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Post Season 99 Report
This report is very different to my last year's Post Season Report. It was not a good season although I learned a lot and became more ambitious.

The first meeting at Silverstone was a disaster and it took me completely by surprise. The new brake pads proved to be useless and I ended up not completing the race but with a huge cleaning job on the Nomad.

Croft went well which was a good thing as it is along way to Yorkshire. I was a few days late with my entry for Donnington and ended up not going. My budget is abit tight so I was certainly not going to pay a late entry fee particularly when the normal race entry is very high.

Brands Hatch was a great weekend and race. It was the first time Sally was not with me but I had good help from Ian Foster and Mark Lilley. Much help was required as the slow running jets kept blocking. The weather was superb and the race started with 42 cars on the grid. 32 cars finished and I was 21st. It was very exciting racing with the large Can-Am Lolas and Maclarens.

I looked forward to the trip to Mondello near Dublin but it ended up another disaster. It was very wet for the whole weekend and the Nomad just would not go in the wet despite new wet tyres - I could not get the power down. As I was an "accident looking for somewhere to happen" I pulled out of the race feeling very sick. However it was my first introduction to the International Super Sports Cup and we thoroughly enjoyed the hospitality and the warm welcome we received.

On my return from Ireland and following discussions with Crispin I took the Nomad up to Silverstone for Roger Dowson to sort out the suspension and set the car up properly.

A couple of weeks later Caroline from Super Sports was on the telephone - "what are you doing this weekend, come and race with us at Silverstone". Following a quick call to Roger Dowson, who said the car would be ready, we were on our way. It was a good weekend and dry. I am a little outclassed by the Super Sports field and was last in both races but as they amalgamate the results I ended up 23rd out of 32. Don't ask to explain how!

Next was the only Hillclimb of the season for me. The September Prescott meeting is always great fun and very crowded. This was my thank you to Jonathan Williamson who had risked his Porsche 911 on many occasions letting me drive when I was Chairman of Porsche Club. Jonathan was sharing the drive with me in the Nomad. It was a beautiful weekend and all seemed perfect but to my horror Jonathan failed on his first run - the Nomad stuck in 3rd gear. After some frantic work we both managed some good runs. It was a great thrill to watch my car coming up to the line and going off with Jonathan driving. Jonathan kindly took the trailer and dropped the Nomad off at Oaktree Garage for the gearbox to be sorted.

The next meeting I had been looking forward to the whole year - Spa! I watched the F1 Grand Prix to learn the circuit and saw Villeneuve's incredible accident. Spa became even more daunting. As the Thundersports race was a one-hour race with a compulsory pit stop I decided to ask Ken Davies to share the drive. The car was fully sorted following another visit to Roger Dowson, the gearbox was sorted following the visit to Crispin at Oaktree Garage, the brakes are now superb with new pads from Mintex and the slow running jets stay clear following my rebuilding the carbs. The weather was hot and dry, Spa is the most fabulous circuit, what more could we ask for.

Disaster struck again! During the first practice session on Friday the car came to a halt on the circuit. The post mortem revealed that the rubber hose delivering oil from the tank to the engine had collapsed causing the engine to destroy it's self. No qualifying, no race - we had to watch.

With the Nomad back at Oaktree Garage having an engine rebuild I had to scratch from the last two races, Snetterton and Silverstone. Our season is over but watch this space for some very exciting news we hope to announce shortly.

Many thanks to all those who have contributed to keeping the Nomad going:-

Crispin Manners, Oaktree Garage - Porsche specialist 01395 568498
Roger Dowson, Roger Dowson Engineering 01327 857772
Ian Foster, Porsche Club Regional Organiser 01558 685161
Mark Lilley, J&M Belts, suppliers of rose joints and bearings 01375 373975.

Australian Grand Prix 2000 Race Report 9 - 12 March 2000
I love my Nomad and now it has repaid all the love and devotion (time and money!). Quite by chance last year my race was cancelled and the organisers of the meeting transferred me to a race for the International SuperSports Cup. It was the introduction that let to the invitation to go to Melbourne and the trip of a lifetime.

On the face of it the trip looked very affordable. We only had to pay for flights out and back and the Hotel but as preparations progressed, the contract arrived and the implications of having to put the car on the grid for three race costs escalated. We also had an engine rebuild to cope with after the disastrous meeting at Spa last year. Crispin Manners, Oaktree Garage built the engine and did most of the preparation on the Nomad. Crispin then decided to come with us to Melbourne.

Ian Foster, our local Porsche Club Regional Organiser, decided (within 20 seconds of being told of the trip) to accompany us. Ian very kindly made two superb packing cases, now known as "the coffins", that lock together and hold all our spares, tools, tyres and general kit. Ian named himself the Nomad polisher but in fact turned out to be the team photographer and we now have a superb photographic record of the trip.

The Nomad and "the coffins" were shipped in mid January after a very cold wet day standing around waiting for our turn to load at Rainham, Essex. I did not have to ship my tools as my cousin, an MG fanatic, lives close to Melbourne and had arranged to be mechanic for the week.

Four of us, "the team", arrived in Melbourne at about 06.00 hrs and made for the Hotel. By the time we had been allocated rooms and made our way out to the circuit it was 11.00 hrs. Where was the Nomad? The cars were being ferried from the port to the circuit by two lorries (trucks to Australians!) very slowly. It was difficult to be patient with so much preparation to be done and not knowing what state it would be in after the long sea voyage. Finally at 17.00 hrs the Nomad arrived looking clean and beautiful. It had faired well and there was no corrosion. Work commenced.

