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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

“Is the bomb hole flat?”

Halfway through the championship and team lotusbits heads to Snetterton for the next round of the Motorsport News Championship, Cathy and I were hoping for a good result here to get our season back on track(excuse the pun) after a poor start to the season.
Seeded 49th it wasn’t the best starting position but Snetterton has lots of space to overtake so wasn’t a big concern. We were both keen to get the first stage done and under our belts to settle the nerves and see what the car could do.
Now Cathy and I tend to measure how well we have done on each stage by how far behind the sister car we are of Mike and Martin we are, so can you imagine the surprise and excitement when we found that we were 3 seconds quicker! Unfortunately it was soon brought to our attention that Mike had been a little heavy right footed into a corner and had a spin. Regardless of that I can honestly say that is the smoothest and most committed first stage I have seen Cathy do for a long time.
12 seconds quicker on stage 2 compared to the same layout as stage 1, the day was getting better.
Where we could go quicker, brake a little later here, smoother here we thought but we reckoned the most time we could gain was through a corner called the ‘bomb hole’, a sweeping fast left hander , could it be taken flat?. So mid stage 3, I give the call 9 left onto track into FLAT sweeping left through bomb hole, we are defiantly going quicker on the approach, the line is good, yes here we go. Then there’s a slight lift and a comment of ‘ I can’t do it’ came back from Cathy. Never mind we still had carried more speed through and set another good stage time.
Stage 4 is the same layout as 3, bit of a tight twisty few corners to start then back onto track, but this time through the twisty bit I felt we are pushing on here, Cathy’s going for it , brilliant! I Thought, I gave the same calls as before, we are now entering the bomb hole , Line is good, speed is good, will she lift? Will she lift? Will she lift? Yes 3 times I said that to myself as we screamed through and out the other side................
......................Now if only they had made Snetterton track 2 foot wider, we ran out off track and onto the mud, Cathy controlled it well and got it back under control for the next corner and at this point I
realised why we had been going quicker as the MK1 escort came past us under braking for the corner. Even with our little excursion we went 1 second quicker than the stage before.
Unfortunately stage 5 was going to be our last stage of the day , not long after the start we heard a sound that to say the least wasn’t good, The differential had let go and was clattering around, Cathy backed off and the decision was made to finish the stage early and come back to service before any other damage was done to the car and see if the crew could do anything, but deep down we both knew the day was over. So Cathy and I decided the only right thing to do in situations like this we to go to the bar !.
Despite the result we had a great day and we weren’t disappointed with our pace running in the mid 20s before we retired.
Thanks to the crew :
Keith, Dave, James, Louise and Harriet

Oh and is the ‘bomb hole flat?’..........NO

Next round Donington March 5th

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