6 May 2023
Thankfully cancelling meetings is not a common occurrence, and it’s not a decision we make lightly, but we find ourselves two meetings into our 50th anniversary year having already cancelled 3 out of the 4 days – really not where we wanted to be!
Many will recall the issues we had with dust at Cowpie show last year, which took place on the same weekend; indeed we had to take frequent breaks to let the dust settle and send out a bowser so as not to upset our hosts. Whilst they didn’t invite us back this year, their event was again planned for the same weekend, however they made the decision to cancel on Monday; their Facebook post accompanied by photos of their committee stood ankle deep in rain water.
With this ringing alarm bells and as tends to be the case when the weather isn’t looking ideal; we reviewed the situation midweek. Deano and Rich made a pitch inspection at The Dip on the Wednesday and found the ground to be very soft, offering little resistance to a probing finger. Between them the verdict was literally 50:50, but on reporting back to the committee, the forecast was reviewed and suggested a fair bit of water coming our way, which would only see conditions worsen.
Naturally, Thursday and Friday were gorgeous and we all started to wonder whether we’d been Michael Fished! Our decision however was validated on Saturday when the heavens opened for most of the day. The forecast looked better for Sunday and a mixed bag on Monday, so with very little chance of improvement before the weekend and a good dousing on Saturday, we still feel that this was the right move, avoiding a messy miserable weekend and trashing the field.
For a reminder of what The Dip can look like in rather moist conditions, please take a look at Dave Painter’s amusing video on YouTube titled “The joys of Lawnmower racing” - https://youtu.be/z6LfKAf7DYs
We haven’t ruled out a visit to The Dip this season, but at present we do not intend to add an additional date to the calendar – any extra meeting would be adjacent to an existing one and we are conscious that people do plan other things around racing and don’t wish to disadvantage anyone’s Championship.
For the record, the entry was slightly down from last meeting, but a high turnout isn’t uncommon for the first of the year (and a show), but was quite healthy, with 5 in Group 2, another 5 in Group 3 and 13 in Group 4, with a handful booked for a single day over the course of the weekend.
We had intended to announce the winners from Ardingly this weekend, so rather than drag this out further, the laptop has been rescued from the race trailer and we are pleased to announce that the results are as follows:
Group 2: Mike Cresswell (141), Graham Tibbenham (115), Jenson Cresswell (93)
Group 3: Stu Johnson (138), Pete Sque (113), Rob Rowlands (96)
Group 4: Alfie Smith (104), Nick Clark (97), Gary Botting (88)
Full results are available at speedhive.mylaps.com/Events/2191559
Congratulations to all, prizes will be awarded at the next sprint meeting.
Double 4 Hour
Our next event is the Double 4 hour at Matterley Basin near Winchester on the 20th and 21st. Preparations are well underway and Les has already marked out the track, so don’t forget to get in your entry before it is too late!
Just as a reminder, there is no water available on site, so please bring your own. Below are the supplementary rules for this event:
· 2 Drivers (max)
· 1 Marshall required
· Noise level below 90dBa
· Mudflaps to be fitted at all times (made of substantial material 50mm to ground)
· Numbers visible as per handbook
· 1 Fire Extinguisher per team
· Pits are a No Smoking Area
· One race spread over two days.
· Only one driver is allowed to change teams on second day.
· 4 hours plus 1 lap. (Each race)
· Recorded on most laps completed
· Mower must cross the line under mowers own power to finish.
· Le Mans start on flag. Reverse order grid for second race.
· Marshalling to be covered by teams.