Sunday, 05 October 2008
Golspie Sprint 2nd/3rd June '07A new track for both of us.
This two day event was run with different track layouts for each of the days. The track facilities are fantastic, with the sea as a backdrop (barely 100m away) and plenty of room for camping at the track for those who've travelled a long distance. We drove up on Friday, and joined the happy campers.
Saturday dawned sunny and warm, which gives you a good feeling when you've no idea how to drive the track. Golspie's a cart racing track and the designers have clearly put some thought into how to make it challenging. There are several corners which are noticeably banked - but only if you're on the correct line. Being on the wrong line and a bit too fast is clearly a very bad idea here.
Practice runs were uneventful, Stephen being a bit quicker, but both of us well off the pace of the more powerful cars. Golspie may be a cart track, but the start line feeds onto a 200m or so straight, which is plenty long enough to let the powerful motors show their stuff. There was a speed trap part way along which we reached consistantly at 78 or 79mph. It comes as a bit of a shock then to see the cars we regard as our closest competition breaking the beams doing 88mph. A full 10mph faster after only the first 6 seconds or so. Clearly we were going to have to be very lucky to get a good result here.
In the end Stephen set the fastest time, David bemoaning mistakes in both his timed runs, but we had to settle for 5th and 6th places in what is becoming a very competitive class.
After the party on Saturday night, Sunday dawned wet and miserable. Driving on the sodden Kylestrom layout was as exciting as you might expect, with the throttle never reaching the floor in any of the first 3 gears. Wheelspin was a constant companion and snap oversteer was just waiting to catch us out. It was at this point we realised one of the competition had launch control and traction control on their car, and it was clearly working!
At the end of the practice runs, both drivers were surprised to find themselves on the pace of the rest of the field, since we both thought we'd been taking it much to easy. So we went into the afternoon's timed runs with something bordering on confidence. The, just before Stephen was due to start his first run, the heavens opened. The track wasn't just wet, it was awash.
It was good to see that the organisers appreciated the impossibility of driving light weight, powerful and open topped cars in such conditions and the event was halted. A meeting of the drivers decided to pause for a bit to see if the rain would subside. It did, and the first competitive round was completed. Stephen set a good time, but David had some wild tail sliding moments and ended up with his slowest time of the day. No doubt then that we were staying for the second round.
The second round had fewer cars, with a no. of competitors deciding to call it a day while their cars were (mostly) in one bit. Stephen did his best to send our car home in pieces with a lurid slide sideways into the tyre wall at the fourth corner from the finish - a shame since he was 2 seconds up on the earlier time at the half way stage. David managed to stay on the black stuff and took a full 5 seconds off his first timed round and 4th place in the class.
Both drivers went home reasonably happy with their weekend's efforts.
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