Friday, 7 August 2009

Lydden Hill - August 1st / 2nd

It must be maybe 18th years since I last ventured all the way down to Lydden Hill in Kent. It a short circuit, only a mile long, but without all the twists and turns of Three Sisters!

After two hours of delays ( M2 shut!) finally arrived Friday night and found myself a space to wedge into next to the Hardy's and little Steve Pollit.

Saturday brought a longish wait at signing on which is where I was whilst the riders meeting was taking place!

Practice found me getting familiar again with the Lydden circuit, which is pretty bumpy in places!

Race 1 saw me line up on the grid..... unaware of the riders meeting announcement that we would be starting on the F1 type lights rather than a flag as previously notified....... so as the red flag moved away I was looking for another flag....... then I saw a red light, followed by another..... and then i went to go.... and another light came on! I had gone a bike length then stopped after the 5 red lights then went off it was time to start! At Mallory theres only 2 lights... so unfortunately I found myself with a time penalty!

The race saw me follwing the very fast Kegra bike of Chris Redman, with John Woods around on the Vespa. Across the line I was 19th overall... might have been a place higher without a penalty!

Race 2 I fitted the onboard camera and carefully watching the lights to avoid a jump start, I had to back out of acceleration as Stuart Day had stalled on the line and he was right in my path! This race saw the first of a few crashes this weekend and PJ binned the group 6 and took a trip to the medical centre, and Tony Obrien crashed the Green Hornet, breaking the headset and ripping the legshields apart. This caused a race restart as the scooter came to rest in a bad position, although Tony was fine and unhurt.

Saturday night featured a superb barbecue courtesy of the VMCC....... fantastic burgers!

Sunday was a very leisurely start as due to a local church there is no track activity until 12.30. I managed to sneak a quick extra 4 lap practice then it was race 1, which was pretty uneventful except that Ed Hocking got rear wheel puncture and managed to park his scooter totally upright buried in the gravel trap! Ed then went onto have a very nasty crash in the sidecar race. It looked a really big one... one of the worst I've seen. Ed was pretty battered and ended up going to hospital with his neck in a collar.

The crash caused a delay in racing as it was sorted out. One thing that was reaaly impressive is that it was 43 secconds from Ed being stationary to having two paramedics attending him.

Race two in the solo's saw another very bad crash on lap 3 with race leader Josh Brown being left unconscious in the track after piling into a newcomer in his first race whilst looking back to see where Charlie Edmonds was! This accident led to another long delay as the other medical team were not back from the hospital with Ed Hocking yet!

So after a somewhat daunting delay and seeing Josh's crash there was another restart, and I ended that race in 17th overall.

So.... 4 races and 4 finishes, and some reasonable points added to my tally to help secure the 7th place in Group 4 of the Championship.