With the last race of the season that lay ahead, we made every effort to up our game for race day on the 20th October. Having found and confirmed that the engine power output had for unknown reasons declined, we tried everything possible on the Friday to figure out the cause. Having then brought about some further changes, we managed to find a slight improvement which resulted in about being almost a second quicker from our last race outing in July and which would have been good enough to compete at the top of our class.
Saturday, we were second up for qualifying under a breathless morning and in ideal conditions for putting up a good qualifying session. Having completed a warm-up lap it was hammer down for setting up a decent lap time. Rather frustratingly a whole bunch of us were soon upon a group of dawdling competitors going into turn 3 (Damps), some on the right and some on the left hand side of the circuit resulting in an aborted opportunity on the first hot lap. Heading down the back straight and entering turn 5 on the outside, a competitor overtook me on the inside coming in a little too hot and resulting in hitting the BRE Datsun ahead if me causing both of them to spin in mid corner and then rolling backwards all while I was by now fully locked up and with nowhere to go, collecting the rear door of Keith Schenck. Unable to continue, that was my qualifying session done and dusted with only a 1:34 warm up lap having been completed. We as best repaired the front fender damage and corrected the wheel alignment for race 1.
Our first race was off at 10h15 with the air temp having now climbed to around the 25º mark. With a disastrous qualifying session behind us, we now found ourselves down in 25th position on the grid and far from ideal, but, we had 9 laps to make up some places. At least, that was the intention. At lights out, the Datsun J-Series SSS was pretty quick off the line and we managed to make up 2 positions before entering turn 1 (Hoals). Heading up to turn 2 and having to take the outside line due to some rather opportunistic driving on the inside taking place and them making contact mid corner, I powered around both now heading for the Kink and up to the rear bumper of the next competitor, the 6 cylinder Sierra which I managed to pass on Joubert straight before entering turn 4. Heading down the back straight the next target insight was the Fiat 131 Abarth of Benjack Phillips. Ben held me off down the main straight but I managed to pull alongside him on the inside going into turn 1. Again, neck to neck up to turn 2 we went, but the Datsun was just too strong out of turn 2 and now finally clear of the hard charging Fiat. Entering turn 3 with the bit between the teeth, Murphy had his way with a unexpected burst lower radiator hose letting go resulting in me spinning out only to be followed a short while later by Lyne Hutchings in the Mk2 Golf side swiping both rears.
Both cars done for the day!!
With a long break between now and our next decided race, RBR will have the unnecessary damages repaired and we will return bigger, better and stronger.
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