Robyn Round-up!

Robyn’s had three race meetings in quick succession, so here are her updates:

4th May – Sunny Scunny

Last weekend I went off on my travels to Scunthorpe and District Autograss Club for the first round of the British Autograss Series – a championship run over five rounds through the year.

With 520 drivers signed on, all expecting three heats – and if they are lucky, a place in the final – it was going to be a busy weekend.  This time we had nine ladies class three drivers signed on.  I was looking forward to this as I have hardly raced with other class threes yet this year. As we race off a straight line we have a maximum of eight cars on the start line so we were split into a run of four and another run of five.

Heat 1. I was in the run of four cars so even a fourth place would help towards getting in the final, but I can’t think that way, who wants to come last?! Thankfully I didn’t. I went over the line in third place after having a good start and being in the pack, until I messed up one of the corners with a woozy right foot and a bit of a mid-corner lift. I had the car set up perfectly to drift round the corner, but it snapped straight and I lost a lot of speed.  Still I finished the race in good position and gained points towards qualifying for the final.

Heat 2. Again I was drawn in the four car grid for this one. This time I had a cracking start and I think I was in second for a bit. This was a good solid race on a polished track. Third again.

Heat 3. Overnight one lady dropped out with a damaged car, so we would all line up together for a full grid. We lined up behind two runs of Class one’s. These are 1000cc Minis. Then the water cart came out… it’s everyone’s worst nightmare. I watched where it went so I could pick out the dry line as I knew the Minis would barely scrub off the top and disperse the water. I watched and watched and soon realised that they had completely covered the track. No dry line in sight. They did let it soak in a little, but not enough as I went on to spin the car twice in the same place and came sixth in my final heat.

Not to worry though the car was in one piece, I would be in the final and I didn’t even qualify last. I was sixth qualifier for the final.

The Final. I went flying off the line with an excellent start. So did everyone else. All into the first corner together… who knew where we would all pop out! I think I was running in third for a while and having a great battle trying for a better position. Unfortunaly I was eventually passed by two cars and I ended up in sixth place, but I am not disappointed. Great close racing and overall in the championship so far I am in fifth place. I am hoping to improve on this with our next meeting at Cwmdu Car Club: The Ovals, Lyonshall, Kington, Hereford, HR5 3LN. This meeting is on the 21st and 22nd of June.

11th May – Evesham, Home Track

This was our first meeting of the year at Dodwell Raceway, Stratford-Upon-Avon. This is the Evesham club track, so as I am an Evesham member I always help to run the meeting as well as fit in three races. All of our club members are volunteers and we all pitch in to run a successful meeting. There is plenty to do, we need marshals, scruitineers, pits control coordinators, brake down drivers, water cart drivers, lap scorers, even litter pickers for the end of the meeting… being involved with the meeting is all part of the enjoyment.

I’ve been the Race Control coordinator for eight years now. I need to make sure all drivers are signed on at the beginning of the day for insurance purposes, and I also head up the lap scoring team and collect the points at the end of the meeting. Points go towards end of year trophies and qualifying for the National Championships.  For the last couple of years I have also been part of the British Autograss Series lap scoring team.

This weekend a lot of meetings had been cancelled due to rain so we thought it may be a busy one, and it was!! 205 drivers signed on to race, this time all in one day. Two heats to qualify for the finals.

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I was mixed in with the Class 7’s again and one other Class 3 which was good as I was racing for points against the other lady class 3. There were six class 7 cars so in both heats and the final we had a full grid of cars. My first two heats were frantic, I was right in the pack for the complete race, I wanted to drive round the 7’s, but they drove a very tidy line and out wide the track was very slippery and I wasn’t gaining anything by going out wide.

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Robyn gets past those pesky Minis.

The final was a huge rush, I was in race control doing my lap scoring duties and over the pits speaker I heard “Ladies Class 3 and 7 to the line please”.  What?!! I couldn’t  believe it. My friend Jill and I downed pens and had to run to the cars to get in to race. We were the last ones to the line and first ones  into the corner, neither of us could believe it. The other lady class 3 shot round the outside in the first corner, I kept my line and may have bounced into her a little…

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She managed to pass me so there was Jill in her class 7 followed by two class 3’s and the other 7’s behind us. Towards the end of the race I was passed by another class 7, but she had a huge sideways moment in the middle of the straight right in front of me. I successfully avoided her and ended up in third place on track, and second in class.

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Another great days racing. Next Sunday we are at Radford Autograss Club, Nr Inkberrow, Worcestershire.

Some more photos taken by our colleague Roger, from the same meeting:

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