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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
thanks to all those who have contributed to keeping the Nomad going:-
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
Grand Prix 2000 Race Report 9 - 12 March 2000
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
Motor Union Classic Meeting, Spa, Belgium 19, 20 & 21 May 2000
International SuperSports Cup Race
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
great end to an exciting weekend on an exciting circuit.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Francorchamps R.M.U. Classic 11- 12- 13.5.2001
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
I started to go out for the first practice the rain came down -
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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
- Anglo French Truck Meeting - 18/19 August 2001
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.
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.
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.
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.
- British Touring Car Championship - 21/22 Sept 01
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.
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.
- Birkett Six Hour Relay Race - 27 Oct 2001
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).
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.
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.
fun weekend - see the pictures and results on Motorsnippets web
1 Historica, Jarama, Spain 13 & 14 April
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".
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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
weekend. Congratulations must go to Angela and Silvio and Terry
and Jean for all the hard work and worry of the organisation. Spa
Classic Spa-Francochamps 4 & 5 May 2002
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.
was a relaxed day getting the car ready, cleaning Motorhome and
trailer and meeting old friends.
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.
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.
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!!
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.
38 entries we were down to 20 finishers and I was 14th and very
happy to get out of my soaking overalls.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
afterwards was "never mind the racing line just look for some
tarmac to drive on"!!
the pictures on www.orwell-supersportscup.com look for number 14
Old Timer Festival
Jan Wellam Pokal Nurburgring 5th - 7th July 2002
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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!!
go to Angela and Silvio Kalb, the organisers, for a great series
and to Terry and Jean Smith for helping and supporting so well.
out the pictures and results on www.orwell-supersportscup.com
Six Hours 13-14-15.9.2002
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!!
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
Davison Nomad - race number 1
Season 2002 Report
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!).
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.
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
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.
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.
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!!).
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.
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.
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.
all our readers enjoyed Christmas and have an exciting 2003.
& Sally Davison