A wet start to Bank Holiday Monday.

I don’t know what I think.  Hillclimbing does not give you value for money. £280 for four timed runs and three practice runs over two days – total time on track for me –  about 8 minutes. Hmm. Yet I’ve just written out a cheque and rushed it down to Stourbridge post office to enter the next HDLCC event at Loton on 20/21 May. Why? OK, around those 8 minutes there are lots of opportunities to watch motorsport and chat with like-minded people, but you can do that for free (as a club member). It’s the drug of competition, of wanting to go back and knock another tenth of a second off, or to increase your speed by 1 mph over the speed trap or to know you’ve hit that apex just right when you’ve messed it up for the last seven years.  Those nice people in Hagley & District Light Car Club have made an addict out of me.

Another thing I am struggling with is promoting the sport. I had an interesting conversation with another competitor about how we should be allowing drones (controlled of course), having live video feeds and encouraging the use of hashtags and social media. That would attract younger, newer blood.  I agree, I agree.  And what about the regulations? The infamous Blue Book, the overalls, the gloves, the helmets – all to stringent MSA standards. These seem to be financial barriers to many young enthusiasts who can go to a track day without them and just rent a cheap helmet for the day. You can even enter some sprint competitions without an MSA licence by buying an IOPD licence on the day. It seems to me that most of the younger competitors at MSA events are sharing cars with a parent, who presumably is paying for it all. And don’t get me started on why we need timing struts! But, but, but… do we want to attract more people into our sport? One reason why we only have four runs per day is that there are too many competitors. Perhaps we ought to be capping the numbers and charging a bit more to cover expenses.

I’m going to make myself soooo unpopular! Enough! Another picture I think…

Rob MacDonald wisely puts a tyre barrier between himself and my slithering GT86. Rob’s website is at http://www.robmacphotography.co.uk
Here’s another photo of the YEll EAU car – This time by John Hallett. John’s website is at http://john-hallett.co.uk

Because it was wet (or sometimes only damp), times were much slower than yesterday. The morning practices were the wettest and I did a 77.91 and a 78.01. I kept the traction control and stability controls on because it was so wet but these were constantly interfering with how I wanted to drive and in the interests of keeping the car on the tack they were slowing it down too much, often applying brakes or cutting power mid corner. After lunch I turned off the traction control but left the Stability Control in Sport Mode. This was still  intrusive, so for the last run, when it had stopped raining and was just damp, I turned it all off and did a respectable 69.31.

I’m not sure though that I can get to the end of the season in Standard Class configuration. I have a strong urge to get decent List 1B tyres and to rip out my standard air filter and try for a 65 second time on a nice warm sunny day at Loton. Would be worth any amount of money 🙂

Let’s have some more snaps…

Dave West removed quite a lot of undergrowth from the front of his Peugeot 106 much to Dave Newell’s amusement.
Rachel, Mary, David and Dave at the top of the hill. I think the girls would have been even happier had I kept my Stability Controls on as they had both been quicker than me all day 😉
Les Buck in his new Pringett Mistrale rounding Museum.
Jack Cottrill in his Force PT heading up Cedar Straight.
Philip Stader in his colourful Midget just before Fallow. Would yellow wheels work on my car I wonder, or do you need that contrast?

Next time out? Not sure. I’ve just put in a very late entry for Curborough next Sunday (hence my mad dash to the post office earlier). I had intended to have a weekend off and sort out the garden, but it’s a figure of eight…


4 thoughts on “Loton Park 17 April 2017

  1. Nice report Bob, I also was sugar the drug and addiction analogy at croft over the weekend! Steve >

  2. Anonymous

    Thanks for the photo Bob.

  3. Could not agree more with your cost comments. I am without a race car this year but would like to do 3 or 4 events in my friends Marcos since I do enjoy the days away from the workshop. Costs for items to be legal/entry accepted etc are quite daunting when the budget is being quickly spent on the new car! Must buy a lottery ticket

  4. Anonymous

    Great read as always Bob. Be careful thinking a replacement filter system will be better. The Mazda RX8 one has not been bettered by other vendors and in most cases are worse. Check to see what if any consensus is on the gt86 owners club, and also where the replacement draws air from.

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