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motor sport in 2002


6 oc 2002
Debden Sprint Sunday

Mark Smith reports again: After the first practice, the G18 had a rear wishbone failure. Had the Spa race been full length this would probably have been a lot more serious. Mark took up the kind offer of a double drive in the Imp powered G17. Some 4 seconds quicker than the owner, Mark was 6th fastest of the day ahead of all the Evos and Cosworths. He was fastest in class, fastest Ginetta and won the Trevers Walklett Memorial Trophy.  Good work Mark!

3 oc 2002

We will be out racing with The Top Hat/ Cloth Cap racers on 19th October at Snetterton. Howard Jones in his G4, Mark Faulkner in his G12 and us in the Sprite.

SPA Mid September

Mark Smith reports: George Douglas went well in his G12 in the Orwell Supersports Cup ( 2 minutes 48 seconds in practice). George is approaching his 20th season of racing the G12.

G4R 25 URO was out but suffered a fuel switch problem early on in the race.

Mark qualified a highly creditable 10th with a 2.56 in the G18. The race was stopped twice so they only got two laps! This was perhaps fortunate.

31 au 2002
Bentley Drivers Club meeting Silverstone

Once again an eventful day.  I had entered the G12 in two races - the Allcomers Handicap race and the Allcomers Scratch race. The BDC had decided, in the interest of keeping practice for the 10 races to a minimum, to give entrants only one practicePossibly the same race car possibly in the same place session, irrespective of how many races entered. What that meant for me was that my one practice session would decide grid position for both and, as the clutch went out as I drove to the collection area to start my practice session, a back of the grid slot for the Scratch race, but a fairly good grid slot (and credit of 1 lap against the faster cars) in the Scratch race. My best lap without a clutch on the Silverstone National circuit - 1min.24secs. Not good, but what about the clutch?

My luck was in with Spadge at Silverstone as a spectator (his Midget was still suffering from overheating). He immediately rolled up his sleeves and told me (!) that we'd better get the clutch sorted. Mr. Motivator eat your heart out! Fortunately we had almost 3 hours before the races so the rear bodywork came off and a strip down of the clutch actuating bits on the outside of the transmission showed that the actuating arm had broken, snapped at an old weld. Spadge and I trecked off across the paddock to see if anyone (including the Bentley 2002 Le Mans entry support team, which was demonstrating the current Le Mans racer) had any welding kit. Sadly not, but we were steered to the industrial units outside of the circuit gates where, after trying several units, we found one of the teams that runs recent F1 cars in the Boss series with its doors open. The only quid pro quo for fixing the part was that we must wait until after the Belgian GP qualifying had finished. So Spadge and I sat down to watch with the guys in the workshop for the last 10 mins. As a result I have now got probably one of the best repair welded clutch actuating arms on a Hewland Mk8. Near current F1 technology meets 1960's Hewland - an interesting mix.

Rush back to the car, fit it all together, try to set up the clutch (at least it disengages now so the gears won't suffer quite so much) and top off the fluids for the first race.

Allcomers Handicap race - finished 11th out of 27. Not too bad and managed a 1min 17 sec lap. More to come (yeah, Mark, sure!) as I was having big problems selecting 4th and 5th which didn't help with the long straights on the circuit. Another signature and a lot of rear view mirror work for me with a Lola T70 lapping at 1min 02sec.

Allcomers Scratch race - less said the better. The gear selection was worse and we got a 1min 22 best lap. I had hoped to do better than in the previous race but not to be. 20th out of 23. Most interesting bit was watching a Fisher Fury with 330bhp of Honda NSX Vtec engine blast away until the Honda engine management system put it into get you home mode due to overheating. That, a Lotus 23B, the Lola T70 and 3 AC Cobras just shows how mixed the entry is in the BDC invitational events.

Overall I was pleased to finish the races (thanks again, Spadge) and keep my nose clean enough to get the 2 signatures that I was after. Now up to 5, with 3 more on the cards before the end of the season.