The SuperSports paddock was superb with an air-conditioned hospitality tent and each team had a spacious tent with name and number above and a board with the history of the car. Wednesday saw much hard work on the car, signing on, drivers briefing and scrutineering.

Thursday arrived very quickly and the first practice session. I was not looking forward to wearing my race suit and helmet as the temperatures were in the 30s. After a couple of laps I lost power - a quick look in the mirror gave me the answer and a nasty fright! The fuel pipe had come off the carbs on one side and fuel was being pumped in the air. I struggled to the pit lane were the problem was quickly put right. The qualifying session, in the afternoon, went well and I ended up 20th in the grid of 35 cars.

Friday the day of the first race was again very hot and I was not looking forward to waiting on the grid. All went smoothly, the rolling start went well and I was getting quicker as I learned the circuit but suddenly it was nearly the end for me when a Chevron spun in front of me - quite how I missed him I do not know - but I did, loosing several places. The battle was on to regain my position. George, in his Ginetta, suffered the same problem that I had had in practice, giving me one higher place. I managed to pass two more and ended the race in 20th position.

Saturday and race 2 were quite different. The same heat but a huge crowd. The crowd were great - so enthusiastic and so pleased to see our cars. I started from 20th on the grid and made a good start. Although I was careful in the close traffic on the first lap I was able to hold my position. As yesterday I ended up in a huge battle with the most beautiful GT40 of Tom Malloy from U.S.A. I am told it was the last GT40 built to race at Le Mans, long tail body and 7-litre engine. Tom could out pace me on the straight but as he was on "period" tyres (not slicks) he was a lot slower in the corners. He finished ahead of me on Friday but Saturday saw the Nomad finish ahead of the GT40 in 19th place. It was a great race.

Sunday, Grand Prix day, was hotter and the crowd was even bigger. There was excitement in the air and our cars were polished yet again. The display around the paddock was superb. Race time approached and we started the long road to the holding paddock before entering the circuit. The wall of people on both sides was so thick it was like travelling down a tunnel. With only a short wait on the grid we were off behind the pace car for the warm up lap. The pace car peeled off, we all closed up, and as the leaders approached the start/finish line the red lights went out and we were flat out up through the gears looking for a way through the traffic to gain a quick place. Suddenly I saw bits fly in the air and a cloud of dust ahead - I slowed but dare not brake with cars accelerating behind me. Nigel Barrett in the pole position Maclaren suddenly slowed with what appeared to be a rear wheel locked and was hit by the 950 HP March. The Maclaren was lifted up in the air and then crossed the track causing mayhem with the following field.

I thought I was safe with some space around but poor George, pushed by another car, hit a Chevron which crossed the track backwards right in front of me! Fortunately I managed to get round him on the grass and escape damage. I then managed to weave my way through the debris and chase the few cars ahead on the circuit. Unfortunately the race was then stopped.

We formed up on the grid again and were informed that the race was reduced to 6 laps but very shortly after the race was cancelled altogether ending our activity in Melbourne. It seemed odd later that we could not find a space to see the Grand Prix so adjourned to our hospitality tent to watch on television with the comfort of air-conditioning. I had been at the Grand Prix circuit all week and not seen a F1 car live but then it was the "kids race" supporting International SuperSports!

Prize giving was a surprise as I ended up second in class, through George's misfortune on Friday, and was awarded a silver plate. We left the circuit with everything packed ready for the shippers to load on Monday.

Monday was going to be an anti climax but Martin and Judy had invited every one in sight plus all their M.G. friends to a "barby" at their house just out of Melbourne. What a party, what a crowd! It seemed to go all day and through the evening. I remember the large Jacuzzi bath full of beer, wine, champagne and ice and wondering if there was enough - in fact we did not get through it all I'm ashamed to say. The trip of a lifetime - Spa is next.

Terry Davison.

Royal Motor Union Classic Meeting, Spa, Belgium 19, 20 & 21 May 2000
International SuperSports Cup Race
Having collected the Nomad from the docks at Rainham on 10.5.2000 there was very little time to prepare for Spa (work does interfere with the racing). We had a very pleasant social outing to put the Nomad on display at the Porsche Club Regional concours at Bowood House near Chippenham which gave me the excuse to give it a good clean. Following it's long sea voyage I was also very pleased it started easily and all seemed ready to go.

Spa is a wonderful circuit and after our failure last year I was looking forward to the weekend. What an exciting weekend! The weather, I am told, was typical Spa - wet one moment and dry the next - sun one end of the circuit and heavy rain at the other end.

I was ready in good time for the first practice session. As I pulled out of the garage into the pit lane the brake pedal went straight to the floor! After some very rapid work with help from Dougie we changed the master cylinder, kindly supplied by Vin Malkie, and I prepared to go out and get at least one lap to reacquaint myself with the circuit. At that moment the red flag went out as some one had done something and the session was ended. This was abit of a blow after so much hard work - even Sally had oily hands!

I now had to wait for the qualifying session in the afternoon. Everything was checked again. Qualifying started and the Nomad was going really well. After a careful lap I speeded up and was achieving higher speeds on the straight than I had ever done before - 6000 rpm in 5th must be well in excess of 150 mph. On my 6th lap approaching the "bus stop" I braked and the pedal went straight to the floor - panic - Charlie Agg in the huge March 717 Can Am car was passing me. He took the wet line, as I was sticking rigidly to the dry line, and spun sideways in front of me. Fortunately he moved forwards a little and I shot down the escape road with no brakes. Going down the pit lane the pedal came back; I got out looked around the car but could see nothing so returned to the circuit. As I was accelerating away a car passed me with the driver waving franticly - I knew there was something wrong - so proceeded round slowly and back into the pits to find a rear brake calliper broken away from the upright and trailing on the ground. This spelled the end of my meeting at Spa. We decided Spa was not my lucky circuit.

