Lotus Cup UK Speed Championship 2015 – Hethel (Round 3)

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On days like this my favourite colour is not grey.  Umbrellas turned inside out, deep, dark puddles formed, and the grey surrounded us.

The rain continued to fall as LOT1 (our class) was called up for the practice run. Just one run of 2 and 1/3rd laps, a weird one. Adam got into the car and left the paddock, I made my way to the pit lane to wait for our driver swap over. I waited. He waited. Everyone waited.

The single-seaters in the previous class kept spinning off. Too light-weight for the wet conditions, inappropriately dressed in slick tyres. As the Lotus’ queued, the single-seaters took their copious re-runs, and I stood, soaked in the rain.

Eventually, after what seemed like an age (and turned out to be an age too – well over an hour!) Adam got his turn. The first Lotus off the start, everyone cheered from the paddock, with relief that the day had actually begun, and anticipation for their turn in the SuperSport category.

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Adam came back in, we swapped over and I joined the queue, my soaked suit sticking to the seat, the windows steaming with every breath.

The practice run was slow, but actually not that bad for me, my 194.23 would have put me 9th out of 15, if it had counted! Strangely I was almost a second faster than Adam – and that was the last time I was faster than him, ever!

Lunch was a pork and apple roll followed by the successful sharing of the Portuguese custard tarts.

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The rain let off at 1.30pm and the sun was visible as a hazy blur behind the veil of grey cloud.

We’d signed up for the sprint thinking we’d get 3 timed runs, but by now we had all resigned ourselves to the fact that it would be 2. Too many cars, too many cars coming off the track.

After the first timed run I was still holding my 9th place position, 164.25 was a vast improvement on my practice run and reflected the change in track conditions. Adam managed 161.81. I gave him another cake.

Newcomer Mark, in his Orange S2 Exige, found 3rd place in the first run. He was at one with the map. He also indulged me in a poo based conversation. Later (after a spin) he came 8th and was awarded Driver of the Day. I missed what for, sorry, but his girlfriend did have two kinds of cupcakes in a whirling cupcake shaped display case.

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The blue sky appeared at around 2.30pm, accompanied by sunshine, actual real sunshine, and shadows, and everything.

Adams’s second run was fast. So was mine, at least it felt it until I caught up with John Dunn who’d had an epic ‘off’ and nearly ploughed through the pit wall!

I got a re-run. I don’t really like re-runs, my head gets hot. My time was 157.12, that’s good, but not that good… Adam did it in 150.44 – whhhaaaattt???!

I ended up 11th out of 15. Balderdash! I really, really wanted that 9th place and the extra one point that would have come with it! I’ve only just started to get to grips with the scoring system.

Adam did really well in our little car and got 4th place, beaten only by ex Elise Trophy racers. That’s pretty cool. Damn him for showing me up!

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Dave Mann came 1st in SuperSport, and oh how we cheered! Philip Stratton-Lake won the Production class, driving his race car for the last time and saying goodbye to it in style, having sold it to Martin Scarfe, (who took 5th in the same car).

I was 11th in my class, and overall on the day, 63rd out of a total of 93 cars. Yeah, that’s alright, but… must try harder!

It was a good day. Dave Mann said my umbrella looked like a pub carpet and Jez Braker gave me a miniature pork pie, which was nice.

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