Driving someone else’s pride and joy!

…is harder than you think.
I was hoping todo quite well on last weekends Dunlop TVR Challenge at Donington Park, but in the end I only managed 5th and a good couple of seconds off 4th placed Christian Douglas.
So what happened. Well I’m not completely sure. It was a mixture of being very weary of driving someone else’s very nice GpA car, 13 years of driving Rover V8s and finally getting spooked at Turn 3 by a very quick pair of Rover GpB cars that were being driven properly!
So, someone else’s car. The cars owner – Mark Crajka – has spent a lot of money on the car and its not all been plain sailing. Having got it sorted and not being able to drive it himself he very kindly offered me the drive. I really didn’t want to bent it or blow it up!
13 years in Rover V8s? Why is that relevant? Well I have had many rover engines in my cars, different capacities different inductions, but they’ve all run out of puff by around 6000 rpm. Some have revved to 8000rpm but they don’t go any faster…they just wear out quicker, so my style and ear (which I drive by) wants me to shift gear at 6500rpm which I did. Trouble is, as many of you will know, that’s when the AJP gets quick. So I was only using around 360 of the available 440 ponies!
Finally – my last racing excuse- getting spooked! After a not to bad start I only had Dave Stewarts Griff between me and the front pack. No problem I thought, this car will breeze past him on the back straight. I now refer you back to the last paragraph “13 years of Rovers” ie I wouldn’t breeze past him! Anyway, while I was thinking “right this is OK I’m out of danger, settle down” a very Racey Dave Chant and Neil Garner did me on the brakes into the old hairpin! This lovely GpA car was going to end up on the gravel by the tied turn! This kind of did me for the race. Safely shifting watching the dials I drove an exceptional GpB race in a GpA car for the reasons given above.
The thing about Tuscans is that you have to drive them hard. You have to be on the limit all the time. The edge of grip and the edge of engine detonation. If you aren’t prepared to screw the hell out of it at all times, top guys like Dean Cook and Tim Davis will punish you on every lap.

Still, I bought the home all OK and had my first GpA race at the home of Tuscans with the sun shining and my friends around me so what’s not to like.

Here’s to next year when we hope to have our Super A car out!
Living the dream!

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