Barkston Heath 2004!

The one the Hoodies were waiting for!

Well Joey and me were anyway, so much so we arrived over an hour before anyone else got there. We even went to the wrong gate but the nice security guard escorted us over the airfield to the track site. So there we were Joey and me at a race track on a nice sunny evening all on our own! What should we do?
Well first things first we walked the track and it looked good, We did find out later that we had walked round the wrong way but it was still nice to see what we had coming. Once we had walked around it we still had loads of time before anyone else arrived so we went for it... Joey went first and did 3 faultless laps whilst I video'd him, On his third lap he said
"Dad, this is what I have always dreamed about, just me and you driving the car we have built on a track!"
I was so proud to hear him say that.
After that I had a few laps, I just took it easy but boy it felt good.

Click on the link to see Young Joe's first ever laps of Barkston, before anyone else turned up, complete with soundtrack from one very proud (But Nervous Dad)

Joe Driving

Pretty soon after that John Walton turned up in his "Tiger Cub", it was quite a relief to know we were at the right place.

Next to arrive was Chris Brown and his son Nigel who brought his very nice looking "Honda Integra Type R", the beers started to flow and all of a sudden the tents were up and the barbi was on and the ale was flowing nicely.
That night was bloody freezing, and I think all the happy campers slept fully clothed but still emerged as blocks of ice the next morning. But thanks to the excellent facilities at Barkston we all ate a hearty breakfast in a nice warm fully equipped tea bar and pretty soon we were thawed out and ready for action.

After the Track brief all the Hoods lined up for scrutineering, much to our surprise the queue started with us! So we were first through the sound test, Our exhaust was measured at 95 Db ! which was pretty good with thats on a standard RH exhaust without the Baffle fitted, so why are so many people having problems then?

And amazingly here is the front of the queue for the track!
Us ,,,,,,,,, In a car that has not been on the road yet, let alone not been SVA'd. A bit of a baptism of fire for the poor thing don't you think ?
As it was the car went really well and handled really good, Joey was a bit worried at first "My Car, My Car, Dad slow down, Dad !"

Now its Chris Brown's turn here he is following his son Nigel out onto track The next time Chris saw the Black Honda it was in his rear view mirrors Man that Honda is fast ! Nigel was kind enough to take Joey out in it later on and the little fella was very impressed. Another person who kindly took Joey out for a spin was Tim Swait they really are top blokes these Hoodies!!!

This TVR made himself usefull by clearing the track of tyres

Here is Darren Fasey giving Joey the mandatory "Meeting Beating" a RHOCAR tradition

After lunch the track action continued and the queue never died down.
We started to have a bit of a missfire, well actually it was not so much a misfire because it just seemed to die at certain parts of the circuit, in case it was a swirl pot issue with help from the "Salty Monk" Dan, we filled the tank to the top and went out again, it was fine for a couple of laps then it started playing up again. Our fuel pump is very noisy so this would be a good idea to start with, after that Mmmm.

One of the cars that kept appearing in My rear view mirror was Dave Tilson in his very fast Series 3, it looked a really well sorted car and was very fast, Until he clipped the grass at the end of a fast lap and careered into the concrete fence post surrounding the Emergency Water Supply. It was a big impact but luckily Dave was OK, shame about the car though.
Here Chris Brown inspects the damage, probably seeing if there's any bits that would fit his car

OK the cars buggered now how on earth are Dave and Jackie going to get home?

Luckily we had the trailer so offered to take the damaged car home, so it was all hands to the decks to haul the car onto the trailer

Dave took charge of the tricky operation.
Here he gives someone a bollocking for scratching the anti roll bar, "I said Lift Man!"

Eventually with a lot of help we managed to get it onboard, Thanks lads!

And in no time at all we had got to Dave and Jackie's house near Stoneleigh. One thing we were a bit worried about was, How to get it off the trailer?
Also I needed to reverse the trailer into the drive, Something which I was not looking forward to, but it was a quiet road so there should be no problems, Typically as soon as I pulled across the road to position myself for reversing in, The "Quiet lane" became a Motorway, Arghhh ! Still I managed OK and all the people waiting did not seem too troubled.
On further inspection we found that the LH wheel assembly was bent back because the bottom ball joint had popped out, so we jacked the front up and Dave used a big bit of wood and levered the ball joint back into place, We made sure they stayed there with a couple of big Tie-wraps and then Dave just "Freewheeled" off the ramp into his garage .
A quick drink and "Dave forcing far too much petrol money into our hands" and we were on the way home again Pretty soon we were back at a dark and quiet Barkston, Chris, Nigel and John Walton had parked Joeys car and covered it in case it rained, so thanks for that chaps. To celebrate a brilliant weekend Joey and I got ourselves a Chinky meal on the way home. and we were home and unpacked by 2230.
Roll on the next time. Thanks to all the organisers and the Hoodies who made it such a great event.
At the end of the day we were very happy with the performance of our car, The brakes seem to be bedding themselves in we have lowered the tyre pressures to 24 Psi which helped grip on track, as for the missfire problem we should sort it out soon so well done our Robin Hood!

Finally here is a shot of Joey and me "On Track" Just about to thunder down the start straight you can almost see Joeys smile from here! (Or is that fear)
This picture was taken by Steve Griffiths, Another fellow Hoodie, Cheers pal !

Footnote: Our Misfire was easily found when we got home, we took our home made fuel filter off and there was a large clump of Blue sealant, Struth don't tell Big Jim that he will never let us forget it He does not recommend using sealant on the Fuel tank, Now we know why!