The SC500 ignition woes continued, and diagnostics back in Rex Caunt’s lab had confirmed that I’d fried the CDI black box during practice at Clyro a couple of weeks before. Not fixed yet (though CDI and ignition coil in the post) , so just me and the trusty MX250 .
As last August was staying down in West Wales (in Castlemartin this time) so short 30 minute drive across in the morning to participate. As always it seems at Narberth, it was a glorious day, with temperatures pushing a balmy 20 C. The paddock was not as full as in previous events, with numbers of the start line down on previous trips here; it had been moved across from Milford Haven (because of the cost of overnight security) and the track at West Atherston was surprisingly dry for the time of year. Walking the track (in clockwise direction this time), the only boggy bit was where it went up into the trees and this was the interesting bit all day.
Practice was pretty civilised and though I’ve ridden here twice before it was like a different track and I needed a couple of sessions to get the gears right in the corners and to keep the 250 buzzing. One of straights was quite boggy and I didn’t get the bike to go right along there all day, but hey, thats the fun of it.
First race and there was only 9 of us on the line (different from the 24 from Clyro) and its then when waiting for your race you start eyeing up the competition to work out who are you going to beat. I knew that #306 (Andrew Loveday) n the CZ was going to be someone to aim for, whilst the beat-up appearance of Alan Barnett’s Montesa was misleading to say the least.
Crap start, with the MX bogging down off the line (I’d changed the plug after practice and got better response, but not enough it seems), but managed to get pass three in the first two corners. The front 3 were gone, but managed to hold off Andrew until the last lap, when he overtook me after I missed a gear. Stayed behind him through the back section (seeing Trevor Hammond pushing his CZ) and then taking the tight inside line on the final bend, managed to get past and to the line first. Great stuff and though a small field some great racing, and 3rd place.
Lots of hold ups during practice and the first block of racing, with the St Johns Ambulance becoming good value for money. Another broken collarbone for one of the sidecar crews (remembering Kevin from last year, also in practice) and also one of the riders not feeling well (poss heart attack).
Wade was out in the twinshocks, with Mike doing the spanners; he only just made it down to the line for the 1st race (ie the 15 second board was up) but finished 4th or 5th.
The second pre74 250 race was combined with the over 250, and still only about 9 on the line. Again crap start from me and unlike the previous race didn’t get by #306 early on. Then spent a mud splattered 3 laps behind him, before going past on the start-finish straight, only for to then miss a gear a couple of corners later. Managed to stay with him and then up the inside coming out of the mud hole up to the left-hander in the trees, excellent. Held him round the back section and across the line for another 3rd place.
The 3rd race saw no #306 (he was riding in the twinshock class as well) so as the youtube clips shows, after I lost the front 3 (one of whom was in the over 250 class), it was pretty straightforward but good fun and practice. The 250 going well, but still problem with gear selection and wondering weather to switch to the spare engine before Pontrilas next Sunday. It does need running in, but maybe a good option.
In the last twinshock race, Wade had an awesome start and managed to follow the v.quick leaders lines for 1 lap before dropping back, but an excellent 2nd place. He is 20, but listening to his mum whilst she looked on, you would have though he was 12 (not sure what his girlfriend would have thought though !) ….Excellent race to watch, with some quick riders and probably the best line up of the day.
An excellent day of racing, weather and venue. Organisation was good and handled the incidents well….
Thanks to Tamara for the pictures and I’ll put more up on flickr as well.