It’s been a while since my last entry as I’ve been on holiday and now I realise I’ve driven that great little car for the last time. I’ve been hankering after a single seater for a while and impulsively bought Martin Pickles’ Van Diemen RF87 when it came up for sale recently. I hadn’t really planned to buy one before the end of the season but Martin’s looked good and I bought it unseen before I left for Madeira and he delivered it when I got back and spent an evening showing me various little things – like how to change the gear ratios! Not having a trailer I then put the Mazda on ebay and sold it to someone who wanted a track day car – who also bought it unseen. It’s going to the Nurburgring in October and to a track day at Spa on the way home – obviously it’s found a good home.
My first event in the Mazda was the HSA end of year event at Curborough in 2009 at which John Gallagher won the HSA championship in his MX5. I then joined the HSA and in 2010 competed in 8 hill climbs and 7 sprints ( all but one HSA events), coming third in the MX5 class to Tony Thomas who won the championship outright and Paul Webster and coming joint 17th in the championship, level with Fyrth Crosse. This year I have competed in 7 hill climbs and 6 sprints (again all but one HSA events) and am sitting second in class behind Nick Mugglestone, who is leading the championship overall. Without the Mazda I cannot improve my score now but with a bit of luck I hope to be second in class and perhaps snatch a top ten place in the championship. It’s difficult to predict as only your top nine results are counted and some people haven’t done nine yet. Also, the weather now has a big effect on the scores as from this year they are weighted towards times rather than class position, so a wet day stops people setting low times and thus scoring high points. Anyway, as I say, the Mazda has gone so I can only watch the last 7 HSA rounds with interest and see where I end up.
I can heartily recommend the Mazda MX5 and the HSA championship to anyone considering starting speed hill climbing or sprinting. It’s ironic that now my car is competitive with its new suspension setup and now that I have the hang of driving it, I am starting again in something else. But I’m looking forward to the challenge and also looking forward to entering a mainstream class at any club event and not a special HSA sub-category of one.
I’m a little apprehensive about driving the Van Diemen, especially in public so will try and arrange a couple of test sessions and if I think I won’t embarrass myself too much, I’ll enter the final HSA event of the year in it at Curborough on 9 October. I’ve a lot to learn first though, like where to stash my wallet, camera and reading glasses – so easy in the Mazda – no room at all in the Van Diemen.
What I need now is a trailer!