So this week, with me having been to (RC) lazy-arsed to empty the car from TORCH on Sunday it seemed rude not to peel out of the office and head north for round 5 of the Summer Shootout. The track takes some finding on a first visit, but if you spot the Sea Scout building (really? Sea Scouts in land-locked Surrey???) you're in the right place.
Being a late arriver I wound up parked some way from the track, but spotting fellow Clanner Paul 'Berky' Berkinshaw I pitted with him, and just ran off the ground, in keeping with the old skool vibe.
So, what of the track? Well, a fairly small but fun looking circuit was on offer, along with a suitable rostrum. The track itself is all grass with a section of astro to protect the 'launch pad' onto the back straight and a couple of small astro covered kickers. The track has obviously taken a pounding, especially since the Fastrax GP had been run a couple of weeks earlier, and the weather of late hasn't been great for growing grass. There was a lot of dirt on show, but hey, it's off road and it all adds to the fun! It was also clear that my jet propelled 'Rango with it's high grip astro set up was going to be an interesting proposition, especially with the track being damp. Easy on the throttle then... sadly not my forte!
Neil runs and excellent meeting, not even a complete printer failure phased him! We managed to get in three rounds of four heats on quallifying (three of 2wd and one of 4wd), which saw me forth in 4wd. I'd made some subtle changes to the car over the evening and managed to dial in my driving a little and was actually starting to feel comfortable by the end of qualifying, the shock package was still to stiff though. Thinner oil is order of the day for the next visit. I was also running blue mini-spikes which weren't ideal. I think next time it'll be yellows, or possibly some DBoots.
Three finals were run, of 6 minutes or 14 laps duration. 2wd was up first, and some good racing was had with close battles up and down the field, especially in the A final. My final saw me finish fourth, having breifly held third at the start of the race. I just pushed too hard early on and made a couple of silly errors which cost me, settling down and getting a good flow going was key on a track that (unlike the astro track at TORCH) I couldn't attack.
All in all a brilliant evening, and a perfect remedy for a day of office stress. I'll definitelly make a return visit when time next allows. The next Shootout round is 5th July, and I can definitelly recommend it!