I gave up my garage to another team getting soaked in a tent and parked the Nomad until I could get at the trailer to load. Jim Gathercole asked what the trouble was and had a sympathetic look. He then suggested that as I had not come to watch the race I should blank off the brake pipe and race with only one back brake. As this sounded very dangerous to me I took a second opinion and talked to Vin Malkie who suggested I go out and try the brakes on the warm up lap and then make a decision. Jim kindly found me a blanking off cap, we bled the brakes and out I went for the first race.

The brakes were not good but it was not difficult to cope with the pull to the right. The race was a lonely one and I saw little action, which was probably just as well. George Douglas won the class and broke down on the slowing down lap.

The second race on Sunday was quite different. I was still struggling with brakes but seemed to be in the middle of the action all the time. I passed a Chevron struggling on wets and then followed Andy Wolfe, who had just lapped me, into the next corner much to fast. The tail stepped out and I could not stop it - round I went in a cloud of rubber smoke. I gained control just at the right moment (pure luck) and carried on round the circuit. Not sure which lap but towards the end I saw George Douglas ahead. I was catching him and if I could just get by I would win the class. He crossed the line just ahead of me but I was then stopped in the pit lane. Perhaps I had missed a flag and was in trouble but I was bundled up to the podium and, much to my surprise showered in champagne as class winner. Poor George had stopped in the race and was actually behind me!

A great end to an exciting weekend on an exciting circuit.

Silverstone Historic Race Meeting 27th & 28th May 2000
Historic Sports Car Club - RJB Thundersports Championship Race
On our return from Spa we left the Nomad in the capable hands of Roger Dowson at Silverstone to sort out the rear brakes and replace the broken upright.

We returned to Silverstone on Friday afternoon in heavy rain to collect the Nomad. The rain continued to hammer down on the motorhome roof all night however the next morning was dry and windy. I left the slicks on as the circuit dries quickly in the wind.

It was most odd to be racing again with silencers on. The Nomad sounded very quiet and subdued. All was well and I prepared to go out to qualify. Just as our turn came the heavens opened and down came the rain. I leapt out of the car and started to change the wheels. Every one around seemed to muck in and help and in no time I was back in the car and pulling out of the garage into the pit lane.

There was a lot of standing water all round the circuit and I took it very carefully. On my second lap I was feeling the car breakaway on the corners and controlling the slide and generally getting accustomed to the conditions. As I started my third lap, half way down the pit straight, the car must have hit a pool of water. It snatched right and I rammed the concrete wall of the pits with a huge bang. The car flipped round and back to the centre on the road.

I managed to turn slightly and drifted onto the grass on the opposite side of the road. I stepped out quite unhurt, except for my pride, and was helped over the wall by the marshals. The front end bodywork is a write off, the front tubes back to the front suspension are badly damaged, one front upright and the two lower wishbones are badly damaged and the oil cooler and pipes will need to be replaced.

Well, I suppose it had to happen sometime. I have raced now for two and a half years with out damaging the car so cannot complain. It is now a case of taking stock and getting the rebuild underway when I can afford it. Hopefully this will not be the end of my season.

Spa Francorchamps R.M.U. Classic 11- 12- 13.5.2001
After a long break from racing following the crash at Silverstone last year there was the inevitable rush at the last minute to get those last little jobs completed on the Nomad before setting out for Spa. I had already missed two RJB Thundersports rounds but Spa is something special and not to be missed. This was a round of International SuperSports Cup.

It was great to meet Mike Scott when we arrived as he has the Gropa, the car built by Bob Curl after the Nomad, and this was the first time I had seen it. It is much lighter and with a 2 litre DFV quicker - but not as reliable. Poor Mike was to blow the engine during the weekend.

The weather is always a big issue at Spa but this weekend was super. The first practice was a case of getting used to the car again but all went well and I returned to the garage with more enthusiasm. The gear change seemed difficult and I had missed gears several times. It did not want to go into third. I spent some time cleaning and readjusting the linkage at the rear.

I went out for qualifying very confidently but the gear change problem was still there. There are not many laps during qualifying and it is very frustrating to miss a gear, especially when you have a queue of cars behind you and have to pull over to let them past while you stir up the gearbox. However I am a little outclassed by the other cars in SuperSports so do not expect to be on the front row. I qualified 30th out of 34 just behind Mike's Gropa. Not bad when you look at the entry list of Lola T222, Chevron B19s, a BRM P154 and McLaren M8s. As the only one in Class D all I have to do is finish!

I readjusted the gear linkage properly this time and did not have a problem again during the weekend. The Saturday race was the usual rolling start and for me was a question of getting the most out of each lap and watching for the front runners lapping me. I was determined this time not to be pushed off the racing line and picking up all the rubbish on my tyres and to keep out of trouble. I had Mike Scott just ahead for the first four laps but he was quicker through the corners and I could not catch him until I saw him stopped out on the circuit. I finished 22nd - there were 23 finished out of 34 starters.

Sundays race was very much the same - no one close to battle with - just a case of improving my times and finishing. More cars fell off this time and I was last at 22nd again. There are not many circuits where I use 5th gear but at Spa I am in 4th through Eau Rouge and up the hill and change up to 5th at the start of the straight. The Nomad is pulling almost 6000 rpm in 5th before I lose my nerve and lift off for the chicane. I am back into 5th on the long left hand curve approaching the "Bus Stop" chicane, which means heavy braking, and down to 2nd gear.

