Mallory Beckons

I can’t wait for the Mallory race next weekend! Lydden feels months ago, but it was only three weeks ago today.

I’ve had a good amount of time to reflect on that weekend. We’ve seen the family video confirming that indeed the commentator – a very professional young lad – did indeed introduce me as Phil Maynard. The fact I’m an unknown and Phil Sherwood was lining up ahead of me means I don’t take offence!

The Motors and Channel 4 TV coverage crammed a lot of action into a short show, but then we’d always like to see more. Lining up on the back row and my name in 8th place on the drivers table was all I got!

James Knight-Coney had an action-packed and, probably fair to say, frustrating weekend, and was the only driver unfortunate enough not to finish the final. That meant that technically I wasn’t last, but in truth was that I was a million miles off the pace.

But that was the plan. At least that was how I approached the weekend. Get race starts under my belt, stay out of trouble, don’t annoy anyone, hold up proceedings, or cut my weekend short.

Now the pressure of my first, and local, race is out of the way, I need the challenge of Mallory to put Lydden behind me. From that fateful first test and a lack-lustre first race, I need a remote race to really start pushing Maud and not worry about disappointing the “home crowd”.

With that in mind, I’ve softened the rear dampers on (hopefully sound!) advice from Graham. This should give me more rear-end grip and balance as a result. I’ve also fixed the wayward dashboard binacle and bonnet catches, cleaned Maud top to toe, inside and out, removed and cleaned all the wheels, tie-wrapped some loose cabling and checked the front dampers are at the same setting.

Maud on Jacks

Spending time in Maud just tinkering means that I’m less intimidated or worried about her mechanically. She’s a basic, 4 year old hot-hatch with 31k on the clock. There shouldn’t be much to worry about in terms of drive train – only what results from the abuse I manage to give her over the coming year.

So my son’s question late this afternoon as I finished putting away my tools and getting Maud back to bed for the last time before Mallory was:

“Daddy, when we go to your race next weekend, maybe you’ll overtake some people?”

“Maybe…” was all I replied. I really see that as the next milestone achievement. I’m not sure Mallory will be the place I’ll get that under my belt, but let’s go there with an open mind and the intention of coming away feeling I’d gone as quickly as I could. Certainly the same can not be said of Lydden, so that’s my next goal.

You know, I could get used to this lark long-term. Best start planning our finances around that idea! I’ve never had such an exciting challenge, and whether I end up being particularly good at it doesn’t really matter.

I hasten to add that I didn’t take this up to come last all the time – believe me…


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