Pembrey, 24th Aug

Since the burst top hose at Silverstone, Steve Barber and I had spent most of the week fixing the head gasket problem and refitting the steering rack with new rod ends and a wider fitting, allowing proper toe out for the first time.

We hadn't had a chance to test the car at all so after a few jobs were completed I took it for a drive around the paddock to make sure all was OK. It wasn't - it felt like shit. To cut a long story short (and thanks to lots of other Group One folk) we worked out that the intermediate shaft had been turned and the cam belt had slipped - and the distributor timing had then been adjusted to compensate. I'd put the whole thing back together with the timing marks lined up so recreated the problem!

Anyway a chinese take away and a beer beckoned as we looked forward to a weekends racing at the Welsh circuit.

Qualifying

Bit optimistic that.

Managed one flying lap of qualifying and the engine lost all power and stopped completely. Best I could do was coast around Honda curves and get back to the pit lane.

So that's the end of the season for me - maybe the head was slightly warped, or maybe I messed up fitting the head gasket. Either way I've had enough. I can't afford to pay other people to look after the car for me so do all of the work (other than engine and gearbox internals) myself. Sometimes my mechanical skills let me down but without the funds to do otherwise I'm stuck.

Hopefully the car will be back out next year with the engine, rebuilt, tested and with a full set of new hoses fitted.

Pembrey Group One Race report - 24th August 2003

Not having a car to race meant that we could relax and watch the Group One race from Hatchetts hairpin which was great fun. Here's the story of the race in pictures and movies.

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All loaded up and ready to go
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Our home for the night at Pembrey
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Steve trying to look cool
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The Pembrey Paddock
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Sunset over the Welsh circuit
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The Golfs line up early for Group One qualifying.
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Hugh and Peter discuss tactics
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Stacy is out first as always
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Arty Golf shot
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Will and Peter discuss Golfs
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While Don relaxes back in the paddock, contemplating an easy class win.
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Getting ready for the off
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Fired up ready for qualifying....
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And about ten minutes later - all loaded up ready to go home!
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Stacy leads the pack around on the first green flag lap - there's a been a downpour and I'm missing a wet race - aaaargghhh!
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Followed by Pete Hallford and Steve Cripps
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Roger Stanford's BMW, Martin West's Capri and the Steve Keating SD1 Rover
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Don and Will in their Golfs
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Hugh leads round Andy Hayne and two Capris
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There is a second green flag lap because of the downpour
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Chris Bray's Escort
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Lap two and Mike Dugdale spins out (see movie below)
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The Capris of Jeremy Knight and Alan Boyce
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Vickers leads Cripps
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As Stanford leads Hallford and Howard
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Don Hughes leads class D ahead of Will and Chris
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Stacy's lead is narrowing
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Chris Bray attacks McAteer down the inside
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The BMW has pulled off
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Will retakes Chris Bray down the inside.
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And retakes second in class D
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Chris Bray tries to go round the outside
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Hugh has a lonely race with shock absorber problems
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Bray dives down the inside again...
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And makes it stick through the hairpin
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Now he tries for the class lead around the outside of the cool driving Don Hughes
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And ends up here.
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Steve Keating has been caught up in the class D battle after being caught up in the lap 2 chaos
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Chris Brays car looks rather second hand as he leads David Scriven, trying to catch up with the other class D runners
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Pete Hallford spins
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And restarts the thunderous Mustang
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Chris consolidates third in class
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Stacy takes the race win (and championship)
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Chris Bray's car looks rather second hand.
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The Race in Movies

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Lap 1 - and everyone gets through safely
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Not so on lap 2 - watch for the yellow Escort of Mike Dugdale sliding down the grass, into the armco then back onto the track taking out Steve Keating in the Rover.
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Peter Hallford has a great battle with Dave Howard as Will attacks Don down the outside at the hairpin
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BMW, Jaguar and Mustang have a great battle
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The class D boys lead the Castle Sport SD1
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Chris Bray takes Will McAteer down the inside
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Pete Hallford brakes late trying to pass Dave Howard
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Don Hughes has a go at the SD1, Will runs wide and Chris Bray has another half spin losing a place to Scriven