With the Mendips season over the team found themselves making the long 5 hour journey north to Buxton so that Brian could have his first outing in the car this season. It was looking like being a wasted journey though as the weather really closed in as we made our way up the huge hills to the track in near zero visibility.
Quite a change of weather in 1 hour! 🙂
Thankfully luck was on our side today though and by the time practice arrived the weather had cleared completely allowing Brian to get a good 5 runs in as he reacquainted himself with the car. Despite being fairly worn out after practice Brian seemed happy enough with the car, the only cause for concern being the slight smoking engine which wasn’t looking that healthy and is clearly due a rebuild.
Still, putting those worries behind us #262 lined up for race 1 with the other 14 cars present. It didn’t last long though as a crash on lap 1 meant a full restart. Brian left the line in a cloud of blue smoke but made good progress and as the cars behind began to fight for position he could clear off and concentrate on picking up a few places from his start position to take 4th at the finish.
It was only after the race that we were told transponders were used at Buxton to determine finish positions so we hastily wired in ours, thankfully we still have one we used during the national season in 2005.
Race 2 and from 4th on the grid Brian initially lost out to #2 before making it up the inside of the #7 Tigra to retake 4th a few laps in. By the final few laps #262 had caught up the 3rd placed #267 car but the cars were fairly evenly matched and Brian was unable to find a way through which let the closing #3 Corrado past with #262 just holding off the closing #85 for 5th position as they crossed the line.
With two fairly good heat results we were looking forward to a good 2nd row starting position for the final behind #904 Wilson Hamilton and #85 Stu Carter on the front row but just as we were leaving the pits we were told that our 4th place from heat 1 would not be counted due to having no transponder so we had to instead start from near the back of the grid. We felt this was pretty unfair given that we’d travelled 5 hours to be there and nobody had told us that transponders were used.
It was accepted without question that Brian had finished 4th but still the result couldn’t stand so rather than risk the car and an increasingly sick engine from near the back of the grid Brian decided enough was enough and loaded the car up for the day. Certainly a shame but you have to wonder if these venues really want visiting drivers? We won’t be making the long trip north again anytime soon that’s for sure.
Not quite the end to the day we were after then, although we weren’t the only ones in the wars as poleman Hamilton retired on lap 2 as his MBE box came unplugged! Congrats to Stu Carter who went on to take a comfortable win and win his mums memorial trophy. So, as well as finishing Ross’ new car and transporter we have a new winter job in removing the engine from Brians car and rebuilding it ready for next season…the fun never stops!