AWDC – Sweetlamb – Round 7 – Aug 2013

After the cooling problems that we have been having with the car, it was finally ready to race again.

We loaded up Thursday night and left for Wales straight from work Friday afternoon, we arrived around 7.30, got the trailer converted, sorted dinner and opened a bottle.  After a pleasant evening socialising we retired to our trailer.

We woke up to the sound of rain – not unusual for Wales – so decided that we would walk the 4 ½ mile course sooner rather than later as it was forecast heavy showers for the afternoon.  As Vic was about early we got the car scruttineered and then set of on our walk.  The course consisted of a lot of gravel tracks with various off road quarry bits, a water splash, and a nice ‘s’ shape in the arena area.  Not the usual Sweetlamb as we were not allowed to use the river crossing this time.

Got back after out walk and the heavens opened, so spent the afternoon chatting in the dry of the Degiulios caravan.  The rain cleared for the early part of the evening, so more outdoors socialising before bed.

Sunday we woke to a bit of sunshine – then it was gone and the rain came again – but not for long,  and the sun came out as the forecast had said.  We went off the line 3rd put in a reasonable time 4 seconds behind Dilworth the leader, (the top 7 cars were within 9 seconds of each other!)

Run two was better, run three even better, run 4 was slightly slower and run 5 we scratched, run 6 was the same as 5 but Dilworth took 4 seconds out of us.

But disaster on run seven, half way round he said we had a problem – something big had broken so we got to the bottom of the hill and realised the rear wheel on my side was missing complete with hub, brake disc, callipers.

Fortunately someone at the bottom of the hill had seen it come off and we were able to locate it, Rick drove the car back to the pits once the course had cleared and set to on mending it, with the help of Jason & Stuart Elphick, Brian Hall and Brendon Frost.  Half an hour later we were ready to go.  Having only 30 minutes to complete the three remaining laps, we went straight to the start line and put in another quick time, came back into the pits, the guys checked the wheel nuts and off we went again – straight out after one of the green cars, we caught him up in the boggy bit, pushed past him and carried on, we’d lost a bit of time but not much, through the next quarry bit and saw another car, fortunately the marshals’ flagged him and he pulled over and let us by without having to slowing down – through to the finish and straight back to the start by this time we had only 5 minutes to complete the last lap before our time was up.  The lights changed 5,4,3,2,1 go 1st gear, 2nd gear and bang clatter bang and we stopped!  We reversed back to the start and drove slowing back to our service area.  At the time we weren’t sure what had happened except we only had front wheel drive.  After washing the car on site and driving home we found the passenger foot-well full of gear box oil, on closer inspection the prop shaft had broken at the u-j and made a hole in the side of the gear box.

We had a great days racing although we had 2 max’s we still managed to complete 75% of the event and so finished 26th, out of the 40 plus cars that started only 26 finished.

1st Tim Dilworth, 2nd Andy Degiulio, 3rd Chris Bird


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