Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mallory

With my previous disappointment at Cadwell, I was hoping to do rather better at Mallory. I've always liked Mallory (on four wheels, I hated it on two, mainly because of the stupid "bus-stop" chicane) and always done pretty well there.

Practice day was actually a track day, so rather full of road BMWs (and, it has to be said, Academy 09 drivers) doing 5mph round the hairpin and blocking many of the potential "legal" overtaking spots. In the end we took to overtaking round Gerrards, but nobody objected.

Ah, Gerrards. What a fantastic corner. Mallory may be short, but frankly if Gerrards was the only corner I'd be happy. Light touch of brakes, sling it in and get on the power. The corner goes on forever, and if you start understeering, then a quick lift brings the back round in classic "lift-off oversteer" style.

Qualifying went pretty well and I finished in a very respectable seventh place.

The race didn't go quite so well. I got bulked a bit at the start, but then managed to take several places back at the hairpin each lap. I love the way people try to protect the inside line into the hairpin, and end up up queueing behind each other as you go sailing down the outside to take the proper line. So this was going pretty well until I came hurtling round Gerrards to find Alan Harber with his brakes on hard. I swerved to miss him, which put me in a spin before I'd even reached the grass. After that I was a passenger, and went into the armco a little further up.

Alan had braked because they'd just put out the red flags after an incident which saw an unconscious Dylan Stanley parked on the racing line just a few yard ahead. Although I couldn't see the red flag from where I was, I had to my shame missed the waved yellow at the post before.

Fortunately my damage was limited to a busted radiator and nosecone. Dylan was fine after waking up, though somehow or other Steve "Shuntie" Humphreys managed to break his arm in the same race.

Video of the start until my crash here.

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