The Race that never was – Part 2

Cont from part 1

Finally BB’s Escort was reckoned to be ready and the film companies test driver took it out. Then more fiddling before BB went out on his own for some familiarisation laps. Here I must mention that he had never driven the car, nor to my recollection competed in a race before. Back on the ramp for more gearbox removal and finally, around 3pm qualification took place.

There were 20 CTCRC cars, plus BB in his Escort and a special camera car. BB’s Escort was a Mk1 with a Zetec lump and a very fancy 4 link and coil over rear end with a Watts linkage. Hardly CTCRC spec but as it was his first race and the film company didn’t want him to be last it was fair enough. He drove quite well and was 7th quickest. The orange Escort used as a special camera car was quickest. This was even more special, in addition to all the special suspension it was powered by a lightweight V8 from a TVR.

More delays as they had to take the gearbox out of BB’s Escort yet again for more fiddling and it was after 4pm when the "race" took place. They were very worried that BB’s clutch would last but it held on for the necessary 10 laps. Dave’s Hickton and Howard, Tim Scott-Andrews and Steve Cripps screamed away from the line. They were racing for real and it was pretty exciting stuff. Dave Hickton took the win and the four gave a great display. BB was slow away, well it was his first racing start, but worked his way up to 7th or 8th I think by the end. He actually drove very well and was sensible when he overtook the slower cars in front of him. Admittedly he was given a lot of slack but a respectable performance.

Behind the leading four the other CTCRC drivers indulged in some "mock" racing for the cameras and the field became split into a lot of groups of two or three "dices". Apart from Daniel Ryan and Jeremy Knight who ended up with bent cars the drivers all enjoyed this immensely and there were smiles all round at the end. After all you don’t normally get filmed by a low flying helicopter at the average Lydden clubbie.

All in all a fun day.

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