British Sprint Championship — Cadwell Park
John Loudon reports on the eagerly awaited opening round of the British Sprint Championship at Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire.
What was supposed to be an enjoyable day tuned out to be quite literally a damp squib of an affair as cold temperatures, gusty winds and heavy downpours marred the day. With over 140 competitors and tricky conditions, there were lots of incidents to keep the marshals busy!
Practice was used for just that and to gauge the grip levels which turned out to not be as much as hoped in a lightweight car and the heavy cars having an advantage. Our old enemy of the intermittent gear upshifts beyond third gear from early last year had also mysteriously returned which hampered top speed.
The first timed run saw a marginal improvement in time which easily qualified me for the first run off of the day. However, in the run off itself I tried a little too hard where I simply shouldn’t have and had a close miss with the Armco barrier on the exit of the hairpin, although keeping the rear wheels on the track. Having no reverse on a motorcycle engine powered car proved awkward to regain the track and the time slipped away but at least we survived and still got round finishing 8th.
With the total number of runs being confined to just three instead of four due to the delays during the day, the third and final run was both the qualifying run and run-off combined. Being cautious after the previous runs near miss, I managed to post my best time of the day and finish 6th, despite gear change issues persisting all day.
Given the number of incidents throughout the day, I was relieved to be heading home with the car and myself intact and still with some creditable points on the board leaving me in 6th overall in the championship. On the way home, I had a sudden realisation as to the likely cause of the gear change issues. An electrical component from last year’s problematic engine had unknowingly been reused and was the common denominator to the issue and likely the cause. This has now been changed and normal service should resume at next weekend’s round at Anglesey on April 1st and 2nd.