The debut national meeting for Brian Loram (forgetting one race back in 1994 at Newton Abbot) took place at Ipswich on the 30th July 2005. We got a shock we wern’t expecting when the NHRPA completley changed the grid formats the day before the meeting which meant we’d be facing a reverse grid for the heats and going off the back in the final, quite a blow when under the previous format we’d have been off pole! Added to this the dreadful weather we faced when arriving at Ipswich on Saturday afternoon and it looked like we were in for a busy meeting!
Race 1 – As the cars lined up on the grid for race 1 the track was still wet with most of the drivers on full wets. From the start Brian moved up from his 12th placed grid and soon got up into the top ten after catching Dick Hillard. The 262 car was stuck behind Hillards 31 car for several laps and was unable to get past which let a couple cars through before the pace car had to come out on track while an accident was cleared away. Unfortunatly the left front tyre was now letting itself down and Brian had to complete the race with a completely flat tyre which unfortunatly dropped him several places back and cost the team a good result.
Race 2 – With the track beginning to dry Brian decided to take a gamble and go out on full slicks for race 2, it was evident from the warm-up lap that this had been a mistake and this was confirmed as Brian slid down the order in the opening laps. With 26 cars out on track though a dry line soon started to appear and from being the slowest car on the track 262 was now lapping at the leaders pace! Unfortunatly with only one dry line overtaking was nearly impossible so despite having good pace the result was still poor.
Final – With the new rules for starting procedure the top 20 drivers in the points chart start off the first 20 grid slots in reverse points order with the driver outside the top 20 in the points griding behind them. So as this was Brians first event he was forced to start the final from near enough last on the grid and outside the top twenty. This sytem will surely only promote a breakaway of the top 20 drivers in the points charts during the season as they get to start off the front of the grid. Back to the race though and the track was still drying although there was only really one dry line which made overtaking difficult, despite this the 262 car was still moving up the order and showing good pace until a slower car turned into a corner across the front of 262 and spun both cars out of the race. The damage to both cars was fairly minimal but with Brian stuck on the infield kerbing the pace car was sent out to allow the marshals to remove the car. Unfortunatly in their haste to move the car they did far more damage to it than had actually been caused during the evenings racing.