Quite a long break between meetings, just as well really due to the amount of work we had to do (see general veiws)
On arrivel a look around the pits showed there were lots of Supers in attendence.
Before I do a report on my meeting just a few thing to say.
When you looked at the Supers about a year ago the cars that stood out were the brand new ones. Now when you look around unless you have a spanking new car you feel odd. I can't believe how many new cars there are.
I think Harry Sayell has the right idea, don't race for a while to help save up and buy a new car. If that's the case by the time I race again I'll be drawing my pension and be too old to race anyway!!
With no practice it was straight out racing in 2/3rds cars, a first at Wimbledon for as long as I can remember.
We had 3 warm up laps to clear the dusty track, I felt it should have been a few more. Anyway, on my way round I felt something was wrong with my steering, it was heavy compared to normal.
I decided to keep out of everyone's way to try the car out, with the new front end it was all a bit of trial and error. My car seemed unstable at high speed which was the king pin inclination we found out back in the pits.
Even though I was doing my best to keep out of the way I still got thumped up the rear, so not a good heat as far as results go but if we had a practice I'm sure it would've been better.
Sorted the heavy steering out which was a bent steering rack from the last meeting.
At the greens I got away quite well pushing 70 wide and made my way to to the front on start of the 2nd lap the reds came out because I think the field was too bunched up.
As the reds came out I was just about to push car 32 wide on the pit bend, he saw the reds and slowed, I hit the back of his car quite hard. Of all the cars to hit and it had to be that one!
At the second green I made a better start, I had to really because car 55 was really flying off the white grade. (not a novice in driver skill just Supers)
I got up to second on the 5th lap and was gaining on car 55, he got help up going down the back straight and I saw my chance, I went in with the bumper but didn't quite get it right.
All I did was push him and myself wide, he found a little more traction and pulled away a bit. I was chasing him back again but I caught the rumble strips on the pit bend and it broke my halfshaft, at first I thought it was a flat tyre, but it wasn't. GUTTED. I thought I could win that race or at least come second. Never mind, that's the way ot goes.
WELL DONE PAUL ON YOUR FIRST WIN!!!
We made it out to the final and started at the back because we were non-qualifiers. The thing is there seemed to be more non-qualifiers than qualifiers! The whole back straight was full.
At the start I made sure that I didn't spin the wheels and made quite a good start. The race was put under yellow because there were cars in the scoreboard bend. This seemed to last forever. I think it should've been stopped and re-started but it wasn't down to me!
Car 121 was tapping at my rear on the yellows trying to un-nerve me... at the start I was in second gear and made a right cock up of the start so the tapping worked:-) I quickly made up lots of places including getting past 184 without tangleing, he got back pass on the following corner so I pushed him wider on the scoreboad bend so he couldn't get back pass me on the following bend. Due to the long yellow period the race was over very quickly. I got back up to 9th place, so all was not lost, at least I got some points.
All in all not a bad meeting, see you at Ipswich.
After a long break I was keen to get out racing again.
On arrival the thing that struck me was the amount of differant cars there were. Lots of drivers that I didn't know, won't take long to find out one way or another.
As there was no practice I went out in the first heat not really knowing what to expect.
The track was very greasey and I almost spun on my out lap!!
At the green I made a careful start, had a bit of trouble staying ahead of car 32. I just could'nt keep a tight line once I got passed.
After about 6 or 7 laps I mangage to pull away from him and gain on the leaders. Once I got around the corners my car was quite quick down the straights, I got good traction once going forwards.
Entering the pit bend there were cars all over the place, lots of top drivers involved.
As the laps were rolling off my car was handleing worse and worse, (same for everyone I suppose) I was in about 3rd place I think and lost 2 more places near the end.
So I finished 5th, not bad but I was glad to finish in these conditions
The track was still very slippery but we made a few adjustments which seemed to work.
I was gaining on car 295, the leader at the time and squeezed past on the scoreboard bend on lap 5 or 6.
Coming down towards the pit turn he gave me a large helping hand into the bend and once on the outside line there is just no chance of stopping it. I did my best to avoid a stricken car but hit it's front wheel hard enough to launch me into the fence ripping off my right front, AGAIN!!
