Loton Park September 13th / 14th 2008 Results
Loton Park Saturday 13th / Sunday 14th September 2008
A Record End to the Season
For our last meeting of the year (having decided not to compete at Doune) we were back to Loton Park with the aim of breaking the record again. I also wanted to confirm my second place finish in the Midland Championship and Fen had the chance to finish as highest placed lady driver in the Midland and Hillclimb Leaders Championships. But fine weather was essential….
The weekend started well. Saturday was a glorious warm sunny day which gave the opportunity for three good practices each. We both tried out different gear changes and I came within ½ second of the existing record and Fen to within 0.2 second of her personal best. The car ran well and after the usual spanner check we were home by 5.30pm and looking forward to the next day.
Unfortunately Saturday night was cold and we returned to find Loton in fog and very slippery. Despite little improvement in the conditions the first batch of cars was sent up for first timed runs. Fen was the fourth car up the hill. The top of the course was still so foggy that she was unable to see the finish line from the last corner and reported this to Chris Meyrick who was marshalling at the top of the hill. Returning to the paddock she, and others, expressed strong concerns to the Clerk of the Course about the unsafe conditions but were rudely dealt with. Eventually common sense prevailed and the meeting was stopped until visibility improved. Unfortunately those that had already run were not allowed a re-run. I went up shortly after the restart, by which time the track was starting to dry out, and did 56.32 seconds, nearly a second outside the record.
During the rest of the morning the weather improved significantly and second runs for everybody took place in perfect conditions, sunny with a dry track. Fen, after her frustrations of the morning, was persuaded to take her second run and what a second run it was – 57.63 seconds, two seconds better than her previous personal best! A great end to her season. I went up shortly after. I didn’t feel I had driven particularly well so was amazed to discover I had done 54.71 seconds, beating the record by nearly ¾ second.
So I ended the Midland Championship second overall and holding all three hill records – Loton, Shelsley and Prescott. Fen got the highest placed lady awards in both Championships having set personal bests at all the hills we competed on. A satisfying end for both of us to a long season.
Will the Audi be out again next season…… not sure at this stage. Unless the scoring system for the championships is altered it cannot present a fair challenge to every competitor and it is discouraging to win every round and take records but stand no chance of winning overall because not enough people competed in your class. It is an expensive sport and with an uncertain economic situation developing it is important that something is done to encourage more competitors.
Fen at Triangle:
Roger at Triangle:
Another trophy, another kiss:
[Photographs by Stephan Lewen]