A great weekend - the first warm weather of the year for us. Great food and a great party at the Chateau. I made my apologies to Caroline as we could not afford the time or money to go to the A1 Ring in Austria for the next race. Work called so we had to rush back on the Sunday evening.
A1 Truck Grand Prix, A1 Ring Austria 9th & 10th June 2001

Caroline had twisted my arm and offered to help get the Nomad down to Austria so that I could fly but in the end it was easier to hook up the trailer and drive as usual. Jonathan, my Son, was happy to keep the business going so we set off on the Monday so that we could have a couple of free days in Austria.

The first drama quickly occurred. I was not happy with the trailer so decided that when we stopped for supper I would reload to get a better balance. We stopped at Reading service area on the M4 and to my horror I found the bolts on the tow hitch on the trailer were loose. Two nuts had come off leaving only two bolts holding all the weight and they were loose! The result of these two nuts coming off do not bear thinking about. Quite how this happened we do not know as I am very particular about my trailer and it had just been fully serviced.

I called the AA but it was abit much to expect them to get spare bolts after 10.0 pm. The AA man scratched his head, we looked around the vehicles for bolts of a similar size and started to undo his tow bar when another AA van arrived. This van had a box of old nuts and bolts and we found two big enough. The tow hitch was bolted back on tight! What a great service the AA provide - nothing was going to beat them - and we caught our 1.30 am ferry.

With a five hour journey to Dover and two days from the ferry to Austria we clocked up 1135 miles. We arrived at the A1 Ring in heavy rain and I wondered why I had agreed to enter however the next day was glorious sun and we were out on the scooter following the little lanes up through the hills. With mountains showing a little snow all around it was a stunning location. Unfortunately Sally was not to well on the journey down so was taking things very quietly.

The moment I started to go out for the first practice the rain came down - heavy.
By the time I had got out of the car and changed the wheels the practice was over. I was not the only one unhappy and the organisers immediately offered us another practice session at the end of the afternoon - just imagine that happening at Silverstone. The second practice session was wet, very wet, but I was on my wet tyres although it did not feel like it. I had no grip and spun on the first lap, right round and carried on. I repeated this in the next two laps before getting some control. The circuit was slippery from the diesel dropped by the trucks with the rain making it worse! The wet also got at my engine and it was on 5 cylinders.

Qualifying was wet and I had problems getting one good lap as I was still learning the circuit and the engine was still missing. The top straight went down hill into a hairpin right corner and I seemed to loose the tail of the Nomad each time on this corner. However once I had completed the necessary four laps I came in.

I have never changed wheels so often and it takes time and effort with six stud hubs. The batteries on the electric drill soon went flat making it all a lot slower. It was a case of parking with 2 wets on and 2 slicks so that if a quick change is required just before the race there are only two wheels to change. After a lot of work we finally found the miss fire was due to a plug lead fault and was cured. It is wonderful how every one tries to help when you have a problem.

Race 1 Saturday was dry but looked as if it would rain at any time. It is a good circuit and interesting to drive as there are hills. I really enjoyed the race and seemed to get faster and faster although I was completely outclassed. I ended up 11th out of 14 starters but last of the finishers. As the only one in my class I was a winner!

Race 2 Sunday was again, fortunately, dry but due to showers the circuit was damp. On the second lap some one dropped oil and I very nearly ended up in the gravel trap. I never did see the oil flag but there seemed to be yellow flags on every lap as others spun or crashed. I finished 11th again and last. The Nomad is much heavier than all the other cars in the series but it is reliable and I manage to finish on the circuit.

It was another great weekend with thanks to Caroline and Geoff Hobbs for organising a great party at the Gast House overlooking the circuit on the Saturday night. We set off for home after the race on Sunday. The journey went well and we caught an earlier ferry than planned and were home at lunchtime on Wednesday.

 


A1 Ring Austria - Int. Truck Grand Prix - 8/9 June 2001
My first reaction was that this was far to far to drive towing a trailer for one race! Following great pressure from SuperSports and very kind offers to tow the trailer down for us we set off with the trailer as normal. One day to Dover and two more days made a comfortable journey and we arrived in good time.

We had a practice session, a qualifying session and two races which all amounted to good track time but the weather was the problem. Wet one minute and hot sun the next. I do not think I have changed wheels so often on the Nomad.

It was a small grid and there was no other car at my level of performance which meant I was convincingly last in both races. However it was a great weekend, the car went well and it was a new circuit I had not been to before. Super scenery and a great party on Saturday night.

 

Thruxton - Anglo French Truck Meeting - 18/19 August 2001
Much nearer to home this time. This time it was a longer race, one hour, with a compulsory pit stop and change of driver. Ken Davies, a close friend and 911 competitor, bravely agreed to be the second driver although the weather was again wet and dry.

We changed the wheels so often the threads started to go and we resorted to two nuts per stud to get through the weekend. The next problem was the Wet tyres were almost worn out and Ken had a flat in practice. We pumped the tyre up and it held pressure over night.

I started the race on wets. It was wet with a dry line but it was about to rain again. After two laps I had a flat front - not the same tyre!! I thought our 1 hour race was over in minutes but someone said put a slick on and keep it rolling, which is what we did.

At the end we were exhausted, poor Ken had a terrible car to get used to and the car looked terrible - so dirty, odd tyres and wheel studs ruined - but we finished and many others did not.

 

Donington - British Touring Car Championship - 21/22 Sept 01
The last SuperSports race of the season, easy to get to and with fine weather. Because of yet another small grid we were amalgamated with Group C (Porsche 962 etc.!!). My problem was I was not well - a touch of flu and no energy.