I sat there fot a bit then undid my belts to get out, I looked around to see if it was safe when car 80 hit me quite hard. The impact threw me against my steering wheel, I wasn't sure whether to get out or not after that but eventually saw a gap and made a dash for it.
It wasn't until then I realised my left shoulder was hurting like mad. I moved it and it popped back into place, it was a good job I still had my helmet on because that made my eyes water!
Before the race finished car 464 slid into my car bendind the under chassis.
We worked our arses off to get the car ready in time for the final which we managed ( thanks dad!!) Tim (511) also took time out to find parts in his van we needed when he had work to do on his own car (cheers mate). 117 (ex Ringwood) lent us his generator so we could weld my car back together (thanks again). So was it worth it?
Well yes and no, because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time again.
On the 2nd lap car 32 and 80 got tangled up on the scoreboard bend, I saw this happen but already comitted myself to go around them, the gap disapeared and I clouted car 32 and the fence. Then while trying to get out car 464 hit the back of my car bending the rear bumper onto my tyre and so I had to retire.
So overall I enjoyed the meeting and it looks like im going to have to brush up on my welding this year.
Unless a new car appears?
Next update after 4th March Wimbledon
BEST IN BRITAIN WIMBLEDON 26/11/00
I was very pleased to finally get out racing again. I think the break from racing has done me a lot of good.
In practice it was still very damp on the track, but after about six laps the right compression strut bolt sheared off entering the pit bend, at the same time the brake hose burst. Not the best start to the evening!
There was quite a long delay before my first heat so it gave us plenty of time to repair the car.
I think about thirty three car lined up for the first heat which proved to be quite heatic for me. At the start I got up to about fifth, I went to push car 184 wide but he spun in front of me, sending me over the rumble strips.
There were a lot of cars scattered around the track and rejoining at unpredictable speeds. Going down the back straight one car rejoined just as I was passing another and I got onto the outside line and lost quite a lot of time, this allowed car 51 to close right up. I held him off for about 4 or 5 laps but he was attacking my rear bumper entering every corner. My car held on very well but once he got passed he pulled away.
A stoppage 3/4 of the way through closed the field up, by then I was in 5th place. At the re-start I was half a sleep and car 511 went down the inside so back to 6th. I was makeing lot's of small mistakes towards the end and then car 5 also got passed. I tried to gain on the leading pack but to no avail, 7th overall. Quite pleased with that.
A broken exhaust greeted us in the pits.
At the start I tapped car 184 wide but he spun into me again taking me onto the in field which slowed me up a lot.
I never really got into my stride, I lost more places when car 60 Ringwood driver Ashley Mills and car 16 squeesed into me, I had to back off to avoid an accident. They dissapered towards the pit gate as I entered the pit bend, 454 dived up the inside (there was not enough room there in my opinion) and spun himself and me around, 4 other cars hit 454 car on the side which moved my car along. I saw a bumper fly though the air which turned out to be off car 2. The impact broke my steering rack. We had a spare, which we put on but, there wasn't time to make the final.
So that was my last race of the 2000 season. Overall I enjoyed the meeting, I was just glad to be out racing.
I'll shall be doing a small review on my season before xmas, so keep checking my site because now I've got a small break I can update my Superstox Extra site.
Wimbledon 15/10/00 Superstox World Final.
Well I have to say, this wasn't the result I was hopeing for.
On the way to the stadium our van had a huge tyre blow out, I thought it was the trailer tyre but it wasn't. After changing the wheel we arrived at the stadium 45 mins later than I wanted.
I always get butterflies before any race but, this time it was really bad. After all this is my 3rd world final and its not if I don't know what to expect. I was so apprehensive I couldn't think straight.
I went out on practice and the car was fine, it handled well concidering the axle was bent a couple of weeks back.
After the practice there was a long wait untill the 'world', as you can imagine this didn't do my nerves any good.
Eventually we started to enter the track to line up in grid order. We had 3 warm up laps before the build up started.
I don't care who you are but this really must get to you a bit. My heart was beating twice as fast!!
Two warm up laps behind the pace car then, the green flag.
This is where it all went wrong for me......
Car 32 was along side me on the grid, he got ahead of me entering the scoreboard bend for the first time round, seeing the back of his car was like 'red rag to the bull!!'
I aimed my car to the rear of his, almost spinning myself.
All this done was made me angry and going through to pit bend I launched at his car taking us both out.
