rgwm, thanks for asking. I had a good day, all things considered but yes, conditions were shocking! Here's a race report I sent to several mates:
"[I]Had my first race meeting in the Carina at Silverstone National on saturday. I'd entered 2 races: the 40 minute Tin Tops race and a 20 minute Sports Vs Saloon Challenge but boy, what weather. Very challenging on the regulation road legal but lightly treaded "track day" tyres. It rained pretty heavily from mid morning onwards & even the early practice sessions took place on a very, very greasy track. There were spinners aplenty.
In the first practice for the Tin Tops race I had one half spin at Becketts and the back end felt very loose in the damp & drizzle throughout. I didn't have much confidence (& no real experience in the car, particularly in the wet) so took it steady after that & ended up qualifying in 21st place out of 33 (15th Class A car out of 18 - Class A 1600-2000cc multi-valve) with a time of 1 min 16.9 (pole was 1 min 08.8 - a Honda Integra DC5 with about 50 bhp more). Not overly impressive for me but I was happy enough given the conditions.
We softened the rear ARB & dropped the rear tyre pressures a couple of psi for the practice for the Sports Vs Saloon Challenge & it was better. The conditions were worse, though! I qualified a very happy 7th (out of 37) with a time of 1 min 25.2. Pole was 1 min 20.6 (A bewinged Mallock Clubmans Sports racer) and the quickest Honda Integra was in 4th on 1 min 23.1. I did have one major tank slapper moment when I braked too hard at the end of the pit straight to avoid a gaggle of Jaguars that I was lapping in front of me, got on to a white line and spun off so far that i thought I wouldn't stop until Towcester. Fortunately the F1 boys have insisted on plenty of run off there & I missed the wall. If it had been Oulton Park, it would have hurt (wallet & pride). A lot.
The Tin Tops race took place in the wet & there was very little grip on the conventional lines around the circuit. I invented several new lines (some by accident as I steered but the car went straight on!). Nevertheless I had a good race and overtook (and retook) several cars either side of the pit stop including one awesome moment when I took 4 cars at once through Maggots! I also overtook a couple of car on the outside line of several corners which was good fun. I finished 13th out of 31 finishers and 12th out of 18 in Class A. My best race time was 1 min 27.7 & the fastest lap by the winner was 1 min 22.2. To be honest, I was delighted having started from 21st.
The Sports Vs saloon race was a nightmare, though. The weather had got even worse towards the end of the day & I lost several places with massive wheel spin at the start & got swallowed up by hoards of Locaterfields. I couldn't see anything in the spray (not even the hi-viz lights) & had several aquaplane moments down the back straight. After 10 mins I called it a day as i could not see the cars in front of me as we entrered the braking zones & I decided that it was unsafe for me to continue. i'd had one good race & i didn't want to push my luck.
All in all a very satisfactory debut in the car. Its going to be difficult to get much higher than 13th, though as there are a lot of competitive Class A cars, inc at least 5 Honda Type Rs which handle well, have much more power than me & more rubber than me. I shall do my best, though, as there were a gaggle of us between 7th and 14th within 2 secs of each others fastest (very wet) race laps. We'll see what Snetterton brings (hopefully in the dry)."[I]
Hope that's of some interest. The car behaved very well throughout & I'm very pleased with it. A decent driver would be able to get a lot more out of it.!!! Still, I made Autosport this week - P83 if you are interested - which I am very chuffed about. As a long time spectator and as someone who has been buying the magazine for years (but relatively recent & not very succesful club racer) I never thought I would appear in print!
I can't make Donington (gutted, its only 1 mile from home) as its parents 50th wedding anniversary and I can't make Cadwell either as its my siters kids christening. Apparently its important that I attend these functions. Families, eh?