Silverstone 25 October 2008

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Raz987
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Silverstone 25 October 2008

Post by Raz987 » Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:10 pm

The "Holly" Birkett 6-Hour Handicap Relay race was run for its 59th year on Saturday 25th October at Silverstone. It was originally conceived to give cars of differing performance the oppurtunity of competing on 'equal' terms in a long distance race. Each team consists of between four & six drivers, and the event is based upon a free relay system, with the handicappers calculating which team they consider will complete the most laps. This becomes the "Scratch" team, and all the other teams are given credit laps according to their estimated performance in comparison to the Scratch team. There were a total of 55 teams competing on the International circuit this year.

I was in the RAF Motor Sports Association "Help For Heroes" team, consisting of a Scimitar SS1, 2 Metro GTi's, a 205 GTi, a Singer Chamois and a Locoblade. There was also another RAF Team, "Flywheel", the 2007 trophy holders 8)

http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk

The plan was to have one of the Metro's do the start and first 30 minutes, with me in the garage on standby for the second stint. But after the second lap the Metro failed to appear (gearbox failure) and I was frantically waved out of the garage. I crossed the pitlane speed limit line and nailed the throttle round the right hander to get onto the track, only to have the back end slide right around on me and nearly spit me off into the safety car! :oops:

I came out into a nice quiet bit of track and tried to get everything warmed up as fast as possible. I could see an E30 BMW about 200 yds ahead so set off after him, catching and passing by the time I crossed the start/finish line. After that it's all a bit of a blur, so much going on, either passing or being passed. I had a bit of a battle getting past a Mk2 MR2 which looked like Lightning Mcqueen, taking about 3 laps. At one point I tried to go up the inside of him going into Abbey hairpin and locked the brakes. Luckily he was very observant and left me room :oops: Once I'd passed him I managed to open up a gap and put a few other cars between us. At one point I had my first contact of my racing career, coming out of Abbey again with a Caterham on the inside, he dinked my right rear quarter. Not hard, but enough for me to give him a flash of the new headlights! :evil: A few laps later I was given the "IN" board and pulled into pitlane, passing my garage to release the Singer.

I was told I'd be going back out again so we refilled the car (fuel and oil) and I took on some water. I collected the 1 1/2 hour result sheet from race control and we were in 22nd, with the other RAF Team, Flywheel, in 35th (on Handicap). I was put back in the car and sent out after the Metro came in, with light drops of rain falling on my windscreen. Thanks guys, I love it when it's greasy! :roll: I eased myself back into it, expecting it to be slippy, but after 2 laps I was up to full speed as grip was unaffected. I was making good progress and putting in consistent times. After I had been out for about 30 mins it rained a little heavier and suddenly it was an ice rink and I was lapping 7-8 secs slower! I slithered around for 2 or 3 laps before, unsurprisingly, being shown the "IN" board :lol: The Pug 205 took over, which was a great choice as he's a very good wet weather driver and wouldn't lose time in the same way as the powerful RWD's.

I re-fuelled and re-oiled the car and was then told to get my wets on. We changed the wheels in 5 minutes flat and was all ready to go back out again. We waited and waited, then suddenly it was drying and I had to put the race tyres back on again! :? Then news came through, we were running in 2nd! :D

Brian, the team manager, took responsibility for the final stint in his Locoblade. No pressure Brian, just get us from 2nd to 1st please! I was sat in the car, strapped in on standby in case of an incident. He put in some great consistent laps in drying conditions and when the race finished, we weren't sure what the result was! We had the whole team, including the guys on the pit wall, the observers, the helpers, the "Help For Heroes" tin-rattlers, all posing for a photo in pit lane. Just before the last photo was taken, the chief timekeeper shouted out the results:
"Team Flywheel, a great effort against a strict handicap landed you in 5th place! Help For Heroes, you've only gone and bloody won it!!!" :D :D 8) 8) :twisted: :twisted:
I still can't quite believe it :shock:
Who would have thought that in one year I would go from an observer to race driver in the winning team? From mechanical DNF's at Mallory and Croft to running 2 x 40 min stints in the Birkett without a hitch? :D
My favourite quote is from our chief timekeeper:
"Having dropped some 3 mins in the first lap with Johns break down this would appear to be unrecoverable. however with RAZ putting in 25 or so laps within 1,5 secs of each other and several secs under target the tide turned. " :D
Personally I have to thank all the SS1 experts for their help and opinions in prepping the car, but especially Craig Hughes, without whom I could not have robbed most of the ideas for mods :P The car was great!
Raz

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http://triumph-motorsport.fotopic.net/p54496563.html
http://triumph-motorsport.fotopic.net/p54495129.html
http://triumph-motorsport.fotopic.net/p54495799.html
http://triumph-motorsport.fotopic.net/p54496188.html
http://triumph-motorsport.fotopic.net/p54494563.html
And after it started to rain:
http://triumph-motorsport.fotopic.net/p54495899.html
http://triumph-motorsport.fotopic.net/p54496424.html
http://triumph-motorsport.fotopic.net/p54496701.html
http://triumph-motorsport.fotopic.net/p54496904.html
Last edited by Raz987 on Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.


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Post by Nick » Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:14 pm

Raz,

Congratulations!

Well done mate. One up for the "pointy"cars


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Post by shrewsbury_streetracer » Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:25 pm

Nice one Raz, you deserve it with all the effort you have put in this year, well done mate! All those late nights a distant memory? :)

Hope you don't mind but I'm using you as my inspiration / motivation for next year! I've been in and out of the garage looking at the car quite alot today pondering on what to do to mine and I think I may be pestering you for info very soon....


