Kutuka Motorsport North







Another race, another fubar.


The season is not going according to plan. Fast in testing, compared to the competition the car was far closer to ’08 times than anyone else was managing, which means if the other Jags like Stewert are performing as they were, then mine is going better than the old car. If that makes sense.


I was finding it much easier to find the grip than Stewert and Alex. The morning was wet, and Helen was faster than either of them, but in the rain that’s what I’d expect. The afternoon dried out, but she was still quick by comparison. My test game of chase the Lezzer showed Stewert with no advantage over me at all, he was sideways pretty much everywhere and I was trying to overtake him a few times, the exit of Clearways being far smoother and cleaner in Helen than Eleanor.


Alex too was struggling to lay the power down and getting sideways, the benefit to having no horsepower is that it's a really easy corner exit!


Looked good for race day, and quali went reasonably. Finding some clear air on a 37-car grid was tricky, I think I got one lap in, so I was a bit distressed not to be able to lay down the time I thought Helen could deliver. Alex’s big moment at Paddock was awesome though!


Only 4th on the grid, but then with Alex on pole (go on the Bear!) and Stew 2nd it was only Doyle in the non-championship class I car in 3rd that stopped the first ever 1,2,3 Kutuka grid, and front row for the team is good stuff, showed we still have the pace. It did hit me, standing in assembly looking across at that orange monster, that I was alongside a car with twice as much horsepower...damn.


Shame then that the race went so badly. We’d experienced Helen refusing to start on the test day when hot, eventually concluding that the way I’ve always fired her up is simply wrong, and that from hot she wants the throttle all the way open and held there.


Sadly the race didn’t agree that was the case at all. I was simply murdered off the start, as expected, Doyle flew away, Palmer round the outside and was past before Druids, the big power cars slaughtering the roadgoing car as you'd imagine they would. I held off Russell briefly but he was past on sheer grunt into Druids and I had to lift at Clearways to avoid running into him. That gave Ray Hill and his camshafts time to out-drag me up to Paddock and he braked very late to hold it and make it stick before Druids. Not a good opening lap.


On his tail then, lifting to miss him at Graham Hill, but carrying more speed at Mcleans put my nose up the inside to make him shut the door, and then ran wide and smooth as he struggled with the power, allowing me to get a run down the pit straight. His horsepower counted and we went into Paddock together, me on the outside, and it nearly worked, still side by side at Druids when luck ran out.


Trying to go round the outside with superior grip I reacted to a squeeze that Ray never made, and jumped out of the way of a car that never moved over. That got the tail loose and I ran wide collecting it. The grasscrete at Druids this year is more grassy than cretey and round came the back into a big spin, down the hill backwards, grass, tyres, stalled the engine. Not a big hit, just a small thump, but the car wouldn’t start again. Throttle wide open, churning on the starter, she just won't go, game over.


Watched the race from the tyre all, really good place to watch, but not a method I’d recommend just to get a vantage point.


Watched Alex in action chased by Stew, the red car looked so easy, not ruffled, hurried, sounds glorious but it seemed almost lazy in action, I could tell from lap 3 that he’d got this one in the bag, and so it brilliantly proved, all hail the Bear.

























Helen declined to fire until bump started in the paddock, something is clearly wrong. Whether it’s a temperature sensor or the engine we cobbled up in the paddock at Snett is fundamentally broken in some way I still don’t know, but that’s twice this year a spin and stall has retired the car, and that’s not the way we play.


Urgent investigations will follow.


Championships for either D or indeed overall now look beyond reach, which is gloomy, but 2 DNFs in 4 races is properly shit. I have again been struck with that horrible overconfidence problem, time to push the mental reset button and start again, there’s no driver out there who screws up my races as much as I do.


Racing Ray Hill was my undoing, because I don’t usually race so far down the pack and in my mind the overtake on him was already done, I was planning how to assault Mark Russell when I went round. Stupid, overconfident, perhaps a little arrogant, it’s an E class with tubular manifolds and wild cams, not exactly a lemon. Having been killed off the line as expected we’d got to the part with the corners so I’m back in the game, but my eagerness to rejoin the pack meant I got ambitious. Damn.


Injury of the week – severely dented pride.


Most played in the garage – Alice Cooper, Hey Stoopid. Very appropriate.


Random Helper of the week – John Lock’s helpful miniature sidekick, advising me post race with solemn intensity that mine was the best crash of the race, and that I’m supposed to go round with all the others. Kids have a habit of giving you the truth without the gloss on it, it was a pretty fair assessment.


Two views of the start. Palmer's incredible launch powers him past before we're halfway to Paddock, and Doyle grounds out in the compression.


I think you've lost this one...


Let it go Harrison, it's not coming back.


Face it, you've lost this fight, it's no good looking up the track to see who's going to hit you....


Silly bugger's looking in the left hand mirror trying to steer it backwards down into Graham Hill, just stop it you idiot, you've crashed...



Instead of reading all that you could have just gone to Youtube to watch it....




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Jaguar XJS Racing

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