British Sprint Championship: John Loudon reports on his weekend at Pembrey
We travelled down to South Wales on Friday in glorious sunshine but knowing that the weather forecast for the weekend indicated that we would need to use wet tyres at some point on one or both of the days. However, the rain held off for the day until as we were packing away for the day. The expected course was changed to Sunday’s Club circuit at the last minute due to a track permit mix up at MSUK, so a good proportion of us hadn’t walked the correct course beforehand. Practice went surprisingly well and then the first timed run I broke the 1100 single seater class record. However, my delight was short lived as someone else also broke it by even more.
The next timed run was the points scoring run for the British Sprint Championship. This went even better and I improved my time by over 2 seconds from the previous run and came 7th in the one and only run off of the day. The only downside to that was that it was still just 0.19 seconds short of claiming the newly established class record from the previous run by another competitor without another chance to claim it for myself.
The expected rain deluged overnight, and it continued to rain throughout most of Sunday. The course was the National circuit which was the expected course for Saturday. I was up early to change to wet tyres for the day in preparation. Practice was used to learn where the standing water was on the circuit which allowed me to push harder in the first timed run. This was the qualifier for the next round of the British Sprint runoffs due after lunch in which the rain eased and stopped. Although the track was still damp, there was no standing water and most of the British Sprint competitors hurriedly changed to slicks, myself included.
I set off from the start line with more grip than I expected which lulled me into thinking I could leave braking later than the previous practice and timed runs into the first corner. A slight lock up saw me push wide of the apex and waste time but I managed to keep on track and continue still at speed. By the next corner the tyres had some heat in them and had started to come alive so I continued to push on. I finished 7th again in the run off which was pleasing. The next time run was also a run off. By this time the rain had started again and we were all back on wet tyres. Although my time was my fastest ‘wet’ time of the day, it was only good enough to finish me 9th. This left me heading home with two 7th places and a 9th place from the weekends events, which gave me a good enough points haul to leave me standing 5th overall in the British Sprint championship.
The new Force TA racing car ran faultlessly all weekend again inspiring greater confidence with each event as I learn its handling characteristics. The next round of the British Sprint championship is on July 16th at Lydden Hill. A big thank you to my sponsor Laser Tools Racing.