Pembrey, 14/15 May 2005
A personal view by Tim Morgan-Barrett.
Saturday Qualifying 1
Went out for first qualifying with the intention of doing 5 laps to see how the major head rebuild was holding up, seemed to be running so well i decided to stay out for the whole 20 minutes to see if it would hold up, fairly uneventful from the back, managed to get my first "battle scar" from Dave Nixon on his way through to qualify 3rd on Grid 1, just a bit of paint on my drivers side front wing and the side repeater is out on the track somewhere...... went to see him afterwards, his damage was way worse than mine - that will teach him to bounce English rover steel with good old German (heavy ) engineering... all smiles - no problems. Managed to qualify at the back of pack 2 places behind fellow Class D competitor Chris Brogden who had also made the 6+ hour trip from up north.
Saturday Race 1
Nice rolling start and was finding that the new tyres i had just fitted after having them shaved down to 3mm were working better than the previous set - brand new 8 or 9 mm of tread... Was able to control the slides around corners a bit better, found the start finish straight a bit bouncy - thought i had flat spotted them at one point.
Few hairy moments into the hairpin, locking up the front end, turning in too early and then power sliding all over the place with way too many revs.... made a lot of tyre smoke and didn't half stink.... more about than in a minute, Wasn't able to catch Chris as he was flying at approx. 2 seconds a lap faster than me, hey he knows what he is doing, is 200 kg lighter, and is running slicks.....
About 2 or 3 laps from the end, at the hairpin, i was just about to be lapped by Chris when there was the almighty bang which moved me slightly to the left, Chris isn't heavy enough to do that i thought, looked around and saw the yellow Vento V6 of Philip Latchford with bits of white paint on the front, He had come steaming up the inside of the hairpin, used Chris as a break - breaking his drivers side real light cluster and pushed him into me, taking out his passenger side rear cluster as well, and most of the panels on the drivers side of me. And then to add insult to injury, sped of into the distance leaving me and Chris to limp around the last couple of laps wondering how that had happened....
Never mind "Rubbing is Racing". - to quote a really bad motor racing film.
Engine held up really well , - 30 mins flat out - the throttle was stuck fully open and got the clutch a bit hot.
Went back to pits and changed the oil & filter, still had bits of water in it from head rebuild. "Spanner chick" checked pressures and wheel nuts...
Found that the idle adjuster screw had decided to set itself fully out, replacing it with a new one and added a locking nut.
Lowered the from suspension 25mm and made the front suspension a bit softer to try and cope with the bouncing a bit.
Sunday Qualifying 2
Went out hoping to better my times of yesterday and at least be alongside Chris, but didn't get the opportunity as he had to retire after 5 laps with what we suspected was a broken gearbox, after qualifying found it to be a broken drive shaft - no more racing for Chris.... shucks - I like someone to try and chase.
Fairly uneventful second qualifying, engine still running well, able to hit the corners a bit faster and not bounce around quite as much. came in after approx 12 laps - was getting a bit sweaty and thought my time were probably slower than the first qualifying as the air temperature was a lot higher. Almost on the back of the Grid again... getting used to it now.
Sunday Race 2
Nice rolling start, red flag after two or three laps - stranded car on run off to hairpin, not a nice place to break what looked like drivers side front suspension.... ouch - expensive.
Reformed on the grid for restart of 20 minute race, surprised to see Ian Collins in His Proton next to me with what i learned later was tyre wall rash all down one side of his car and no rear window.. Nice clean restart, followed by a really nice bit of grass tracking by Ian in his Proton, - he found a new way round the hairpin, followed by my usual progress backwards through the field, managed not to get collected by some of the really fast guys, although did have a scary moment on last lap, blue flags waving let two Vectras through, started to turn in for the second hairpin to glance over and see Tony in his Harrier going for the gap, managed to avoid shutting him out and had to say sorry later, Tony with his usual grace said , "hey mate don't worry about it, didn't hit each other"
all in all, a very enjoyable first double header with all machinery working well, and first time on the paddock in a tent.....
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