MOTORSPORT: Peter Bramble’s racing diary

Peter Bramble MG Racing'August 18 2011
Peter Bramble MG Racing'August 18 2011

MG Racing at Angelsey and Curborough

We recently had a very busy weekend racing at Angelsey and the next day sprinting at Curbourgh near Lichfield. We travelled up on the Friday with our mascot or jinx Callum and passed all the places that we had broken down with him onboard.

Luckily the trip outbound was uneventful and we arrived to unusually un-Welsh weather it was dry and sunny. We unpacked and set up camp, It was the first time this year we had used our generator, and it had not got any matured with age it was still as loud but it made sure we had our own little oasis in the paddock, free of cars to the left and to the right of us. Although the generator was noisy it wasn’t efficient it took forever to cook our meals on the microwave. Men on their own it’s either delivered or it’s microwaved.

Next morning I was up early to check the car over, the main things had been checked in the week between the two races but it doesn’t hurt to recheck, just in case something has been overlooked. The weather had started to return to normal with dark clouds and then rain. The wet weather tyres were taken from the trailer and prepared, it was about this time when the Paul and Callum woke up. How they could sleep through the noise of the generator I don’t know, as the rest of the paddock couldn’t.

The weather improved and I decided to stay with the original tyres, the difference in tyres is, the wet ones have tread and the dry tyres have memories of where the tread was. It was now time to practice.

In the assembly area Mike Peters came over and asked me if he could follow me around the circuit as he had not driven on the coastal circuit before. So off we went around the circuit , first lap went ok as I warmed the tyres, second lap I went for it unfortunately as I came down the corkscrew I didn’t quite get it right and as I entered the start finish straight the rear broke away and I spun it right in front of race control, almost collecting Mike in the process.

It didn’t get any better because as I rejoined the track and went into the hairpin I went into it too fast and exited onto the grass on the exit point, Ian Wright who was following me came off at the same point in sympathy. I thought that I might have to go and visit the headmaster but it seems that with the new paint job I’m not recognized. The rest of the practice went well with no more off road driving. I had qualified, fourth overall and second in class.

The car was refueled and checked over for damage and any fluid loss, there was no damage or any fluid losses.

After watching a couple of races it was our turn, I had a good start but Alan Bates who was behind me had a better one and as we went into turn one he was in front of me and to my right As moved over to the left for the best position for turn two there was slight contact to the front of my offside wing. I now have even more tyre marks on the car. We approached turn two Alan went to the left and high, but I went to the right and low and outbraked him into the corner. The rest of the pack were behind us and I was behind Mike but as usual he was pulling away from me. I was pulling away from the pack but Mike was leaving me. Then on lap two the safety car came out and we all had to close up which was good for me in that I was close to Mike but the other closed up to me, led by Steve Mckie.

The safety car went in and as we went past the start finish line I tried my best to close down Mike and pass him but I was unsuccessful. I did though get away from the pack. I could not catch Mike but I was quite a distance from the rest of the pack, I had one eye on the track ahead and the other on the cars behind me.

In the end I finished third overall and second in class, which was a good result for us after the bad result at Silverstone.

After the prize giving we packed up and started on our journey to Curbourgh.

Eventually we arrived at Curbourgh and set up camp. I woke up early, unloaded the car and accidentally started the generator, funnily enough people sleeping four feet away from the generator couldn’t hear it, but people on the estate a mile away could. I finished preparing the car putting on the wet tyres as they are a different compound and should heat up quicker and get more grip on the track, well that’s the theory. I also changed the brake pads for some green stuff pads as the race pads would not get hot enough to work.

After scrutineering , it was time for the first practice. I got a good start and was going well until I tried to brake for the second lap, but the brakes didn’t work and I shot past the corner.I eventually stopped and continued driving the remainder of the lap.

The second practice went well with no moments.There was rain forecast, but the sky was clear as we started the first timed run,things went well and I did not fall off, the car was behaving well and the brakes were starting to work.

We had a second timed run before lunch in which I improved my time and I was enjoying myself, I used to sprint and hillclimb before I started racing and I do miss competing in them.

After lunch as we were lining up for our third run it started to rain and it rain it did.

Some people returned to the paddock, but I decided to have another go. The tyres could not get any grip as I left the start line I survived the first corner but going into the chicane I spun the car backwards into the grass which took me a while to exit. I managed to achieve the slowest time of the day.

At the end of the day I managed to finish third in class.

The van must know it is going soon, to be replaced by something else, as it broke down once again as we refuelled.

Our next race is at Donnington on Sunday August 28th.