Practice was a revelation. These Group C cars are much younger, quicker and they stop on a button. It was difficult to get a good lap in as there were so many cars passing. The first race was terrible as the cars passing me kept me out on the wrong line through the corners and I picked up all the rubbish on my tyres. This caused the car to shake violently for about two laps and then it happened again. I was quite sick at the end and scratched from the race on Sunday.

 

Silverstone - Birkett Six Hour Relay Race - 27 Oct 2001
I promised to be part of the "Nomad" team many months ago. With a shortage of Nomads to take part our team consisted of Barry Sheppard with his beautiful Nomad Mk1A, Ken Davies with his 2.2 911E, Julian Gammage with his Triumph TR6 and Mike Scott with his Gropa (the car built by Bob Curl after the Nomad).

After my last race I was very nervous and not happy about racing again. However practice was again a revelation. I had not thought about this race or the other entries. There were such a variety of cars from Austin 7s to BMW M3 racecars and I was one of the quickest cars on the circuit. Each car was to run for 40 minutes although Mike and myself would probably be restricted to 30 minutes because of fuel capacity. If wet the 911 and TR6 would do most of the running. Our manager Max Shepherd had all under control so I just did as I was told. Poor Max had the worst job - telling his father off for spinning off, monitoring lap times and seeing the change overs took place correctly for 6 hours.

It really was great fun although I spun twice in my first session. It was difficult at times to keep up quick laps because of the variety of cars and speeds. You could go into the corner quickly only to find an Austin 7 or Fraser Nash on the racing line. Once I found myself boxed in on a corner by three or four cars - I just had to go slowly until there was a gap.

A great fun weekend - see the pictures and results on Motorsnippets web page -
www.motorsnippets.com/cars/Birkett_6Hour_2001/index1.asp

G.P.Formula 1 Historica, Jarama, Spain 13 & 14 April
With the two SuperSports series now combined we all looked forward to a good season. Silvio and Angela Kalb, our organisers promised a "start in the sun and a finale in the sun".

The distance to Spain made me hesitate but on Monday 8.4.02 we set off for the first race at Jarama near Madrid. My tolerant son, Jonathan, did not mind me taking time off so we decided to curb costs and drive down. We left home in brilliant sun, crossed from Portsmouth to Caen and drove for about two hours (239 miles). Day two was again perfect sun but cold and an easy journey ending in a little French village near Bordeaux with 654 miles on the clock. Day three started sunny but steadily changed as we crossed the border into Spain. Sally wanted to see Biarritz so we did a deviation through the city centre which is not really advisable with a motorhome and trailer over 40 ft long. The rain got heavier and we actually had snow on the higher parts of the route. We stopped for the night with about 200Kms to go. Day four started with a big shock - I will always remember Sally's face - the Motorhome was covered in snow and the ground around was white. The roads were just wet but every few miles there were snow ploughs waiting at the ready. Very heavy rain and heavy snow on higher ground. We arrived at Jarama at lunchtime with 1085 miles on the clock.

It was great to meet old friends and somehow the bitter cold made us all laugh abit more. Silvio and Angela received quite a welcome with everyone asking where is the sun - instead they produced the new SuperSports clothing and bags which proved very popular and distinctive.

We had no garages but soon had our paddock set up as there was plenty of space. I went out on the Scooter to explore the circuit, which was new to nearly everyone.

Friday (Day five) was again wet and very cold. I put my new wets on and decided to take advantage of the first practice to learn the circuit, bed in new brake pads and get the feel of the wets. All very uneventful but it was great to drive the Nomad again.

Saturday was a prompt start with the first timed practice at 9.30. It was dry (only just) so I changed back to slicks. No breakfast as I find it all shakes me up. I had a good session and managed some clear laps - it is always difficult to get a quick lap in when there is a big difference in the speed of cars on the circuit. The afternoon timed practice went well with the weather improving. I thought I was much faster but I was surprised to find I had only improved by half a second.

Sunday saw the sun out again but it was still cold. Our first 15 lap race was 9.45 am. The normal rolling start went well but I lost a place to Harry Read in his enormous Maclaren M8 (850hp). I was surprised as this is his first outing in the car and he was abit worried about it. Determined to get my place back we had a great battle for many laps. Every time I thought I was passed he pressed his (very) loud pedal but in the end I managed. It was a great race and I finished 14th out of 20 finishers.

Race 2 was again 15laps and dry. Harry was again right behind me on the grid so I had to concentrate very hard to keep my place. The start, although a rolling one, is always difficult as you have faster cars that did not complete the previous race behind you. I managed to stay ahead of Harry and had a good race up to lap 12 when I was forced wide on one corner as Silvio lapped me. I went over the Rumble strip and lost one exhaust pipe, which not only made a terrible noise but also caused the car to vibrate. Not quite sure what had happened I nursed the car to the finish maintaining my 15th place.

Harry's wife, Doris, produced Champaign to celebrate our battle - why should the winners have it all. We stayed the night, joined George Douglas and team for dinner, and started the long journey home on Monday morning.

A great weekend. Congratulations must go to Angela and Silvio and Terry and Jean for all the hard work and worry of the organisation. Spa next!

 

R.M.U. Classic Spa-Francochamps 4 & 5 May 2002
After Spain Spa seemed a short distance but it is 5 hours drive each side of the channel. We left on Wednesday intending to stay enroute but ended up camping at the entrance as the circuit was locked.

Thursday was a relaxed day getting the car ready, cleaning Motorhome and trailer and meeting old friends.

