Friday and Juniors are first up for qualifying.
Silverstone is a huge layout and for the Classic, it is a massive undertaking with pits from your backside to breakfast time.
The Formula Juniors are in the ‘National Pits’ with historic racers, pre 61 sports cars and a host of other categories.
We qualify and race in the mornings.
The F1 Masters, the Jag brigade plus other (presumably premium) grids are in the Interantional F1 pits under the Silverstone ‘Wing”.
Anyhow, Friday was warm and dry with just a light breeze at 8am. 8:30 we start getting sorted for assembly.
8:45 it starts a light spit and then by 9 it is raining, light but definitely wet.
Off we go.
Surprisingly, the track feels ok. I follow Lorraine Gathercole in her Lotus 18 around for a bit.
After a couple of laps, still trying to reconcile the GP circuit I’m driving with the diagram I had.
Moving along well though and getting good corner speed. 4th lap and getting a bit more comfortable until we get around to the chicane at Village and The Loop. There is oil all over the place like a greek salad and the understeer followed by snap oversteer is less than encouraging.
But onward we press. Need a few more laps to learn where all these disguised and often blind corners go.
End up qualified 37 of 55 and the 4th front engine car.
Happy with that and looking forward to the (forecast) cool and dry Saturday Race 1 (again first of the day).
And lining up for Race 1, the sodden paddock and track of last night is gone. We have dry, cool sunny conditions.
Only a half lap warm up for us, but by the time we get to grid, the car feels tight and nice. It now feels like at Spa, but I’m at home with it again.
We’re away and it is a HUGE grid. There are cars everywhere and it takes a bit of mindfulness keeping clear in the aforementioned Village/The Loop chicane and on through Brooklands. There is some ducking and diving but I figure we have 7 or 8 laps at least to sort out the good cornering cars that can carry the speed down the key straights.
Good drive out of Brooklands and I close up and pass #34 on the inside going up the National pit straight, brake not too heavy and into Woodcote for a good drive through. (He keeps going in too fast and ends up wide and slow).
#34 comes off the Woodcote turn fast and swoops by into Maggots and Becketts, followed by the Renmax (ex Roger Ealand) which had started off the back of the grid,.
Into Maggots and now have some clear road behind and have a nice line through Becketts, backed off just nicely so I can get the right line and fast exit through Chapel and out to Hangar straight. Car feels tight and I’m thinking this is going to become a great race.
#34 has gone in too hot and now is high, late for turn in and too far left on this right turn through Chapel to be able to make good exit speed. There is a straight through runoff area but he keeps turning right and he is still too fast. He gets the outside wheel on to the grass and spins it, smack in front of me.
Christopher Scholey is “very sorry and didn’t do it on purpose”.
Well, I could poke that up a galloping sow’s arse with his finger and I still don’t have a decent story to tell. I suspect the car has been sitting in a garage somewhere for 4 years and some bright spark thought it would be a wonderful idea to bring it out to the Silverstone Classic, like it is a fluffing playground.
Tonight, its now coming up 2am, I am in Kimbolton, instead of getting pissed up at the Status Quo concert at S/Stone.
Feel pretty gutted.
Chassis is bent at the front but not sure how much yet and where the bend goes to (compressed to where?). Several joints cracked and some broken, radiator and oil cooler gone, mounts all need remaking, nose cone is only half there, cut tyre, engine mount end plate at firewall bent as the motor and box tried to go through the radiator and leave the fast stopping remainder .
Not much more to say really. Trying not to let the bile buildup too far.
Will drop some video out for you tomorrow and then you can see it the same as I did.