20th Feb 2010
BRANDS HATCH TRACKDAY
Brands hatch trackday 2010.
The traditional year opener at Brands, and due to the demands of a series of crying bank managers, Kutuka field only the one car. Officially.
Eleanor is pulled out of her hiding place and pressed into action, the northern contingent happy to merely batter the X300 through the snow at the greatest possible velocity and scrounge for drives on arrival.
A rather scared X300 recovers in the Brands garage after the Bear accidentally takes it for a few terrifying circuits....
Due to an unforseen error of scheduling, the unfortunate saloon ended up doing 4 laps of Brands Hatch with the Bear at the wheel, Tomtom apparently most confused.
A damp morning saw the sad demise of the first V12 XJS, as the resurfaced track and damp tarmac claimed its first victim.
Kutuka shook Eleanor down with a cautious Harrison at the wheel, wet track and an alien car no way to get your sea-legs.
With conditions improving, Lyddall puts Harrison in the passenger seat for a driving lesson. Who was giving the lesson was debateable.
The track dried fast, and by mid-morning the traditional Brands problem hit. How do you put 350bhp through road tyres without squealing them, and what's the point of driving on track without exploring what the club sells as "the limits" of the car's performance...
It wasn't long before, despite driving at a snail's pace, relatively speaking, Eleanor starts to collect warnings. Last year she managed 9.
They're more strict this year, and as Harrison assaulted McLeans with the unfortunate Gregory in the passenger seat, the noise was such that the black flags came out and the car was again banned for the day. 3pm is a new Kutuka record.
The day saw a number of race drivers, old and new, make an appearance. Comer shaking down the ex-MacVicar 4 litre, the Ramm E class in the hands of Gary Davis, whose return this season is still the subject of much debate. Gregory's ever-improving 3.6 class D car circulates at increasing velocities throughout the day, as valuable tracktime takes lumps off the laptime. Seath, Skelton and Drage seen out, some testing the R1R tyre, and the jury still out as to the grip on offer from it.
Overall turnout a little low, only 40 cars or so, and by late afternoon only a handful still out. A combination of the restrictive rules, the early weather, and the availability of other, cheaper trackdays, appears to have reduced turnout.
Despite the numbers, a great day was had by all, and if the thrill is reduced by the inability to really push on, it was hard to see that in the evil smiles present.
A good start to the year, we await the real shakedown in a month...
Merry bleedin' Christmas people. We're not giving in wishing you a Merry Christmas until at least one of you confirms you actually had one.