Racing Summary - Round 3
Racing summary – Gotham Park (10/3/20)
Clubmans – Bat Florio stage
Well, what a field! The entire Launceston contingent and the usual southern suspects helped to boost numbers into the high teens even without Chris Priest due to his unfortunate & untimely injury. This, combined with the layout of the venue, meant that a few things were at a premium this week……no, not toilet paper….but certainly floor & bench space, and movement around the main track at times resembled very poorly co-ordinated ball-room dancing.
Initial interest centred around getting the first heat of the Clubmans up & running……and then actually finished. From an observers viewpoint Leon circulated for what seemed like 30 or 40 laps during his two stints. His first one made redundant by a recalcitrant computer system, his second dragging on & on probably due to RSI in his trigger finger! Once the crowd had dispersed over to the main track though things seemed to then run quite smoothly. Well, as smoothly as this particular track would allow anyway.
Some nasty hidden wiggles, off camber corners, 90 degree bends & a lack of power in certain sections of the track always makes driving this course an entertaining event…..although I’m not sure Tom Males would agree as it took him most of his heat for his car to actually make it up the first hill without a little nudge from Nick G on marshalling duty. Most of us had our issues though, and it was only the rare few who negotiated this round with a minimum of issues.
Even our first-place getter, Adrian Gray, couldn’t avoid problems. Despite being very slick (with a 14.8 best lap) & incredibly smooth, his heat time was put in jeopardy by the fact that Rob Golleys marshalling was a little distracted by the hidden wonders of Bruce’s collection…….Rob was in his own world gleefully picking through Bruce’s multitude of slot cars, unconcerned with trifling details such as getting Adrian’s car back on the track. Despite this early setback, Adrian overcame this handicap by simply restarting his heat….and not coming off near Rob again. I was also marshalling nearby & I was making very sure I was concentrating in order to avoid Adrian’s wrath. So therefore I was very pleased with my own prompt marshalling as Adrian had an off right in front of me as he came round for another lap……only to be informed that it was the last lap & heat was over ! Oh well, could have been worse.
Nick Golley was very consistent & quick enough to get up into 2nd place with a very impressive drive, ahead of Phil’s very smooth & quietly running entry. Not far behind in 4th was Rob & he rounded out a classy top 4 who were a fair way clear of the rest of the field. John Batich slotted in in 5th well clear of Rhys in 6th, myself in 7th, two of the Daves (Gray & Schofield) in 8th & 9th, and Chris M rounding out the top 10. Dave Bantoft had his share of troubles to finish 11th with Leon, Dennis & Tom completing the field in 12th, 13th & 14th.
1st – Adrian, 2nd – Nick, 3rd – Phil
(many apologies, due to me being a disorganised git, there is no top 3 Clubman photo this week, therefore here are 3 random photos of Caterhams/Lotus Super 7s !)