BSSO/Time Attack Cadwell Park – Sponsored by Chiselspeed Tuning | SCOOTER SPORT
The start of the 2020 racing season has been delayed somewhat this year! But thanks to the generosity of Andy Barnes, scooter enthusiast extraordinaire and top man at Time Attack, scooters were back on track at arguably the best circuit on this sceptic isle. Cadwell Park.
My preparation for the start of the season stalled in March and the excess body lard I’d managed to shed has steadily been finding its way back onto my svelte racing snake physique over lockdown. To the extent that my “skinny” leathers looked an extremely unrealistic option. My custom made RST SLUK logo leathers, which were cut off me in 2016 and repaired but only intended to hang on the wall in my gentleman’s area were press-ganged into service when I received an email from Paul Todd of the LCGB to inform me that the club were sponsoring me.
I had completely forgotten about the LCGB sponsorship offer that I had applied for way back at the start of the year. I hadn’t really been intending to race until it became apparent that it wouldn’t really cost me much to do it. So it was that I dragged my Production Class GP out of the aforementioned gentleman’s area and kicked the tyres a bit to see if they were still inflated, before heading off to my spiritual home in Lincolnshire.
The normal race day schedule was slightly altered to include practice, qualifying and then two races per grid. To the uninitiated, the different grids can be confusing. In fact, it gets confusing to the fully initiated! The two grids are titled “Stock Scooters” and “Super Scooters”. The former being made up of Production, Group 4 and Group 4 E, the latter being Group 6 and Group 6 A. Just to confound the casual observer further, riders can enter the higher CC “Super” class on “Stock” machines and get twice as much track time for only £30 more. Scorchio.
So it was that Saturday dawned dry and warm, which suited me as I’d forgotten to put my toolbox in the van. Along with my wet tyres. Despite this being the first time on track in almost a year for most riders, the lap times didn’t really reflect that, with everyone getting their groove on within the first couple of laps of practice and shaking off the COVID cobwebs. After a decent open practice session came qualifying, which can be a bit frustrating for some – as to set an optimum lap time it’s best to have a clear track, cue a mad dash out of the holding area to get on track first! I managed to qualify second in Production Class behind Graham Tatton and 8th overall, which put me right in the middle of the third row of the grid with 20 eager to go racers behind me.
Rubbing is racing
Not having raced for about three seasons it wasn’t really where I wanted to be as the start of a race is where you really need to on the ball. Stalling or bogging down can easily lead to being run over on the start line but thankfully everyone got away clean and into the first corner safely. Normally the first corner involves a bit of elbowing and leaning on each other, but because of the strange year we are having – and this being the first meeting, there isn’t a championship so with everyone just out for fun it wasn’t quite as frantic as normal.
In the thick of it
Writing a race report is quite tricky when you’re in the middle of it and only see what’s happening in front of you. It doesn’t help having the memory of a goldfish either. Some notable events were my scooter refusing to rev out properly and the pace set by everyone else in Production Class being considerably faster than I remember from the last time I raced (Barrie won the first Production Class championship in 2016). Steve Wright in his first outing in the class was on blistering form, as was Graham Tatton who took the chequered flag all weekend. Further down the field everyone was right on the pace with Rob Fielder setting his own personal best time despite sliding down the road at the hairpin in race one. In the Super Class, Tom Shaw (riding the Wilkinson Racing 6A machine) was flying and took the honours from flag to flag all weekend, hotly pursued by Steve Wright on his Group 6 Lambretta.
Sunday morning brought rain and mist but no dampening of spirits. Except for me as I had picked up a puncture and my rear tyre was as flat as kipper. Not a massive issue in itself, but the fact that I had trapped my hand in the van door on Saturday night and couldn’t pull the clutch in was… It was an early bath for me and just to compound the woe, I actually managed to get lost going home and had an accidental trip over the Humber Bridge – who weren’t taking cash for the crossing but that’s another story.
In my absence, trophies and caps were handed out on the podium by Martin Cook of Chiselspeed Tuning who sponsored the event, so a massive thanks go to Chiselspeed. Remember to support those who support you. The next meeting is at Croft over the weekend of September 5th-6th and seeing as how it’s just up the road I might as well have a ride out. I’ll even take some notice of whats going on and report back accordingly, making sure to remove my hand from a closing door at all times.
Words: Barrie Braithwaite #78
Photos: KRC Photography – view the full Cadwell album and get your photos here.
SLUK can supply all RST leathers/gloves/boots – discounts for BSSO/Endurance racers