Pumpkins, glow-in-the-dark marshalls, and strange floating lights...
KUTUKA HAVE A NIGHT-TIME FUMBLE
With the season over, Kutuka went to play in the dark at Donington for Halloween. As the glowing pumpkin bobbed in the back of the safety car, we flashed around in the dark like neon-crazed pimps.
The nuisance of the day race, a combined Powered By/XJS/Saloon/Random XK affair, allowed the virgins of the team to learn the challenging track for the first time, then to master their first rolling starts. Though the Wellhausens and Doyles screamed to the top steps, the Bear's sneaky toilet break in the D-types' fuel tank saw him take third place and first of the XJS.
With Helen converted to class E by sneakily dropping 200kg Andrew was able to stave off the attentions of a Lyddall and take 2nd XJS, 5th overall after a long dice with Rich Dorlin, whose power proved just that bit too much for the weight loss to overcome. Lyddall, the only one to have actually raced here before, came home 6th, a lack of grip bookending his season.
Into the night, and a half hour qualifying proved that they move all the corners every lap. With the red and blue cars suitably underlit for identification purposes the timing crew spent some laps drying their eyes and stitching their sides, but had to confess that they never missed us coming.
A reduced grid saw Doyle take Enola Gay to pole from Bear from Andrew, Stewert a distressed 4th. With cars sporting either 400W of xenon through HID and standard XJS, the insane hero of the hour was the XK120 using only standard 1950s glow-worms, the maniac!
Another rolling start led into a highly-entertaining and chaotic race, an early challenge by Lyddall had him very briefly almost second, then back to 4th. Andrew dived past Bear on the brakes, only to try a bit of inadvertent drifting and drop back to third.
As Lyddall gave chase again, a big lock up and spin signalled the onset of terminal diff failure, leaving the pimped-pair to set about Enola Gay in the dark. Impossible as that might sound, Bear did make it through, and led for several laps, leaving Andrew with more than one trouser-soiling dive at the black beast on the brakes. It wasn't long before Doyle tired of the noise and lights astern and pushed Bear ever-wider lap after lap until he went for a trip through the gravel.
He rejoined third, leaving Andrew contemplating how best to assault the behemoth in a skinny D class car, and the attempt to carry more apex speed led only to some very high grass speeds at the old hairpin, allowing Bear to close back and soar past to set the order exactly as it had been at the start.
Doyle a clever, tactical win, Bear second, Andrew third, Stew a DNF.
Great fun, superb comedy, and a slightly giddy, end-of-term feel. All hail that mentalist in the XK120, still giving it the full drift on wooden tyres by glow-worm, and taking 4th place. 75 seconds adrift maybe, but ahead of everyone else running 40-year newer machinery on R1Rs, in pitch black.
Anyone wondering what Donnington looks like in the dark:
Incidentally, Happy 40th to the Lezzer. Eleanor might have bust the diff, but we got him a spare car....
Season now well and truly over, Kutuka retire for a rest and a rethink. Eleanor needs a stem-to-stern rebuild. Helen will be going back to class D form, but Andrew won't be driving her. Christine will grow longer legs for endurance purposes. A new hire car will join the ranks, and project X is being planned in detail. It's a busy retirement...
OK, fine, we give in. I hope Christmas sucks.