Taking on the Pom

The VSCC Pomeroy Trophy has been an event I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but I’ve never got around to it! It’s held on or near the Goodwood Stages and as that’s a championship round we’ve prioritised that. However this year, having decided not to do stage rally championships and selected events instead, it gave the opportunity for us to enter it.

The event requires a race licence and Matt and I both have ours. Matt said he didn’t mind which car he drove, so I chose the Micra leaving him with the MG ZR. We scrutineered and signed on during Friday evening, and headed over early on Saturday ready for the day ahead. Our friend Haydn came with us in-case we needed a hand as we were running two cars, which was appreciated.

The morning involves various tests, including a slalom (held on the old start/finish straight), a speed test on the Hangar Straight and a braking test on the “new” start/finish straight. I did slightly regret not going harder in the brake test, but it was a balance between speed/time (which was measured) and ensuring I stopped in the right place (also crucial to not receive a “fail” for not stopping astride a specified line).

As fun as the morning was, the “piece de resistance” is a speed trial run on the Silverstone Grand Prix circuit during the afternoon, held under race conditions (one of the reasons a race licence is needed, as well as the many cars on track). We had two warm-up laps and it was a rolling start. It was 40 minutes and we’d each been given a set number of laps we had to achieve; mine was 12. I intended to count them, but after three or four I couldn’t remember how many I was on so I soon gave up with that and just kept lapping!

I found the event mentality for the driving test interesting; I wasn’t driving on my limit, but was trying. Penalty marks could be applied for spinning, going off the track, etc and I wanted to make sure I got my laps in without pushing myself to my absolute limit. I was passed by a few cars and I passed a few, including three in four corners!

Come the end of the driving test and I’d completed my set number of laps, which was good! Matt unfortunately had a problem and had to pit (a bonnet pin came loose and the bonnet was part lifting), and he was one lap short. We both had a good day, and when results were published, it shows me as 2nd in class and 11th overall and Matt 2nd in class and 14th overall. Lessons for next time? Push harder in the brake test (probably the difference for a top 10 for me) and Matt, without his pitstop, would have had an extremely good result. Until next year!

A video of my 40 minute speed trial is available on YouTube.

Thanks to Toby Galbraith for the solo “on track” image & Sarah Tibbetts for the group shot.

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