Autocross’ing close to “home”

I spent my teenage years growing up in Malmesbury, Wiltshire. Dad and I used to look at an old airfield on the map that was a few miles away and talk about it and discuss it, and earlier this year, Bath Motor Club announced they were running an event there. It seemed like too good an opportunity to miss, so in our entries went and it was back to my parents’ for the weekend.

The venue was an old airfield between Malmesbury and Tetbury, at Long Newnton. It was a grass field, and having only done one Autocross before on a flint field, we hoped it would be a little smoother on the car.

The format for Saturday was Practice followed by three timed runs. Practice and my first timed run both had very “green” grass, but by runs two and three it was down to dirt and more grip. I haven’t driven Muriel too much on loose, and my times were a couple of seconds a lap off Matt.

I was building up pace and timed run 3 on Saturday felt really good, but that was it for the day. The forecast was showing rain for Sunday with different times it was forecast. My first run was dry, but I made a couple of small mistakes and the seconds add up! After that, the heavens opened and by the time I went out for my second practice run, it was a mud bath, as was run three. Times were definitely not going to improve and we really seemed to be struggling for grip. Everyone was, but even with knobblies on we were going nowhere fast and others seemed to have more grip. I found it a little boring although some of the sideways was fun, but I was really struggling to do anything with the car (as you can tell from the video!).

It was a shame it didn’t stay dry, as I would like to have kept improving my times, but it was still a good weekend with a well organised event, great hospitality from Mum, more seat time and good to explore a new venue.

Videos from the weekend are available on YouTube.


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