Qualifying

 

I approached Mallory with renewed confidence. Despite the gearbox failure at Snetterton, the car was going well and I was getting more used to the new Leda suspension. Qualifying started dry and the first thing I noticed that the clutch was VERY high on the pedal and felt rather strange, still in the first few laps I managed to get down to a 58.608, enough for second in class and 14th on the grid. It started to rain half way in to qualifying so most drivers pulled in, I got a bit of wet practice in.

 

Race

 

Made a reasonable start and tucked in behind a Capri with a Rover SD1 close behind me and the class D Escort of David Scriven behind him. Don Hughes pulled away slightly on lap 1 ahead but it was all fairly close. Had a reasonable couple of laps as the race settled but gearchanges were difficult with the clutch height, for some reason on lap 3 I decided to let the Rover SD1 past as we all approached the hairpin. God knows why, he wasn’t that much quicker and that let Scriven’s Escort up on my tail. Almost laughably I then missed a gear exiting the same corner and despite the most ridiculous blocking efforts all the way down the start/finish straight and entering Gerards, David took the place.

 

I tried to re-take at the Esses and then hairpin but the Escort defended well, bugger – I’d just given away 2nd in class. Tried again the next lap but there was no easy way through, Don was getting away so to have any hope of catching him in traffic I needed to get past. On Lap 5 I entered Gerards with a much better line then applied the power early to try and get a run down to the Esses. Unfortunately I was a bit too early and as the corner started to flatten out I found myself approaching the Escorts rear bumper rather too rapidly. I had the choice of either hitting him (risky in a FWD car) or trying to go round the outside – try the outside I thought! Went slightly wide and hit the oil from the previous race which sent me wider, I was still fairly happy though and was flat out in fourth trying to make the place. Front wheels clipped the exit kerb on the far side, I was still OK and trying to make the place – but then the rear wheels caught the grass.

 

The rear spun around in a micro second, the car slid across the track and BANG straight into the tyre wall on the inside.

 

Bollocks. I was OK. The car wasn’t. Mallory strikes again.