14 jl 2002
HSCC Meeting Cadwell ParkBastille Day

Historic Roadsports.

Peter Bornhauser qualified first in class followed by the other G15. Barry Blakeley had fixed his rolled Spitfire (BLOODY WELL DONE!) and was behind a Turner and ahead of Fos in our Sprite.

Peter easily won the class with a fastest lap of 1.53. 2nd was the Turner. The orange G15 trailed with a fasted lap of only just under 2 minutes; only marginally faster than Fos who had taken 5 seconds off the qualifying time. Cooling problems put an end to the fun with the Sprite but he did achieve fastest lap in his class (of one!)


Bob Sands in the G4R 25 URO was going well but a broken gearbox ended his day early.

Historic Formula Ford

Mark Smith qualified 10th out of 24 starters with 1.41. in his Ginetta G18. Paul Shipley, G4 owner was out in his Lotus 51 but his lap times were adversely affected by having to stop each lap to throw up! Mark's race time was almost the same as qualifying and gave him a good result at 10th. Only a couple of seconds a lap will see him up near the front.

Mark Faulkner reports on his G12 Racing Lydden Hill14th July 2002

Lydden Hill"Spadge, a few words on Lydden last Sunday. I entered the same two races that I tried last month - the Credit Professionals Sports Car race and the John Taylor Handicap. I was looking for some better luck this time - last time out was a broken drive shaft and suspect clutch, so the past month has seen the Hewland out of the car twice, seen it rebuilt as a 5 speed box, and seen 2 changes of ratios (I am now competent at those ratio changes!!).

Practice for the Credit Professionals race was a bit dodgy - a misfire meant that the car wouldn't pull the right revs and I was having to run a gear too high everywhere, which meant a 55sec time - 2 seconds worse than last month. I pulled the plugs, borrowed a wire brush and got rid of the misfire before the JT Handicap race, resulting in a 51.5, although I was still trying to figure out which gear worked where. Why? Well I had fitted 4 gears in the space between 2nd and 3rd last time out, which meant a perfect gear for every corner, but which one? By the time the Credit professionals race started I'd got figured in my mind what to use where and managed a personal fastest lap of 50.05secs. Sadly the Caterfields, etc, were down in the mid 40's so I finished 14th out of 20 starters. Good tussle with a Westfield, but not a great race overall. Still, a signature nevertheless.

For the JT Handicap I started at the back of the grid - not because I was fastest, or slowest, qualifier, but because I had been given 2 laps on the front boys (the Radical Clubsports had qualified in the 43's/44's). The race, as I had been advised by Ken Greenfield who organises the SEMSEC meets, was just a case of going hell for leather from the lights. It proved to be so. I managed to come past a couple of the rear of the field, but mainly it was a question of trying not to let the cars first off the grid come past me. It got a bit fraught when I caught 2 M3 BMWs which were faster in a straight line, but slower in the corners, especially into the hairpin (North Bend). What I really need is bigger b***s for the uphill, strangely cambered Paddock Bend. That would sort them out. Net result of the race was 6th place, and a fastest 50.7sec lap. Another signature on my licence.

I will be out next in September at Lydden to run the same two races. Target - a sub 50 sec lap.

13 jl 2002

A new G15 for sale!

E Mail from our friend, Tony Ingram, in the `States:

This last weekend we raced the G4, a first time event for vintage cars at the California Speedway. You may have seen the place on speedvision, its a 2-mile oval with an infield road course. We used half of the oval and all of the infield which made for a 2.9 mile lap. Not really the place for a 1300cc car as you are flat in top gear for what seems like forever. On the Saturday we qualified on the pole two-tenths of a lap faster than a half million dollar Alfa Tz2, not sure what a Tz2 was doing in our group which was for small bore production cars. However we had some 911's in the group also which could not match the pace. In the feature race on Sunday we finished second overall and won our class, the Alfa killed us on the mile banking, we could only pull 7600 rpm in top so the Alfa drove past us. On the infield we tried to pass again but with two very long top gear straights we needed another 20 mph on the top to stay in touch. Now thinking about dropping a twincam in the car to frighten them next time ...... Cheers, Tony

News from Spadge.

