Saturday 30th September and Sunday 1st October Saturday – 6 hour race

 
This is an amazing event with some 600 cars taking part in 11 races over the weekend, with over 1000 drivers.   I was fortunate enough to be asked to join George Miller in his DB4 along with Les Goble in the feature 6 hour race.  Les did a cracking 3.12 minutes lap to qualify this pretty standard car in 39th position.  We split the race into 6 segments, Les doing the 1st and 4th, George doing the 2nd and 5th and myself the 3rd and 6th.  Les had a very good first session moving up from 39th starting spot to the mid 30’s.  At the end of the 1st session Les felt the brakes were becoming wooden and this was attended to, but this dropped us to 72nd.  George had a good steady session and refuelled before handing over to me in 69th place.  At the end of my session we were 55th and all 4 tyres were changed and the breaks checked and adjusted.  They had been holding up fine but unfortunately the adjustment turned out to be detrimental and within a few laps Les was back in with the front discs literally red hot.  The problem was found and rectified, however Les was to return not much later with the back breaks not red but white hot.  By now it was dark and they could be seen from a distance, indeed you could have easily cooked on them.  The problem was resolved but then all the breaks had to be bled, which meant we lost some time, so instead of being 1 minute behind the class leader who we were catching, we were now5 or 6 laps adrift, and so we found ourselves in 59th. Les completed his stint and refuelled for the 2nd time having maintained an excellent pace in torrential rain whilst cars all around were flying off the track in 52nd place.   George took over and did another steady stint before handing over to me with the helpful advice that the wipers had packed up.   That didn’t make much difference as it was very difficult to see the turning points for the corners, as both Les and George had found out earlier.  It sometimes helped if you were following another car, except when they missed the corner!!  Blindly following the car in front is not always best! The rest of the race finished without any mishaps and we crossed the line in 44th position and 2nd in the class.  A great feeling of achievement and a fantastic atmosphere throughout. Sunday – 1 hour race – British Sports and Saloon Cars Team Belfry had a full presence in this race with the V8, DBS and MGBV8.  In qualifying Ant in the DBS got 45th position in 3.11, Ciaran in the MGB got 36th in 3.08 and I qualified the V8 in 20th position in 3.02.  The Race: The safety car came out after about 20 minutes of hard racing so we came in one lap behind the other for our compulsory 1 minute pit stop.  The race continued with a bit of rain falling to just make the track nice and slippery, which resulted in a number of cars going out either in the gravel traps or Armco barriers around the 5+ miles of track.  I had a great tussle for a number of laps with a flying TR6, but having got past him I managed to keep him behind me and continued overtaking a few more cars.  I only had one near miss when a big hairy Cobra started fish tailing from side
to side coming out of la source hairpin, the back of his car and the front of mine being separated by what looked like less than an inch! The hour passed remarkably quickly, although it was incredibly hot in the V8, and I discovered that we had finished 7th, which was fantastic, having had an ambition before qualifying to finished in the top 10.   Ant had a good race and overtook a lot of cars moving from 45th to 18th and his best lap was 0.3 seconds faster than mine.   He managed to get ahead of Ciaran with just a few laps to go and they crossed the line in close company with Ciaran just 11 seconds behind Ant.   Ciaran also had a good race in the MG, which seemed very popular with a lot of spectators who came to look at it before and after the race, and finished 20th and 2nd in the class.   We had some great racing and are very pleased that we all had a good run and finished without any bent body panels.   We are already planning next years trip.
 
1 Hour British Sports & Saloon Car Challenge
 
Chris Scragg in Aston Martin V8
Qualified 20th in 3.02.433      
9th fastest in class 3
Result: 7th
Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes and 48.317 seconds
20 laps at an average of 127.2kmph
Best lap: 3.02.465 or 137.635kmph
4th in Class 3
 
Ant Scragg in Aston Martin DBSV8
Qualified 45th with 3.11.881
15th fastest in Class 3
Result: 18th in 1 hour 7 minutes and 26.108 seconds
20 laps at an average of 124.137kmph
Best lap: 3.02.163 or 137.863kmph
9th in Class 3
 
Ciaran Butler in MGB GT V8
Qualified 36th with 3.08.9536th fastest in Class 2
Result: 20th in 1 hour 7 minutes and 37.435 seconds
20 laps at an average of 123.791kmph
Best lap: 3.05.576 or 135.328kmph
2nd in Class 2
 
As we went out to drive around the track to form up on the grid prior to the formation lap it started to spit, the worst possible thing.   With nearly 80 cars in the race the formation lap was more like the M25 and as the safety car peeled into the pits all hell broke loose as this vast collection of cars headed down the hill towards ‘eau rouge’, a truly amazing corner.   Within a lap or so the field settled down and from my perspective the chase was on to gain some places.   I caught up and passed a few cars in front of me and before long the back markers were being lapped.