Saturday was an early start, due to the large entry, class F and R had been split into their own races and class F were out early in the day. Having 40 odd entries for RGB is fantastic, and the class F's getting their own race can only be a good thing for RGB, possibly something we will manage to get more and more of if grids stay healthy, hopefully attracting more people to come and join us. It was also exciting the F'ers would have a pole start and podium finish, something not possible with the new wave of class R cars dominating the front end of the grid. Quali went well, the car felt really good and i had a good clear run, which was probably due to me being first in the queue and there being 16 cars on track. The times came in and the first 3 rows were all in a few tenths of each other so it was lining up to be a close fought race. I was 2nd for both races, 0.06 seconds behind Paul Rickers, so a front row start for the first time ever, very exciting!!
I had a mediocre start, as did Paul next to me and i managed to nose a head of him getting into paddock, but i was being a little tentative and wanted to ensure i didnt have a collision or a spin with cold tires, at which Colin Spicer (starting on the 2nd row) who had a flier came steaming through on the outside to take the lead. Coming out of Clearways i got far better drive than Colin and went up his inside. Over the next few laps i managed to pull out a decent lead, but due to Steve Bells diff lunching itself and being stranded in the middle of druids the race was red flagged. The restart didn't go well (i must sort that clutch lever out!!) and i was 3rd by the time we got into paddock. A couple of laps in i got past Paul up the inside after another decent exit from clearways, and then the following lap did the same on Andy Grant (in Al Boultons old purple peril) via the outside line at Paddock. I saw Paul get past Andy the following lap and when the last lap board came out he was right behind me. I panicked and drove the last lap very defensively, and did close the door on Paul coming down the straight after Graham Hill, but managed to hold on to the finish line to claim my first ever class win and overall race win!! As you can see from the footage i was rather pleased and almost put the car into the pit wall whilst punching the air!! We were called into park ferme so had to walk down to the podium, but by the time we had got there the next race and started so missed out on the interview and standing on the podium, which was a bit of a disappointment, but nothing was going to take the smile off my face after the win!
Mid afternoon, minutes before the class R race the heavens opened, and i was very glad i wasn't on that grid. The conditions looked horrendous, something the drivers confirmed when they returned from their midday wash!! Never the less it was a good race to watch, not because of the numerous spins, but some close racing and outstanding drives by numerous drivers,most notably Matt H winning his first race in impressive style, Scott M first outing in his new car and getting on the podium and RGB'er newbie Duncan Horlor steering his rebuilt Spire GTR to an excellent finish after starting 15th! Well done all, a great showcase for the RGB grid!
Race 2 came and the circuit was still wet, but the standing water had cleared and very little spray. I had a decent start and got past Paul as we entered paddock, i then managed to pull out a good lead over the next few laps (i couldn't see any cars in my mirror by the time i entered paddock hill, so decided to back off and just manage the gap until the chequed flag to claim the win. So that was my 2nd ever win and made it a double winning weekend, bloody fantastic!!!
Now drinking and eating is all part of the race weekend, but after such a fantastic day it got a little bit silly. Not everyone had had such a good day, i.e Mr Watson, but he is very good at eating (hey big man) and drinking, so he forgot about his troubles and joined in with the festivities. The evening was great fun, Bob had cooked up his special pulled pork, Dave had bought gallons of red wine, Steve M bought a bottle of Jack D and i had bought our old favourites Jagermeister and tins of red bull. Visitors passed in and out of the camp and by 2.30am there were many empty bottles and the odd body littered around the camp at which point the last few capable of walking staggered off to bed.
We stayed around to watch the 2nd class R race, again very entertaining with a fantastic 3 car battle upfront, with John C recording his first win in the new Spire, Al B impressing in his first outing in his newly acquired Spire and Matt H coming in 3rd with a lap record.
So the weekend had everything, and although i have had many many brilliant race weekends this tops them all!!!! A big thanks goes out to Dad for the 100's of hours he has put into developing and repairing the old GM1 over the last few years, i wouldn't have got this far without his support, and definitely missed a few races along the way without his paddock angle grinding skills!!! And another big thankyou to Dan for his faithful support, especially through some of the darker weekends, and for feeding us and keeping the camp in a habitable state! Fingers crossed some more fantastic weekends are ahead.......
Roll on Snetterton!!!!