Brands Hatch Saturday 22nd June saw an eventful day's racing in the sunshine. Most remarkable event of the day being the appearance of Chris; on time, organised and in generally good shape! Though his mobile phone ring tone still raises a smile to anyone who recognises the Russian national anthem.

Some race carsDespite numerous requests and unreturned phone calls, the HSCC still put Fos and the Sprite in Historic Roadsports Invitiation class rather than the 70s Roadsports; yet they listed it in the program as a 1970s car. Even invitation class in 70s Roadsports would have suited us better. Fos, having paid to enter a championship rather than be plonked in an invitation class, is planning to race elsewhere in the near future which is understandable.

With most of our attention focused on the Historic Roadsports race we were also looking forward to seeing George Douglas out in his G12 in the Orwell Supersports Cup race. Seeing the diminutive G12 circulate in the company of 5 litre Lola T70s, and various 8 litre cars reminded me why my G12 restoration is not finished yet; the final components needed will be balls big enough to race the thing!

Sadly we saw George pull off during practice with a smokey engine and he didn't race.

Historic Roadsports Race

After a bite to eat but accompanied by none of our new sponsor's products ( www.earlsohambrewery.co.uk) those of us not racing sat in the grandstand. Oh how we laughed as the two berks commentating prattled on about the "Ginetta" brothers and how the G4 came out in 1966.

The race was exciting. Fos was having a good race with Barry in the Spitfire until it lost a rear wheel coming out of Druids. The Triumph which was just ahead of Fos, rolled end over end on it's side and landed right in the middle of the track. Fos just avoided him by taking to the grass. We were relieved to see Barry get out of the stricken car and run to safety.

Meanwhile Chris had been having a good race with Michael in the orange G15 with each overtaking the other a number of times. The Turners were also there or thereabouts. Eventually the safety car was deployed but confusion reigned and the whole thing was a bit of a farce while another incident was sorted out and the remains of Barry's Spitfire were collected in bin liners and removed from the track. This enabled everyone to bunch up. When the safety car pulled in and the race restarted Chris lost it to the orange G15 and Michael caught up with Peter's yellow G15. I have both biased and unbiased reports that Peter was swerving rather a lot to try and hold onto first in class but he was overtaken anyway. By the finish, both Turners were behind all the Ginettas. Michael was called to the Clerk of the course but I believe he still won the class.

Fos eased off at the end as the Sprite is obviously in need of some attention in the cooling department but he still improved to a fasted lap of 2.02. Infact everyone except Peter improved. The other G15 and the G4 both did 1.58 separated by only 0.003 of a second! This is interesting as the race G15 engine gave 20 bhp more than the road G4 engine measured on the same rolling road within 2 weeks of each other. With a race engine the G4 will easily be mixing it with the Elans.

10 jn 2002

Mark was out at Lydden Hill in his G12 recently. Despite breaking the clutch he was still mentioned in last week's Autosport by Marcus Pye.  At least his new trailer tows nicely!

USA ties strengthened.

Previous visitors to our site may remember how we harp on about Steve Smith and his company Twin Cam Sports Cars in Sarasota, Florida who races a G15 and Tony Ingram's company GB Components who look after a number of G4s and G12s in Santa Barbara, California. We are pleased to announce a third tie in with the company "GoGinetta" who primarily deal with new Dare G4s and G12s in the USA. With regular shipments of cars into America we hope to make our selection of classic Ginettas and spares more accessible to the U.S. market. It is also envisaged that we will be actively involved in their proposed Ginetta race series. Their site is www.GOGINETTA.com.

News from Spadge.

Brands Hatch Saturday 22nd June saw an eventful day's racing in the sunshine. Most remarkable event of the day being the appearance of Chris; on time, organised and in generally good shape! Though his mobile phone ring tone still raises a smile to anyone who recognises the Russian national anthem.

