Thruxton, 27th April 2003
Thruxton is my favourite track but I could tell this wasn't going to be my day when I tried my first quick lap. Going through the gears I ended up in fourth (not fifth) exiting the complex and stayed there - the new CWP was the wrong ratio. So all those hours removing, rebuilding and refitting the gearbox were totally wasted. B****s. Anyway - most of the track is in one gear (fourth now, not fifth) so I got on with it and managed a 1.39.8, quick enough for 10th on the grid but behind Chris Bray in the leading class D car and a full 3 seconds slower than my best lap here.
Made a good start as the lights went green, got alongside Chris Bray round turn 1. I'd qualified ahead of Peter Holton in an SD1 and a class C Capri and they both shot past as I approached the chicane - so I had to lift off and let them through. I then selected 5th gear (well I had to put it to some use) exiting the corner and lost another few places including Don Hughes in the second class D Golf - bugger.
The different CWP ratio has a remarkable effect - acceleration is notably slower and the car just doesn't get through the gears well at all. Especially if you exit a slow chicane in 5th.
Anyway - followed Don for a lap, lined him up to pass as we approached Church (more power or a better exit from Goodwood?) and the throttle pedal went limply to the floor. B****s again.
I coasted to a marshall's post and they offered me a pair of pliers to re-attach the cable to the pedal - just in time for me to get helmetted up again and re-join the race for the last two laps. The only thing I achieved by this was wasting some more petrol and getting in the way of the leaders.
So - another DNF at Thruxton, another gearbox rebuild and loads more work on top of that too. What a hateful car.....