BTCC Mendip

It was forecast to rain – and it did. I don’t run in the wet, so I was just hoping for a few decent runs before the rain came. It was the end of the series, and it had a kind of “end of term” feel to it, there was a much smaller turnout than usual (8 heats, only 4 cars in blinky so I ran boosted instead which still had only 34 cars), the usual PA at the track was broken and the skies were grey… I got the sense that most people couldn’t wait to get home!

The track was damp first thing. First round I made the mistake of not warming my tyres – the track and ambient temperature was cold and the car was just skidding around for the first three laps. Even when it stopped skidding around it was quite slow, partly because I had forgotten how to drive the track. A middling 15 lapper was a disappointment although 19th in round was not far off what I would usually get.

Second round I warmed the tyres and the car was much better, I managed a fast-ish 16 lapper which left me 14th in round. Unfortunately, at the end of the round the rain started to fall, and although there was a dry spell during my race, the track was still damp. I gambled on going out on the slicks, and the car was actually very driveable, and could mix it with the wet-tyred cars until the last minute when (apparently) the drizzle started again and I started to drop back. Nonetheless, 10th in round was a positive result and rather like at Aldershot the wet-track run on slicks actually worked out better than any of my dry tyre runs!

The fourth round was far too wet with standing water on the track so I sat it out. The rain stopped just before the finals started but there were still a couple of shallow puddles by the time the 13.5 B came around. I wouldn’t usually run in those conditions but put the car down anyway – you never know how lucky you will get. But as I tiptoed around to 7th on the grid I could tell that I had no where near enough grip in the car, and that was proven at the tone as my car was the only one that couldn’t get off the line and I ended up sliding into the grass. After I was marshalled I tried to complete the lap but by that point I was already close to being lapped so I pulled over before I ruined anyone’s race or my own electrics…

Roll on the indoor season!

Dave

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