It is always a pleasure and a bit of a rarity to race on the GP circuit at Brands so it was with some excitement we headed to Kent for the next Masters Historic rounds. Testing on Friday was on the Indy circuit so not entirely relevant but still good to get the cars shaken down. All went well. Saturday dawned with lovely sunshine and it looked like it was there to stay. We had a full programme with the Shelby Daytona Cobra, Ford Falcon and the nimble Chevron B8. First up was the Cobra and was it good on the GP loop!! Thundering round using its power on the straights and having to fend off the lightweight Lotus Elan 26Rs on the tight bits we were aiming for pole and I think it was do-able when I made a mistake at Hawthorns and ended up making castles in the kitty litter!! Well, that hasn't happened in a long time and I was left pondering my mistake as Steve Soper stole pole from us by a tenth of a second. Particularly galling as I was 4 tenths up on that lap!! Never mind, it was class pole and we were sure we had the pace so looked forward to correcting the situation later in the day in our 90 minute Gentlemen Drivers’ race. Next up was the Chevron B8 and Julian did a great job to put it P1 in class. However, he came in the pits and said the car was not right. After investigation by the team we pushed the car away to check it properly without risk. I had driven no laps to qualify but spoke with the Clerk who was happy for me to start the race anyway. Always assuming the car could be put right. Then we were into the Falcon and what fun that was blasting round the GP circuit. Oversteer in abundance and bags of power down the straights made for a big grin on the face. Julian passed over to me and I went out of the pits onto an improving track giving it all while trying to keep the wheel spin to a minimum. On my best lap I caught a Mini and it just held me up losing 7 tenths but missing pole by 0.099 of a second. Again we had class pole but...... So, next was the Gentlemen Drivers’ race which was the last event of the day. Julian did his usual excellent start and was harrying the Elans while they were doing the same to him! He had a great stint and then the team managed an excellent pit stop. This put me out in the lead and I gave it everything to build a gap to the followers. This I did and the race ran out, leaving us P1 overall and 52 seconds ahead at the flag. Job done! Sunday was not a warm as the day before and after the Cobra's heat that was welcome. The team had done an amazing job to find the parts and fix the Chevron's clutch which had broken. Julian started the FIA Masters Historic Sportscar Championship race and shot off maintaining top position in class and everything looked good for our second win of the weekend. As so often happens it flattered to deceive. A pace car period started and Julian dived for the pits. However, we were held at the pit exit and so lost a lot of time. At the green light I shot out onto track, was waved past the safety car and set about shrinking the gap as is permitted. The track went green and I pushed like mad to get from P3 to P2 and then with P1 in sight it went red as someone had gone off into the Paddock Hill gravel and with only a few minutes left the officials canned the race. To add insult to injury they count back a lap which left us in P3. Oh well, I don't suppose one can win them all! Before we knew it we were lining up for the Masters Pre '66 Touring Car race and as ever Julian was in the thick of it dicing with Elans and Mustangs at the front. Somehow one of the Mustangs managed to make a break and pulled out quite a lead. There was a lot of oil down and it seemed to affect our big heavy powerful car more than the Elans. Julian was fighting tooth and nail, have a great fight when again the safety car came out at just the wrong moment. He had just passed the pit entrance so could not react while the rest of the field piled into the pits and got a jump on us. I got in and when things had settled down was P12. I had a fantastic battle with a Lotus Cortina but eventually manged to get away and give chase. As the laps ticked down I passed cars and hunted down the next in line. However, as usually happens the race finished too early but we were P3 in class and P4 overall so at least we made the podium. All in all a great week end. Huge thanks to Jade and Julian, and all at Denis Welch Racing and Wolf Engineering for cracking cars. Next stop the Masters Historic races at Donington Park where we will again be in the Cobra, Falcon and Chevron B8.
Melindi runs Gold Track - winner of the ‘Track Day Organiser of the Year’ award 2016 is one of the UK's longest established and most respected professional track day event organisers. You can book training session and track days with Calum at www.goldtrack.co.uk/racing/track-days