TVR Speed Championship 2021
3 Sisters 5th September 2021
3 Sisters 5th September 2021
Overcast, showers and possible downpours were the forecast, but yet again the weather forecasters were wrong - big time!!! The day dawned bright, clear and sunny, and proved the forecasters don’t know what they are talking about as usual. As it was we sweltered in sunshine and temperatures up to 26 degrees, perfect for a day’s sprinting.
Arriving first, the Bailey family found our allotted spaces for the TVR gang right by the gate to the paddock. No sooner had we stopped moving when daughter Ruth jumped out and abandoned ship having found herself a new hobby, marshalling for Longton Car club. Talk about keen, off she marched to find her bright orange overalls, walkie talkie and the rest of the volunteers. She was not to be seen again till appearing at the front of the lunch queue with the other marshals!!
The Longton Car Club (along with many others it has to be said) are seeking volunteers to become marshals from those who like cars/bikes and racing, etc, but don’t actually want to compete. Ruth had expressed interest so we filled in a form on the website on the Tuesday evening prior to the meeting and were phoned the next morning by the Chief Marshal. Ruth was duly booked in for this event, and also a two-day meeting on the first weekend in October at Anglesey Ty Croes circuit, the club even offering hotel accommodation and meals! Some clubs also provide a small daily payment, so if any of you out there fancy having a go then get volunteering as a marshal - YOUR RACE CIRCUITS NEED YOU! Lots of fun, camaraderie, training and cars/bikes to enjoy - what's not to like?
Next to arrive at the Three Sisters paddock was Peter Dodson, who drove to the meet in his beautiful Vixen S2, with John Carter and his trailer following closely behind. Lining up along the fence next to our Tasmin was a small, select band of TVR racers keeping the flag flying, and otherwise known as the three Trevors. John Carter assured me the circuit was named after the three slag heaps that it was built on but that couldn’t be used as a circuit name so it was named Three Sisters! The circuit appeared to be admitting a few spectators, and Dave Crook turned up to support us with his TVR, so it turned into the four musketeers! As seems to be the norm at these events our TVRs would be the in the last group to run, so, getting our priorities right, we unloaded the cars and promptly decamped to the canteen for a “reet gud bacon barm” dripping with sauce, and some coffees you could stand your spoon up in, as normal northern hospitality dictates!
Carter had brought his shiny blue V8S rather than his regular flash round the course, the “GAY” car (Green & Yellow - yes it took Michael a little while before he realised why Carter called it that, and I thought I was the blonde in the camp! What else could it possibly be???). John’s excuse was that his back was not good and clambering in and out of the roll cage of the Gay car was a no-no. Being super prepared (not!) he had to spend the next half an hour trying to get the old numbers off from goodness knows when, and put his running numbers on for the day. Copious amounts of unusual substances were used in the process to try and get rid of the sticky bits as he claimed lots of gravel would stick to it and slow him down. Mmmmmmm - let me think about that one!!
After a lead round by a circuit car to show everyone the circuit, especially newbies like Michael, the first and only practice run went off uneventfully over the almost two laps, finishing up over the top of the hill. The circuit is a noted karting track so there are some tight turns and a couple of bits to open up the cars. Some reasonable times were to be had on the practice run with Michael having the fastest time of 88.72 secs, leaving him feeling very pleased with himself, especially as Peter and John had both “karted" at Three Sisters so knew where they were going! With each run the “Pit Crew” - aka Dave Crook and ”Crutches” Bailey (I am still recovering from a left hip replacement in July) went scampering up the big banking at the end of the circuit with the other spectators for a fine whole course view of the TVRs racing, only to have to scuttle down again to do our bit and make sure the Trevors were not nobbling each other’s cars to win the day! The sun was beating down so out came the sun cream and it was into what was P2 on our chart. Times improved, Michael knocking off 1.5 secs (with a few hairy wiggles at the finish under hard braking), and Carter squeezing 2.1 secs off his previous attempt, while Peter reduced his time by over 8 secs!
Lunch in the sunshine was order of the day then out went Peter and John for runT1 leaving Michael in the paddock not able to start Raz Taz. After a bit of fiddling about, general cursing, and a burnt arm, (it turned out to be a dry connection spade lug on the starter), he was up and running. Off through the paddock, Michael tried to join the next group and was told off by daughter Ruth for being late and upsetting her running order. (Who’s gonna argue with a 6’2” female marshal who loves the power of authority?). Unperturbed by the delay Michael, stuck his pedal to the metal and was shaving time off nicely at each section until he fluffed a gear going into the finish straight, put loads of power on, braked too hard at the finish and did some grass tracking, but saved it at the last minute, then came in to the pits cursing himself! It turned out to be an eventful run for Carter too as his car came back into the pits “a bit tappety and 7 cylindery” to use his technical terms, and he declared he was not doing another run. Not a good way to end the day, and JC was not a happy bunny.
So, then there were two! Peter Dobson went out for his last run and had a great run with a personal best for the day of 96.06secs. Michael “4WD” Bailey went out for his final run and came back vowing to get in more practice at the beginning of next season with some track days to resolve his arguments with the position of the gear stick, but at least he had kept Raz Taz off the grass and on the hill this time!
Despite missing his final timed run John Carter took home the 25 points, very narrowly followed by Michael Bailey with 24.59, and Peter Dobson with 23.82.
Karol (Crutches) Bailey