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Champions' Night - 12 Mar 2000 - Aldershot

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This was a 2.5 hour enduro for winners, seconds and thirds of recent events only.

Our Team was:

  • Dave Jarvis

  • Joe Czirbesz

  • Gary Denny

  • Gil Williamson

Among the teams ranked against us were the hated arch-rivals Fleet Elite - a band of cut-throat, black-hearted reprobates, who work for a different department in the same company that the Blues and Fugitives originated from - though it's true to say that most of the Blues & Fugitives are privateers these days.

Dave Jarvis, a Blue from way back, came out of retirement to take the first leg of this race. We'd already determined that our kart was not the hottest on the track - even Fleet Elite beat us in the practice session - and when it turned out that it was a Le Mans start, no-one wanted to do the running bit, and Dave courageously volunteered. He came off the grid in second-last place (Don't Panic!), but had pulled up several places by the changeover, and was clearly driving beautifully.

Joe then drove a sizzling session - the best we've ever seen him drive - to draw us up to sixth or eighth (depending on opposition changeovers), and he set the fastest time we achieved on the night. Perhaps he was trying to expunge some unjust criticism from a recent race (see below). If so, he succeeded. Despite being viciously attacked by Fleet Elite throughout most of his run, he resisted the temptation to wipe them off the face of the earth, further evidence of his recent reformation.

Gary then drove another excellent session, holding our own with the majority of the field, though the front-runners were running away with it by this time, eight laps ahead of us. The race was characterised by a huge amount of bunching. Since all the teams were of high standard, overtaking was particularly difficult. Gary drove an immaculate session, and handed over to Gil in sixth place.

By this time, black flags were being handed out like sweeties, as impatience and frustration beset the competitors. One of these black flags was picked up bt Fleet Elite, and that, together with deciding to park against the tyres at the entrance to the pits during a changeover, rather put them out of the running.

Gil, with cramp in the left foot, making it necessary, sometimes, to use other competitors to help him slow down, had resolved just to stay out of trouble, and keep going. However, as an old Stock Car man - and I mean old - he found the jostling and shoving rather infectious, and decided to try for a black flag, too. Nevertheless, despite a deplorable exhibition of blocking, scraping the opposition off on the Armco, slowing down unexpectedly when being pursued closely, taking a strange line at some bends, particularly on the bridge, and some unashamed shoving on anyone impudent enough to shove first, he failed to collect the fully deserved black flag, and the Fugitives finished in fifth place, totally against the run of play.

But we're used to collecting a cheap metal trophy in a plastic box, so we were deeply disappointed, particularly as the White Van Men, another arch rival, came first.

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