It was a hot, busy day at Lydden on 8th July Neil came away with a win in both Mini and Clio. The Mini went fine but an ECU issue with the Clio prevented him starting its second race.
It was a hot day at Lydden and with two qualifying sessions and four races it was going to be a very busy day. It was a CTCRC only event and boasted mostly full grids. However, this hid the fact that some of the series are very poorly supported these days and it took merging up to three of them on one grid to boost the numbers.
Pre 66 Race 1
Neil qualified second on the grid behind Alan Greenhalgh’s Falcon.
When the lights went out Alan got a great start in the Falcon and out-dragged the field into the first corner. Tim Harber had a good start as well and got past Neil as well.
The two Mini’s hung onto the Falcon for ten laps before Tim’s car overheated and the head gasket let go. Neil decided he wasn’t going to get past the Falcon and with Andy Messham some five seconds behind him settled for third place.
Pre 66 Race 2
Neil was second on the grid based on the Race 1 result. Once again Alan out-dragged Neil into the first corner but managed to cling onto him. A few laps later Neil inherited the lead when Alan started to have some mechanical problems which led to his eventual retirement.
Andy Messham was just behind and chasing hard before a couple of excursions onto the rallycross course let Martin Reynolds Anglia into second. When he to had issues James Burrows got his Mini into second and the race finished with three Mini’s filling the podium in the order Bray – Burrows – Messham.
Pre 05 Race 1
The handful of 05 cars shared the grid with Pre 93 and Pre 05. With the Rockingham problems sorted Neil easily qualified fastest 05, despite some flagrant blocking from one of the Pre 03’s.
Neil got away well, making up a couple of places and passing Colin Gibbons in his Alfa Romeo. Once he got going Gibbons used the power of the Alfa to get in front of Neil before swerving violently in front of him. This forced Neil to lift momentarily to avoid contact. Behind Anna Barden didn’t lift and poked the nose of her Clio into an impossible gap, the two closing in on Neil in a pincer movement and making contact. Barden lifted and dropped back but Gibbons continued to move to the left and it took all of Neil’s skill to avoid leaving the circuit.
Steve Barber was watching all this from behind but got involved in a racing incident on the next corner, forcing him into retirement with broken steering. The safety car came out while Steve’s car was retrieved which took some time.
There were only a few laps left when the safety car came in and Neil took an easy win in the 05 category.
With all the incidents there was an investigation into the race by the Clerk of the Course. Neil wasn’t called but went along anyway to be told there was no problem with his driving and he picked up his award at the end of the day.
Pre 05 Race 2
Neil wasn’t able to take the grid as when he came to start the Clio it was completely dead, subsequently traced to an issue with the immobiliser and ECU.
Michaels Lydden Vlog