Cadwell Park - Keiron Baillie
Friday started with the long drive south to below Leeds and Hull to the remote circuit of Cadwell Park. We arrived mid-afternoon to see the last sessions of practice, which we weren’t in. This finished at about 5.30 pm and we gained admission to walk the track, all 2.173 miles, which certainly stretched the legs.
The track is just like a full scale Scalectrix set you got for Christmas as a kid. What a place to explore, with Park Straight then into Coppice to Charlies then Park Straight, Park, Chris Curve over Gooseneck and down the hill to Mansfield along the bottom to prepare yourself for the Mountain, along past the Club House and through Hall Bends, then dropping off into the Hairpin and further down and into Barn and back onto the start/finish straight.
The extent of the undulation was amazing with the camber changing from one way to the other. I was really looking forward to tussling the old Escort around here tomorrow.
Saturday – Qualification
Qualification was frantic with a good run behind the Midget to find the lines and then I broke off to get a good time down, and I did with a best of 1:53:6 which put me in 7th overall and well up the grid.
Saturday – Race
Very, very hot and a real battle with the Mini and the 3 lt Capri. The Capri ran wide before Gooseneck and I was pushing the Mini round, which was a fantastic race, but I didn’t have the opportunity to get past him. All the time he was covering me with oil and I thought if I waited, his problem would let me through but it wasn’t to be. We just played cat and mouse, which was great fun. Car temperature was up at 100⁰ and oil at 120⁰. I settled back a bit and ended the race respectably in 8th with a best time of 1:51:94.
Sunday – Race
After a night of furious thunder and lightning, there was no chance of it drying out. We changed onto narrower soft tyres for the 10 o’clock race, which all came up very quickly and off were racing again but in the rain. I had a good start from the right hand side of the grid this time. The Mini was removed from the formation lap with an oil leak, so I had a bit of a battle with the wooden chassis-ed Marcos running a crossflow. He is much lighter than me and I yielded to him as he came at me on the Mountain but got my slot back as he lost it over the top. The track had dry areas and very slippy bits where much caution was need and you had to feather the throttle and lift off at bits. Had a small sideways moment just before Gooseneck but got it straightened up and took it as a warning.
A fantastic experience but not for the faint-hearted. After 20 minutes of roller coaster ride, you were knackered and ready for a Stella at the Clubhouse. Hope you enjoy the photos and some of the YouTube fottage.
aka Keiron Baillie
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