Brands in 14 days!

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Brands in 14 days!

Postby suebmick » Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:11 am

Whoopee! Brands is looming & I've actually worked out at last how to enter online.

From the list of registered competitors it looks like there's going to be a skinny grid. C'mon Guys, get your act together

Sue
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Re: Brands in 14 days!

Postby pbove » Sat Mar 30, 2019 10:36 am

Yes - it would be nice to have a good start to our 70th year.
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Re: Brands in 14 days!

Postby suebmick » Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:37 pm

Having recently managed to work my way round the 750MC website to enter races & having to get James to talk me through some of the more complicated bits, I can understand some people having fun & games.

But the finals are out. 9 of us plus 3 newcomers (welcome you 3). What!!

See a few of you there, then

Sue
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Re: Brands in 14 days!

Postby GregSwan » Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:30 am

Anyone else testing on Friday afternoon?

Danny looking forward to his first race in the Ingham.
Great to see other newcomers also entered.
Hopefully overall numbers will pick up for Mallory.
Greg
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Re: Brands in 14 days!

Postby ninja » Wed Apr 03, 2019 5:32 pm

HI
I have booked testing in afternoon closed wheel section. good to see the ingham out, i did a couple of races in it
very easy car to drive.
Nigel
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Re: Brands in 14 days!

Postby pbove » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:42 am

Snow, sleet, rain, mixed conditions, freezing conditions and finally sun, we had it all, but everyone seemed to enjoy the start of our 70th season..... well, not even Bob is doing that, but you know what I mean! We had three new drivers, Danny Ruta, Rory Melia and Richard Jenkins the latter in the now repaired Sheppard. A relatively small grid, with some of the regulars missing, but it bodes well for later in the year.

For me it was a journey of discovery as I'd fitted the Quaife gearbox over the winter, modified the brake balance adjuster from mechanical back to hydraulic and changed from a Pi System 2 to an Aim data logger, so the plan was to break myself in gently. The conditions were also a bit mixed which precluded doing any sensible analysis of the brake balance.

Practice
It was a blast from the Reliant past for me as I could not persuade my engine to start on Saturday morning. The water temp at the time was showing 1deg... luckily, Rod drafted in Glenda's hair dryer to heat the manifold and it burst into life. The car ran surprisingly well and I was chuffed that I got to the end with no mechanical dramas and even more so with the two pole positions.

Race 1
I drove to the collecting area and everything was great. I drove from the collecting area and the engine went on to between 1 and 3 cylinders.... damn! I could only just get it off the green flag lap start line and it coughed and spluttered its way around. The race start was no better and I was surprised to be alongside Olly going into Paddock and to hold Martin Kemp off. I managed to stay third, but dropped a long way back as first Mark, then Olly led the race. Olly pulled off which seemed to clear the misfire and I got my head down in the vain hope that Mark might make a mistake.... he didn't but he was coping with his own dramas which meant I was able to get tantalisingly close by the end of the race. But it was a well deserved win for Mark, a great start to the defense of his 2018 Championship.

Further down the field we had a few incidents which resulted in two cars being out of action for the following day.

Race 2
I was really pleased to see Ernie Frost in the paddock before the race. Ernie was the first owner of my Darvi and a prolific ex-champion, albeit in his tiny little Hague. Ernie's pre-race chat included telling me not to beat "his man" Mr Simpson..... Hmmm. I don't think he ever forgave me for changing the car's colour scheme from blue/yellow and white!

I tried a different approach to the warm up which meant that the misfire only lasted until the start line. I got a reasonable start ad managed to hold off Mr Glover through Paddock and I thought I'd opened up a comfortable gap, only to find the newly liveried Falcon right on my tail again. Indeed Mark took the lead at Druids, I regained it on the run down the hill and the battle continued the whole race. In the closing stages I was a bit confused to find myself running second to Olly, only to realise that he was a lap down, a realisation that seemed to elude Olly. I dived up the inside at Druids but the gap was well and truly closed so decided to get a run through Graham Hill bend and I eventually found a way past, fortunately before Mark was able to capitalise. Mark also struggled to pass Olly, so in the end what would, I'm sure, have been a titanic last couple of laps were kind of spoiled for Mark and avoided for me. So it was race win #37, #36 having come 10 years earlier in the ADR also at Brands Hatch, in that case battling Mick Harris.

It was nice the be able to dedicate the win the Ernie.... even though I'd forgotten his request!

There are some drivers with a lot of work to do before Mallory which is not that far off - I hope you all get the cars sorted and look forward to seeing you there in a couple of weeks.
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Re: Brands in 14 days!

