Snetterton is a race I doubt I’ll ever forget whilst my performance on track was lackluster it was thanks to the fantastic people I race with that I was even on the track. Here’s why…
Wednesday – Afternoon
Worked from home whilst I waited for a spare sump to arrive (mine was slightly damaged and whilst I hoped I wouldn’t need a spare during the weekend Brian Randall had very kindly sent me one just in case – Thank you Brian)
Wednesday – 4pm (ish)
Left home in Louth to head up to my parents’ house to collect the Locost and head for Snetterton. I had it all planned out. Leave Louth at about 3pm, arrive in Teesside at 5.30pm, load the car and arrive at Snetterton for about 10pm giving us time to set everything up and get a ‘good nights’ sleep ready for testing.
Wednesday – 7.30pm
Arrived at my Parents house to find the car sitting in a pool of oil – ARGH!!! Time to learn how to change a sump! Got car turned round on trailer and with the help of my brother swapped the sumps. Filled it with oil and phew no leeks! Finally pulled out of the gates at 11.30pm – oops, we’ve got a 4hr + drive ahead!
Thursday – 4.30 am
Arrive at Snetterton at 4.30 am, sneak about unloading the race car and putting up my tent on the trailer by torch light so we don’t wake anyone else up. Finally climb in to my tent and close my eyes at 5 am. It’s been quite an afternoon but everything now seems to be sorted for a good weekend of racing.
Thursday – 7.30am
Get up (2 ½ hrs sleep – yuk!) and get everything sorted for my first testing session at 9am.
Thursday – 9am
Head on to the track for the first time with a big smile on my face! The car works 🙂
Thursday – 9.10am
Heading down Revett Straight break under the bridge and suddenly flames shoot past my left shoulder. The cars on Fire!! I pull on to the escape route and pull the fire extinguisher – the pipe’s melted so it keeps on burning! The marshals come and put it out.
Far later I discovered that the brass push fit connector which holds the fuel line inside the carburetor had come loose, it had sprayed the engine and hot exhaust with fuel, starting a big fuel fire and melting a lot of the front end. I thought my weekend was over. I had no idea how I’d ever get it fixed.
Thursday 9:30 – Friday 12.30am
What a day, the car came back in on the marshals truck and we started cleaning up the mess and removing the really charred bits. Meanwhile Graham had put up a posting on the forum asking anyone who hadn’t already left to bring spare parts to Snett.
Andy and Karen invited us to move the car into the garage and half the 750 Motorclub offered parts, helped repair bits or went on the search for random parts. At 12.30 in the morning we tried turning the car over for the first time and it went. I was covered in soot, (I’d managed to wipe it all over my face) but I had the biggest grin – it looked like my weekend was back on.
Friday – 7am
Up early to finish the car, again lots of people helped and Graham was a star, even helping me with last minute modifications in the scruitineering queue! It passed scruitineering!!
With the tick over speed settling at 3500 revs I went out to qualify. I was just amazed to be there. For the whole thing I looked for flames and smelt for fuel, but the car worked and slowly my confidence returned. I qualified 31st. Not bad for a car that had been on fire the day before!
Race 1 was interesting, I was down on power and the revs wouldn’t back off when I took my foot off the pedal, this made for some interesting lines round corners but I kept it on the black stuff and finished 24th! Amazing.
Overnight to solve the problems of the first race we put my carb top back on with the fuel line araldited and lock wired in place. (I was taking no chances) I was feeling confident on the grid but unfortunately my problems weren’t over. A blocked carb meant the car was starved of fuel and it got slower and slower as the race went on. By the last 2 laps I was limping but the temperature and oil pressure were fine so I crawled round to claim my points and signatures. finishing 29th and last.
Snetterton wasn’t exactly my dream race weekend, but due to the amazing people I race with I ended up coming away with 4 points, 2 signatures and without a novice cross.
Thank you so much to everyone who helped – you are all brilliant!