Friday was an early start with the first practice at 10.00 am. The weather was very over cast but dry. Practice was uneventful although, as usual I found trouble getting a clear lap. We all congregated in the Orwell awning afterwards as Sally was dishing out bacon rolls - they were super and helped get everyone together. After lunch we were out again for qualifying. I worked hard to get some good laps in and improved my time by 6 seconds down to 2.57 mins. The problem is with such a variety of cars and drivers there is always someone in the way and someone else passing you. However I was not (quite) the slowest, in fact, when the grid was published and I was handed a copy I told Angela (organiser) I was going to frame it! I was halfway up the grid for the start of the first race. The day finished with the Swedish contingent putting on a super BBQ, with six nationalities around the table it was a great evening.

During the night the rain started and it was quite obvious on Saturday morning that it was not going to stop. I changed the wheels on the Nomad, checked the car, blanked off part of the oil radiator to get the temperature up to it's proper level and sprayed all the electrics with WD40.

I am terrified of the wet and was not looking forward to the race at all. I told Sally I might pull out if conditions were to bad but she said I must finish to get the points - professional skating pressures creeping back in I think!!

On the warm up lap I tried the brakes and then applied some power in a corner and gradually realised that this was the first time I have driven in the wet on good wet tyres and that I could control the car. The rolling start went well but as we went on to the straight the spray was so bad that you could not see another car infront, alongside or behind - not even the high intensity rear light. Conditions could only be described as horrendous and very dangerous. I kept thinking I must go in at the end of this lap and then perhaps I will do just one more lap. All the time I was getting more confident on my new wet tyres -I was being held up by other cars (a new experience). As my confidence grew I started to pass cars but then you know what happens when confidence grows to much! As I accelerated out of the "bus stop" chicane I spun. With all the spray I did not see the oil flags warning of a large oil spill from a blown engine. Fortunately I did not hit the two cars ahead of me that had spun but with more cars likely to join the fun and with me in the centre of the track facing the oncoming traffic the race was stopped.

From 38 entries we were down to 20 finishers and I was 14th and very happy to get out of my soaking overalls.

We had a great party at Harry Read's beautiful house about 10 K from the circuit on the Saturday evening but it was an early start on Sunday to continue the cleaning and drying out work on the car. Carbs. Had to be stripped and cleaned, as the engine would only run well under full throttle with so much rain.

Many decided it was to dangerous to race on Sunday and packed up. I think they were right but I had to have another go. Twelve cars started and although I am sure I was quicker than several ahead it was impossible to get by. I passed one car and ended up 11th.

The most frightening weekend of my life - I will never forget driving at speed with absolutely no visibility and a wall of spray that seemed 20 feet high in front. However I may be at the back of the grid but I am 4th in the championship so far.

Terry Davison.

 

HSCC Brands Hatch Superprix 22nd - 23rd June 2002
The "Home Race" as this is the only race in Britain for SuperSports. We left home on Thursday to be ready for practice on Friday and suffered the stop-start queue on the M25. I must be dull!! The thinking competitors travelled early on Friday morning when England was playing a World Cup football match in Japan and enjoyed a traffic free journey.

This was the first trip with our new Hymer motorhome pulling the trailer. It was certainly a joy to drive with no changing down for hills, much quieter and no problems with the extra length. This is always a good historic meeting and we met lots of old friends racing 356s etc. although they did drink us dry!

Another first - I was on a lower profile tyre with slightly less width on the same wheels. Friday practice was therefore important to see how the car would handle and if it would bottom. I had two half hour sessions. In the first I soon realised that the front hit the road under braking so could not push to hard. The handling was better and I could get the power on earlier in the corners. I raised the ride height a little and tried again - much better. I should not say I did it as I had a mechanic for this meeting. Guy Shepherd (his Father builds the Nomad bodies and has a beautiful replica of the Mk1) came to help for the weekend. What a difference it makes, although this weekend it was dry so there were no panic wheel changes.

Saturday qualifying was extremely difficult, as we were red flagged twice and I did not get one really good lap. Half the cars seemed to fly off or crash. With a field of 39 cars it was very busy and I qualified 32nd.

The race in the afternoon arrived very quickly, as our new motorhome seemed to be full of visitors all day. Our usual rolling start went well but at Druids there seemed to be four us going straight on with all wheels locked. However I survived and commenced battle with Hugh Colman's Chevron B8. There were places where I was quicker but then there were places where he seemed to pull away. I got my front wheels level with his rear wheels twice but did not manage to get by. A great race and I finished 25th.

Saturday was quite a day with so many friends around. Guy must have thought I was a real racing driver (or "prima dona") as he was left with all the work to do. It was super to meet Peter Piper again still supporting Stoic Racing. We ended up with a BBQ for 14! When I went to start cooking the Swedes had decided our gas BBQ was great so there was a short delay for theirs to be cooked - not noticed by our party!

Sunday was a quieter day with a race in the afternoon. I was 14th on the grid which made the rolling start very exciting. All the fast ones who "fell off" yesterday were behind and wanting to get through the field. Everyone arrived at Druids together, how I got through without a scratch I will never know. At Surtees there were so many cars I could not turn in and was off across the grass - after a long arc bumping across the grass I was back on with dead grass flying everywhere. I was not the only one and it was a race of avoiding other cars. I retrieved one place and finished 24th with a hay field in the car but no damage.

The saying afterwards was "never mind the racing line just look for some tarmac to drive on"!!

See all the pictures on www.orwell-supersportscup.com look for number 14

Terry Davison

 

International Old Timer Festival
Jan Wellam Pokal Nurburgring 5th - 7th July 2002
Following Brands Hatch the Nomad was delivered to Crispin at Oaktree Garage in Devon for some tuning and servicing. The following Sunday was the Porsche Club regional concours in Devon (at Nigel Mansell's property Woodbury Park) and Bob had kindly invited me to put the Nomad on display. As life was a little hectic Bob had to collect the Nomad and put it on display himself!!

