“Of course its going to rain, there’s a sprint!!”

wethumph_49b04006c8bed-entryImageIn preparation for the next sprint, Phil had put the official door stickers on as we wouldn’t need to be changing the numbers over this time. He also put on our new ‘MR2 Only Magazine’ sticker.

We had been checking the weather all week to see what tyres we needed as it was going to be slightly more logistically difficult this time due to us only being able to take one car. The weather predictions for Sunday changed daily, from rain all day, to no rain, to showers. Finally, Phil decided to put the Hydragrips (wet tyres) on for driving to the event, and taking a set of R888s to put on if it was dry when we got there.

Well that was the decision made, now to find out how to get all this into one car:

Passenger
Passenger seat
Driver
4 wheels
Random box of sprint stuff
Toolbox
Jack
Axle stands
Fuel can
Helmet
Race suit
Coats
Chairs
Pillows (for my leg)
Walking frame.

He did it though, although I couldn’t catch a picture. We had a spare wheel in the frunk, which is where the spare usually goes! The other three spare wheels were loaded onto the engine cover and tied on! Everything else went in it’s normal place, either the frunk or the boot, and then the walking frame was hung out of the boot, the bootlid being tied on as it wouldn’t shut!

Although Woodbridge is only 60 miles away, the roads round here are rubbish so it took us just over 1.5 hours to get there. The weather looked quite fine on the journey, and one of the first things Phil did was put the dry tyres on, amongst amazed comments at how much stuff we had got in our car.

Phil went off for the drivers briefing and it started to rain. I managed to make myself waterproof, however the rain just got heavier and heavier, and I needed to sit under two brollies in the end. The drivers all dashed back to their cars after the briefing and prepared to do the sighting lap. The circuit was much longer that usual, about 2.5 miles compared to 1 mile, but there was only one sighting lap and one practice run, so the drivers really needed a good memory. When Phil came back from the sighting lap, he said that he had no idea where the track went, it had been too wet to see anything and he’d just had to follow the car in front. The conditions looked terrible, airfields don’t have the best surfaces anyway and there was so much mud due to the massive downpour we were having.

Just before Phil went out on his first practice lap, the weather cleared up and I took this opportunity to hop slowly to the Toyota hospitality unit, where it was dry! The track was still wet, and there were lots of spinning cars and lock ups! Phil took the practice run carefully, as to try and learn the track!

We looked like we were going to have a fairly competitive day with two other Mk1 entrants, Jo and Garrick. Their Mk1 was now running on the same tyres as ours, and all three drivers are of similar abilities. The track was still wet on the first timed run, and Phil just got the edge with a time of 208.07, compared to Garrick’s 208.42 and Jo’s 209.59. A lot of the drivers were talking of a tree at the apex of one of the corners, and Phil had hit this tree on his run! This poor tree got a lot of abuse throughout the day.

The second run was still wet as we had a small downpour, and Phil lost out to both Jo and Garrick on this one, Jo pulling a great 202.51, which was faster than a lot of the other more powerful cars. Phil and Garrick were both in the 203, which was still a very competitive time. By the time run 3 was off, the track had started to dry, however Phil hit the famous tree again and his time was 208.80, he had been concerned about the car as he couldn’t keep the back end, so took this lap steady. Again, Jo was top with a 201.49, Garricks spin costing him a lot of time.

Lunchtime was upon us, and the sun was now blazing, looking like the track would be very dry for the afternoon session.

Everyone’s times improved over the last three runs, as long as they didn’t spin! It was getting very competitive between Jo, Garrick and Phil, and they were all coming back from their runs desperate to see the times, or annoyed because they had pushed too far and lost time. Phil was getting frustrated as he couldn’t remember the entire track, and knew there was potential for getting lots more speed out there. He was pleased with his last run though and hopeful for a trophy.

We packed up and then headed to the Toyota unit for the presentation. Garrick bagged runner up with a best time of 192.92, and Phil was announced to be class winner with his last time 191.59 being the best of the day. Jo got fastest female, so at least they all went home with something. We might need a bigger trophy shelf soon though!

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Vix Hoult