Postby suebmick » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:36 am

Well the Bird's Eye view was somewhat different to Peter's.

I found myself before qualy with novice-nerves again, God knows why, & was rather angry at myself when the qualifying times came out. Must do better was the general tone of conversation in my head! But it was nice to sit on the grid in the company of Danny Ruta in the Ingham (deja vu from Dave Heaver/Ingham days) & a certain Mr Simpson! Not that we had far to look to see the front of the grid, so I decided my best route off the start was to hope Bill Rutter got a good one off the line & I'd stay well left & let Bob shoot through a pack of drivers who didn't know each other! As it happened, he didn't & there was a lot of blue in my mirrors for a while until Bob got a bit more determined & I opted for the discretion & not the valour route into Druids! Engine was working beautifully & everything felt good for a few laps & then I changed into 2nd for Druids & a loud dang dang dang noise spoilt the day. Not my all too familiar normal 2nd gear mash-up noise. Have I bust the suspension? Is my rear body work grinding into the tarmac? Can I get 2nd? No. Can I get other gears? Yes, but as soon as I just touched the gas...dang, dang, dang. Hand up. In. 1st gear slowly back to the paddock trying not to do any more damage to what was obviously a broken gearbox. Again. 2nd gear on the layshaft this time (time to raid the workshop for Mr Harvey's old boxes & see what we can find that'll do!)

So out came the good old standard £30 box from the spares box & my lovely assistant up-ended himself again to change the spigot bearing etc & we got the old trusty in ready to do battle in the 2nd race. If anyone wants to see most of the race from behind me, find me on F/Book!

1st gear's pretty hopeless off the line with that box so I started in 2nd & managed to overtake a few off the line while they all changed gear & it stood me in good stead for the rest of the race. Looking back at the GoPro footage I could've used 4th more in the race but my brain didn't tell me that at the time, so I think I could possibly have done a slightly better time than I actually did, but I was happy just to be back out with everything sounding good. Amazing how I took another chunk of time off with the standard box from the day before with the race box, my best being a 57.57, which with old tyres & a freezing temperature, I wasn't too ashamed of.

One of the things that kept me honest & pushing all race was the rather determined 2 sets of eyes in my mirrors, & sometimes alongside of me as well. Thankyou Danny Ruta & Tonin Matia for making me work until the chequered flag. I presume you now realise that my car grows an extra few feet wide when it hears another car nearby, & when it saw TWO cars up its chuff, it decided to grow even wider! Thankyou, you two, for a cracking enjoyable & clean race. Unfortunately, after some confusion in the ranks when the blue flags/blue flashing lights & anything else blue that the marshalls could find to wave at us as the leaders came through, for the last couple of laps Danny appeared to prefer the gravel at Druids rather than the tarmac, so it was just a determined Falcon I had to contend with. It was only after the race that I found out that all the blue was not only to show us that the leaders were closing. Yes guys, we saw you, & we duly allowed you through as well as we possibly could. But it appears that the marshalls had realised that in fact a certain car at the "front" was actually a lap down & was fighting the 2 leaders & enjoying himself so much that he forgot he's supposed to let them through! The red mist must've turned the blue flags a different colour methinks!

Anyway, I was happy with a 7th place overall, considering who was 1st to 6th! Lucky day for me in the end.

Congratulations to the winners, the finishers, the new faces & anybody else who managed to go back through the Dartford tunnel without a hitch. If you got stuck at all there, just remember that it's 10 times worse on a Friday & that's why we will be travelling through the night to all other meetings this year just to get through without spending 2 hours in a queue.

Oh, and Ed Pither. I have your Pembrey 2018 trophy!

Team Harris will see you all at Mallory, but not as you know us.

Sue & Mick
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Re: Brands in 14 days!

Postby GregSwan » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:31 am

Thank you all for a great race weekend… a decent racing debut for Danny and very satisfying all round.

Having dropped off the back of the field through the yellow flags in Saturday’s race, it was great to see him dicing with Sue and Tonin in the second (thank you both). It all got a bit hectic when the leaders caught up under the blue flags at Druids which left Danny beached in the run-off area… no more than a minor frustration to cap off an otherwise entertaining weekend for us both. I was happy to see Danny drive smoothly, consistently and without drama throughout the weekend, getting down to a confidence building 57.4 fastest lap in the second race. Something to build on for Cadwell and Oulton later in the year. With Alex Bagnell lined up for Croft and whoever wins our SIM2WIN competition in the car for Donington, it looks like the spanner monkey might have a go at propping up the grid at Mallory.

See you there, Greg
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