Report 29/08/20

PAUL MATTY SPORTSCARS LOTUS CHAMPIONSHIP

SHELSLEY WALSH

29 AUGUST 2020

There were 18 of us, once more, competing at this meeting, with Dick Swindall our Scottish representative, joining us for the first time this year and replacing John Palmer who was not competing this time.  It was good to see Dick looking so well after his recent knee replacement surgery.  Steve M was also back to full health and raring to go.

The forecast was for a cool but dry day with sunny intervals and that is exactly what we got!  The running order for the day was quite different to a normal race day with the Covid-necessary trimmed down entries, the morning was for the competitors event with the afternoon given over to any MAC members wishing to pay to drive the track.

With only 60 or so competitors, and (mostly) incident-free, we finished our two practices and two timed runs by 1.15pm.  There was an hours’ turnaround for the members’ track runs which continued until around 4.30pm with members allowed to line up for as many runs as they wanted.  John Crook brought his Elan to do a few runs for old times’ sake and still showed his competitive side.

It would have been preferable to have had the whole day with extra practice and timed runs but as the intended Sunday meeting had to be cancelled due to lack of entries, it is understandable that the Club need to try and earn as much as possible.

So, to the competition.  There were no changes to drivers and cars except for Clive, who shared Karen’s Elan again due to the 61’s problems needing an over-winter rebuild.  I think they will finish the season sharing the Elan.  It has spurred Karen on as she got a PB on Saturday and was actually beating Clive until the final run.

The other husband/wife needle match between Sarah and Malcolm saw Malcolm just pipping Sarah on time but Sarah won on handicap with another impressive final run, beating her recent PB by almost 2/10ths.  The 20/22 is well-sorted and really suits her and I’m beginning to wish I hadn’t swapped it for the 69!

Briony has joined us for her first competitive season and shares JJ’s Elise.  She continues to bring her times down rapidly which is usual for first time competitors, finishing 5th on handicap.

The final shared entry is Geoff and son, Iain, in Geoff’s Elan S3.  Geoff’s warning to Iain to be careful as the Elan is his pension doesn’t seem to have reach Iain’s ears as you can see if you watch his in-car footage on YouTube!!  Another PB and a first on handicap was the result!

The two Tony’s had a good battle with Tony W having a great final run with an amazing time of 30.67. Another PB and earning him second on handicap.  Well, it was his turn as Tony S won last time!

Steve M continues to chip away at his time and gained another PB, finishing joint 3rd and Pete beat his handicap to finish 8th.  They are both usually in the points, as is Dick but, as it was his first event since last September, not this time.  May I take this opportunity to show our admiration for the senior members of our Championship.  They are quite incredible – still ultra-competitive and a reminder that age is a state of mind. 

Stephen P managed to quietly knock over a second off his PB in the fairly newly acquired 51, just missing out on 10th place to Karen but no doubt happy with his time.  Brian got well into the 33’s and I would imagine was also quite pleased with his time. 

Looking at the results, there were eight PB’s overall on Saturday, which is quite impressive.  As was the handicapping with a time difference between the first ten of just 1.04 seconds, and 1.37 for 16 out of 18 (we won’t mention the last two!).  Congratulations to Tony W and Clive for a great job done whilst Paul tried to mend my car, and with no lunchtime to ponder the practice times.

I’m not even going to mention the problems we had with my 69, save to say it is being fitted with a new distributor, leads, caps, coil and ignition module.  A belt and braces job in the hope we never have those problems again.  My immense gratitude yet again to Tim and Paul for working so hard to try and get me running again and succeeding three out of four times.  Just one of those annoying  things that is racing!

We have a break this weekend before the penultimate meeting of this shortened season on Sunday 13th September, closely followed by our final event at Shelsley on Saturday 19th September.

June