|Knutstorp 7th & 8th July 2012|
Most people arrived on Thursday – the weather wasn’t marvellous but it was relatively warm. Folk got ready for free practice (and it really was free) around midday on the Friday. Shirley Monro’s engine refused to start in spite of earnest attention from Richard Bishop-Miller and Bill and Mark Hunter and even Hakan towing her didn’t produce even a splutter so an engine change took place before the meeting was even opened. JB Jones turned up with a green Mk IX Cooper with a Triumph engine despite it being announced on the body work that it was a Norton. He returned from practice with a sheered float chamber bolt. Hakan never got away at all. Richard Bishop-Miller had gear linkage trouble. Pat Barford and Brian Joliffe had no problems. Peter Kumlin found that there was never any oil left in his gear box in spite of him filling it frequently. Per Hageman was going ok but our Danish friend, Thorkil Kirk Simonsen with his JAP. Alfa Dana, came back to change the gearing and found three broken engine bolts. He brings absolutely everything with from welding equipment …..in fact, an extensive mobile work shop and was able to make three new ones, and help many others, including Richard B-Miller.
We all joined up with the Swedes and Magnus Neergaard welcomed us and we met a whole lot of Swedes who regularly come to Goodwood to help the racing entrants. Delicious Yellow Pea soup was served with cheese and a hard cracker type crisp bread and as much punch (that’s what they called it) and beer of course.
Timed Practice took place in a dreary, consistent drizzle with a solid grey sky. Nigel had no problems, nor Brian Joliffe, and Shirley’s engine fired nicely. Kent Persson in his Kiehn Special J.A.P. had valve cap problems and a bent push rod and Glenn Andersson in the other Alfa Dana J.A.P. had to change his engine due to a stripped thread in the head. Hakan found that he had no brakes and little grip and Richard B-M put a rod out. Peter Kumlin spun at the hair pin and Pat Barford lost his silencer somewhere out on the circuit. (It was returned to him). JB Jones’ Triumph engine miss fired and Thorkil still wasn’t happy with his gearing. So Brian took pole position, Glenn Andersson Alfa Dana (J.A.P.) alongside, with Richard B-M in the Revis and Kent Persson in the Kiehn Special in the second row. Pat Barford (so pleased with his 5th position as it was first time in the car and first time in the rain) and Thorkil in the Danish Alfa Dana in the third row; then came Peter Kumlin in the Effyh J.A.P with Nigel Challis alongside him on row four with Shirley and JB on the fifth row and then Per Hageman and Hakan Sandberg bringing up the rear. A very brave Anders Ericsson completed the grid driving a car he had never sat in before which belonged to Richard With. He said he found the handling extremely puzzling in the direction department!
Midday and the rain continued to fall and conditions were very challenging. There seemed to be a lot of oil on the track and Shirley spun off on the first lap just after the hair pin. Brian took the lead for the first lap but eventually had to concede to no 7, the Alfa Dana driven by Glenn Andersson who was leaving a trail of smoke to add to the spray for those behind to peer through. Pat Barford made a terrific start and came out of the first bend in second place but had three spins, all on different bends. JB and Richard B-M was really giving it 100% as those of us out there with them are fully aware (JB said he had a “tank-slapping moment” which, he assured me, those acquainted with motor bikes would understand). They passed each other some number between 5 and 7 times, Richard getting home just ahead of JB. Behind them, Nigel was slipping and sliding but keeping it on the black stuff although Peter Kumlin had a moment when he came off briefly on to the gravel just coming down hill after the hair pin. Pat Barford lost a mirror this time (saving weight he told me). Kent Persson’s J.A.P. couldn’t cope with the length of standing on the grid before the lights went out and had a fouled plug and never got away. Thorkil in the Danish Alfa Dana was not enjoying the track and his gearing definitely was not right for the tight, banked bends and the extreme gradients. Meanwhile, Anders in the Effyh was getting to grips with it all and came home safely in front of Thorkil and Hakan. By the evening, it had stopped raining and a rather watery sun broke through …..so off to THE PARTY which I will come back to later.
Classified Finishers Race 1
From the ridiculous to the absolutely sublime….wonderful cloudless sky and hot, hot, hot. While drivers melted in their fireproof gear, wives wore brief tops and flimsy skirts and neat cotton trousers, etc and the worry was now that the air cooled engines would not be able to handle the temperatures. And so to…..
