Your journey actually ends in the middle of nowhere, the reason being that RAF Blyton was opened on April 20th 1942 with 3 concrete runways in addition to a large range of hangers, bomb stores and accommodation buildings for it’s 2,355 service personnel. It reminds me of smaller versions of Castle Coombe and Pembrey with good straights, fast flowing curves and a chicane to keep the whole job under some semblance of control.
The Driving Centre is developing really well with a relatively new very smooth track surface, excellent meeting and catering facilities and extremely friendly staff, especially Richard who I believe is the owner and who promptly met me, King Stallard and Coxy upon our arrival and relieved us of a tenner each for parking our motorhomes on some premise that it was his birthday!
I mention the King as he was supposed to be bringing his Elan to compete in the Paul Matty Lotus Championship and Coxy was bringing Prince Ian of Godalming’s red Vixen to compete with us. The first small flaw in my great expectations plan came when the King announced that he had “cooked” the twin cam in the Elan and had therefore switched his entry and brought the blue Vixen instead. The second flaw was I felt going to be more of a problem, I will explain more and you will understand why.
Upon rising to a pleasant start to the day on Sunday we were greeted to the burbling’s of a blue Griff from which exited a smiling whiskery face “thought I would surprise you with a late entry “, I can assure you it certainly did. It was none other than “The Firth”. Jes had driven the epic journey from competing at Goodwood on Saturday to be with us, weren’t we the lucky ones! I couldn’t wait to see the look on last year’s winner Alistair Holloway’s face when he arrived. As if Sideways Lyle isn’t enough for the rest of us to cope with, we now also had The Firth and The King!
This actually lifted our numbers to 9 consisting of 1 Griff, 1 Cerbera, 1 V8S, 3 Chimeras and 3 Vixens. The organisation was run by Midland Automobile Club of Shelsley Walsh fame and it has to be said that they do run a slick operation. Following an uneventful scrutineering session we were soon into first practice which saw everyone finding their way and exploring levels of adhesion, that is apart from Jes of course who doesn’t appear to understand the word “practice”!
We were following the Morgan’s ‐ well someone has to and second practice came quickly. Prince Ian in only his second Sprint event is learning his craft very quickly, however he experienced a triumph of enthusiasm over rubber adhesion at a fast left‐hander and had a small pirouette. Very acceptable under the circumstances and proved he was trying. Positions after second practice were P1 The Firth, P2 Sideways, P3 The King, P4 Mike Roe, P5 Huge Davies, P6 Last years winner, P7 Richard Blacklee, P8 Wheezer Ward and P9 The Prince.
Due to the slick organisation, we were treated to an unusual third practice that gave a welcome opportunity to explore the faster lines. Although times were improving, positions remained the same apart from The Prince who posted a credible 80.0 seconds and improved to P8 with Wheezer moving to P9.
During the lunch break I witnessed Sideways and The Firth speaking a foreign language called Data Logging while Last years winner lay under the rear of his Cerbera examining it’s exhaust pipes! It was then into first timed runs with Sideways laying down the gauntlet to post a handicap time of 70.68, with The Firth P2 on 70.97, P3 Roe 73.53, P4 The King 74.17, P5 Last years winner 75.02 closely followed by Huge, Richard and The Prince who did post a time despite suffering rotor arm failure. The Wheezer’s Chimera decided to come out in sympathy of it’s owner and “wheeze” its water out causing a none finish.
The Firth posted an absolute handicap blinder in the second timed run of 69.61 to move him into P1, more of that later. The other movers were The King up to P3, Roe to P4, Richard demoting Huge to P7, while The Prince broke 80 seconds and the Wheezer’s car fixed was in P9.
We were then informed that there would be a third run which would count for us and so we lined up for the final time. The Prince was still exploring the dynamics of tarmac versus rubber and suffered a spirited excursion into the Rape field with fortunately no damage. Final results we thought were P1 The Firth, P2 Sideways, P3 The King, P4 Roe, P5 Huge, P6 Last year’s winner, P7 Richard, P8 The Prince and P9 Wheezer.
However, this story has a sting in the tail. The Firth’s magnificent second timed run resulting in the win, was deemed a somewhat contentious fail due to all 4 wheels off at the Hump which the organisers had waited for verification from the Marshals at the end. The RED 25 points therefore passed to Sideways Lyle with a handicap time of 70.68 seconds against The Firth’s 70.79, as some consolation Jes set a new class B record by almost 3 seconds. Class A honours were taken by The King who also broke his previous record by 3 seconds.
To those of you who are still thinking about it – go on, come and join us and put some numbers on it!