Shelsley was the first Hillclimb I went to. Mike Pilbeam gave me some freebie tickets for the 90th Anniversary event, and at that point I decided that that was where my motorsport future lay. I was still karting then, and the children, who put a bit of a hold on things motorsport related, were yet to put in an appearance.
Until now I’d avoided Shelsley. Gurston doesn’t seem to suit the Panda in the way that Prescott or Loton do, and Shelsley looked to be more of the same. And as things worked out I didn’t put in anything which resembled a decent time. Certainly there was very little scope to close the HSA Championship points gap to Geoff Lancaster. In fact up to 1.4 production is settled now – Andrew Till first, Geoff second and me third. If only I’d done some more events early in the year.
But aside from the points situation it turns out that Shelsley Walsh is an incredible hill to drive. I really enjoyed running there for the first time. A few more runs and maybe the times will fall a little, but that, with any luck, will be with the RF84. No RF84 progress recently however – finger trouble.
The weather forecast for the weekend was never anything other than rain. The miracle was that there were any dry runs at all. Lining up for my first run I thought; “take it smoothly, show some commitment but get to the top”. The start seemed good and I was up to third well before Orchard. So, smoothly through corner 1 and on to Etores aiming for the apex. Then on to Pardon, which went OK. The Esses seemed to go well, unusually, and then on to the Semi-Circle. So when I went back round the return road I expected to see something like 61 or 62 on the clock. Smooth, neat and steady. And a PB at 58.5. Amazing!!! 4/10’s off the previous PB.
But not long after came the inevitable for 2016 at Prescott rain. For some reason getting off the line was tough in the wet and I put in a couple of pretty poor times. But then the rain eased off a bit and I was presented with a pretty dry track. S0 61.1 was ultimately OK, but if it had stayed dry I think a decent performance would have been on the cards. One day I’ll get a dry official run and close the 1.5 second gap between my practice PB and my event PB.
Depressingly I slammed my finger in the rear door of the Panda as I was about to head home. Quite messy – thanks to the start line medics who gave it a look over. I only hope it’s healed up by Shelsley Walsh on the 17th, where I see we have a bumper entry in 1.4 Roadgoing Production.
Not too much progress on the RF84, for the following reasons:
We went to Spa for the GP and sat at Eau Rouge. As amazing as it sounds.
Some brackets had missed being replated so are off being done.
I made a copy of the plate which supports the rear lower wishbones. And faithfully copied an issue with the hole positions, which were one of the reasons I was remaking it. Start again.