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Post by CNHSS1 » Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:05 pm

Good work fella! 8)

great to see you guys doing so well and supporting the great 'Help for Heroes' cause too. 8)


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Post by turbster » Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:26 pm

Massive smile on my face reading that mate, well done, now lets really show em what ALL Scimitars are capable of next season.... :D


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Post by Roger Pennington » Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:29 pm

Excellent result, Raz! :D

Great for you, the team, and your cause! Hopefully, it will also help to raise the profile of the little pointy cars by showing the world of motorsport just how good they really are!

cheers,

....Roger


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Post by philhoward » Sun Oct 26, 2008 9:15 pm

Well done, Raz...well done indeed. Good to see it all came together when it finally counted :wink:


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Post by Raz987 » Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:17 am

Thanks guys, I'm still buzzing and everytime I think back to the moment in the pitlane when we found out we'd won, a massive grin spreads across my face! :D We had 3 rookies in the team so we were all a bit dumbfounded at winning on the first attempt.

We had a huge media prescence on the day, with 3 camera crews from the Defence Media College at RAF Cosford and a tv crew from the British Forces Broadcasting Service, plus 3 RAF photographers. I was interviewed 3 times on the day, once by BFBS and twice by the Media students. I also had an onboard camera but the footage is currently with the Media guys so hopefully I'll get that back in the next few weeks :D

The car went really well, making it quite difficult for the hordes of Caterhams to get past. My superior aerodynamics (!) meant speeds approaching 120-130mph on the long straights. The exhaust gaskets are definitely blowing again, the car sounds like a tank! It was drinking a lot of oil, but 40 minutes of continual thrashing wouldn't really help would it! I've also knackered reverse, as I kept trying to select it instead of fourth at 80mph :shock:

I was happy to dispel my fear of racing in the damp, greasy conditions. Since my off at Goodwood last year I've been very wary of those conditions, but Saturday taught me a lot. Even when it was properly raining and the track was an ice rink, I still felt I could have kept going without any worries about spinning.
shrewsbury_streetracer wrote:Nice one Raz, you deserve it with all the effort you have put in this year, well done mate! All those late nights a distant memory? :)

Hope you don't mind but I'm using you as my inspiration / motivation for next year! I've been in and out of the garage looking at the car quite alot today pondering on what to do to mine and I think I may be pestering you for info very soon....
Hey Chris, that's no problem mate, you can call me anytime, I'm always happy to chat :D If you choose to take to circuit racing then I'm sure we can make some space for you in the RAF Race Challenge 8)

And yes, the late nights were definitely worth it... :wink:

Edit:
Quick video of the prize giving. The guy who donated 200 quid was the team manager of the Ecurie team and the money was the result of a wager between all the Caterham teams. Top guys :D
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=E3fWRWxv6IE


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Post by g'daddyti » Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:49 pm

Hi Raz,
Many congratulations,great racing for a terrific cause.I know how much this helps ex-servicemen and women.
I'm donating £20-00 to the fund;how about you other compies?No,I mean how about all you other visitors to this forum?
Let us know where to send donations please Raz.
Once again congratulations on a super result.
Keep up the good work,
Roger H.


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Post by BigBobPilot » Mon Oct 27, 2008 5:55 pm

Nice one Raz. That's a pretty stunning result so well done to you and all of your team. I feel like I've missed out now, maybe next year...


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Post by petesilcock » Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:06 pm

Well done Raz -

Keep the pointys going quick

Have you looked at £ per fun and £ per performance compared to the other competitors?

Pete



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Post by scimjim » Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:57 pm

Well done Raz :D
g'daddyti wrote:Let us know where to send donations please Raz.
If there's no dedicated Bmycharity for the event, you can donate to H4H direct at: http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/donations.html

Regards


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Post by Raz987 » Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:37 am

g'daddyti wrote:Hi Raz,
Many congratulations,great racing for a terrific cause.I know how much this helps ex-servicemen and women.
I'm donating £20-00 to the fund;how about you other compies?No,I mean how about all you other visitors to this forum?
Let us know where to send donations please Raz.
Once again congratulations on a super result.
Keep up the good work,
Roger H.
That's great, thanks Roger :D
Help For Heroes isn't just about ex-servicemen, it also provides rehabilitation for those still serving. If you want to contribute, why not buy the X-Factor contestants single "Hero", out in the shops today. That way you can support and make the missus think you've got her an unexpected present! :twisted: Win Win!

Pete, do you mean compare with all the other competitors there, or just the ones in my team?

Ben, there is no "maybe", I expect to see both you and Paul there next year! In fact, there's a guy on Pistonheads who mentioned trying to put a Reliant team together for next year:
http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topi ... 40433&i=60


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Post by BigBobPilot » Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:28 am

Raz, I had a lack of understanding that it was an invitation event until too late in the year, but I did want to compete in the race having helped out in the past as you did too. Anyway, you're showing us the way there.

Jonny Maestro has competed in the Swinging 60's in his old Scimitar. It's being re-born into a new chassis and shell after a mishap. It's good someone else is looking at a Reliant team though...


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Post by Raz987 » Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:31 am

compsec wrote:Raz, I had a lack of understanding that it was an invitation event until too late in the year, but I did want to compete in the race having helped out in the past as you did too. Anyway, you're showing us the way there.
I wasn't having a go mate, just giving you a little encouragement :P (not that you need it).


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