CoOrdinator Steven Connor tells us what really went on
Well, it was really tight, and the original allocation was optimistic,
with the non availability of the overflow onto the rally stage being a
major factor. The pragmatic decision by Stephen Green to move an entire
formula (each day) up above scrutineering really helped us - but spare
a thought to the formulae who had expected a flat paddock with access
to power. While some people had to be squashed in there was still space
that could have been made available for race vehicles if some 'non racing'
vehicles had been more considerately parked (or not there). Bryn couldn't
even get his car out of his trailer due to the cars parked around him
– that took some co-operation to resolve.
It was becoming clear that the scrutineering was going to run on into
the briefing time. Then a check into Hailwoods suite revealed it just
wasn't “fit for purpose” to hold a briefing of over 70 drivers..
So... driving over to see the Clerks an impromptu meeting happened on
the access road and they agreed to my suggestion of cancelling the drivers'
briefing. Tannoy announcement and the guys on the bikes arranged to spread
that word. The driver walking across to the middle to attend the briefing
was turned back “no, Hailwoods is over there...” Mmm that
question asked around the paddock at Silverstone might have been used
here “do you know where the drivers briefing is?” to confirm
people had noted the instructions.
Off went the Moto, Classic and 1600 boys... signs being shown to check
“have you got – scrutineering ticket and transponder”
seemed to work.
Both qualis were really good, very little incident and the Clerk was
impressed enough to say, almost seriously, “maybe you guys work
better without a briefing”... Actually maybe there is some science
in that. At Snetterton we had cars in assembly without scrutineering tickets
or even their transponders installed, then a car loose a wheel –
possibly the legacy of the mad rush to get out with the briefing times
getting in the way. Also, someone did suggest the drivers were more relaxed
and focused after having the time to get ready properly, without being
told the same issues once again in the briefing.
After the 2000 quali, 5 cars were selected for engine inspections which
were agreed to be carried out back in the paddock (due to availability
of tools) and this appeared to be carried out in good grace and all cars
were found to be acceptable on this first inspection of the weekend.
After lap, Jock Sergison was seen to have a loose floor on the car and the black and orange signal went out. As Jock came by he was seen to respond with a reduction in speed and came into the pits at the end of the lap for some TLC before rejoining. The Chief Clerk wondered if he had seen the flag/board or the electronic sign and afterwards Jock reported it was the electronic sign he had seen. This valuable info was passed back to the race control team who were delighted to hear first hand evidence of this new system working.
The importance of getting the stalled car drivers (and marshals) behind the barriers was illustrated when a departing silencer flew very close to where they had been standing standing and then started rolling back towards the track... a collected “no” and “stay” was heard in race control as we all hoped it might stop on the grass – which it did. Then the report that car 90 (James Williams) had stopped up at Druids – was it his silencer?.. yes, but as it turns out he had stopped for a broken throttle cable (did the silencer take the cable out?) . On the cameras we see the car on the apron and the safety car is put on standby... then we note James managing to move the car forward slowly and we realise he is under power if very slow. We hope he isn't going to try and drive all the way back and are relieved when he pulls over to the side in the best safe place open to him and hops out sharpish. Safety car stands down and a “well done” from the Clerk. Thus a safety car impacting all the other racers was averted by excellent thinking/action from James.
Then a radio call that car 56 has no front wing... quick as a flash the clerk asks “did he go out with one?.. if he the one who hit the block this morning” and I am able to say “yup. that is Kevin Couling and I saw his repair hadn't got as far as refitting the front wing”. So the marshals do spot things, do radio them in and the clerks do know the formula they are looking after.
We then see 77 (Nigel Davers) who has been going very well in the Jedi,
pull off against the barrier (nicely out the way) with smoke visible on
the camera. The Clerk says the place parked is good and even has time
to spot 2 cars in overtaking mode who do so before the yellow flag even
though the camera angle is difficult at that point – they do know
what they are looking at. The radio call “car 77 stopped and looks
like it could go up! Driver attending with extinguisher” brought
a moment of nervous laughter. Subsequently Nigel reports he was enjoying
his race when he saw the marshals pointing at his car, he strained to
see and found the smoke so pulled off, jumped out and stood with an extinguisher
in case. This was an oil union leaking onto the exhaust and it was being
alerted by the marshals that allowed him to switch off and save the engine
from damage or the car from a full oil fire.
Car 18 (Dave Gillett) failed to get away at the race start and was pushed
to the side (exiting the car rapidly, the marshals had learned from the
The race continued and then 11 (Daniel Tapinos) and 50 (Henry Chart) came together heading towards the bridge on the GP loop and went off hard into the barriers. The Clerk looked at where they came to rest and judged it safe to continue under yellows.
Then approaching the last minutes there was an incident involving 73
(Daryl Jones) and 63 (Phil Davis) which resulted in a red flag.
Disclaimer: The above represents only the unofficial view of the writer and not of the Monoposto Racing Club in any way whatsover. Subheadlines and captions are not originated from the named author. We are unable to reproduce results due to copyright reasons. If any pictures are copyright and the owner wishes them removed please email us.