Mallory Park 22nd October 2006
A Report by Tony Webb

I think all our guys deserve a mention for their display of professionalism in sitting out in what can only be likened to a rainstorm whilst the organisers sat in their dry offices deliberating.

The rain started some while before it was our turn onto the grid, but by the time the previous race with the 750 single seaters got out, they were having to splash round in the rain. Our cars were called to the holding area and made to sit there whilst that race took place. Most of our cars were open cars but thankfully our supporters came to the rescue and tried as best they could to give protection to our chaps with umbrellas.

It was decided that they would then go out around the circuit on a 'Parade' lap and a green flag lap. In the event they were taken around to the grid and made to sit for quite a time before being sent off, all in torrential rain!

Returning to the grid they again were held up before being sent off again with a green flag. When the race finally started they set off steadily but inevitably with so much standing water a number of cars spun at the first corner. Then somewhere near the Esses, Mark Jordan span out which in due course raised the Red Flag after the leading car had completed approximately one and a half full laps.

The cars were again sent around to reform on the grid with some cars having re entered the pits and most of the Crossles retiring due to their particular wet tyre situation. Again the cars were made to wait whilst a decision was made and cars recovered etc. This took at least 5-8 minutes

Then it was decided to bring all the cars to the pit lane again whist the decision continued to be discussed. This time the cars were held for another 10 minutes, all of this whilst the rain continued to lash down. At least whilst in the pit lane we were able to give our guys some limited protection with umbrellas again.

Word was then sent to the pit lane that the decision to continue the meeting would be given after a further 15 minutes and that drivers could go back to the pits and await a further announcement.

All of this time since the previous single seater race the skies looked like a tropical storm was about to be unleashed. They were murky to the point that it was obvious to all, marshals included that the rain was set now for the day. Everyone was absolutely sodden except for the one or two enclosed car drivers.

Finally at five o'clock the announcement was given that the meeting was terminated. By this time most of our guys I think had already decided to call it a day with many cars having gone back to the paddock straight onto their trailers. A sad end to the day with our guys getting drowned whilst encountering many delays and perhaps unnecessarily long stops in appalling conditions.

Did our guys complain, did any of them grasp the officials warmly by the throat with a sodden gloved hand....you bet they did!!!!!!!!...no I lie, they performed like the gentlemen we know they are, which is why I think they should be congratulated.

It should also be said that we were all thankful following a very nasty accident in practice that had sent an invited guest in his Evant spinning through the air and badly damaging the car, that both he and Nigel Edwards escaped unharmed. The invited guest however did say that this accident was the climax to a succession of factors that made him decide to end his long racing career.

The accident happened going in towards the Esses when the Evant driver pulled out to overtake a slower competitor, but had not spotted Nigel coming up quickly in his mirror. Having committed to the move Nigel was forced over and onto the grass. In the process the low swooping front of the Crossle got under the side rear valance of the Evant and with the speed differential scooped the Evant into the air.

I understand the Evant span over in the air before coming to the ground and taking off the hardtop and badly damaging the rest of the car. The Crossle suffered damage to the bonnet and near side wheel but otherwise looked ok. Nigel duly dispatched someone to go get another bonnet with the clear intention of continuing for the race, however later weather events overtook that decision.

Given the all clear by the doctors, the two drivers had commiserated with each other in the medical centre and sportingly agreed that both had been lucky in what was a racing incident, again showing the spirit in which our series is run. I am sure we all wish our guest who was clearly the more shaken of the two a speedy recovery and also to his wife who had witnessed the drama.

Quite what will be the outcome of the race in terms of results I did not find out and perhaps we can ask Nigel to post a reply for all concerned. Will they get a refund, will they get an apology, could the organisers be found once the decision had been taken, until we know different, I leave you all to fill in the blanks for yourselves......!

One driver most disappointed not to race in the atrocious conditions was young Myles who just loves the water. Never mind Myles there are bound to be more wet days when you can put on your wellies and show us how to enjoy the rain!

But in any event well done everybody and here's looking forward to next week and the Birkett, let's hope that its dried up for then.

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