Despite numerous requests and unreturned phone calls, the HSCC still put Fos and the Sprite in Historic Roadsports Invitiation class rather than the 70s Roadsports; yet they listed it in the program as a 1970s car. Even invitation class in 70s Roadsports would have suited us better. Fos, having paid to enter a championship rather than be plonked in an invitation class, is planning to race elsewhere in the near future which is understandable.

With most of our attention focused on the Historic Roadsports race we were also looking forward to seeing George Douglas out in his G12 in the Orwell Supersports Cup race. Seeing the diminutive G12 circulate in the company of 5 litre Lola T70s, and various 8 litre cars reminded me why my G12 restoration is not finished yet; the final components needed will be balls big enough to race the thing!

Sadly we saw George pull off during practice with a smokey engine and he didn't race.

Historic Roadsports Practice

One good thing the HSCC have done is to reclassify the Gullwing Marcos so that is does not count as a production sports car. Quite right too! Peter Bornhauser had been out practicing on Friday. He was first out of the pit lane and had a number of clear laps to put in a very impressive best lap of 1.55.9 It was clear from the grandstand that he was driving much more smoothly than the other G15 which turned up last for practice and was behind both of the Turners; all three cars doing 1.59 Chris in the G4 did 2.00 and Fos in the Sprite looked like he was going to have a good race with Barry in the Spitfire as they both did 2.05. The Sprite was overheating so Fos came in a little early. All the above were ahead of an Aston, Morgan, 2 Porsches, TR4, XK140 and an Elan.

31 my 2002

Steve Smith of Twin Cam Sports cars, Sarasota, Florida has been out in his G15 again. Qualifying 3rd out of 18 he was behind only a Chevron B16 and an Elan he prepares. During the race the Chevron overtook under a yellow flag and the Elan was deemed too noisy (Steve supplied the silencer!) so He was placed first! Amongst others he beat a TR3, Porsche 911, MBB, Mallock and a Lotus Formula Junior.

3 seconds a lap quicker than last year, Steve was raving about the ACB 10s he is now running.

In the monsoon race the next day he span a couple of times and still managed 2nd overall.

Well done Steve.

19 my 2002
Racing Snetterton

The plan was to deliver Michaels G15 with its fresh engine and go racing with him, Fos in the Sprite and Chris in the G4. Chris didn't show up at the yard to collect his car and trailer so we left without him. The G15 and Sprite (now put into HRS Invitation class by the ever friendly HSCC for some reason) were scrutineered successfully and went off to the assembly area ready for their qualifying.

At this point Chris made an appearance. Casually getting out of his car and lighting a cigarette he nonchalantly cast his eye about the busy paddock looking entirely relaxed and at one with himself. Nick and Dave quickly assessed the situation and pointed him in the direction of signing on while they pushed the car to the front of the queue. As the first cars were leaving the assembly area, Chris arrived. Slight exaggeration there but he did reach down into the footwell of the G4 and hand Spadge his big boots just before going out saying “I don't think I need these in here"!

Later in the day we had to persuade him to attend the compulsory driver's briefing rather than have a burger!

Michael is running the G15 himself this year, along with an Alexis Formula Ford; with his friend Mark. We wish them continued success and will keep you informed.

Anyway, on to business. Michael qualified 2nd in Class with a 1.32. Ahead of him was one of those well known standard production cars: a Gullwing Marcos. We get a hard time for running Webers, a car which isn't even one of the original “production" run of 8 or so is seemingly fine to score points. If anyone has a catalogue listing the available specification and options we would be very interested to see it! Not that we are bitter you understand! It is a lovely car though and looks great on the track.

Chris's car, listed as “You tell me" by the timekeepers because he hadn't filled in his details fully, produced a 1.36 and so did Fos in the Sprite.

The Race

This featured a new type of startA Spridget on a trailer procedure designed to save time and hence give more track time. It worked well so full marks for that one HSCC. The race saw Michael 2nd in Class to the Marcos with a 1.35 fastest lap. Chris and Fos both span at sometime during the race which was a shame as both put in fast times. Fos 1.36 but Chris 1.35 so he could have been up there having a good race with Michael, even though they are in different classes.

