Croft 26-27th September 2009
We were racing at Croft near Darlington where once again we were the bridesmaid and not the bride. We had entered the last two races of the Cockshoot championship leading the class, we could not win the overall championship but we could win the class. All I had to do was beat my rival Sean Peters once to secure the lead, as I have never beaten him I went to visit my son Simon, who lives near Durham and we went into the cathedral to ask for divine intervention . That’s another place I won't be going back to.
Practice went well and we qualified 2nd as usual behind you know who.
I made a good start in the first race and we went into the first corner together and I was hanging on to his boot all the way around until we entered the complex where I tried to overtake and made a mess of it and he got away. I was trying that hard to catch him I had a loss of brakes after lap five and I had to pump the brakes to get the car to stop.
In the end I finished 2nd as usual.
The last race of the season was held next day I had been working on the brakes and had changed the front brakes to a different compound.
He who can't be named also had problems with his brakes and I was hoping that I might be in luck.
Once again I had a good start and was following him all the way around trying to force Sean into an error as we exited the hairpin I made a move overtook him but oversteered and nearly went into the infield at this he got away but then I had been caught up by Alan Bates and we had an interesting contest of who would brake last going into the first corner luckily I won. I went back to trying to catch Sean but tried too hard at Sunny and took a cross country route.
Fortunately I finished 2nd yet again and finished third in the championship and second in class.
Also all the people who have helped the Team and all the race Marshals who keep us safe.
Cadwell Park 5th September 2009
It was a cold but sunny day as we qualified 3rd overall and 2nd in class with only three tenths of a second between the three of us.
Unfortunately the car that qualified second broke down on the green flag lap which left one of my rivals an open door at the start line.
As the lights turned to green I had a terrible start i dropped the clutch and the wheels just spun, and had to watch as I was passed I snatched second and the car started to fishtail , which was exciting for me and even more for the cars that were besides me.
I managed to regain some places and after a do or die maneuver at Park corner I was up to second I caught the leader by the end of the first lap and I hung onto his boot lid like a limpet . I tried another do or die at the bottom of the Goose neck but it went wrong and I finished 2nd overall and 2nd in class.
I am leading my class with two races to go at Croft near Darlington
Anglesey 8th August 2009
A new battery has been fitted and the rest of the car was checked over prior to Angelsey.
We traveled up on the Friday morning avoiding all the camera vans that seem to out populate the sheep in Wales,
The Anglesey track is just three years old and every time we visit there is something new, this year it is some new kerbs that threaten to loosen your fillings if you run over them.
I was one of the first cars out onto the track, on a bright sunny day the tyres seemed to warm up nicely and the car was running OK although because of the nature of the track the brakes were working hard also it was using quite a lot of fuel.
I qualified 3rd overall and second in class, I was behind the dreaded blue Midget of Sean Peters which is normal but still annoying.
I had a good start but dropped one place as we entered the second corner ther was three of us trying for the same part of the track but there was no contact as we raced up to Rocket I managed to gain a place back I was lying in third place as we started the second lap I was still in contact with that Midget but as I tried to overtake I ran wide and lost a place to a Mg Metro with another MG Midget up my exhaust pipe once again we entered Rocket I managed to get on the outside of Rocket 2 and managed to overtake the Metro which suprised everybody because your not supposed to overtake there, as we entered Peel corner named after John Peel who did his national service here I had a small lead.
I had lost Sean Peters in the meantime but this other MG Midget was all over me luckily he was not in the same class as me so if he did overtake me I would not lose any points. We battled together for about ten laps until once again I ran wide at the hair pin and he passed me but I caught him up but I was unable to pass him again and I finished 4th overall and second in class. It was a most enjoyable race .
At the moment I am leading the class and am second in the championship .
Our next race is at Cadwell park on Saturday 5th September.
Mallory Park 2nd August 2009
Mallory Park near Hinckley in Leicestershire. The paddock was extremely packed for such an event and we had to get organised, we were racing in the Peter Best championship instead of our usual Cockshoot championship. My local sponsors BT Tyres and Stanbridge Motors were both in attendance so there was no pressure at all .
