A Twist in the Tail
There was a twist in the tail however and the EMRA 750 Earlystocks Championship tightened up considerably as Longy's machine took a turn for the worst and was unable to start Race 1 with a major oil cooler leak. This means Team Mucka-Myatt has now narrowed the gap to just 12 points in the EMRA champ and meaning every race counts with only two rounds to go – the last round worth double points for each race! The pressure is on.....
With the British BBQ summer continuing, the conditions were almost perfect for racing – in fact nearly too hot! And racing at the SandM home track it was great to see the Team SandM supporters out in force including "Puppy Dog" Carol (Moldy's Lurva), the Great Dave Waldo-Walley himself (ex major sponsor from Arena Group) and the Long family amongst others – it made it a superb day despite some major setbacks!
Practice was well...Busy! With so many bikes out there including the 400's it was nigh on impossible to get a decent lap in and consequently the times were down a second or so. Nevertheless, this was the least of Longy's worries as he returned to the pits to find the adapted Turkey Roasting Tray (adapted for use as an Oil catch tray under the engine) sprayed entirely with oil. This was pretty serious as it was spraying all up the swing arm and onto the rear tyre so had to be sorted. The amazing camaraderie of the Earlystocks racers came into full force as everyone tried to fix it – although "Skinny Pete" from Team Mucka was spotted trying to saw through Longy's brake lines with a hacksaw which was a bit against the grain...! Unfortunately on reassembly just seconds before the first race was called, the leak was actually worse and Longy had to sit it out – and believe me it's not an easy task watching the bikes circulating when you should be out there – in fact IT'S A BLOODY NIGHTMARE!!!!!
Longy having eventually calmed down after throwing all his toys out of the pram and into the Mallory Park lake, could at least take pride in the fact Moldy had a great ride to take 3rd in the 750 class and 7th in the race putting in some stonking lap times with Team Mucka-Mad Myat taking the 750 win to gain some serious points back. Right up front however, there proved to be a titanic battle as Tom "The Boy" Benford had relaxed so much whilst taking an early lead, he practically needed incontinence knickers and Alec "cockney boy" Gilfillan #216 snuck past him into the lead on his GS1100. The happened a few times but Benford #217 just held him off to take it. Amazingly, not that far behind on just a 250LC, the Pink Panther Mark Emuss #316 was once again flying putting in a 1m2s lap to take 3rd spot. Incredible riding!
Whilst "loved up" Swiss-Moldy wandered off arm in arm with Puppy Dog Carol to make daisy chains, Longy was confined to sitting in a large pool of engine oil in a desperate attempt to fix the damn oil cooler. Unfortunately with a spares kit comprising of one Band Aid and a small bottle of Au De Cologne, there was nothing to hand to fix it easily...however miraculously the Pink Panther Emuss came to the rescue being the only person in the entire Leicestershire area to have a spare box of oil seals – two of which actually fitted Longy's cooler flange to stop the leak. What a result. Thanks Mark!
Dave Waldo-Walley, last year's Arena Group chief, 08 sponsor of Team SandM, Caterham Racer and a self made multi millionaire big shot (note some serious sucking up going on here!) had mumbled during the break over a crusty cheese sandwich that he was planning on building a new empire in 2010 and if the deal comes off Team SandM could once again be in the sponsorship frame. Waldo is renowned for being a "Man of His Word" so this could change the landscape for '10! However, this put some major pressure on the SandM boys as they desperately needed to put on a show to keep him interested and with Longy starting from grid position 21 (the back of the grid) this was going to be harder than England qualifying for the Europeans!
Anyway, by the time the Red start light went out Longy pulled a ginormous wheelie off the line to start the process and took to pit lane in hot pursuit of getting to the front runners. Swiss Tony aka Moldy, could be seen from a distance so the red mist came down....hammering into Gerrards way to fast on cold tyres Longy had that sudden feeling of running out of road as everything hit the deck and the tyres slid - but then just as things were going pear shaped, the stealth like figure of Moldy appeared up the inside and somehow dragged Longy around the bend. Nice team riding! From here on it was mental as Longy tried every move in the book to get past the rest of the field to the front. By lap two he'd got past Bob Chambers #241 on the Suzuki 1100 into 3rd with only Cockney Alec # 216 and Benford ahead.
The braking into the Mallory hairpin were pretty scary as the forks were objecting violently at the abuse, to the point where they eventually let the front tyre go – fortunately saving an off as the bike was retrieved on the right knee again! Good entertainment for the potential new sponsor though! A move past Alec Gilfillan on the brakes again into the hairpin got Longy into 2nd spot by lap three and then it was only the white streak of lightening of Tom Benford to catch on his Katana 1170 bullet which proved too much of a task as on the start and finish straight ½ second was lost and Tom was riding well. Nevertheless, a good batch of points was notched up for the EMRA championship. Surprisingly, even though Longy felt like he was pushing the bike like never before, the actual lap times were slower than expected highlighting that riding smooth and feeling slow is actually faster!
Meantime, Moldy was having a gladiator battle for 7th and 8th spot with Mad-Mucka #275 on the 750's. Mucka once again stalling it off the line as his concentration lapsed in the sunshine had it all to do and as he breezed past Moldy thinking the job was over, he'd forgotten old Swiss has turned the racing corner so to speak as was taking none of the S**t! Moldy, still wrestling with his scraping Kerker exhaust fired back up the inside of Mucka-Mad into Gerrards sparking his way around the curve at full lean. This cat and mouse routine went right the way to the line and eventually, in the dying seconds of the race Mucka made a move that stuck and just beat Moldy by a minuscule 8 x 100ths of a second- What a race!!
Onwards and Upwards
Overall it was a great day out despite some major set-backs and points lost. There is no margin for error now as things hot up into the last half of the season. The next round is Cadwell – where apparently the guy in the picture (right) is making a come-back! Although Moldy will be in Bournmouth at the old people's home making arrangements for his forthcoming wedding ceremony - but as a good mate, has offered his steed as back-up in case any more gremlins kick in at Cadwell. Pray for good weather - on the other hand, the rear tyre is shot again and needs replacing! These things are only lasting 3 races in the hot weather! Now where's that new sponsor....."Dave Waldo...........where are you?!"