Following a large and super family party to celebrate Mother's 90th birthday on Friday evening, loads on guests on Saturday, we left home with Lynne and Ron (cousins from Canada) early Sunday morning for Devon.

We had a very pleasant day at Woodbury Park. The Nomad was parked next to Mark Finburgh's Porsche 917 (ex Steve McQueen). I was thrilled when he asked me to sit in to start the 917 - what an engine behind you. Unfortunately I was not allowed to drive, only blip the throttle. We met Nigel, who was very friendly and mixed with the members and inspected our cars. At the end of the afternoon we loaded the Nomad and headed off towards Portsmouth looking for a campsite that could accommodate our length.

Monday we crossed to Le Harve and spent two days showing Lynne and Ron the wartime beaches and memorials. On Thursday we crossed northern France and headed for the Nurburgring. The circuit has been changed a lot so needs to be learnt again. After the usual Nurburgring paddock chaos we settled into the garage and went off to the village for dinner with Lynne and Ron.

Friday only saw free practice. I did not like the new part of the circuit, a series of tight corners. It is difficult to find a good line and is very slow.

Saturday was busy with qualifying in the morning and a race at midday. I felt better about the circuit in qualifying and produced better times although it was very busy with 38 cars on the circuit.

The best race of my life! I qualified 23rd and in the race managed to pass four cars finishing in 16th place after the usual non-finishers. It was a great race and I had to push hard right to the end to fend off No.45, who I had passed but was catching me right to the end. I was absolutely delighted and shattered.

Sunday saw models and film crews in the paddock and on the grid which caused a few bright comments. I was well up on the grid and determined to improve again. The Canadians wanted to see the action this time as they were on the pit wall for the last race, so they headed for grand stand seats overlooking the nasty new complex. On the warm up lap behind the pace car I concentrated on getting through the last chicane quickly as the race at the front would be starting - all went well and I held my position down the start straight and through the first two corners - then disaster, the car suddenly spun and I was facing the on coming traffic. I thought I had been hit in the rear as poor Jan van Straaten had hit the armaco behind me. I turned round to set off again and promptly spun again. I was sure I had a flat tyre. I got out and looked round - no flat and I had not been hit. Before I could get back in the car marshals arrived and pulled me over the armaco just before the front runners arrived. Less than half a lap - the worst race of my life!!

However we all enjoyed a great weekend. This year has seen SuperSports go from strength to strength. We have large grids of superb cars, superb racing, and a great social gathering in between. With Bavarian beer, German sausages, Sally's bacon rolls and Terry Smith's swiss rolls we should all be getting a little slower - not likely!!

Our thanks go to Angela and Silvio Kalb, the organisers, for a great series and to Terry and Jean Smith for helping and supporting so well.

Check out the pictures and results on www.orwell-supersportscup.com

Terry Davison

 

Spa-Francorchamps Six Hours 13-14-15.9.2002
I love Spa! It has got to be the greatest race circuit of all and it is in a beautiful part of Belgium and not to far from Calais. We left home on Wednesday, crossed the channel and put in a couple of hours before stopping for the night. This meant we arrived at Spa in good time on Thursday with beautiful weather.

For this meeting we were in the F1 garages and I was in Villeneuves' BAR garage although I had to share with George Douglas, Mike Catlow and Ian Barrowman. We settled in and then went off on the scooter to find friends competing in other races.

Friday was signing on, scrutineering, drivers briefing and free practice. Not much but it all adds up to a busy day. Practice was uneventful - thank God no one reminded me it was Friday the 13th! It was a full grid with 38 cars and enhanced by two Americans who had joined us, Michael Malone in a beautiful Porsche 910 in the same class (B) as me and Don Bell in a big Lola 163. I don't remember any traffic problems but my times were not good and I ended up 32nd. I was surprised to find the circuit quite different. The exit from the "bus stop" although different made no difference to me but the hill following "eau rouge" seemed easier at the very top where I always have a problem avoiding the rumble strip.

Saturday was an early start with qualifying starting at 8.45
I ended up one second quicker than yesterday which shows I was not driving well yesterday. I tried different tactics for "eau rouge" changing up to fifth before the corner and getting the power on going up the hill. It did not make much difference as I was going no quicker at the end of the straight. The rest of the day was cleaning, changing back to slicks and visiting friends around the paddock. Sally even had a treat as we went out to the village on the scooter shopping and had a very nice lunch. In the evening we all went to a super party with Doris and Harry (McLaren M8) at their home about 10kms away.

Sunday was another early start with the first race at 9.20 and guess what - it was raining! Not forecast or expected - only Spa can be like this.
I waited until the last moment, rushed up and down the pit lane to see what others were doing and decided to change to wets. Others had offered to help but of course they were busy changing as well so I was on my own. Half the cars went out on wets and the other half on slicks. I knew on the warming up lap that I was wrong! There was a dry line and it stopped raining. No time to change I had to push as hard as possible and risk tearing my tyres to shreads. Not a great race as I seemed to be on my own but not a bad finish in 21st place out of 26 finishers.

A busy day followed preparing for the afternoon race although it seemed along wait to 14.50. There were 32 cars on the grid, it was dry, and we all wanted to do well. The rolling start was very tight and the Porsche 910 passed me going down the hill before "eau rouge". There was some space as we went out onto the straight and I was able to get my foot hard down. I was tight on the tail of the Porsche for two or three laps and finding that I was quicker through "eau rouge" and up the hill. Finally I past him at the top of the hill and managed to open up a small gap. Then to my horror I saw the large McLaren in my mirror - Harry was catching me. Someone has shown him where the loud pedal is. I knew if he could follow me through a corner he would then accelerate past which is what happened just before the end of the race. I finished 17th with Harry just two seconds ahead.

