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Castle Combe Rallyday July 2006
It can't be very often that you see 3 TR7V8's in works colours in one place...
In the paddock... Bert Smeets, JJO931W. Kelvin Lambert, JOB705V and myself, Steve Thomas with WAC275S.
|JJO and WAC||JJO, WAC and JOB||WAC goes for soundcheck|
Unfortunately after 3 weeks of blistering dry, hot weather, it rained, it rained so hard is was like a Tropical Monsoon.
|JJO Front||JJO Rear||JJO Front|
JJO and JOB both took part in the Special Stage... this was on the "noisy" side of the track. This had to be delayed due to the track being flooded but the heavy rain subsided around lunchtime. Conditions were still very slippery however and Kelvin entertained the crowds by spinning off at Cobb corner...twice, once in each direction.
|Kelvin Lambert's JOB on the Special Stage||Arty Shot.||Bert Smeets and JJO on the Special Stage|
Most of our morning was spend trying to get WAC through the 100db Noise limit required to go onto the track. We finally passed on the third attempt, better not tell you how we did it but it was in no small part due to a chap called John...Thank You John.
|On the way to the soundcheck||Queueing for track session, before the Monsoon!.||Kelvin spins JOB at Cobb Corner #1|
Unfortunately the heavens opened up again big time after lunch so we decided to abandon our 4.00pm slot and head down onto the track sooner rather than later in case the whole thing was abandoned. We were queued for the best part of 30 minutes whilst the Safety Car accessed the conditions. Meanwhile the rain had once again assumed Monsoon proportions and we were having trouble keeping the car demisted as we waited in the pits. It was very humid and I was thoroughly soaked through in my attempts to open the drivers door or window enough to let some air in. (The heater window demisting vents were useless so I cut the engine to save fuel... Quad 50's into a V8 = Lots of fuel!...)
|Kelvin spins JOB at Cobb Corner #2||JJO on track||Kelvin Lambert's JOB705V|
We eventually were told to proceed very carefully and the light went green. What followed was 5 laps of very interesting driving. Oddly enough the corners and chicanes weren't as difficult as you might imagine...the camber causing the water to run off (mostly onto "the racing line!") The straights were actually the most scary with higher speeds and standing water causing some anxious moments as we aquaplaned towards the corners. It was all over far too soon (except for my wife, the co-pilot!).
Due to the torrential rainfall, as far as I know, there were no pix taken of us on the track.
Issues.. I tried to enter a Sprint recently run under MSA rules. I didn't actually make it as the carbs still needed further work following the engine rebuild. The rolling-road garage that did the work specialises in Rally Preparation and a friend of the owner is a Scrutineer. Whilst the car was there he gave it a look over and pointed out several issues that would need addressing before the car will meet current MSA regulations. A fair amount of work needs to be done so the car will once again come off the road this winter.
There is only just enough room to wear a helmet inside the car. The seat is as low as it can go and with helmet on I have to hunch up a bit to keep it from hitting the roof (I'm 5'9"). I was supposed to be seeing if this was going to be sufficient on this trip to Castle Combe but in fact once on the track forgot all about it! Can't have been a problem then but then again, race tracks are generally pretty smooth places.. jury is still out on that one then...only way to gain more headroom is to remove a couple of vertebrae or cut the floor!
Exhaust...too loud at 107db... has insufficient ground clearance and is too close to the rear axle... makes contact (BANG!) going over bumps, especially with passenger in car.
All-in-all then...plenty to do!