This annual track day event held on May Bank Holiday Monday, organised by the e-Type register always attracts a good following and if you want to see a great variety of e-Types and some other interesting cars, both in the pits and at speed, this is a must visit event. Participants have to sign on and attend a briefing at 8.30, so an early start for them. However we arrived at about 11.00 after a pleasant drive from Kent. It turned out that there had not been much track action before we arrived, as a Mk2 Jaguar had deposited oil on the circuit and another car had dumped its coolant there as well. The weather was a little chilly but not enough to stop us having a lovely picnic prepared by the ladies. There was a further considerable delay when the inevitable start line photo shoot took place. An impressive spectacle, but many were anxious just to get out there and exercise their cars.
I signed on as a passenger and handed over the required £25 for this. Track action soon started again and not long after, I met Roger Knight, doing a sterling job on the e-Type Register stall selling a variety of e-Type based merchandise. Personally, I think he was more at home when his opportunity came to take his car on the track. I was fortunate that he was going out without a passenger, so I soon put that right. It was a good run and I enjoyed it very much. His V12 e-Type is in very good order and a joy to be in.
Later I got a run in Tony Sheldon’s Project 8 driven by his son Chris. This was a very different experience, which showed how much things have changed in 50 years. It looks like a hot saloon, but is in truth a race car for the road. With all the performance toys and 600Hp to boot, it was time to hang on and go. At the end of the Lavant straight we touched 150mph before the brakes were applied for Woodcote. The car had much more in it, but Chris is a sensible driver and this is a very valuable car. Even so, it was the fastest car on the day and the ride was enormous fun.
For the last run of the day, I managed to get a drive in a well prepared Peugeot 206 16valve which had been modified for track use. This well sorted car was driven by a young lad who obviously knew the car well. Even with just under 200Hp we circulated very well. Lacking overall speed on the straights – only about 110mh on Lavant, but with late braking and great cornering, the lap times were very good, not far short of the Project 8.
The only damper on the day was the sound limit, which caught out both the Project 8 and the Peugeot. Both had to be driven within limits on certain parts of the circuit to avoid a black flag for being too noisy.
I was so grateful for those who took me out. It made it a very special day.