Racing on a muddy country lane – Rushmoor sprint 24-Apr-16

The FDMC Rushmoor sprint turned into a stunning duel for me, going head to head with the supercharged Mazda MX5 of Nick Horne. My 4.6 litre V8 supercharged Mustang may have had the power advantage on the short straights (573BHP), but i couldn’t put the power down on the tight and slippery track, while Nick definitely had the advantage under braking and round the corners. I had just upgraded to 16 inch (400mm) 8-piston HiSpec brakes which worked brilliantly, but I had no tyre grip to use them, at one point sailing straight on into a mud bank.

I managed the fastest time in our class at first practice beating Nick and also some beautiful 1960s V8s (a Jensen C-V8 and an ISO Rivolta) that sounded great and were masterfully thrashed around the track despite their archaic suspension (the Mustang is not much better). I was suffering from a massive lack of grip with the car fishtailing wildly out of every corner, so that I spent more time facing into the threes than along the track! I wanted to lower the tyre pressures but unfortunately the aluminium dust caps had seized on and I didn’t want to risk breaking the valves, so decided to put up with the situation.

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After my crash in second practice Nick was leading me by around one second in every session until the penultimate lap when I pushed myself to the limit with some very scary slides and managed to pull ahead by half a second. I was elated with the possibility that I might win, whilst Nick had the red mist come down and threw the car round the track like a mad man! I was able to wait at the start line to see Nicks time displayed so that I would know how hard I had to push. No! he had taken a second off his previous best so I had a real problem. I didn’t think I go any faster doing what I had been on the last lap so decided to try and keep the car under control to slide less. However, I have found in the past that unless I drive like a bank robbery getaway I am hopeless – smooth and careful just don’t work for me. As I expected my final lap was controlled but slightly slower than my previous best so Nick won – Congratulations Nick it was a stunning final performance!

Results

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1st Nick Horne (Mazda MX5 supercharged) 55.25 seconds

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2nd Alex Peters (Ford Mustang Supercharged) 56.14 seconds

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3rd Simon Gamblen (Renault 21 Turbo) 59.50 seconds

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4th Fred Moss (Iso Rivolta) 59.71 seconds

5th Kevin Hurst (Toyota Celica) 61.49 seconds

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6th Ian Northeast (Jensen C-V8) 63.17 seconds

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