David Coveney

Loton Park, 29th July 2006

Woke up this morning, looked outside, saw the sun… and just wanted to go back to sleep! Yep – I was shattered! I’d failed to get to sleep early, and then woke up with a start a few times. I don’t know why, but when I have an event on the next morning I wake really easily.

Still, I loaded up the Elise with the usual kit – a soft-bag toolkit, race suit, helmet, paperwork, gloves and booties. And left about 7am.

Each event has its own rythm. In a way I’m no huge fan of hillclimbs – they tend to run relatively slowly, with large gaps between runs. But on the upside they do often tend to be in beautiful settings – and Loton Park is no exception.

Downside to beautiful settings is that the trees, armco and other items are really close! On my second practice run I came to the first corner waaaaay too fast and, not knowing the place that well I had no idea if there was much escape road. I could see cones… but not what lay beyond – it was over a crest and the Elise is low. But it was either that, or armco.

One damaged numberplate later and I’d twirled the car back onto the track and got the ok from the marshalls to continue. So I did! And went faster on the second part of the track than before. And you know, it wasn’t bad fun at all – as I went around the next to last corner the inside (left) rear wheel started spinning but there was no oversteer… so I kept the foot down. And I’ll admit something – I glanced in the left wing mirror to see smoke streaming from the tyre… and enjoyed it!

First run was delayed somewhat to allow noisier cars to run before a wedding at a nearby church (us motorsport lot are a considerate bunch) and unfortunately the rain came just before we ran.

Surprisingly the track was relatively dry and grippy, but after the previous off I wasn’t confident. I was slow and running in third, behind Fred in the Golf and Gary in the Elise.

Ok… one last go.

And there it was… Second place. Again. I kept the run neat, but in the first sector was too timid. Even then, the second sector was still a little off that set by Gary. So another well done to Gary… and a promise from me to work out how to find that extra turn of speed!

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