After an eight-week break, it was good to be back out on track again, wasn’t it? Snetterton 300 is a brilliant circuit, and it was quite amazing to see 53 cars starting the four-hour race: the largest grid ever seen at Snetterton. It turned out to be quite a race, as well: Old Hat did a terrific job in qualifying, going nearly a second quicker than everyone else; and watching Dan in the early stages of the race, you could see why: consistent, smooth and accurate, which is exactly what’s needed to make a C1 fly.
It didn’t stay that way: McAttack and Absolute Alignment played the safety cars to perfection and managed to get in front of Old Hat. We were all treated to a brilliant battle for the next few hours, which got more and more tense as the race progressed. It was always going to be really marginal on fuel with one stop, but both of the front-runners took the gamble. It paid off for both of them, but there was an extraordinary twist at the end. Declan McDonnell had been asking if it was legal to finish the race in the pit lane, but decided not to take the gamble in case his driver missed the pit board on the last lap. With only a 50-second lead from the hard-charging and in-the-zone Chris Dear, McAttack came into the pits with just six minutes of the race left.
In the pits, you could cut the air with a knife. They made it out in front of Absolute Alignment. Just. But that didn’t last long, and Dear made it past at the Wilson Hairpin. In the pits McAttack faces fell; but then a red flag came out. A car had rolled at Agostini and the Clerk decided that it would be safer to red flag the race. The directors gathered with Dorothy, our wonderful Clerk of the Course, to discuss the outcome. If you’re familiar with the regulations, it did not turn out to be particularly controversial. In a race that is red flagged, the result is taken from the end of the lap before the red flag. McAttack had pitted, and had completed their mandatory pit stops. Declan had what must be one the shortest stints in race history, completing maybe 50 yards to the finish line in the pits – which, as we all know, is part of the race track. So McAttack won the race in the pit lane at approximately 40 kph (we had the Club’s speed gun on him). Extraordinary.
We also saw the world’s longest stop / go penalty. One unfortunate driver was penalized for speeding in the pit lane and leaving the pits under a red light; compounding his error with missing the black flag for a total of six laps. A four minute and fifty second stop / go was a long, long time, but then the miscreant had to get out of the car for a leisurely chat with Gary, the Deputy Clerk of the Course, before strapping in and continuing his race. Its well worth having a quick look at the fixed penalties in the Club Regulations; mostly to know what not to do. Its going to be really tough trying to win a race if you are parked in the pit lane for 5 minutes
Lastly on Snetterton, thank you to the volunteers who helped us: to Adriana, Christine, and Jill, to the marshals, the scrutineers, the Clerks and course staff. We think that they did a great job and in baking hot weather. Thank you to each and every one of you.
We look forward, later in the year, to seeing rather more teams at Spa on 5th-7th October. After extensive negotiations with our Belgian friends, they have been kind enough to let us have some more spaces, so all the reserves have now been promoted to full entries and we will see 55 UK C1s starting the race. We may even be able to squeeze a few more in, so if you don’t already have an entry, and want one, it’s probably worth getting a deposit in and joining the reserve list. It really is an epic circuit and great weekend. Our policy is that deposits are refundable if you are on the reserve list, so there is little or no downside. For those who have confirmed entries, the deposits are no longer refundable, though.
Race of Remembrance
Further out, C1s are also eligible for the fantastic Race of Remembrance, held at Anglesey on the weekend of Remembrance Sunday, 10th / 11th November. If you haven’t done this race, you really should. It’s a brilliant end of term party for one; it’s another rare chance to race at night; and it’s held in order to raise money for our supported charity, Mission Motorsport. Some of you will have seen Mission Motorsport at some of our events: it exists to help servicemen and women that have been injured in the course of their duty, whether physically or mentally, back into the workplace, using motorsport as a beacon, training medium and therapy. Take a look on: http://www.raceofremembrance.com/ where you will find some of the most moving video footage ever recorded. You’ll also spot a few C1s; and there will be a class again in 2018. We’ll be out there racing, with a serviceman or woman in the car. If you want to come and, particularly if you would like to have a beneficiary in your car, contact our chairman, Meyrick, on firstname.lastname@example.org ; and no, we aren’t usually the slowest cars there, especially in the wet, which it usually is at Anglesey.
The C1 Racing Team