Barbon Speed Hillclimb - Sat 16 June

.... for those that enjoy 'tracking' their car.

Barbon Speed Hillclimb - Sat 16 June

Postby kevham » Thu Jun 14, 2007 5:37 pm

Well folks, another week nearly gone and I'm gearing up for another weekend of adrenaline buzzing motorsport action :D

On Saturday, I'm competing in the Barbon Speed Hillclimb, near Kirby Lonsdale in Cumbria. This is my first hillclimb and I have to say I'm a wee bit nervous.

The course is short but fairly quick and there are quite a few big oak trees to make your eyes water. My class is quite big this time so again, I have a small chance of not being last.

In terms of my championship, I'm currently sitting third in class and, providing I get a timed run in, I'll definitely be second in class by Sunday (a quirk of the way the championship works!) :lol:

If you happen to be in the area, the timed runs start after lunch at 1.30pm and entry is an eye-watering £8 for adults.

Full report on Sunday...........
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Postby Gavin » Thu Jun 14, 2007 6:57 pm

Good luck Kev.
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Postby annette » Sat Jun 16, 2007 10:33 pm

all the best
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Postby kevham » Sun Jun 17, 2007 3:28 pm

Until yesterday, I'd only been to a few hillclimbs to spectate. These were all at the Goodwood Festival of Speed - probably one of the country's biggest motorsport events. I'd always marvelled at the skill and bravery of the participants.

Well, yesterday was my mini 'festival of speed' at Barbon, near Kirby Lonsdale. First there is the setting - the south of the lake district meets the Yorkshire dales - beautiful rolling countryside. The hillclimb takes place on the Barbon Manor estate above the small village of Barbon. The course is just 890 yards - one of the shortest climbs on the UK circuit but a challenge all the same.

My day started a bit late - having a 14 month old toddler means the best plans always go out the window. Anyway, we arrived in the paddock just in time to empty the car for scrutineering. After signing on I rushed to walk the course with the family. Of course, being a hillclimb, you have to walk up the hill -DOH- so the family only made it half way before running out of puff! I noted that the surface was a bit greasy and thet there were some rather old oak trees at strategic points along the course :shock:

The event was supremely well organised with cars running in batches up the hill before being brough back down before the next batch.

My first practice went quite well - I managed a third in class 36.11 seconds. I had the feeling others were just finding their feet.

Second practice was better - 35.61secs - I was still 'lifting' for the fast left hander and I fluffed the hairpin so I was confident of a faster time when it counted. By this time, the serious contenders in my class were under 32 seconds! My main competition was my old nemesis from Teeside in his Astra - he had only managed 37 seconds - round 2 to me :D

After a relaxing lunch with the family it was time for the real runs. There was a reasonable crowd now and I was getting caught up in the atmosphere.

I came up to the start line (by this time the rain had just started), revved up to 3,000rpm........green light........dumped the clutch and ......... I went nowhere. :? My wheels were spinning furiously. After a second or so 'snaking' away from the line, I managed to find some grip and get going. I remember shaking my head all the way up and I really lost concentration - I posted 37.19secs :oops: My mate in the Astra - 35.83 :x

At the top, he was all concilliatory - but I could tell he was laughing inside :cry: "It's just like Teeside", he said - "You've gone faster than me - but it doesn't count". I secretly promised myself revenge.........:twisted:

Time for the final run and I asked my mate if he thought he could improve on his time. "I think I can shave a few tenths off - maybe get under 35secs". I felt I had a lot to do to get there.....

On the approach to the start line I decided to get some real heat into the tyres and did the most enormous burnout (I may well have trashed a good set of Goodyears!) 8) I knew that "AstraMan" was right behind and reckoned the tyresmoke would get up his nose and put him off.......I was clutching at straws?

The heat must have worked. I got a nice steady start up to the first corner. I decided not to brake - just a slight lift and back on the power fast. Up to third and just a slight lift again for the fast left-hander. Then back on the power and up to about 70mph before lifting and trail-braking into the hairpin. I fluffed my turn-in again but manged to cross the line in 34.35secs :D

My mate in the Astra arrived at the top and was smiling as he got out the car. "Well, i went faster", he said. My heart sank.... "34 secs" he said.

"34 what?", I asked. "34.70" he replied. I paused................I offered my hand to shake. "I did 34.35". Priceless............. :lol:

So, I had a great day, ended eighth in class out of 13 (that means 5 folk were slower!). I should now go second in class for the championship.

Next event - Kames on Saturday 15 July. :lol:
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Postby poing » Sun Jun 17, 2007 4:13 pm

Image

well done and well written again :D
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Postby annette » Sun Jun 17, 2007 4:23 pm

kev you had me shaking in my shoes just reading it.
well done you.
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Postby Si » Mon Jun 18, 2007 5:08 pm

kevham wrote:and then there were some rather old oak trees at strategic points along the course :shock:


That would put me right off! You're a brave man doing all this sprinting with your daily driver.

Another good read .... thanks for sharing!

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Postby Skarecrow29 » Tue Jun 19, 2007 9:45 am

Superb Kev, well done.

You should have a regular Column in the STHT :lol:

Look forward to the next instalment.

Cheers
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