The Parkinson Line.....at Silverstone
The runners in the 1600 class were unfortunately down to six with Richard Evans, Matt Walters, Joe Venor and Alan Fincham missing although the latter is only a guest on odd occasions.
My little friend, Michael Dale, was as pleased as punch when I saw him. He’d suffered from vision problems at Donnington with misting up so had visited Demon Tweeks and purchased a double glazed visor. He was chuffed to bits with it when he was showing me but Adie Heath, who was passing at the time brought out his helmet with a triple glazed visor. Michael was most upset. We tried to get him drunk that night to take his mind off it.
Tony Cotton arrived carrying two large cake tins and advised that he’d done some baking. I eagerly opened the first tin to find a fruit cake and took the lid off the second with keen anticipation only to find a knife to cut the fruit cake. It was akin to thinking you’d won ten million on the lottery only to find that the prize was only five million.
Nigel Davers got the 1600 pole and 12th overall followed by Matt Jordan some three seconds down. He was followed by Luke Rosewell, yours truly, Adie Heath and Dane Catanzaro. I was a bit disappointed but qualifying is like that sometimes so no real concern.
I got a great start and was up into second by Becketts and going well when I saw the safety car sign on the start/finish straight so eased off only to see in the mirrors a car heading for me at a great rate of knots. I accelerated and kept my eyes on the car and arrived at Copse both too fast and in the wrong position and finished up spinning. I rejoined in front of Adie and followed the procession. I wasn’t sure if I could pass the others to take up the place I’d vacated but as they’d only passed me due to my spin I stopped where I was. Safety car in and off we go. Then Adie passed me and I got him back, then he passed me again and cleared off. It was most upsetting. My first thought was that I’d have to get a Formula Vauxhall because they're obviously very fast. However final positions were Nigel, from Luke, with Adie, who I’m very happy for, getting his first podium, from myself and Dane. Matt stopped shortly from the end with terminal engine problems.
It was at this point that the problems made themselves known. In the Fern garage, Joannie was dispatched to fetch the spare Vauxhall from the Fern collection whilst in the Avit garage we had a few problems. My car was making an awful noise and threw gearbox oil all over the floor. Ewen had run into a spinning Jeremy Timms and suffered damage to one corner and the bodywork. Phil Nicholson had also lost a corner and Michael Dale had suffered a chip of at least 1mm to his newly painted nose cone.
So Ewen and his apprentice got started. On Saturday afternoon/night and Sunday Morning he repaired the damage to his car, removed the gearbox on my car to replace both a bearing and oil seal, modified Jonathan Baggots exhaust, repaired a key for a non mono guy and comforted Michael on his damaged nose. He possibly did more. He was certainly running round a lot and gave assistance to Phil at least. There are two things that strike me about Ewen, the first being that he doesn’t charge for any work done at a circuit, though obviously charges for any parts concerned, and the second is how well he appears to handle the stress. He’s there with a grin on his face with cars in bits all around him. If it was me I’d be in hiding in my van.
Several drivers cars had been found to be to low at scrutineering and were told, I understand, that they would have to start from the back of the grid. This turned out to be only a threat and they started in their correct grid slots. It certainly had them worried for a while.
The start was interesting as like several others I had to go well off the racetrack at Copse to miss hitting cars. My car or me was just slow, two seconds slower than quail, I find now looking at the results, and everyone left me except one other tail ender. I could have passed him into Copse on a few occasions but as he was in a different class and there was oil on the corner I didn’t bother and just circulated to finish and pick up some points for being last. But on the tenth lap the engine didn’t want to play anymore and exploded. I discovered later that Nigel had had a problem even earlier then me and retired throwing oil all over. This gave Mat his first win with Adie going one better than Saturday to get second. Luke was third, having driven for much of the race with a deflating tyre, I’m told, with Dane coming in fourth.
"Did you spin David?" "No, I just went a bit wide to let some cars by"
Post practice exercise
DP and Mat Jordan
Nigel Davers retires
Pics Tony Cotton