A disappointingly small group entered for Wakefield, only 11. I’d suggest this was a triumph of quality over quantity! Overall entries for the meeting were down so we had qualifying plus 2 races on Saturday. On Sunday we were combined with the Fords for 3 more races.
Most of the group were there on Friday as usual and the small entry meant we had a practice session every hour or so. By the end of the day most were happy to skip a session or two. Ian B started well before his engine decided to go fluffy and refuse to rev. Despite a huge and frustrating effort by Ian and well-meaning but not necessarily helpful contributions from the rest of the group he had to take the problem home after Sunday’s first race. Two meetings with a new engine and yet to be problem free!
Our president was a reluctant entry with a tired old engine in the car and had only entered because he needed a weekend away. Although he had fitted a new carburettor.
Saturday qualifying saw some wild card results. Nigel was on pole as expected in the absence of Tony and Pete was off his normal pace running tyres with no tread and visible canvas that wouldn’t stick to the road. Norm was second, setting his best ever time. Kevan’s tired engine claim was refuted by third place on the grid. The new carby worked some magic! I did better than usual to be fourth. Gary was 5/100th of a second behind me followed by Ian B, Pete on his canvas tyres, Peter M, Phil, Chris who was feeling unwell after returning to Australia only a few days ago and Dave Harley who’s getting quicker all the time.
Race one saw a great tussle for the lead between Nigel and Kevan, swapping places throughout before being resolved in Nigel’s favour by 1/100th on the line. I managed to hold out Norm by half a second for third with Pete coming to terms with his tyres to be a further half second behind. The others were close behind with Dave getting quicker to knock a couple of seconds off his qualifying time. He was over the moon to be competitive and learn from being in the group.
Race 2 saw Nigel play dirty tricks to slow Kevan and allow me to catch up and harass him while Nigel took advantage to sneak away for the win. I chased Kevan down the straight to the flag but his ‘tired’ old engine had too much power for me to take advantage of the slip stream. Pete was getting quicker to get past Norm for fourth. Gary was off his normal pace to be next followed by everyone else.
At the end of the day there were some very happy racers. Dave stepped up the learning curve to be right in the race and learning to overtake. Kevan had no expectations with his tired engine but had his best results for a long time and was so close to having a win. I did better than I have for a long time and was consistently running at my PB. Norm was right on the leaders’ pace and 2nd fastest qualifier. Poor Ian was having a very frustrating time. Hang in there, we all have them.
Sunday saw a leisurely start with us not on until after 11 and combined with the Fords despite attempting to negotiate a continuation of our own races. No reflection on the organisers, it just couldn’t be made to work at short notice and they did try.
Race 3 went to Nigel again followed by Pete, now on borrowed tyres, then Kevan, Gary, Norm, me, Chris who was getting back on the groove, Ian B still struggling with the fluffy engine after working the previous evening into the dark with Gary’s help, Peter, Dave and Phil who was suffering a power loss. The results were distorted as the Fords started lapping us about lap 5 of 8 and it was a bit of a lottery after that.
Race 4 saw a change of fortunes after 3 abreast into turn 2 saw Nigel spin and retire. The resultant avoidance saw the field spread out for Pete to win followed by Kevan, Gary, me who’d snuck past Norm, Chris, Peter and Dave.
Race 5 was the second last race of the day so some elected to head for home early, only 6 faced the starter. A misunderstanding at the fish hook saw Kevan have to hit the brakes too hard and spin leaving Pete and Gary to cross the line side by side with me watching from some distance behind after some off-roading coming on to the back straight. Dave was next then Peter and Chris who’d had a spin coming on to the straight.
Those of you who thought they had something better to do than join us missed out on some great racing. And naturally some great socialising both at the track and at the end of the day.