The Gullwing Marcos did a 1.29 beating the Elans, Milano etc.

12 my 2002

Sunday 5th May saw me out in the Sprite and Mark in G12 number 1 at Donington Park, racing at the H & H Auctions Historic Race Meeting; very ably run by Julius Thurgood. Evil G15 arch-enemy Von Bornhauser was there also, but as he was in his Elan he posed no threat for once!

This was Mark's first race in the G12 and also his first race for some ten years or so since the three he ran in his Davrian. The car ran well and Mark achieved an excellent result to finish and gain his first signature. He finished 18th out of 30 entrants. He was in the one hour cloth capGinetta G4 on the track race for 1950s and 60s historically interesting sports cars. I can think of easier ways of gaining a signature but it gave him plenty of time to get start getting to know the car in race conditions.

The Sprite was in the Best of British Sports Car challenge. A 30 minute race. The only other time I have raced here was my first ever race when the infamous photo of my blue G15 “leading" an AC Cobra was taken in torrential rain; a few minutes before the majority of the field span off, the start gantry was struck by lightning and the race red flagged. Not being able to see through the fogged up screen and being a total novice I repeatedly missed the pit lane entrance and was to be seen circulating at a rather subdued pace around the track for at least 2 laps after everyone else had gone in. The Clerk of the course was duly impressed!

Racing in the rain

Back to the Best of British. Qualifying saw me neck and neck with the similar car of Juilus Thurgood. Being polite and with Julius's position as race organiser and Goodwood Festival official, I qualified .5 of a second behind with a 1.39! Julius seemed to have a bit more power on the straights but my Yokohama 032Rs were handier on the twisty bits than his historic race tyres! It was clear that 1st in class was unlikely given that the Gullwing Marcos had put in a 1.34, but the Elite of Joey Beale was within sight also, so second in class was possible.

  The start of the race was a disaster! The GT6 ahead stalled and blocked me in. Almost the entire field disappeared ahead of me. I reminded myself that the race was half an hour long and set off in pursuit. Within a couple of laps I was up with the Midget and the Elite. The three of us had a super race swapping places consistently. Eventually I pushed Julius wide at the chicane and he dropped back after a lap or so as an Austin Healey 3000 had covered his windscreen in oil. The Elite took far more work but I eventually managed to make a passing manoeuvre at Coppice stick. With some of the big boys beginning to lap us, we bath gained and lost time on each other at various stages. Second in class seemed to be in the bag.

The brakes on the Sprite were working well but the majority of the speed going into the corners was being scrubbed off by throwing it into 3rd gear from top. 3rd gear had obviously had enough of this towards the end of the race, there was a horrendous noise coming into the old hairpin and my mechanical engineering background helped me enormously to establish that the gearbox was well and truly fubared. I grabbed 4th and continued for a lap with the Elite beginning to gain on me. As I came into Coppice on the next lap I realised I could not brake enough to make the corner so desperation stepped in and I tried 3rd again. The rear wheels locked and I was thrown unceremoniously into the gravel. I later realised I was only two corners from the chequered flag and 2nd in class. I was robbed! What a great race though and what a difference sticky rubber makes. Incidentally, the Marcos put in a 1.28 fastest lap!

My fastest lap was a 1.36 which was only a whisper away from Peter Bornhauser who got fasted lap in his class in the Elan, also with a 1.36. Interestingly Peter had a throttle cable problem which shows that it is not just us that suffer such misfortunes. It was good to see Peter enjoying his racing having been so poorly treated by the HSCC recently; but more of that in the future.

News from one of our friends in the USA: Tony Ingram in California.

