DDMC Centenary Race Weekend

September 28th, 2005

An event not without it's traumas. The alternator packed up just as we were loading up on Friday and it is not the easiest thing to change.

The NSSCC B, C & D race was first to practice on Saturday morning and, for once, the track had dried from overnight rain. I really got stuck in as our best two times were needed, one for the Saturday race and the second for Sunday. About four laps in however things took a turn for the worse. On braking for Tower the car started squirming and a quick glance in the mirror showed nothing but white. Pulling up on the inside of the track steam billowed from the engine compartment so it was a straight tow back to the Paddock. I needed to allow the engine to cool properly before filling it with water which promptly ran straight out of the exhaust pipe!

A phone call to ETS Services saw me leaving the Circuit about 11am and driving the 20 minutes to the garage. Toni got stuck in and removed the Head to discover a cracked cylinder liner. He then dropped the sump off, took out the rod and piston, changed the liner, rebuilt the engine and had me back on the trailer by 1.05pm. I had changed in to my race suit but was going to be running late for my race which was due to start at 1.30pm!!! A number of phone conversations had most of the DDMC Car committee and two scrutineers waiting for me. These guys strapped me in whilst unloading the car, fuelling it in the process and I hit the grid just as they were leaving the Assembly Area.

My race went well with me up with the 2 litre of John Parton and taking the class lead until Darren Flounders caught up with me. We then circulated together until -BANG. The engine had had enough and coughed its last. Still I now had my fastest ever lap of Croft at 1 minute 38.7, an improvement over this most character building year of some 4 seconds.

So its a new engine for 2006. This one had done 2.5 seasons on a standard bottom end and revved regularly to 8300 so I can't complain.

I thought my season was over but on Sunday morning David Cox rang to offer his Honda Civic Type R for the Allcomers so at last I got to see the chequered flag.

If you would like to see pics of the car (and the rest of the guys in the NSSCC) then visit

Croft - CSCC - 11th September

September 13th, 2005

Having had the ETS Metro again conk out (technical term!) at the last race meeting, the guys at ETS hoped they had traced the problem to a broken wire in the loom. The little car had proven itself quick enough to again improve my best lap time and we just hoped that this reoccuring problem was now fettled.

Qualifying was on a damp track that seemed loathe to dry out and we found ourselves 11th despite a reluctance for the engine to pull more than 7500rpm. Mossy had found a flyer on his last lap to sit in 5th, Andy Robinson was 7th, Simon Baker 9th and Darren Flounders 13th so we were all on the same side of the grid, one behind the other.

At the start I got a reasonable launch pulling ahead of Simon and Andy with Darren slipping down the inside. The K series engine was now reving cleanly and I tagged on to Darren with a view to him pulling me up to Paul Moss. With in two laps we were within 3 seconds and closing. I had Simon right on my tail and as a 4 car train we continued to circulate. On lap 6 we caught up some back markers but with a distinct lack of blue flags I got held up and dropped back a couple of seconds from Darren. Fortunately, Simon was similarly baulked. Next lap Darren pounced in to Sunny and took the class lead.

On lap 10 a certain Porsche dropped some antifreese at Tower, the resulting moment and uncertanty whether it was oil or water around Esses and Barcroft saw me lose 5 seconds and have to drive VERY defensively to the flag.

One of the best races I have had for a long time with my fastest ever lap at 1 minute 39.743 thanks to being able to slip stream Darren. I'm going to have think about gear ratios over the Winter as I was arriving at Tower almost on the rev limiter in 5th.

Next outing is the busy DDMC double header, Championship Finale and bean feast. I can't wait.


Fire!! Fire!!

August 17th, 2005

Here's my 1st attempt at Blog.

Saturday 13th August just around teatime (oops went into Life of Brian there). Croft - post 16 Complex in. Marshals once again thin on the ground and so on post was Peter (Incident officer) and myself (Flag Marshall, Course Marshall and soon to be Fire Marshall)

The first 2CV race had begun all cars seemed to be going at a similar pace. Two cars were starting to pull away from rest of field followed by another group of six cars. Then coming past post 10 was a white car number 99, going quite slow seemed to be lacking a little power, though there was no sign of anything visibly wrong. Then once through Sunny in and out the problem appeared smoke coming through radiator grill. The driver fully aware of the situation now kept the car going as best he could, but about 50 yards from our post he pulled off the track. Were post 14 going to assist or was it down to us, the latter it was our baby. Whilst Peter radio`d it in I handed over the green flag and left post. Collecting a powder fire extinguisher on way, (we are trained to use powder first). I dashed to the stricken car with the driver standing by. Let me tell you 50 yards carrying a full extinguisher is quite a distance. I first of asked if he'd isolated his vehicle, with his helmet still on I had to ask again, he then isolated car, I asked if he had an electrical fuel pump or mechanical, not such a daft question as you might think. I didn't want to take any chances. I pulled the plastic tab from retaining pin then removed the pin, I was ready for the fire. The training we received was spot on I seemed to be on auto - pilot I knew what I had to do. The driver had removed the bonnet pins and then raised the bonnet not the correct way to do things but I guess he was eager to find out the extent of the problem. I saw flames coming up through air filter so without a 2nd thought the powder was released and coverd the fire it was all over. Though I waited for a few minutes just to make sure there wasn't a re-occurence, once I was happy the bonnet was replaced and we returned to the safety of our post and radioed in that at end of the race we'd need a straight tow. Once back at post I advised the driver of the side effects of fire extiguisher powder, just in case he wasn't aware.
Once back on post I took over the flags again and continued my role. It's only now I smile to myself of a job well done.
On the Sunday Ken Grey told me I was famous and then handed me a picture, I never thought for one second that I'd been captured. I also advised some of fellow marshals that I'd had my first fire, seems they all knew as they'd heard it on radio.

