Just a few short weeks since the first meeting of the new season it was time for round 2 at Mendips on May 3rd. Since our slightly disappointing opening meeting some serious work had gone into improving the car, infact if it was adjustable we adjusted it….and if it wasn’t adjustable we cut it off and moved it!
“Nobody turn around, someones trying to photograph us…”
Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to test any of these changes before the meeting so Ross was out early for the pre-meeting practice and managed to get 3 runs in, slowly getting used to the much altered Tigra and looking quick by the end of practice, the team clearly happy with the changes. Encouragingly another good field of a dozen cars took to the track for heat 1, with Ross drawing around 8th on the grid.
From the start Ross was looking much faster than during the first meeting and despite losing out to #718 he was soon picking up places and eventually managed to move round the outside of Tossell’s Saxo. From there on a good race long battle with Wilson Hamilton ensued, the pair catching the 2nd place scuffle led by #24 Phil Bennet by the chequered flag but not with enough time to make any passes leaving Ross in 6th, not a fabulous result but the car was looking fast.
Race 2 and Ross was starting around mid grid, this time one place behind Hamiltons #904 Colt. The pair quickly moved up the order into first and second place and began clearing their way through the backmarkers with no more than 2 or 3 cars lengths between them the whole race.
With 2 laps to go they closed in to lap the battling trio of #35, #34 and #24. Hamilton moved quickly to the outside of #24 but with #24 already sliding slightly wide Ross had enough room to glide the #26 Tigra down the inside of the pair of them into the bottom corner to snatch the lead before squeezing past #34 and then switching straight to the outside of Muddles #35 Corrado as they exited the top corner to start the final lap in the lead! What a way to get the first race win of the season!!! Needless to say we were absolutely delighted, especially as Wilson is a fast guy.
Final time and the majority of the field quickly became stuck behind the battling duo of #775 and #35. With no way past the pair and so many drivers eager to make a way through something eventually had to give, it was just a matter of when.
Sure enough a handful of laps later something did give with the resulting crash at the pit bend occurring just behind Ross and involving a good 5 or 6 cars. #24 Phil Bennet and #205 Mike Norton were to come off worst however and would take no further part once the race was restarted. From the restart #26 was quickly on the move round #775 and #34 before reeling in the leading #117 car.
It was all about to go horribly wrong though as Ross got himself too wide making a move to the outside and lost out to the chasing #718 and #904, then with dirty tyres and a bit of over exuberance exiting the next corner #26 slid sideways into the wall with a pretty hard impact that certainly caught Ross’ attention as he fumbled the car back under control despite being fairly sure that it would be completely knackered.
Amazingly though the car hung together for the final half of the race although the flailing smoke, wildly jumpy left rear wheel and lack of brakes knocked the pace a little bit! 😉 Still though, if it can finish the race then pick up the points, which is what happened with 4th place being an incredibly flukey result after an impact like that.
Once back in the garage the team got to have a closer look at the damage which was even worse than first thought. As well as the wildly bent half shaft which was letting the rear wheel move all over the place we saw that most of the disc was completely missing, only one small part remained, jammed in the little that remained of the left rear caliper. Oops. Time for Ross to say ‘Sorry Dad’! Still, the important thing is that the car is now working well again, and well, we’d get bored if we didn’t have something to fix before the next meeting right? 😉