What an amazing day we had today at the Chinook Sprint, invited by Farnborough District Motor Club. A large contingent from the sunny Isle of Wight took part, yours truly included.
The day started very early with a 05.45am ferry to catch, which then duly broke down in Southampton Water having to drop anchor for 45 mins until they managed to get the engines restarted! A short drive up to Odiham saw us arrive at the RAF airbase and unload ready for scrutineering and practice runs.
Being my first ever sprint I didnt quite know what to expect, but it was very different to circuit racing, being less structured and more laid back. First we had a convoy run to get a brief feel for the long course, just under 2 miles I believe.
Then, it was time to have our 2 practice runs. First run went well until a large slide saw me just go the wrong side of the cones, albeit skillfully avoiding them but scaring the life out of two crouching photographers that were a few yards away on the grass.
2nd practice run went very well, but reviewing the videos over lunch showed I had lots of time to make up so I headed off to do my first timed run determined to take it steady but fast, making sure I got the course correct and the braking points spot on. My plan was to then build on that run over the 2nd and 3rd timed runs to hopefully end the day with a respectable time. Things went to plan and I managed a 1m48s at that point.
Heading out for timed run #2 I felt confident of a good improvement. The car launched perfectly off the line and a swift gearchange into 2nd followed, but a bag full of neautrals was all I got. Bugger! Just when I was having so much fun!
We retired the car for the day, suspecting (and hoping) it was just a mashed clutch rather than the other alternative – busted main shaft in the gearbox.
We also found a little weeping from the head gasket, so looks like we have some work to do now before Pembrey in just 3 weeks time!
As for sprinting, I’m hooked! All I need now is a more powerful car to compete in, as although the locost is awesome when it comes to racing in the Locost Series with all the cars so similar, I was completely outclassed due to the class structure of the sprint, being in the same class as much, much faster cars – Globals, Radicals etc.
Anyway, for now, whilst we work on the repairs, enjoy the videos!