The last race of the season and a bit of a nail-biter!
So where did we finish the Season with the XK150?
What a weekend! Steve and I arrived on Saturday afternoon. The weather had been rather cold and showery. For the first time we decided to stay over-night in Steve’s Motor Home and suffered slightly from a rather windy (Rock & Roll) night and “The Mechanics” next door deciding to drag Trolley Jacks around at 06:30 hrs on Sunday morning (Before Church).
At 09:30 hours, CKL arrived with the Race Car, only to find a bad misfire from Cylinder No. 3 and, CKL declaring it was badly down on compression with a slightly ‘Smoky’ exhaust.
The implications were as follows:
Probable Piston Rings breaking up, which could lead to a complete break-up in the Cylinder and possibly pushing a Con-Rod through the casing, and
The engine would be down on power, as it would effectively be running on 5 Cylinders.
Therefore, the question was, should we take the risk of racing the car?
The answer came from Read G, saying that it was the last race of the season and we should go ahead; we collectively agreed not to over-rev the engine and keep it under 5000 RPM and ‘Short-Shift’ when using the gearbox!
I have to say that the engine did sound like a bag of nails when cold, but it got progressively smoother as it warmed up. (I quote Roger Gage here, our official JEC Photographer, as he didn’t hold out any hope of us finishing the day! THANKS ROG).
Qualifying went well but, the car was palpably down on power even without the misfire and we managed a ‘Best’ time of only 1:01.78. This was a little different from last year, when I clocked a 59.79 sec. lap. But we were there to have fun, chat with the Enthusiasts and try to finish the day with the car in one piece.
Read started the race (as usual), and he progressively improved his lap times as he got to know the circuit, as he had never been to Mallory Park before.
The race had been shortened to 30 minutes (from 45 mins) due to an earlier race incident where a Vauxhall VX490 (remember those?) crashed into the Armco at the Shaw’s Hairpin and broke the barrier. We also had to beat the darkness, due to the clock changes on the Saturday.
Read came in and advised me that the track was slippery in parts, but the engine sounded OK, and there were no plumes of smoke in the car, as happened at Spa.
So, with me at the helm, I joined the fray and started to reduce my Lap Times to a 1:01.5, which I thought afterwards was quite respectable considering the condition of our ‘sick’ engine. However, with a foreshortened race, there was no time to catch and pass Colin Youle in Dick Skipworth’s silver XK120. Oh how I needed those extra laps!
Up ahead, John Burton and Andrew More were jousting like Knights, with neither of them giving a millimetre, which resulted in damage to John’s XK120 as Andrew almost took him out at Shaw’s Hairpin with John on the grass. I really didn’t want to be part of that one, thank you!
Mallory Park is a great little circuit to race, as it’s only 1.35 miles. We all had a wonderful time with great teamwork from Barry and Dave (the CKL Team) and Steve.
The net result of our endeavours was that Read G and I came:
6th in Class ‘C’ in the XK Championship for 2009
This has been a great year for me and a big thank you to Read for letting me co-drive ‘HIS’ XK150, which continues to handle so well for a big, heavy car. THANKS READ!!!! This was a great result for Read, from literally, a Standing Start this year, as he had never raced a car before this season. So, WELL DONE Read!!
But also a very big ‘Thank You’ to Gary Gardner, of MWS International who, once again has had the faith to continue to believe in me and what I do to promote the company and support the Marketing effort for the company. Also a huge thank you goes to Helen who has diligently posted my Race Reports, photographs and edited my Camcorder footage for each event.
THANKS TO YOU ALL!!!
That’s it as far as racing is concerned for 2009, but I will be posting the next phase of my Jaguar XK140 restoration and race preparation reports in readiness for the 2010 Race Season.
Best regards to all of our Readers, Enthusiasts and Customers.
John D R. signing off!