As an after thought anyone thinking they couldn't possibly do this then believe me you can. We get expert training and because of this we can put our skills to good use. Come and join us.

BARC Croft 13th August

August 15th, 2005

Following the shunt at Cadwell Park, the ETS Metro or Rover 100 if you want to be posh! has had a lot of loving care, new body panels and a paint job. There had been a lot of overnight rain and, although we were to be third qualifying, the track was still damp and slippy when the NSSCC classes B, C & D went out.

I was quite pleased with just how much grip the little car has in these conditions particularly as I left in a dry set up and merely adjusted the tyre pressures. To qualify 12th out 26 was a good result and come the race I was to line up directly behind the Porsche 944T of David Botterill.A few cars spun and Gavin Lee ended up in the gravel trap at Clervaux. Coming down the Start straight there were yellow flags out. That did not stop 1 competitor from driving straight past me, but more of that later.

By the time we assembled on the grid the sun was beaming down and the track bone dry. I got a good start and followed David down to Clervaux working on the basis that, if anything spun, Botty could knock it out of the way!! We had a clear run out through the Chicane and down to Tower by which time the race tends to settle down.

As expected a few of the poorly qualifying larger engined cars had passed me and my main competitor, Darren Flounders, was a few seconds up the road. Eventually, David Hoyle (Renault Spider) and Andrew Varey (Peugeot 206) cruised up behind me and we proceeded to have a small battle that was resolved when the yellows came out at Clervaux, I slowed slightly and they both passed me!!! Of course, no-one spotted them and, in any case, I eventually got Andrew back just before he retired from the race. From then in it was a case of keeping my head down and getting to the finish. The car is running so much better. It is noticable that the gear changes are coming just that little bit sooner out of corners and that I was still on the lead lap at the end of the race. My best time was a further .2 second quicker than I've gone before so the excuses are going to be harder to find in future.

The next event falls in 2 weeks, at Croft, for the 1st double header of the year. This is DDMC's own event and features the NSSCC, Karts, Legends, FF1600 and the Uniroyal Fun Cup.

Cadwell Park

July 11th, 2005

Well it had to happen one day. After 35 years of competing in motorsport of all kinds, I returned home from Cadwell Park with a heavily panel damaged car.

Everyone knows that the first couple of corners are the most dangerous and also the ones on which you can easily lose the race. Cadwell has a very narrow startline anyway and lends itself to a first corner mellay. From my perspective, I got an excellent start from 13!!! on the grid and was catching up the 7th & 8th places when the Peugeot 206 seemed to try to squeeze through a non existent gap between the Fiesta of Darren Flounders and John Parton's Honda. I dived for the left as the Honda started to go sideways, thinking he would spear of right. Unfortunately, the 206 kept his foot in spinning John right round through 360 degrees and back across the track where he rolled across my front (2 wheels on the grass by now). I hit his rear quarter and then had Paul Moss and Paul Swift pile into the back of me as they also had no where to go. 8 cars suffered damage in that one and guess what, the car that caused in got none!

John's car has a fair amount of damage, Paul Moss's has severe front end damage whilst mine will need a portapower, wing, door, rear quarter, and totally repainting.

The good news is that the electrics seem fine and the little car was flying with only the driver limiting performance. Roll on Croft as I won't be at Oulton.

Croft - BARC - 26th June 2005

June 27th, 2005

This was probably the hottest day I have raced on in recent years. The little yellow Metro certainly is handling well this year and qualifying saw me set a personal best at 101.2 and 11th on a grid of 23. Steve Ferguson had his oil filter part company about 3 laps in to the session dumping a swathe of oil through Tower and so I gave it another couple of laps and pulled in.

Come the race, the last of the weekend, I made a rubbish start with loads of wheel spin but started to surge forward once I reached third and fourth gear into Clervaux. I don't know where he had been but Mr Botteril was behind me! along with Paul Swift in the Honda, Paul Moss in the Saxo and Mick Starkey's Fiesta. I made Dave work to get the Porsche past and then set about defending my position. I was comfortable with pace (close to my qualifying times)and then it started cutting out. It started with an intermittent misfire and then total loss of electrics. I tried to drive through the problem but was just becoming a danger to other competitors so a retirement into the pits ended my race.

Two weeks to Cadwell should hopefully see the problem resolved and then I might just get my first full race of the season!

Terry Wright

Welcome to the NSSCC Weblog

June 18th, 2005

Welcome to the dbRacing blog for the Northern Saloon & Sports Car Championship. Tell everyone how your race went

Happy Motoring