Once again though the electrical gremlins struck here as they had done twelve months ago when we had alternator failure this time the car made it up to scrutineering but then refused to start and had to be push started. it was charged up for practice and with crossed fingers we went out.
The practice session went well although because we were far away in the paddock I wasn't first car out as I prefer to be. As this is our local track and we practice here at least once a year we have some local knolage that helps, the most important corner is Gerrards in which you have to brake at the last possible moment turn and put your foot hard to the throttle and just pray you make it around the bend.
We qualified 6th overall and 5th in class of which I was very impressed as I was just hoping for a top ten in class. The car started OK back in the paddock and was left as we did our usual checks for oil and water leaks etc.
Soon it was time to race but the car would not start and once again it was push started as we don't run a fan I could not leave it running but had to ask the marshals to push start it when it was time to race and pray that we wouldn't be held on the grid for a long time.
The car was running hot as the lights went out but we had a fair start just losing one place as we went into the first corner I was in touch with the leading cars and we had already created a gap from the rest of the pack I was chasing a couple of V8s in my class and three other cars in my class and was greatly assisted when one spun off and the other had to retire. I was up to fifth place but in my mirrors were two of the K series engined cars which are in a different class and much faster. I held them off for several laps as they did not corner as fast as me but caught me up on the straights. As we started to lap slower cars I couldn't put my lights on in case the electrics failed and I was blocked on the penultimate lap and had to concede a place.
Silverstone 10-12th July 2009
Team Slap My Top has been quite lately on the email front but we have still been busy, we were at Hollowell steam fair on the 4/5th where the race car broke down after being driven off the trailer this was repaired by James Darby the Wednesday before MG Silverstone.
We had been waiting for a new cylinder head since before April for the race car which was promised for Silverstone but once again Chris Grooves let us down. This meant that I would not be able to rev over 6500 revs when the limit is 7000 ish .
Some of us arrived on the Thursday afternoon and set up camp whilst the rest came on Friday night after all the work was done although they did miss out on a good BBQ on Thursday night. We were visited several times by well wishers from Kilsby although all declined the food obviously nobody trusts the chef and neither do I.
We had a untimed practice on the Friday morning which went well as I had recently fitted a new and stiffer front anti roll bar and the new bushes were fitted just before we practiced nothing like forward planning then. Yes we have no forward planning.
The new bar seemed to help only time would tell the car seemed flatter on the corners and little or no wheel spin when exiting Luffield.
Our first race was on Saturday in the Cockshoot cup this had been combined with the MG BCV8 championship and there would a grid of 40 cars including Rob Huff who races in the World Touring Cars championship, he was not overwhelmed though to race with us. I was one of the first cars out but it was hard to get a clear lap in because of the traffic on the track in fact my fastest lap was on my third circuit when usually it is near the end when I have a lighter car due to less fuel.
I had qualified 16th and was second in class behind the usual blue MG Midget of Mike Peters who was two seconds a lap faster than me and four places on the grid. I was pleased with my position especially as there was a lot of big V8's there.
I had a good start and was catching Mike and I had jumped up two places to 14th as we entered Copse for the first time, I held this position for a couple of laps until I was overtaken and fell back to 15th. Unusually I was keeping pace with Mike and tried as hard as I could to catch him but although I could see him I could not get near.
In the end I finished 15th and second in my race and 2nd in class. I later was informed that Mike had a cracked brake disc and could not brake as hard as he would have liked.
Our next race was to be in the Peter Best Insurance Championship on Sunday, so the car was checked over before we retired to the bar for some late night tactics talks.
Sunday dawned overcast so we prepared the rain tyres in case it rained but we were fortunate that the track was dry as we went out to practice once again I was one of the first ones on the track as there were 44 cars out for practice and once again it would be hard to get a clear lap. I was hoping to get into the top half of the grid and top 10 of the class that I was in, I was pleasantly suprised to find that I had qualified sixth overall and fourth in class, except for one car, everything in front of me or behind me either had more cylinders or was on slicks or both . The only other car was Ron Moorcroft’s MGB which had qualified two places above me but I had beaten him on Saturday in the MG BCV8 race.