"I took the G4 for its first race this last weekend, 'The British Extravaganza' one of our biggest events at Button Willow raceway, 2.8 miles, something like 400 cars attended. Tony Ingram's G4We put the car on pole in Sat morning qualifying, led every lap and won the Saturday race which put us on pole for the Sunday feature race. The officials then reclassified us as a 'C' production car (we were 'D' where a 1300 car should be) so we had to run against all the 911, Elans, 7's, E-types etc. Not to be outdone, after being buried by all the high hp cars in the drag race for the first corner we got to the front by the end of the first lap and said bye, bye to win by 17 seconds."

Well done Tony! This was a car I raced last year at Snetterton but was in need of a suspension set up – which he has obviously done very well.

1 my 2002

Fos Wilson won his class in the HSCC 70's roadsports race in our Sprite on Saturday 27th April at Silverstone. Well done! Not bad for a 70 year old! His fastest lap was a very respectable 1.18 which was best in class  and he beat Chris Horner's Turner, a Lancia Beta, Fulvia, Monte Carlo and Fiat X19.

6 ap 2002

The Graham Hill roadtest G4 that was converted to G4R specification by the factory and subsequently raced internationally is now in full FIA trim. We have fitted the original hardtop (the factory prototype incidentally) repainted the car in it's original colour and restored the period features that it had lost over the years.

Spadge's lack of organisation and Fos's hectic social life mean that we will not be racing on 16th March at Silverstone in the Spridget but we hope to be there spectating.

2 fe 2002

BARC Ginetta Championship G27/G20

Although we are more into the historic motor sport scene, we often get asked about the current Ginetta championship due to our close associations with the marque in general.

In 2002, the championship will be sponsored by an insurance company, Hill House Hammond. The G20s will run alongside the G27s and it appears that the G27s are effectively being phased out.

26 ja 2002
Australia Day

There has been so much going on since Christmas that we have not had time to write about it.

G15S Banned by the HSCC!

We were sweating for a couple of weeks after receiving a letter from an HSCC official who informed us that the G15S was not a production model so we therefore had to race with 875cc in the up to 1300cc class! We think that the situation is now sorted although there are still more letters to write and unpaid work to do. It's happened before of the history of Ginetta racing and it's the price paid for being such competitive cars!

Fos and Spadge to race a Healey Sprite

With funds from the sale of our G4 tied up in the G12 and sucked away by the taxman we did not have the time or the money to replace the G4 with another in time for March/April. Although there is another G4 in the offing we had to lower our sights to get something to race this year.

The MGOC championship winning Sprite we found fits the bill nicely. It is 1969 and very standard but seemingly quick. We will race it with the HSCC, Julius Thurogood's Cloth Cap and may even venture abroad with the Spridget Competitions. There are also plenty of MGCC and MGOC races to do so it is a versatile stop gap until we get a proper piece of fantastic plastic organised!

The G10 is coming on apace as are the two white G15 restorations. The ex John Absolom G4 is back for a roll hoop and hardtop. The Alfa G15 is nearly done. We have another G15 in for wiring work and other bits.A G33 awaits attention and the list goes on.

Lydden Hill October 27th 2001

White Ginetta G4This was the last outing of the season for us and both Fos and Spadge were racing the G4 at the friendly circuit in deepest Kent. It was a glorious, sunny day; perfect for Fos's first race in the car. The weather was also welcome bearing in mind that we had removed the roof and refitted the aeroscreen at Fos's request. (Old boy, you see, can't get in with the hard top fitted!)

Fos was first to practise and put in a 54.3.  Bear in mind that there were no other similar cars out with us. The grid contained such things as Radicals, Bike engined Caterhams, V8 Escort etc. and they were all on slicks. So, not only did we have to concentrate on going as quickly as possible, we had to keep watching the mirrors and the blue flags! Why enter? You may well ask: It's inexpensive, friendly and about the only thing left to get into.

A couple of minor technicalities saw our helper Joe running up to the team van on a number of occasions, so many thanks to him. With time between practices so short there was no time to return to the pit.

Spadge put in a conservative 57.7 in his first practice and a 56.8 in the second and was to be seen consulting the book of motor racing excuses thereafter.

