Unfortunately my mechanic Kevin took his leave for a private matter. There are more important things in life than racing. My thoughts are with him at this time.
So I turn up on my own at Brands Hatch for testing with a broken car, the damper needs to be changed. I keep thinking that the parts are badly made, but maybe we just push them too hard. Melvyn, Triple V’s mechanic, kindly steps in and sort me out in between jobs.
I have a good testing session and try attacking on Paddock Hill Bend on the inside line. Basically Paddock Hill Bend might be just the most impressive bend of all the UK circuits. Certainly memorable for the driver as well as spectators with as much overtaking as crashes or runs into the gravel.
I need to simulate tomorrow’s race and decide how far is too far…only one way, trying it! Well as you can imagine, it was a step too far and once committed you cannot change the car direction or speed until you reach the bottom. You might as well go for a cuppa and see what happens: straight in the gravel with a spin. Duly noted, I will not try that this week-end.
Now I need to get my hands dirty, the hoover out and remove all the gravel from the car and wheels. I think about changing the brakes and tyres but cannot be bothered…I think they are OK. That will prove a costly mistake, you cannot cut corners in this sport. Bad decision number 1.
So my strategy is set, be brave on this bend get some speed behind me and overtake on the next hairpin Druids. For Druids, I train different lines. I am getting better on the Indy circuit (the short version of the GP circuit) and although we will be racing the GP circuit, I still feel that I master the worst part quite well.
My friend David Holloway and even Phil Ingram seem slower in the first sector (not overall though). How funny! I have never been able to mach their times during a race and they are so far in the Championship that I need an altimeter to check where they are!
As Kevin is not with me, I had to drive the racing truck down myself and I am stranded at Brands. David kindly drops me to the nearest train station in order to make my way home. Tired and distracted I miss my connection and arrive home at 22:45.
I did not take a hotel to see my family over the week-end, but I will only be able to kiss them goodnight. As a result it’s a waste of effort, time and money. Bad decision number 2.
The next morning I have to drive all the way to Brands so I get up at 6:00 am.
You cant come to a race meeting tired, deep down I know it.