So that was hillclimbing a Panda

For various reason’s, mostly nothing to do with cars, its taken me an age to get this posted.
With the end of the Van Diemen build in sight the end of my time Hillclimbing the Panda has come. I rounded off with a visit to Gurston and then a final run out at Shelsley.
As I’ve mentioned before I had already achieved the benchmark times I’d set myself, so these runs were largely to try to beat Andrew Till in the HSA Championship. The Gurston meeting at the Bank Holiday weekend lucked into near perfect conditions. I’d driven straight to Salisbury after getting home from a family break to Amsterdam; so after all this effort it was really very annoying to have the throttle sensor fail on the line during the first run. Cue a slow drive home, followed by a much faster drive back on the Sunday in my road car.
There is much talk in the paddock about what you could summarise as “too much safety”.  Anyone who saw Alex Summers’ crash on the Sunday would probably loose their enthusiasm for that line of argument.  Watching from the spectators enclosure at Carousel I saw the DJ Firestorm at some considerable height, and even worried that it might land in the public area. After the crash the engine raced until marshalls killed it.  I feared the worst, but after a little while Alex walked from the remains of the car.  If I had been involved in the design or manufacture of the tub I’d have been quite pleased, and I probably wouldn’t be complaining about how safety regulations are being tightened all the time.
Replacing the throttle pedal sensor wasn’t a big or expensive job, which enabled me to be out at Shelsley for the last run out in the Panda. There was nothing too special about my performance in the event, and the threat of rain never really went away.  In fact the Esses were literally green for the early runs, and I couldn’t get over the thought of having to advertise the Panda as suitable for panel beater. Very enjoyable day but average performance. (Car is for sale now – £4000 – full spec available on request!)

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