Race report; Pembrey June 15th and 16th 2013.
This was the first visit of many of us to this Welsh circuit. The travel down seemed in terminable. The high point of crossing the River Severn was soon forgotten when Tom showed we had only reached half distance. Llanelli was a challenge there is no obvious way round and poor road signs dint help. My Tom Tom along with a quite a few others went haywire in Llanelli. Coming home I read the map carefully and I then had to ignore TomTom in the town, very odd.
Other had a tale or two in their travels. Danny Ruta finished up with a one wheel trailer and being the real trouper he managed to get a recovery truck to deliver his to Pembrey. He was of course now marooned. Apparently his wheel plus hub was stopped by Barry Pike’s family but being on Motorway they couldn’t make a recovery. On the Friday evening the winds got very strong rocking our motorhome where we watched with interest as Trefor produced his gazebo which was promptly destroyed by the now gale.
The circuit itself is a very pleasing and technically interesting. One very noticeable feature was the lack of features. No marker boards and very tired white lines. We were threatened with penalties for crossing this lines which were very hard to spot particularly in the rain. Like its cousin in North Wales the catering didn’t stack up against Mallory it also had a habit of having no food available at the published times. Unlike stylish Anglesey, sadly the architecture was clearly designed by a local government officer specialising in waste disposal sites.
A first drive on this circuit was a bit of exploration even after a good look over the circuit on Friday evening. Our new driver briefing threw no light on how to get on or off the circuit and the presenter didn’t know. He said it was either here or there. Our new driver Barry Pike was a real rookie with his ARDS as his sum totals of experience so far. A daunting prospect for him. Trefor Slatter was experienced but had never had a real run in his Centaur so another adventure for him the first since 1978.
We were second in the queue behind the cars that were doing a free practice. It seemed we were a bit early for them but as the scrutineers arrived we got started. The Austin 7s were causing some head scratching maybe they had not seem one before. One of drivers had his boots and socks examined in greater detail than his car!
We were fortunate to run qualifying in the dry on Saturday and I think we all lined up in the traditional order except Ben Myall and Lyndon Thruston were out of place with mishaps. Barry was inspirational being right up there just behind Christian in his flying methanol powered Austin 7. Danny was in very close company again a good drive for a relative rookie. I was out there masquerading as daughter Helen as I hadn’t changed my transponder but having a great time driving our Centaur for the very first time. Bernie Atkinson truly cooked his engine in qualy when a coolant pipe failed. He played no farther part that weekend and went home early a great pity.
Race 1 Saturday.
With the weather staying dry and a brisk wind we set off with Peter Chattin leading the charge. The racing was good with a lot of dicing and spinning going on. The two hairpins were the most usual spots. The results were as expected with the exception of Barry Pike who got second in his first race. Excellent it even impressed his son! Danny going well chasing Christian. Greg was disappointed with is new supercharger being harried by David Whetton no supercharger. Both of these being chased by the ever well performing Mike Harvey.
BBQ Saturday evening.
While the SW gales were still trying we enjoyed a very good evening made possible by the kindness of the Colin and Allyson, Colin races with RGB in class F who allowed us into their copious gazebo. The usual offerings were sacrificed supplemented by bowls of salads. A very nice evening. I think we should take pause here to follow the saga of the one wheel trailer. Danny was not idle this evening. After getting “helpful” suggestions he resorted to eBay and found a local trailer which he bought. I bit of a monster but nevertheless serviceable and essential for recovery of the weekend.
Race 2. Sunday
A rather wet affair but it did stop while were out on a very wet circuit. Spins were the order of the day some even greedily making more than one. No damage other than to track positions. Peter in his usual position eventually had an engine problem that was a sheared rocker shaft block stud this didn’t stop him winning but did allow Trefor to get fastest lap trying to catch Christian.
All in all a very good weekend real June weather would have made it stupendous.