Donington Collection Meeting
October 4th 2008 - October 5th 2008
Well what a weekend, short but oh so sweet. The grid was slightly down on expectations but with the financial situation, location, weather forecast and date many of the Europeans decided at the last minute to retire for the year.
However the grid of 22 cars was made up from the finest we have and more than enough on the national circuit with the top runners lapping in the sub minute times.
With the shortness of the weekend programme and the decision to switch the Enduro to Saturday saw a frenzy of activity during the day. The weather played a huge part in this with the threat of huge down pours at any moment. The morning started wet but as our session approached it was set for a dry, but cool run.
Quickly both Robin Ward in the Spice he was sharing with Duncan McKay set a very quick benchmark as did Andy Purdie in the Nissan, “young” Rosina blitzed them all with a very impressive sub minute lap which remained unmatchable until the dying minutes of the session.
The Randall / Randall car also was running well much to the pleasure of both father and son after a terrible season of maladies. Chris set a fine time before spinning in surprise that it actually ran!
Wayne Park in Rob Sherrard’s car suffered a technical glitch which restricted his laps and had to start well back. Gary Pearson got caught out on cold tyres and had a visit to the Armco, not bad damage but enough. Chris Buncombe in Derek Hood’s XR9 hand not quite got the legs of the turbo cars but he qualified fifth.
Andy Purdie was not to be outdone and stayed out on track looking for that clear run to top the sheets, finally in the last three minutes he set a time of 59.578, most impressive.
The afternoon came and the clouds full of rain flew by overhead, an odd drip but windy cold and dry.
The flag dropped and away went Purdie with young Rosina in front, Buncombe had a moment and dropped a few places, and the Spice with Robin on board was in the hunt and lapping very impressively. Wayne Park and Mike Wilds both starting from the back came through the field, Wayne was having to dip in and out of the pits in an attempt to cure the misfire. David Hart driving solo as usual was right up there as the race developed. The Abrahamson / Brunstedt car was running well and picking up places. Chris Randall had decided to go for it and try to pass everybody in the first few laps but continued to gyrate until an oil light came on frightening him more than the spins. Andrew Haddon was wringing the neck of the Spice and continued to run reliably all weekend finishing fifth overall by himself.
The Rosina car broke down giving Andy Purdie a clean run at the flag chased hard by both Chris Buncombe and Robin Ward. The race was stopped two minutes before the end after Pat Thomas developed fatigue in the car and hit Kent Abrahamson only to be nudged somewhere by Henry Pearman, no real damage just lots of bodywork all over the place.
Andy Purdie drove beautifully and finally settled in the Nissan, he used his brain to dominate the race and deserved the victory, congratulated by all.
Sunday Super Sprint
We woke up to pouring rain and a definitely very wet race, however with the track flooded the racing was suspended for several hours which helped a lot. By three o’ clock in the afternoon the track was almost dry and most cars started on slicks.
The order of starting was as per qualifying, so Wayne Park, Henry Pearman and joined by Gary Pearson after JD Classic’s boys robbed one of their spare cars for bits (as one does!!) off the back for the thirty minute dash.
The Spice of “slightly” older Rosina led the field and it took Andy Purdie a while to take control. Chris Buncombe had a moment and had to play catch up. Wayne Park in the Merc had solved the misfire and was making huge progress as was Gary until his gamble failed on intermediate tyres, he spent the rest of the race nursing them.
David Hart yet again was in the frame and running very strongly with Mike Wilds chasing him down. Poor Kent Abrahamson got hit by Gary Pearson which caused a tyre valve to fail having worked all night with Phil Stott’s crew to mend the body work after Saturday’s race. More gravel for Kent.
The race finished with Andy Purdie in control again with Chris Buncombe just behind him with a fast learning Wayne in the Panzer wagon eating road up as fast as he could, the crowd loved it.