Donington Park 11th July 2020. 3 hour handicapped relay race.
Set off from Wakefield at 7.00 am and arrived in the paddock at 08.25.
Unloaded MGB and tools into the garage and checked fluids, wheel nuts and tyre pressures whilst Kate went to the Team Managers’ briefing.
James and I met up with the other half of the team – Scuderia Tartaruga – (Team Tortoise) who were Rob Johnson and Ed Barton-Hilton.
Practise was not without problems: a new cam had been installed by Peter Burgess who rebuilt the engine and I had stiffened the rear suspension but there was a lot of smoke on the overrun and James thought he was locking a back wheel. The cam follower chamber plate was loose causing a BIG oil leak. The underside of the car was dripping with engine oil. A thorough investigation revealed that the engine was over filled with oil despite not initially registering as such on the dipstick.
Approximately 2 litres of oil was removed from the sump and the engine then ran without smoke and seemed perkier. The other team members were relieved!
We worked out our strategy for the race and made sure all went to the plan with car changes being as slick as possible and keeping out of trouble on track. It was carnage out there and we took advantage of safety car sessions by pitting and driver changing during them.
During my 45 minute session the cockpit was filling with smoke. I opened a window to let it out but the marshals noticed it and I think gave me a warning flag that something may be wrong. I did consider pitting but the car was becoming enjoyable to drive so I just kept going util my pit time or it burst into flames. The smoke was from the oil catch tank. That will need to be investigated before Brands in August, which will be a first time for me.
On handicap we had a 5 lap advantage but we were up against much quicker drivers and the likes of Cobras, Healeys, Elans, Alfas, Elvas and low drag E types.
We finished 10th on track but on handicap we won by 7 seconds! The strategy and consistency paid off. Just a shame there was no Champagne to spray.