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With the sad closure of WRCC’s venue in Leigh Street in High Wycombe, the team at Brentwood RC Raceway offered to host the Club Team Challenge.
Describing the Club Team Challenge is a little like describing the opening of the 1979 film The Warriors, except nobody got shot (thankfully), nobody made any speeches and the police didn’t turn up to crash the party. However, if you would like to picture the pink neon lights of the Wonder Wheel revolving against a dark night’s sky as slow, pulsing synthetic music plays in the background then you are more than welcome.
The invite was open to any club. Each club could bring up to two teams comprised of ten delegates. Each team would be flying their own unique colours to identify themselves. There were two Brentwood gangs, umm teams, the first of which would be adorned in Brentwood’s trademark Ford Olympic Blue.
First up in the Brentwood team we have car 365 and car 58. Sleepy and Ginge respectively. They are both driving Mk9 Jaguars. Incredibly rare British land-ships built between 1959 and 1961.
Car 403 Daniel Jordan with this Mk3 Supra that he painted on the day!
Koonta in car 205 and Jamie Townsend in car 27 with a pair of very rare machines; Granada Windsor estates. Limited edition stretched Mk2 estate built by coach builder Coleman Milne Windsor in celebration of the Queen Mother’s 80th birthday.
Dylan Ellis in an S-Type Jag. In the real world the petrol V6 and V8 powered cars are a lot of car for the money and don’t command a big price. A good introduction to the world of luxury barges!
Simon Alexander in car 682, another Mk3 Supra minus the roof fin which he added after photos.
Finally we have Divvy, the owner of the huge limousine I wrote an article about which you can read here: Size Matters!
Divvy also would be racing a Granada Windsor today.
Here we have Team 2, the team I was on, who would be running in Olympic blue but with a white roof.
There was an intruder in our ranks, Kerry Goldstone, who was originally meant to be on Team 2 but got promoted to Team 1 following a drop out.
The long Jag limo was looking smart though! I must start adding panel lines to my shells. It finished them off nicely.
Little Jensen’s Granada alongside a Jaguar and a Ford Scorpio.
Keen Bean’s Daimler
My Mk1 Granada Coupe
Sam Townsend’s Jaguar.
Twizzle’s big Jag Mk9.
The Chevrolet Camaro was an unusual shell. Don’t seem to see too many of them.
Finally, we have Sonny’s S-Type Jaguar.
We also have a chap named Tubs on our team with a Chevrolet Caprice. It was being fixed during the photos I’m afraid so I don’t have a picture of it.
Here we have the High Wycombe team:
If you ever find yourself on track with one of these extra long Cadillac hearses, don’t hit it because it will win haha!
Some more of the Wycombe cars:
The car of the meet was actually on the Wycombe team. This Nissan Cedric was beautifully prepared. The airbrushing was sublime!
Here we have the Burton team minus two cars:
Let’s address the elephant in the room. This mighty limo! The centre section was made up of alloy, so it twisted as you hit it! Because of it’s length it was having to take a line through the middle of the corners. If one got up the inside of it one could use as a sort of crash barrier to take a very narrow and fast line through the corner.
Plenty of Jags in the Burton line up!
You may have noticed that quite a few of the cars were running little Motorsport For Mental Health stickers. Lee Vockins of WRCC, who organised the event, got in touch to show some support. I wanted to make him some stickers but he said that he would be happy to give everyone a sticker to run at scrutineering so I got some good promo at the event!
It was really nice of Lee and Simon to do that for me. Thanks gents, sorry the application tape wasn’t quite tough enough for the job haha! I’ll have to get some new!
The teams would be battling for two trophies, one would be for overall points accumulated in the day’s racing and the other would be for last team standing in the demolition derby.
In the racing there were 40 cars comprised of four teams of ten. They were divided into 2 heats consisting of 20 cars and each team would have 5 cars in each heat (“Can you count suckersss” ok, that’s the final The Warriors reference I promise).
The race would consist of 50 laps. The placement of each car would contribute to the team’s points.
As the first race began I set my mentality for the event. The car was flying, it handled well and I was back on Brentwood’s wide comfy track. Today I was going to race for position! It’s always difficult to know exactly how you are doing in these races as it’s so chaotic but I think I was doing ok. Sadly about 1/5th of the way through the computer said no and shut down.
After a short wait we got back out and I managed to place 7th!
In the second race I started really strongly! I started on the first row of the grid and managed to shoot away, avoiding the inevitable pile up at the first corner. Apparently, I led for the first 14 laps with Koonta snapping at my heels! Sadly, it wasn’t to last. I got caught up in contact and then lost my rhythm finishing in 11th.
In the third race I also got caught up in lots of contact and finished 12th.
The final was an interesting one. It was an all on final (so all 40 cars were on track). Simon was setting the cars up so the best drivers on each team would be on the front rows, then the second best would be on rows behind etc etc. I was rather surprised when Simon called my name to go to the front of the pack! Right, excitement was kicking in now. I knew I can do well if I can stay out of bad contact.
We were off! The car at the front from Wycombe and I flew away at the front with the car from Brentwood team 1 right behind us! I flew up the main straight side by side with the car from Wycombe and had the advantage of the inside line as we went into the second corner. then disaster struck! The huge limo from burton had lumbered away from it’s starting position and was turning to black the inside line of the track. The Wycombe car went wide and sailed past the back of the limo but I had no where to go! If I could hit the drivers door hard enough I could turn the limo back straight and get through. I set my sights and floored it.
Now, in racing, things don’t always go to plan. This contact went completely opposite how I was expecting it to. I hit them limo whilst it was still at an angle and just sort of bounced off of it. My car lifted off of the ground, sailed over the wall and landed on it’s roof in the centre of the track.
Well. That was it for me. I watched the other cars going round hoping one of my team mates would get knocked into the centre to tip me back on my wheels. Eventually one did! Jensen’s Granada sailed into the middle! He backed up the ramp to get out and got stuck…. Well that’s that dream crushed! Eventually Sam got knocked in! She knocked her team mate off of the ramp and threw her car into reverse to come and get me! I would be free at last! Nope… As she backed onto the ramp, the ramp moved and her driving wheels fell into the gap trapping her. A minute or so later. The race ended and I went to get my upturned turtle of a car.
Getting stuck in the final though, and not doing a lot of crashing, meant my shell came away from the meet in good condition! There was one small split in the front which is easily repairable and then it be repainted to go again!
After some maths by Gill, it was deduced that Team Brentwood 1 took the win! Well done chaps!
Then there was the DD! I didn’t do the DD as I’m a coward and my car was still serviceable. 30 people did though and after a long fought battle it was Wycombe who were the last team standing!
All in all, it was a superb days racing! Big thanks to Lee, Simon, Divvy, Gill and everyone else who helped organise and run the day! It was a great meeting with lots of close racing and crashing!
Gill Goldstone of Brentwood RC does a write up of every meet at Brentwood RC. If you would like to see her work please follow this link: Reports. From that link you will also be able to see future fixtures at Brentwood if you would like to get involved!
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By Richard Francis