Sunday was a strange day for me. I felt both listless and restless. So I turned to my Last Chance Saloon to keep me amused and occupied. The BTCC touring cars were in action, as was a whole slew of support races. Man alive, things get vigorous there.
Ginetta GT4s. Sort of ‘design a sports car’ in Year 1 of Automotive Design appearance, not too pretty, but they weigh about two ounces and have a useful 3.7l (about 230 cid for the yanks) V6, go like stink, and the drivers are all ex banger racers, and things get quite physical. I DO NOT watch motorsport for the crashes, but I do like to see people trying hard, and those guys try really hard, so a bit of contact is par for the course. Then they try hard enough to spin out. Real ‘Hang onto your hats’ times.
Porsche Carrera drivers make the Ginetta drivers look like children in pedal cars. I loathe Porsches, but these guys try really hard. Coming off the kerbs with only one wheel on the deck. There’s a lot of doorslamming, and that’s not a cheap option on a car that costs the thick end of 100 grand just to get it out of the showroom. Then the cost of race prep, tyres, all the bits. Your brain bucket might cost you best part of three grand. It ain’t a poor man’s way to go racing. Then drive it like a stock car.
Croft is an unforgiving circuit, the surface is uneven in the sense of not flat, lots of little crests and slight drops, and boy does that unsettle the rear-engined Porsches. Too much weight too far back. Credit where it’s due, though. You need hairy arms to drive a Carrera that fast.
Then Race 2 of the BTCC three rounder. First round was relatively gentlemanly, nothing a bit of gaffer tape and a can of touch-up spray wouldn’t fix. Apart from the roof damage after a tip-over. That will take the wind out of your sails, won’t it?
Race 2 was sodding mayhem. Inverted start (fastest in Round 1 go to the back of the grid) and the really quick cars suddenly got lumbered with A LOT of extra ballast weight.
You knew it was going to be chaos, it had to be, and it was. Bugger me, there was a tailender while the cars were running under the safety car. As one of the drivers commented, ‘Bit of a busy race, wasn’t it?’ Masterpiece of understatement.
I felt a bit better after that. Then I got the Demolition Derby that is the Mini Challenge. You need more than gaffer tape and touch-up after a round of that.