angeles to guest drive Lindsay Summers’ DJ Firehawk. Having never driven the hill nor, indeed, the Firehawk, it was a very impressive drive which came very close to Lindsay’s PB. A natural talent.
So, our 30th year finished on a high, in the glorious Shelsley sunshine with no serious incidents to spoil the day. A big thank you to all those involved in helping to run this very special Championship and to Sarah for suggesting and organising the fantastic 30th year commemorative photograph book.
As the dreaded Covid has restricted our choice of dates and venues for our End of Year Do, we have moved it forward to January 2022 and we look forward to seeing you all then, if not before.
Our final thoughts and well wishes are for Kay and Jon. We sincerely hope they will be able to join us for the 2022 season.