at the start line - Forrestburn Track Night 22 September 2013

This guest post was written by Bruce Davies describing the track night held at Forrestburn on 22 September 2013 – many thanks to Bruce for this.

Holding the revs at about 2500 when Gordon said “Go”. Let in the clutch quickly but not roughly, bit of wheel spin, too much, lift off, slightly sideways but ok, into second, keep throttle down to get into third before the right twitch by the wall, don’t lift, yes I have but on past the wall accelerate hard, can’t keep foot right down, on the hill really gun it, oh no braked too late, no I haven’t I am ok, but on the right side, round the corner, brake hard, down into second, not easy to heel and toe on this thing, bit of stick, watch for the white right left right keep right for the hairpin, left gear change into first too late, turn in, stick, lots of stick, change into second, flat round the left hander, brake hard for the right hander – too much, lift off before the wall not smooth, back shuggles, wall seems near, hard towards the top corner, take the white as late as possible, blast over the top, bit of a snake, into third, across the line, finished.

At least I remembered to breathe.
Jaguar XJS in the Forrestburn Paddock
I tried to save my tyres but Mr Fleming in his V12 Jag must have used up about a 1000 miles of rubber in the first 6 inches of track! The same V12 demonstrated similar exuberance when crossing the final summit, some said he was trying to catch previous car! The V8 TR7 was equally exciting over the top hairpin whilst the white 944 produced wonderful clouds of acrid rubber smoke- oh for a limited slip diff!

Both these styles were in marked contrast to the red and the blue Westfields that flowed sweetly along the track with a minimum of drama. I suspect they were also a bit quicker than most of us. The Westfield 8 showed some promise but an incipient mis-fire meant that the available power was limited, but no doubt by next season it will be running as sweet as a nut.

Douglas Anderson in his Classic Austin 7 powered single seater continued to thrill the onlookers (and himself I suspect) as he attacked hill with his usual vim and vigour.

Being an Imp owner in the 70s, I was delighted to see a Sunbeam Imp (I think it was Sunbeam as I thought I was able to discern some slots in the rear bonnet as it flashed along the track) competing and the sound of that lovely little all aluminium four brought back lots of memories, not least of which was changing the head gasket on the M6 hard shoulder at 2am with a policeman holding the torch.
“Forgotten the name already” already said my wife “but the blue car with the number plate ending HBK was very smooth around the last corner and looked quick.”

Because I was trying to do as many runs as I could, I missed seeing several of the cars including the Healey Sprite of Alex Hazelwood, the MX5 of Henry Simmons, and I also failed to witness Shona’s enthusiastic and, I believe, highly enjoyable runs up the hill.

Thanks must go to Donald and Trish macDonald, Colin McLatchie and Gordon MacRobbie for marshalling all day along with Jamie and whoever was lurking in the concrete bastion at the hairpin. Well done to all these people who make it possible for us to enjoy driving on the track. Thanks also go to Shona especially for arranging the weather which was warm and sunny with a scorching 18C! The wind still blew over the hill, but it was a warmish wind compared to the freezing draughts that can occur at Forrestburn on odd occasions.