A good time was had by all at Llandow. Even the chap who slid his BMW sideways and backwards into a tire wall seemed happy. He had been pushing v.hard, and when he was behind me for a bit I was only able to get away slowly, despite having more than 2 times the power….
Other than that I think everybody esacped unscathed, a couple of minor mechanicals, one affecting a friend from last year’s Ring trip, but nothing that his mechanical skills (in this case electrical) couldn’t fix to get the car running again.
But less of the negatives more of the positives.
We left home at 08:03, since Steve didn’t want people turning up early and queing when the gates weren’t open. As it turned out, leaving before 8:03 would have been good since I had to keep ramping my speed up, and went down the M4 a bit faster than I would have liked. For the last few miles I was followed bu an Elise (which I thought could be going to the track – turned out to be a marshall), and a much modified Supra, the Whiffbitz car.
Bit more noise on the drive down due to having less interior, but not much difference.
Turned up at 09:39, just in time for the briefing, which was the usual rules and regulations.
Stayed in the same group as last year (orange), so I didn’t need to change the sticker on my car 🙂 However orange had gone from being the 2nd fastest to 3rd fastest group. That’s fair enough, since there is a high standard of driving here.
Unlike last year, there was much less spinning in the first sessions. I was amazed in 2008 by so many cars going out and spinning on their first couple of laps. Yesterday people saved their spinning to be spread evenly through the day. Much more sensible.
The fast group included people I knew from the Ring trip and Llandow 2008, such as :
James, now with modified headlight
Some cars took a different approach to cornering
In the second group, Steve, the organiser, was out, having fun with an Exige S:
The Scooby which I had encountered last year:
There was also an Ultima, which made a few on-track manouvers not recommended in the briefing:
One of the Supras started a fine tradition of spinning:
With the 3rd group it was my turn to head out and have some fun. I started at the front of the session, had no traffic catching me up, and after driving in a vacuum caught up with thseose who were let onto the track last, passing one Supra and following Jon in his MR2 until the session ended. This started the day as it would go on, with a lot of driving on a quiet track with nobody around me, and the occasional passing of Supras.
The car was running very well. V-Power with Octane booster was giving me some great boost figures, as good as I have seen before, and the lower-tread S03s, despitre being 4 years old were gripping well and I could get all the 2nd gear power down (if I wasn’t steering). With the weight saving I was hitting higher speeds down the straights (just over 100 this time), and with more practice I was braking later, especially for the chicane.
Pics are from the 2nd group session.
The group sessions finished off with the Green group, including the fast 318
After this it was open pitlane, but I didn’t go out before the lunch break, although a few did.
During lunch was wandered over to the adjacent kart track, where the Welsh championships were taking place. It looked fast.
And than back to the circuit.
The Ultima left after a short day.
Some tried off-roading
I did a session, but encountered few cars other than one to pass, so came back in after not very long.
A certain Supra did some more spinning
Two familiar cars tussled
A Saab did another session, again with little other traffic.
I backed off for a few laps to let Steve and Andy catch me, which they did
They went past, but then they both back-off to head in, so I was denied chasing them, which would have been short-lived anyway.
Strangely, in 5 sessions those were the only cars who caught me, and I had driven about 3 slow laps to let them close up.
A Supra spun again, moving the cone off its corner position, allowing me to experiment with using more kerb.
After some hard driving, Andy’s front-left slick tyre looked a bit the worse for wear, so he called it a day.
A Supra spun. Again.
I went out for my 5th session
And at the end of the day I changed back to my RE050A tyres, brakes looked ok, and after saying bye to a few people headed home at a steady pace, which a Supra crank and some engine parts in my boot for Steve.
Plenty of rubber picked up on a rear tyre
Full set pf pics, all with the option for 10 Megapixel resolution here.