By Phil Hart.
I’m not competitive… well I was when I was 10 years old… but honestly it has only lasted 53 years (so far).
The horizontal hillclimb around Lakeside driver training circuit is not what you would call serious motorsport. It is a safe and fun sub 60 second run to test your Lotus and your driving skills. Due to other commitments, I missed the last DTC, so I was looking forward to NOT being competitive once again with all of my usual combatants.
The day is organised and run by Gideon Street (Lotus club computer guru) as well as Lotus Legend Paul Stokell. It always goes so smoothly until I decided to help Paul with scrutineering and handing out the number decals for the passenger side of the car. The smooth running of the day was obviously sabotaged as we managed to pick up an obsolete competitor number list and handed most people the incorrect car number decals. Off to a great start.
When running got underway, I discovered that one or two of my usual midfield combatants had suddenly found considerable talent since their last outing. This newfound talent obviously had nothing to do with an engine rebuild or two, but, I found myself lagging in the time sheets. As I said, because I am soooo uncompetitive, I managed to wring the neck out of my poor little Elise and found an extra half a second that I have never found before. To no avail, I still found myself to be a laggard.
DTC articles usually talk up the quick people like Evan, Gideon and Jason, or, today it would have been Byron Maxwell in his super fast Elise. Not today. I’m sticking with talking about us non competitive mid fielders. Take George Row for example. He was going around the pit area telling people that he was just beaten at the last event by his daughter-in-law Bridie. I had to inform George that he need not bother telling everyone that story as Bridie herself had already spread the word! I refuse to go down the slippery slope of spending thousands modifying my Elise to keep up with the talented “moustached one” driving his super 7. I love my Lotus just as it is. I will just have to find a new combatant in the field somewhere and be satisfied with beating “the moustached one” at golf!
DTC: A Rookies perspective
By Damion Tiernan.
Having spectated a handful of times at previous events, it was finally time to take my Lotus 7 replica and drive it in anger at the September round of the DTC.
It’s a really well organised and run event and having sifted through the comprehensive and straight forward paperwork and signing on via the Racers App I was signed up and ready to go.
Needless to say the nerves kicked in a few days before and I rang my mechanic on Friday morning in a panic to see if he could slip me to in to check my tune. I swear the Webbers were playing up! After he twiddled a few screws and did what ever Witch-doctor magic he does to them, he explained they were purring like a kitten. I’d have to find a different excuse now.
After loading up all the gear and getting to the track early enough to get setup, quite a few of the regular faces from previous events arrived and the day was to get underway. What I enjoy most about the Lotus Club overall and certainly events like this is the friendliness of the people. The banter usually starts early and being a first time competitor I wasn’t spared. Lindsay was quick to offer advice on whether I should or shouldn’t be breaking into turn 1, all whilst Andrew was over his should shaking his head… is this friendly advice or mind games to put me off my game… haha. All just fun.
Though when there was a huddle around the timing table to view the competitor list, although fun and playful, make no mistake, underneath they’re all wanting to be in that top spot.
This round was run in conjunction with Paul Stokell’s Driving Events competitors and both Paul and Gideon run an efficient and safety minded day that allows everyone to get as much time on track as possible. I managed a few runs before discovering a mis-behaving oil catch can that wanted to keep overflowing every three runs. So did the morning and then only managed one afternoon run on the longer track before deciding to park it for the day.
Byron Maxwell in his Lotus Elise appeared to be very quick and I believe won the day. I admit to a small amount of envy looking across at some of the Elise and Exige boys being able to just jump in the car to bang out some fast laps, all while I was mopping up my engine bay!
I relished the other club members coming over and chatting through what was happening with the car and discussing everything from my car concerns to things to consider for set up and running in future events.
Whilst we did a little bit of race number swapping at the start of the day, Dick wasn’t up for letting him take my number, but leaving it against my name so I could be recorded with his lap times.
I managed to find 5 sec from first run through to last run on the smaller track, which I felt pretty good about for a first time go. Hopefully I can sort the car issues in time for the next round.
|Driver||Vehicle||Time||Byron Maxwell||Lotus Elise||45.553|
|Lindsay Close||Lotus Exige S||46.562|
|Dick Reynolds||Caterham Super 7||46.806|
|Graham Maxwell||Lotus Elise||47.057|
|Phil Hart||Lotus Elise||47.181|
|Michael Blessas||Lotus Elise||47.398|
|Scott Walker||Mazda MX5||47.591|
|Anthony Fitzgerald||Lotus Exige S3||47.614|
|Andrew Row||Lotus Exige||48.679|
|Jon Young||Caterham S3||48.768|
|Sion Bowen||Lotus Elise||48.805|
|George Row||Lotus Elise||49.317|
|Jake Gulliver||Arrow Clubman||50.434|
|Peter MacLeod||Mazda MX5||50.988|
|Peter Cox||Mazda MX5||51.246|
|Callum MacLeod||Mazda MX5||51.965|
|Damion Tiernan||Lotus 7 Replica||53.39|
|Mike Bettenay||Puma Clubman||53.705|
|Byron Maxwell||Lotus Elise||53.915|
|Dick Reynolds||Caterham Super 7||54.532|
|Lindsay Close||Lotus Exige S||55.145|
|Graham Maxwell||Lotus Elise||55.196|
|Phil Hart||Lotus Elise||55.631|
|Michael Blessas||Lotus Elise||55.917|
|Anthony Fitzgerald||Lotus Exige S3||56.509|
|Sion Bowen||Lotus Elise||56.774|
|Andrew Row||Lotus Exige||56.959|
|Scott Walker||Mazda MX5||56.972|
|George Row||Lotus Elise||58.573|
|Jon Young||Caterham S3||58.583|
|Jake Gulliver||Arrow Clubman||59.091|
|Peter Cox||Mazda MX5||60.638|
|Mike Bettenay||Puma Clubman||62.137|
|Callum MacLeod||Mazda MX5||62.235|
|Peter MacLeod||Mazda MX5||63.925|
|Damion Tiernan||Lotus 7 Replica||64.068|