Northampton Nationals

The past weekend was an eventful one for the Loram Racing Team. We set out at 7am on sunday morning on our way to Northampton for Round 5 of this years world qualifying series and all was going well until we were stopped by the police and escorted to a weighbridge site somewhere near Oxford. 10 minutes later we were in real trouble as the van was slapped with a prohibition order for being overweight! After looking for a quick way of losing several hundred kilograms it appeared the easiest most movable things which could be left behind were the crew!

So with crew removed, the van, trailer and car came in under it’s limit and Brian was on his way to Northampton, albeit late, fined and with no crew. On the bright side however the police were kind enough to give us three points! Do they count towards the world series we wondered?

With time pressing on (an hour later in fact) we hear Brian has made it to Northampton just in time for a hurried practice (thanks to some help from Wilcox’s crew) while the rest of the #262 team are still sat in the weighbridge centre awaiting a lift. Fortunatly Karl (the saviour!) turned up not long after to take us all to the track. The drama wasn’t done though as heavy traffic hindered our journey, eventually arriving at the track at 1:15, just as the first hot rod race was lining up on the grid!

Race 1 – While the breathless crew took took their place, Brian started race 1 from second on the grid behind #734 Ralph Saunders. Running second in the early laps, #115 Chris Haird eventually found a way down the inside and relegated Loram to third but by now the top three had escaped the pack and it looked like the #262 car had plenty enough speed to come home in third.

It all went wrong several laps later though as Brian spun, a result of the new brakes not being correctly set-up yet sending the car sideways under braking into a corner. Fortunatly the rest of the field missed the stationary #262 car but 3rd place was gone.

To add insult to injury Brian rejoined in the same position but a lap down and held station until the end of the race, managing to pick off a few places and finish just outside the top 10, at least bringing home some points for the championship.

Race 2 – Making a good start from the back row of the grid Brian moved ahead of #92 Peter Blood at the start before running side by side with #210 Hughie Weaver for several laps. The pair were both soon past the #221 car of Neil Reeve before Loram caught and passed #55 Tony Goodsir but #55 was able to re-pass again several laps later. There was more drama as #59 Simon Bentley was involved in an incident and spun in front of Loram, Brian managing to shake off the spinning #59 car and retain his place as the yellow flags came out. After a bad restart #262 soon closed in on the #55 car but was unable to find a way past meaning a 9th place finish and more points for the team.

Final – Due to our 20th position in the championship we had pole for the huge 28 car final although #734 was clearly further forward on the grid. Despite this the pair ran side by side during the opening laps with #734 eventually taking the place as Loram struggled to keep the front end of his Peugeot in round the tight bends. This problem cost several places but after a good number of laps Brian was still running 4th until a train of 7 cars was able to find the inside line on Loram, the #262 car looked better on the outside line however and stayed there for several laps before losing position, eventually getting back on the inside line only to be pushed wide by Dick Hillard’s #31 car and losing the place. With 10 laps to go the yellows came out, allowing the marshals to remove the stranded Simpson car. The #262 car looked much better after the restart and Brian was able to maintain his 12th place to the finish with no pressure from behind, taking the chequered flag just behind #271 Neil Stimson.

So, another meeting over and it was certainly a very eventful day, pleasingly though points were scored in all three races and there is very little damage to the car, a few battle scars but nothing serious! We’ll next be in action at the tight Brimingham Wheels track, with the amount of hot rods at present it’s going to be anyones guess what happens!

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