Well I beat him in Spain so now he has got his own back and did we hear about it in the paddock afterwards - what a song and dance!!

It was another great weekend. Sally worked hard with the bacon rolls but with lots of help from other wives and Terry and Jean. Many thanks again to Angela and Silvio. See it all on www.orwell-supersportscup.com

Terry Davison Nomad - race number 1

 

Post Season 2002 Report
It was with great regret that I missed the race meeting at Imola. It was my ambition to compete in all the Super Sport Cup races and I was looking forward very much to the trip down to Italy with our new motorhome and a week of holiday between Imola and the final round at the Nurburgring on the following weekend. I could not go as the organising club were demanding FIA papers, which I do not have for the Nomad.

As it happened it was just as well we did not go as we had a sad family event and the meeting was washed out and one race cancelled.

However the final event at the Nurburgring all went well although a little wet. Practice on Friday went well. Saturday was a nightmare but an example of what a great series Super Sports has become. The Nomad has six stud wheels and, as at so many meetings when the weather suddenly changes, I have a panic trying to get the wheels changed. Saturday was one of those days but so many people rushed to help I cannot remember now whether I went out on wets or slicks. However I qualified 24th out of 28 cars.

The first race on Saturday started well. I was behind Harry's massive Maclaren M8 on the grid and fully expected to pass him in the corner at the end of the start straight. Harry is getting quicker and there was nothing I could do - I was abit quicker on the corners but he just pulled away on the straight. Not sure which lap but there was a big accident ahead of me, cars everywhere! I braked as hard as possible but, with wheels locked, I was off across the grass. I turned and was quickly back on the circuit having driven around Harry who appeared to be just parked on the side of the circuit. However it was not long before Harry was very large in my mirrors and he eventually passed me. I finished 17th.

Sunday's race was less exciting. I was 14th on the grid with plenty of quick front runners behind because of the accident in the last race. Harry and the URD were just in front but I knew I was a fraction faster. Every time I was close enough to pass there was a front runner lapping us, which makes the gap between you open up a little. And that is how we finished, a hard battle but with little to show for it.


The following weekend it was off to Silverstone for the annual Birkett 6 Hour race. The Nomad team was again managed by Max Sheppard and made up of his father in the new Nomad MK1A, my Nomad, Mike Scott in the Gropa, Keith Martin in the Dulon Porsche and John Powis in his Jade. Julian, his daughter Lucy, her husband Matthew and Ken Davies made up another team in the same garage as us and managed by Max (he worked harder than all of us!).

Heavy rain before qualifying made the circuit very slippery. Max gave us a stern talk - to qualify you only need to complete four laps, the time does not matter, so be careful. Poor Keith in the Dulon promptly lost it and hit the barrier with considerable damage. We were down to four cars as the race started and I went out second after about twenty five minutes. Once the tyres were warm I started to push harder and was getting through the traffic very well but on the third lap there was a shattering noise and I ground to a halt on the opposite side of the circuit. A quick look under the rear confirmed my suspicion - a drive shaft had broken and caused a lot of damage - I was out.

The urgent problem was to get back to the pits so that the next car in the team could go out, I ran to the road and was lucky to get a lift immediately.

We battled to keep Barry going in the other Nomad. We battled to keep Mike Scott going in the Gropa - he had no clutch so had to be pushed down the pit lane every time he came in for fuel. The Jade fell out with no oil pressure. Barry's Nomad finally stopped leaving Mike on his own to finish but with less than half an hour to go Mike lost a wheel out on the circuit. What a team! The other team of road cars beat us easily.

With the season behind us it was off to Aschaffenburg, the other side of Frankfurt to the Rosso Bianco Museum for the Super Sports Cup prize giving and Christmas bash. And what a super bash it was. The Museum allowed us to camp out side the back door so it was only a short hop from bar to bed. The event started with a Champagne reception at about 3.00pm when Peter, the owner of the Museum welcomed us and showed us around what is one of the largest sports car museums with so many famous historic and CanAm sports racing cars.

We ended up in a huge hall decorated with Super Sports banners for prize giving and dinner. I was delighted (and surprised) to receive a large cup for being second in class and 8th overall in the season (if only I had not spun off at the Nurburgring and missed Imola!!).

On Sunday we enjoyed the Christmas market in the town and on Monday headed for Paris. We went to visit Ivan just outside Paris. What a wonderful old property and what I would give for a workshop like his.

Our "motoring year" came to an end with two Porsche Club Christmas Parties in one weekend. We always attend the Devon regional dinner to meet old friends who compete in the Porsche Club Speed Championship and arch preparation expert Crispin. We all go in motorhomes and camp in the pub car park - very sensible. It was, as usual, a great event but we had to be up early the next morning to get nearly home to attend our own regional Christmas party, which started at midday at the National Botanical Gardens.

You should go to a Porsche Club event in a Porsche so we went on our Porsche tractor. These great ideas are not quite so funny when it is cold and pouring with rain! We had left the tractor at a friend's house a little closer to the Gardens so it was a quick change from nice warm motorhome to cold wet tractor. With Sally sitting up on the rear mudguard, it took us about half an hour to cover the three miles. The tractor was then parked on display outside the restaurant front door. Other members could not believe it at the end when we drove off on the tractor in the dark.

We hope all our readers enjoyed Christmas and have an exciting 2003.

Terry & Sally Davison

 

 

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