Now, this was not me!! I don't race to take people out. This driver had already apologised for the incident at Ipswich (Euro) and after seeing the video I can see it
wasn't his fault. All I can say is Sorry. I have never taken anyone out before in any of my racing career.
I went into the race feeling quite confident and all that happened was two quite capable drivers were taken out.
For those who didn't see what happened this may of just put my foot in it, those who did, will no doubt have their own opinions.
This sort of thing happens all the time, I've seen it many times before. Great for spectator veiwing, not so great for drivers or those who come off worse.
We got the car repaired in plenty of time for the second race but I was in the wrong frame of mind to continue.
I hope this has made me think a bit, "Drive with my head and not with my feet!!"
A BIG WELL DONE TO DAVE TURNER (323) SUPERSTOX WORLD CHAMP
My next update will follow the Best in Britain.
The first thing I did when we arrived was go and buy a set of plugs.
On the 1st practice I was running in yet another engine!
Also this was the 1st time I had been on Hoosiers. My first impressions on the tyres was quite good, but I was more interested in my oil pressure! Good news is that was fine.
On the 2nd practice I gave the car more stick! But I couldn't keep up with the cars I'm normally competitive with. I had no bottom end and my car seemed to run out of punch at the end of the straight.
A few adjustments in the pits were needed, ie timing and tyre pressures.
The first race out was the european championship race, I drew grid 20 out of 30.
I was a bit concerned about the start due to the fact that my tyres weren't gripping as well as I wanted, (didn't get to try them after the adjustment) and it was a bunched grid.
At the green I tried to get on the outside as quick as possible, Lucky really because car 22 and 18 steamed in to the back of the pack (they started a few rows behind) and the expected melee erupted!
Cars went in all directions, so the race was red flagged and restarted. On the restart car 22 and 18 made a fantastic start but on the 2nd lap car 22 and 30 were banging wheels just in front of me and they got locked together and headed fencewards. At this point I aimed for the speedway track, car 30 performed a spectacular roll which I heard and car 184 who started along side me had nowhere to go but into the rollcage of car 30. All drivers involved were ok. Yet another re-start.
This time a clean start was made by all apart from me. I didn't see the green flag and my car was still in neutral!
My car was going very well, and I was gaining on people and making places. As the race settled down I started to catch car 71, but I wasn't sure if it was a place car. The start marsall wasn't giving me or car 71 any signals.
When the chequred flag was shown I took a look at the scoreboard and saw my number in 6th! Car 71 was 5th, if I had known I would have tried harder to pass him. We were practically lapping at the same speed so on hindsight maybe I wouldn't have beaten him anyway. Which ever way you look at it 6th place from 20th is very good.
Back to normal and graded starts. I made a blinding start but so did car 2.
I was staying with car 2 lap after lap, he pulled away a bit then I would gain a bit.
At about half distance I was still 2nd and we started to lap backmarkers. Coming out of the scoreboard bend car 7 pulled across the path of the leader and slowed him up enough for me to catch him. Going down past the starter I was right behind him, I was in two minds as to what to do.
As it happens I miss timed the hit on the turnstile bend and went wide.
I stayed 2nd until the finish, car 511 was gaining fast but not fast enough. So another good finish.
I made another good start but I thought it was a jump start because I was right up on the novice grade entering the scoreboard end before the pace car pulled off, but it wasn't. Maybe the white tops should get more of a move on.
My car didn't seem to have the grip like it had in the 1st heat, so car 32 was gaining at a fast rate.
Luckily there was a stoppage because car 20 hit the wall very hard. Driver ok.
On the restart I got into the lead quite quickly and car 32 was again catching me. Knowing how this particular driver drives, I was not happy with him behind me. Entering the scoreboard bend on the 10th lap he gave me a rather hefty thump on the rear. I'm not one for moving over but this was more of an attempt at a fencing rather than a shove wide. My car hit the infamous Ipswich wall and lost a wheel, plus it bent my rear axle.
Concidering how quickly he was catching me there was no need for a manoeuvre like this. As you can probably tell I'm not very happy with this, but then again thats 'stock-car' racing. But I will say it won't be forgotten!!
So to finalise the meeting a 6th and a 2nd was very good.
I'm very pleased with my cars performance, both the engine and the tyres.