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Summer Computer Challenge - 22 July 2001 - Aldershot

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This was a 2.5 hour Open enduro. There were just eight teams, and they were all HOT!

Our Team was, in driving sequence:

Gil Williamson
Must take a more credible photo of myself...

Marcus J.
Pose! Pose!

Martin Higham
Note: I was tactful enough not to photograph Martin wearing the race suit that only just covered his knees, but not tactful enough not to mention it.

Alan Mills
I think you must have been standing too close to the camera, Alan.

It was pretty obvious we were in trouble when two teams had practice laps in the 29 second area. We couldn't really complain about our kart, as Alan managed a 30.35 lap in practice, and, indeed, returned regular 29s in his session later. We qualified third behind Team Bodge and Moose Free.

Gil set off in third place in the rolling start, but lost two places during his session, one of them to a bully-boy from the Screamincats who caused quite a bit of mayhem during the evening. At best, an unremarkable session, characterised by a lot of blocking and defensive driving from Gil, which merely reduced the number of times we were lapped, while allowing slower teams to creep up. At the end of his stint, we were trailing Nobby's Nutters, Team Bodge, Moose Free and Screamincats.

Marcus took over, retaining fifth place throughout his session. He did, however, suffer initially from "Red Mist Syndrome". Gil has, from time to time, been black-flagged for going too fast under yellow lights. Marcus collected his black for going at race speed during a red flag! Sigh...

Luckily, he served his time in the sin bin during a full-course yellow, so didn't even lose a place. And he drove an immaculate leg, until about ten minutes from the fuel stop (his scheduled change point), when he started to signal distress. Gil hard-heartedly kept him out until the fuel change, when it turned out he had removed a painfully large amount of skin from his hand.

Martin kept up the good work, taking over just two laps adrift of third place Moose Free and fourth place Screamincats, turning in excellent lap times, and completing his session on the same lap as them, still four laps behind Team Bodge, the leaders.

Within minutes of taking over, Alan Mills was also on the same lap as Moose Free and Screamincats, but AHEAD of them! We were in third place! Team Bodge had dropped to second, with Nobby's Nutters in the lead. There followed a heart-stopping half-hour as Alan and the two leaders diced for lap after lap, Alan's times reducing as he matched the leaders, though now five laps behind and with no chance of improving the Fugitives' third place.

At the finish, it was Team Bodge followed by Nobby's Nutters, with absolutely nothing between them, then the Fugitives, six laps down, the Screamincats finishing a lap behind us.

The whole race was run at a terrific pace. At an average (including red and yellow flags, changeovers and fuel stops) of 35.15 seconds per lap, we didn't do quite so well as in February, where we averaged 34.48. But, at 34.35, Team Bodge and Nobby's Nutters were brilliant, and we'd have been hard put to lick them at any time.

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