The 2008 Oval mile championships at the Llandow circuit in Wales and Brians first meeting of 2008 after wrestling the car back from his son Ross!
Contrary to the good weather forecasts the racers awoke on Saturday morning to rain, wind and generally pretty dodgy weather conditions, meaning a fairly wet track for practice. Despite this Brian looked happy in the car straight away which was good after over a year out of it as he lapped with a truly bizarre mix of cars in the open practice sessions which included everything from short oval racing such as hot rods, lightning rods and stock rods as well as rally cars, circuit cars and some truly strange autograss creations. Certainly an interesting meeting!
Onto the first race of the day and the track conditions were mainly dry although there was still a threat of more rain to come. Joining the 10 or so hotrods on track would be another 15 Mascars which are in effect miniature Nascars, reasonably quick but still a lap or so off the hotrods pace.
Off the start then and Brian immediately jumped a few cars to move upto 4th place before passing Shane Newman on the back straight and moving down the inside of the Lufarelli mini into the chicane for 2nd. Onto lap 2 and #262 moved into the lead and didn’t look back, pulling out a good lead and eventually taking the win by nearly quarter of a lap. What a comeback!
Race 2 and a brief shower before the start made for some tricky track conditions but that didn’t stop Brian coming through for the win again, although this time from the #9 Peugeot 206 which was looking quick in the closing stages.
Brian navigates the tricky temporary chicane
Into the final and all the expected front runners were soon fighting it out with #9 moving into the lead from #71 and #262. Contact between #71 and #262 sent #71 spinning though and despite carrying on to finish in 2nd place Brian was disqualified for contact on #71 and one of the Mascars which was heavily blocking despite being lapped.
All this left #9 clear to take the win by a huge margin from our fellow south west driver #205 Mike Norton who had been in third place behind Brian. Incidentally the pair of them were lucky to escape a massive crash on the last lap as they arrived at the chicane to find several of the Mascars in the middle of a massive accident, #262 actually passing underneath one of them who had bounced up off the tyre barrier while #205 went spinning and somehow avoided them as well!
Not quite the end of the day we hoped for then but still a couple of wins and an interesting meeting although it was a shame there weren’t enough hotrods to run them on their own instead of alongside another slower formula which only complicated matters. So then, that’s it for 2008, we’ve got some major work to do before 2009 if we’re going to have two cars out there…