The weather stayed dry for the race and once again I made a good start although a couple of V8's had beaten me to the first corner a bit of corner cutting by me going into Maggots and Becketts made one of the places up, I was sticking to Ron like a leach through all the corners and a couple of times I managed to out brake him into the complex he had a greater straight line speed though and would overtake on the main straight we swapped places several times making it one of my best races, eventually finishing 7th overall and 3rd in class of which I was very proud that the car held together for the race.
Our next race is at Mallory Park on Sunday 2nd August.
Thanks to all the people who helped out or came to give us encouragement.
Brands Hatch 31st May 2009
Team slap my top were racing on the 31st May at Brands Hatch with the Peter Best championship which is not our normal race series. The only reason we were there is because Brands is such a fabulous track to drive.
Looking at the program 9 cars in a higher class than mine and in my class there were 5 cars with a higher engine capacity than mine . I was hoping to get into the top ten and I would be quite happy with that result. But as the saying goes, size doesn't matter its what you do with it that counts.
Even though we weren't racing until Sunday we traveled down on the Saturday morning to watch the ex Formula 1 cars practice and race, the weather was very hot so much so that Paul (salad boy) Tainton burnt his legs and knees and all we could hear all weekend was don't touch me.
Sunday morning was very hot and for qualifying we took off the extra brake covers to cool the brakes down even more. I was first out of the assembly area on to the track but as I was finishing my first lap there was still cars exiting the assembly area which slowed me down .the plan was to try to get at least one clear lap before I hit traffic. There were at least 30 cars on the track and trying to find space was hard especially as somebody visited the kitty litter at the bottom of Paddock hill and red flagged the practice. I won't name names but there is a Harry Potter connection, he tried to follow me into Paddock hill bend and then into Druids bend but forgot about the middle pedal and went straight on. It wasn't until lap nine that I managed my fastest lap this put me in the top ten and believe it or not I was 6th and second in class. I was very happy especially as the over drive was working again after I had spent a week underneath the car repairing it with a new overdrive from OD Services of Rugby.
After a quick check of the car it was time to race. I have been practicing my starts I can't say where but there is a lot of black tyre marks at a Tesco store and they are nothing to do with me.
The start went well and I was up to 5th by paddock hill bend but what I didn't know was that there was chaos going on behind me and a car went into the kitty litter on the afore mentioned bend necessitating the use of the safety car for three laps I was 6th at this point the lights went out and it was time to go racing again, I had closed up on the car in front and the plan was to jump him at the start finish line. unfortunately everybody else had the same plan, and as I tried to pass him I was passed by a V8 pushing me back to 7th I slipped in behind him for several laps as three of us vied for position but slipstreaming him forced the car to over heat and I had to back off and obtain some clear air but this forced me off the pace and I finished 7th overall and 2nd in class.
We had a short brake before the next race and the car was quickly checked over the tyre pressures checked and oil checked .
Time to race I was still 6th on the grid due to my second fastest time in qualifying just being good enough.
I had another great start, and managed to keep the V8 behind me this time I was al over the rear of the class leaders car trying several ways to try and pass him but to no avail also at the same time trying to keeep the pesky V8 from overtaking me and putting a car between us this all went well until we started to lap the slower cars where after I went between two cars I was blocked by another car and the V8 passed me I also lost ground to David Brooke the class leader and at the end of the race I finished 7th and 2nd in class.
Oulton Park 9th May 2009
Saturday 9th May we were racing at Oulton Park in the north west of England. We had an exciting days racing. It was a dry but very windy day as we went out to practice. At the last race my overdrive had packed up but I was hoping that I had effected a repair but as I found out in practice this was not to be. We were racing with some of the guys from the MG experienced championship as well as the Cockshoot
Championship as we normally do, this made a grid of 28 cars.
Practice went well with me only twice trying to out brake myself and nearly ending in the kitty litter going into Cascades which is a downhill left turn except I kept going straight and onto the grass. I qualified 7th overall and 2nd in my race which I was very pleased with considering that on the grid there was some very experienced drivers and cars. Unfortunately the overdrive was still not working and it will be going into Entune 2000 on Thursday to be repaired. We did try to repair it and for the next hour I had hot gearbox oil running down my arms as we changed the solenoid to no avail.
