Leigh Andrews Mazda
This is an anniversary.
My first ever event (on four wheels) was at the HSA end of season sprint at Curborough in October 2009. Looking back it seems an odd time to start – the last event of the season – but that’s what I did and of course there is a blog entry about it – Curborough October 2009,  though that is not the first blog entry, which was about selling my Chevrolet Corvair to buy an MX5 track day car.   Anyway, a lot has happened since 2009. I have competed in 109 events  at 16 venues –
Blyton Park
Gurston Down
Loton Park
Mallory Park
Shelsley Walsh
Thoresby Park
Ty Croes (Anglesey)
Wiscombe Park
and I am onto my third competition car, having sold the MX5, tried single seaters in the form of a Formula Ford and am now back in Roadgoing Class with a Lotus Elise. Since the outset I have competed in the HSA Speed Championship, initially because they have an MX5 class, but then because I like travelling around a bit and visiting different places and HSA membership allows you to do that.
Back in 2009 I didn’t know a soul and of course I didn’t know how events are run or what I had to do. Today I know so many people and the procedures are second nature.  In the 2015 HSA Sprint there were 72 entries, some in their first sprint like me in 2009 and others with a little more experience like Alex Summers, the 2015 British Hillclimb Champion. That always amazes me – that we amateurs find ourselves on the same bill as those at the top of their sport. (Back in 1978 I was overtaken on the inside by Barry Sheene at Paddock Bend at Brands Hatch, but that was a practice session not a race meeting,  let alone a race).
Anyway, back to 2015 – there were eleven in my class including three Honda S2000s and I got the class win and set a new HSA class record of 35.78. It was a cold day and the track was slightly slippery (I span off onto the grass infield in second practice) so I was well pleased with this, especially as it was quicker than anyone in the over two litre roadgoing class too. As far as the HSA championship goes, I think I’ve finished joint 4th with Bradley Hobday, though this has to be officially confirmed. Apart from the championship points it’s been great fun – travelling around the country, meeting old friends and making new ones,  improving by tenths of seconds here, spinning off there, squelching about in muddy fields (Wiscombe and Werrington) and enjoying ice creams on hot days (Loton).  What am I going to do for the next six months?
Let’s have some photos…
What a collection of cars! The gullwing is Geoff Twemlow’s Saker GT, behind that is Rowland Turner’s completely original, owned since new, Ford Escort MkI Mexico (Rowland told me that his very first sprint was this event in 1978), and on the right, number 98, is Fyrth Crosse’s Mallock U2, which is currently up for sale.  And here they are in action…
IMG_2409 IMG_2419
 Hiding behind the Mexico in the top picture is another classic roadgoing  saloon – Graeme Williamson’s Hillman Imp, and here he is out on track…
I mentioned that there were three S2000s. These always interest me as Jacqui has one..IMG_6376
The bronze one belongs to Mike Hawley, who won his class in the HSA championship last year and the other two, belonging to Raymond Worrall (16) and Michael Thomson (14) came down from Daytona Autos, an S2000 specialist in Congleton. They brought with them quite a few followers so there lots of interesting S2000s in the spectators area. [Rob and Gail you missed a treat]. And here they are in action…
That last photo is out of focus I know but the following one was more what I was aiming at…
Martin Jones in a Raw Phoenix.
It was good to catch up with Leigh Andrews, who hasn’t been out this year but decided to come and watch the final round of the championship. However, at the last minute he decided to see if he could get an entry, which he did, and enjoyed 5 runs in his immaculate Mazda RX8.
Ken Morris was the fastest of the MX5 runners and he and I both got into the class winners’ run off, though neither of us improved on our times so were never in contention for the award.
Here’s another MX5. Mervyn Brake, probably with standard suspension.
Another out of focus photo I’m afraid, but here we have Gary Thomas (who got FTD) coming around Fradley hairpin. Love it! The angle of his head compared with the wheels.
Here’s Wil Ker in his OMS CF09.
And here’s Richard Arrowsmith in a Force.
Finally a photo of two HSA members who have always encouraged me… Gordon Hick and Firth Crosse.  It was also good to see Peter Hubbard again, who came to remind himself what it was all about. He took the year off to restore a 1931  AJS D9 (see his fantastic account on Facebook – AJSD9) but promises to be back with something rather different –  powered by a V8 two-stroke engine out of a boat!
Well that’s the end of this blog post. It’s not meant to be a race report – those appear on the HSA website.  These are simply personal scribblings. So, another season over.  See you in 2016 if not at the HSA Awards Lunch in November, which you can book here – Awards Lunch.
Finally a big thank you to Alan Goodwin of Aldon Automotive for looking after the Lotus. What a car!

2 thoughts on “Curborough 10 October 2015

  1. Nice write up Bob, it was great talking to you on Sat like yourself Michael Thomson and myself were having our first foray into sprinting at the end of the season, we both enjoyed it immensely and are looking froward to a full season next year just like yourself we are both well and truly hooked,


  2. The Daltons

    Hi Bob – we always enjoy reading your blog – hope you will continue finding something of interest to share with us all during the long cold winter months – take care – see you next season!!
    The Daltons

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