I think we can call that a successful day….
From the time that Phil Harris and I arrived at the circuit at 7:15 on the day of the event, to the minute we left, I don’t think either of us had chance to catch our breath. The revised documentation sent out to all the entrants was re-worded to try to keep the day hic-up free. As a result Phil had a queue of drivers wanting to sign in even before the Tower was unlocked. By 8:00am he had around half the 56 entered cars signed in.
The light turned green for the first session out on the track 8 seconds before 9:00am and we didn’t miss a single place throughout the day. I think people have had the wrath of my shouting through the loud-hailer in previous years, and as result it was kept to a minimum.
I say this each year and this year was no exception, we had a good mix of new entrants and returned drivers. This year we had drivers from not just the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club, but also the Bristol Motor Club , The Mini Cooper Register, Honda Evolutions, The Opel Manta Drivers Club and The Westfield Club.
Our friends from the Mini Cooper Register brought their Minis from as far as Penzance, Christchurch, Aylesbury, and Crewe. We also had a Reliant SS1 from Exeter, a BMW Z3M and Opel Manta from Ferndown, a Mitsubishi Evo, a Caterham Road Sport and Mini Cooper S all from across the bridge from as far as Swansea. And not forgetting a Vauxhall VX220 from Salisbury who I think I’m correct in saying was the first car out on the track.
Happy drivers, make good drivers…
Motor sport doesn’t always go to plan.
This can be seen with this photo entitled “Is this meant to come off?”
But, with some sticky-back plastic and a washing up liquid bottle they were back on the track.
Kids don’t try this at home. Always ensure an adult is present when re-fitting a gear level.
It turned out to be a battle between the Minis and Westfields. While the Minis may have won on numbers (20 of them), the sheer power of the Westfields may have won the battle. Several sessions on the track were purely made up of either Minis or Westfields. Was that the ‘Stig’ in the orange Westfield?
The weather couldn’t have been better. There was a lovely breeze which did play around with my lane signs, but left the track dry.
The only near-off was when Mike Bell on his Reliant SS1 lost it on Camp Corner and very loudly did a 360 spin and lost around 10,000 miles off the tyres!
David da Costa was also a busy man. With a steady queue of cars parked up awaiting in-car instruction, David spend most of his time out on the track with drivers giving tuition. Each year this included-in-the-price part of the day is getting more popular as is invaluable to the drivers.
We had the pleasure of being joined by Rob Manger. He is the Development Officer for Go Motorsport. Rob not only brought along some freebies but also chatted with and networked the drivers at the event. Go Motorsport is an organisation whose aim is to promote motor sport as a whole, especially to young people. There are loads of ways to get involved in motor sport and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Go Motorsport is backed by some of the biggest names in British motor sport including Formula 1 drivers Jenson Button and David Coulthard. Some of the different types of motor sport that they promote to young drivers start from as young as 8 years old. Click onto www.GoMotorsport.net, the one pit-stop website set up to fast track you into all areas of motor sport. From circuit racing and rallying to more affordable but no less fun disciplines such as autotests and karting.
At around 11:30 we saw the arrival of some of the Bristol Hot Rods. While Phil Mitchell (Head Rod) was hoping for a bigger turn out, I think I can speak for all of us in saying that the 8 Hot Rods were not just fantastic machines but a great attraction in themselves. I could write and say what each of them were, but to be honest… I haven’t a clue. They were all big, shiny (except one which was pre-shinny), immaculate, American beasts, which were all very loud!
I used the 1st Run lane to organise the Hot Rods for their 12:30 cavalcade. Straight away they brought a crowd, and seeing them next to other cars on the paddock was quite strange.
The circuit officials led the cavalcade for 4 controlled speed laps of the circuit. Which the marshalls enjoyed as much as the Hot Rod drivers.
The Bristol Hot Rods can be found at www.bristolhotrods.co.uk
Click HERE to read the Bristol Hot Rod’s article featured in the NSRA’s Street Gasser Magazine
But, with only around 10 minutes spare to down a sandwich and try to replace my worn out legs for a newer pair, it was time to change the paddock lane format and get ready for the afternoon session.
The breeze did drop in the afternoon, and in true Combe fashion I ended up getting burnt again. A few of the drivers were taking shade under the row of trees next to the paddock. I don’t think anyone complained about the weather especially after the last two years of a complete down pour. However, one odd thing due to the weather was a invasion of wasps, looking around you could see people waving their arms & dancing around. It’s nice to see happy people I thought, but no, just the English way of trying to get bit!
Thanks for all the drivers and especially those who sent me positive comments about the day afterwards.
See you again next year.
You can see lots more photos on the Gallery page.
Click HERE to go to the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club Backfire Magazine featuring the event.