Fos did well in his race, not yielding his line to a pair of Radicals who subsequently swapped some paint at Paddock Bend and put in a fastest lap of 53.00 – Old git!

Spadges first race was a bit lonely but saw an improvement to 55.7seconds, but the last race of the day was the most fun. As a handicap race, the G4 stood far more chance. Also, a Triumph Spitfire was alongside the G4 on the grid – someone to race with!

Spadge made a good start and went ahead of the Spitfire. Despite being overtaken by much of the hairier stuff, he managed to stay ahead, just, of the Spitfire until the chequered flag. There were one or two moments where it was extremely close indeed. It was excellent fun and a time 54.2 was posted. Position 7 out of 12. Still slower than the old git though, which proves that he's still got it at 70 years of age! Well done Fos.

As you may have read elsewhere on the site, Mark Smith did well in his G18 so it was smiles and bubbly all round – a very good way to end the season.

Snetterton “Top Hat Best of British Sports Cars Race" 21st October 2001

The weather forecast was not great so we left the hard top on and applied yet more Rain-x as we did not have any workshop time available to sort out some wipers. It was a damp drizzly day to start with but conditions could have been a lot worse for practice. The car went well and despite a throttle linkage niggle which limited us to 5,500 revs Spadge had good fun up against an MGA twin cam Le Mans which he eventually beat. There was a troublesome MGB that seemed to be fighting it's way around every corner. When he eventually spun exciting Russell Chicane Spadge followed suit, in parallel! They both recovered at the same time and went off up the straight side by side. Having qualified with a slippery 1.52 along with the rest of the class except one, Spadge was confident that a class win and the MGB and a few others would be his once he had all the revs.

Nick was having a day off so Dave and James formed the technical team, ably assisted by Dave's brother Tony, who was seriously considering a Mini having seen them go so well in the Touring Car Race. With the car fettled, cleaned and topped up, we had high hopes for the race. We were the last of the day and for a while things began to dry out nicely.

The drizzle got steadily heavier and we all had our lights on for a decidedly gloomy and slippery start. Spadge had a cautious start as it looked rather frantic at the first corner and he was well aware that Fos had yet to race the car so damage was to be avoided. Over the next couple of laps he made up a few of the places and things were going well.

THEN THE HEAVENS OPENED. Several places in East Anglia had the rain of one month in one day, we had it in one race! Several cars left the track immediately, and it was now apparent that Rain-x was good, but no substitute for wipers. But this wasn't the only problem. The old Yokohamas, which were OK in the damp, offered nothing in this monsoon. As the white G4 tip-toed through Coram Spadge totally lost it. It seems everything went into slow motion and he heard a Pink Floyd “OHHH NOOOO" in his ears as the car slid towards the posts. Then somehow it snapped back facing the right way again. Even careful application of the accelerator caused another huge moment.

With confidence and morale badly shaken Spadge was seriously considering pulling off and calling it a day. It was a 25 lap race, not many laps had been completed, it was no fun, the risk of damage was large and the car was running at the back. For some reason he kept going and was extremely relieved when the chequered flag came out.

The Marshalls, all of whom did an excellent job (particularly with the pretty blue flags) were soaked wet through; so it was gratifying that they all gave the G4 and probably the other competitors too, a big cheer and animated applause.

We had had a nice lunch in the sponsor's tent/suite and this excellent hospitality was continued at the prize-giving where beer and wine flowed freely for those not driving home. We were awarded a “welcome/finishing" trophy and a fudged 3rd in class. The organisation of Julius Thurgood and his team was superb and once the race was over it was an extremely enjoyable experience.

We can thoroughly recommend these events and fully intend to be out with ourselves and customers next year. So far we have 3 G4s and a G12 who are committed to Top Hat events along with our regular HSCC events.

Further details of the schedule next year will be available from us as soon as they are available from Julius at Top Hat and the HSCC.

Next up and last event of the year is Lydden Hill on Saturday 27 October.  The roof is coming off so Fos can get in and out and we are praying for a nice dry day!

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