We were not kept quite so long on the grid this time so Kent Persson in the Kiehn Special came flying through from his back-of-the-grid start alongside Shirley to commence battle with Glenn Andersson in the Alfa Dana. Poor Thorkil in the other Alfa Dana had a clutch cable come adrift as he was about to be pushed down hill through the tunnel and never even left the paddock. (We were all pushed through a downhill tunnel in to the lower paddock where we were allowed to go straight onto the circuit in grid formation which became the green flag lap). Hakan stalled on the line as only one of his two cylinders was functioning, and although he was pushed on the grid, the one remaining cylinder failed and he called it a day and went to top up his tan. When I commiserated with him afterwards, Hakan just smiled and shook his head sadly and said (in the only way Hakan can) “Oh, but I am so used to it”). Peter Kumlin kept getting stuck in first one gear and then another and still his gear box was losing all its oil. Pat Barford attained 3rd place for a time but at the first bend after the start, it was Brian who got the lead with Glenn Andersson filling up his mirrors. Brian held second place until a broken timing gear finished his race and Kent Persson then took up the challenge. Although Glenn’s front right brake was causing the wheel to lock up, he maintained his lead with Kent chasing him the whole way. Richard B-M was driving with incredible enthusiasm and hit the rumble strip so hard that the car took to the air and the result of that was a bent chassis. After that, the points assembly on his magneto came loose and he pulled off. (He was later awarded a bouquet for the most spirited drive of the day!) JB was having trouble with an engine that was “as sick as a dog” which was a very apt description as Shirley was able to pass him on the straight(er) bits of the track but he passed her again in the corners and bends but eventually the chequered flag decided the order. Anders Ericsson was doing splendidly in the Effyh and was thoroughly enjoying the race when his chain broke so Shirley was able to get by him into 7th place. However, the real drama was about to unfold! Nigel Challis was now in second place and then his chain broke allowing Kent Persson to take second position. However, our chairman, in the best Nigel Mansell tradition (well, they both share the same Christian name) pushed his car over the line and then promptly fell over with the effort, holing his fireproof overalls and skinning his knees (quite badly actually, as I saw later on) but Sister Challis stepped in and saved the day so that her brave little soldier could present tankards for the podium boys plus, as a reciprocal of Goodwood, the fastest Swede who beat the fastest Brit, which turned out to be Peter Kumlin. After which, it was time for The Party.
A really great circuit, especially in the dry. The facilities are second to none and everyone, spectators especially, were so willing to help. It’s a real must – let’s hope we can go again.
Classified Finishers Race 2
“We are here to show you how to drink because we think that you are not too good at it so we will show you how it’s done!” Our illustrious Chairman threw down the gauntlet and needless to say, a very good time was had by all. Us Brits served up pub grub circa 1960s in the form of onions and cheese on sticks, pineapple and cheese on sticks, pork pie and hard boiled eggs, and pieces of bread with enough Marmite on to cause everyone’s electrolyte readings to go off the clock. From the Swedes, it was herrings, lovely herrings in all the multiple juices and sauces, and the drink flowed. The noise level rose and then a mighty voice thundered “We have got a really special surprise for you and tomorrow this should cause many records to be broken and many new ones created”. This was a gentleman from the 1000 cc. Cup team with whom we had joined for the evening. Us Brits were outside this tent/marquee and all Swedes got up and invited Us Brits to go in. Peter Kumlin then appeared with a bucket of water in which was a large round tin. He raised in the air a long, sharp knife and with a strange noise, brought it down hard and pierced the tin. Even under water, the smell was indescribable. I wondered why Mark Hunter went for a gentle stroll all of a sudden – he knew what was coming! Our 1000 cc. friend got what I can only describe as giant wraps, filled them with this decomposing delicacy, adding a bit of chopped onion, rolled it up and chopped it into slices. We were offered it with a large schnapps or something of the same ilk but I have to say that only a few of us were able to accomplish a mouth full and JB was amazing in that he ate more than one mouthful and even had another! Nikki confessed to me that he had to face the opposing wall all that night! And so we went to bed, some to sleep, some perchance to dream…..