It was time to race and as usual I had a bad start and my two main rivals Sean Peters and Alan Bates shot away, I had dropped back to 9th but by the end of the first lap I was up to 8th. Alan and Sean were racing side by side and I knew there was going to be contact and there was with Sean being knocked off the track I moved up to 2nd and pressurized Alan by keeping my bonnet as close to his boot as I could, this worked and on lap 4 he went into a spin at Druids and ended up in the kitty litter there, I was leading my race.
Unfortunately his off was not terminal. He was catching me up I tried to block him but this would be hard as he is 3 seconds a lap faster than me. I tried to make my car as big as a bus but I was blocked by a slower car and he passed me.
A safety car incident gave me the chance to catch up with him, he got away but other cars had caught me up and I had top work hard keeping them at bay and seeing two spin off trying to follow me out of corners gave me enough space to finish 6th overall and 2nd in my race.
My next race is at Brands Hatch on 30th and 31st of May in the Peter Best championship.
take care Peter
Team slap my top is back!
We have been working on the car with new brakes and a revamped engine but not a new head as yet as it is still being rebuilt. I did not receive the new engine until Monday so it has been slightly panicky this week. I practiced at Mallory park on Wednesday and unlike last year nothing fell off or broke. Thursday saw us at Peter Burgess' s rolling road which as ever is very stressful, until you see your pride and joy on one you won't understand. As usual Peter worked his magic, and the car is quite healthy.
I will inform you next week how we fare hopefully with a podium but without the formula one back stabbing.
We still have room on the car for more sponsors if anybody is interested.
Donington Park 4th April 2009
Before I give you the report there is a back ground story. As you may be aware Silverstone has lost the rights to stage the Formula one race and that it is going to move to Donington. Well Donington has already started work on a tunnel between Mcleans and Copice this caused some problems as the powers that be were worried that one or two drivers would spin and enter the tunnel the wrong way and from a great height.
To combat this Donington built a big tyre wall so nobody could stray unfortunatly they also put yellow flags from Mcleans to Copice.
We arrived at Donington early on Saturday morning just in time for me to walk the track, after which we prepared the car, we only received the engine on Monday from Entune 2000, tested Wednesday at Mallory Park, and had it on the rolling road at Peter Burgess's on Thursday. As you can tell we were well prepared,
We were practicing and racing with the MG Trophy cars who make touring car drivers seem considerate and careful. Just what we needed. Going out to practice I was behind one of my main rivals. We exited the assembly area and to my amazement I was keeping up with him but as I tried to overtake we came into yellow flag zone and it was follow my leader but he got away and I had another of my rivals next to me now and either he's got faster or I'm going slower I don't know but we had a great tussle although he must be colour blind from the number of yellow flags he went through. I thought that’s going to be expensive for him but he was running with the wrong number on his car and it was proberbly expensive for somebody else. The car was performing well and I seemed to be going alright and I was sadly disappointed when last years champions car limped off the track.
After checking the times I found I had qualified 2nd in my race and 14th overall. After checking the car it was time to race.
The red lights came on and I tried a new way to start lots of revs lights out dump the clutch and pray it all holds together, it did
and I was in front of the pole man as we entered Redgate for the first time, as we entered the Craner curves we were still neck and neck but as we entered Mcleans I had to back off until Copice but I managed to slip stream him into the Esses and once again at Redgate I took the lead but had to concede at Craner but caught up again at Mcleans and again I was leading at Redgate, this went on for several laps until I tried to out brake him going into the old Hairpin but out braked myself and nearly entered the kitty litter, I couldn't catch up after that but I did finish 13th overall and second in the Cockshoot race
We are racing next at Oulton Park near Knutsford on Saturday 9th May, hopefully I will have a new cylinder head fitted I have only been waiting 6 months.
We did have some success the next day at Curborough sprint circuit where I finished first in class, lets hope it's a good omen.
take care Peter
© Copyright 2008 Kilsby MG Club. All rights reserved.