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McLaren Night - 20 Oct 2005 - Aldershot

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McLaren Night #1
Gil - why so cheerful?

McLaren Night #2
Mark de Brun

McLaren Night #3
Mark Neale. We really must get a new photo of Mark Neale. He was about 16 when we took this one. And he had funny eyes.

McLaren Night #4

McLaren Night #5

McLaren Night #6

There were a great many teams from McLaren Racing and McLaren Electronics in this contest, together with old stagers like The Fugitives, Kamikazi and The Farmers. It was obviously going to be a competitive night. In the event, the racing was very fast, and Phil did a great job as Race Director, except that as a result of his ballot for karts, we finished up with the dreaded KART 13.

This was therefore not our best showing, despite the fact that Mark Neale had brought his supporters' club (new wife) and John Farr, veteran Fugitive and Norwegian Blue, made an appearance on the sidelines. The kart was obviously at least half a second off the pace, which, over 240 laps, amounts to 4 laps, approximately the distance we finished behind the winner - Kamikazi Karters. There was no point in complaining, however, because we had clearly managed some times in the 30 second area during practice. But you can tell when a kart is poor, because it loses ground on the straights, which was what was happening to us.

We managed to get second place on the grid, and Gil set off, but, just a lap into the race, some drongo T-boned him on the second hairpin and two laps were lost immediately. By the end of 50 laps, Gil had managed to claw his way back up to 6th place - and NO PENALTY POINTS (a personal best)!

Mark Neale took over, but very soon got bogged down behind a group of 9 karts, a hopeless position when the kart has sluggish acceleration, so we called him in so we could count it as a driver change (we had to do 6!) and Mark de Brun took over. Mark raced very well, holding 5th place until changing back to Mark Neale not long before the Refuelling stop, having collected just one penalty point. After that, Mark moved into 4th place, with occasional spells swapping with The Farmers who were mostly lying 3rd.

Mark De Brun took over again, and, during a long session, twice held 3rd place for a few laps. Then Gil finished the race, twice losing 4th place to The Sweaty Helmets (please consider changing your name, guys), the second occasion on the last lap. So, though we were not very likely to be on the podium, it might have been better if we'd left Mark de Brun out for the final laps, instead of changing.

We finished 5th - a position we are not used to, but we offer our grudging congratulations through gritted teeth to Kamikazi, The Black Death (one of the McLaren Teams), The Farmers, and The Sweaty Helmets (another McLaren team).

The following statistics are strictly for team members. I analysed the lap charts, discarding laps 32 seconds or over, on which the driver had obviously been held up. On relatively unopposed laps, Gil averaged 30.93 seconds, Mark de Brun 30.80, and Mark Neale 30.77. Gil's best time was 30.30, Mark de Brun's 30.15, and Mark Neale's 29.98.

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