Rounds 1 and 2, Kames April 7/8th
8.30am Kames a dry start to the day and around 12 lovely MX5s were turned out most shod in very sticky new Maxsport Tyres.
Excitement and anxiety were both palpable, who had nailed the winter modifications, made the right set up and tyre choices. Time would tell soon.
Engines fired up and first practice. Then what a set of times, it looked like records and PB’s would tumble today. Andy’s low 97 beat the course record in practice, Alan Harrop put in what must have been the fastest Mk1 time yet (98.04) and James, Ross, Donald and Ian all smashed the 100. Our newest member David in his nice Mk1 soon got the hang of the track and put in some great times. Then of course after lunch it rained. What a pity. Come the timed runs young James managed to get out before the worst of and set and great time. The top six were as always close, times not as fast as practice but still showing what a well set up MX5 can do in the hands of a committed driver.
Sadly, the rain never abated, and Stuart had a bad off, he was OK, but the car took a bit of a hit, not enough to stop the same level of commitment the next day.
The next day again brought some great weather and times in practice, then just as we started to go out again James leading the field in reverse direction followed by Ian and Leslie, the windscreen starts to have little spots of rain. You can see every one of us thinking it will pass, the brain saying if I don’t put the wipers on it will go away. Screaming to your inner self it’s a dry track, it’s not wet, it’s dry!!! Then the spots get a little heavier and the mind switch that is the wiper blade, the horrible mind-bending device that when it goes on no matter how dry the track might be just makes you that little bit slower. And yes, despite our best denials they had to go on and yet again what should have brought record breaking times were held back. Again it never abated and the top three whilst setting amazing times never achieved what could have been. Same top three for Saturday and Sunday, James, Andy and Ross, great stuff.
With the new scoring system that means our winners scope up 10 points, second 9 points and so on until 10th place and all other competitors receiving one participation point.
Great start to the season, great turn out too. If you are interested in joining us you will be most welcome. Come along to an event and any of the members will talk you through how easy it is to get involved in motorsport, how much fun you can have for low cost and when you think that our top three are split by only tenths, how fiercely competitive it is – you will not be disappointed!
Some photos courtesy of Kevin Brown – Kames regular and photo fanatic 🙂 Thanks Kev.
Rounds 3 and 4, Doune April 14th/15th
The second weekend in April brought the Eunos Ecosse club to one of the most infamous hillclimbs in the U.K., Doune.
Twelve drivers arrived early on Saturday with high tensions and excitement about tackling the hill. Many of the competitors also returning with the maxsport tyres after the success of kames the previous weekend. One such driver was Alan Harrop who opted for the ‘off road’ look with larger tyres in the rear.
The weather was one of the main challenges of the weekend. With a wet track to start of with on the Saturday and slowly drying out meant that the damp track was earning it’s infamous title. Saturday was a slow day with many offs and accidents, unfortunatley one of the more serious one being our very own Keith Rose, speedy recovery Keith. Alan Bowie was awarded driver of the day for his improvements on times throughout the day.
So after a slow Saturday with not perfect track conditions, Sunday was going to have to be the day where drivers would have to make up for it. Surprisingly Sunday brought dry conditions for the track so all drivers where improving on times from Saturday. The field, as usual was split very closely over all with the times. James Coltart was even using tactics such as knocking cones in front of the other competitors (accidentally) to slow them down. Unfortunatley the day was cut short once again with another serious off from one of the cars from the classic class. Speedy recovery to the driver. Donald Coltart was awarded driver of the day for not killing his son James for marking the car with the Doune trademark barrier line.
Overall after a very controversial weekend at doune the Sunday Timed runs looked like this:
James Coltart 54.38
Alan Harrop 56.80
Donald Coltart 57.90
Jason Russel 58.37
Dean Bowie 59.13
Henry Simmons 59.78
Ian Archibald 60.08
Leslie-Ann Schoular 62.92
James Robinson 64.22
Alan Bowie 65.69
Photographs below courtesy of Eddie Kelly Motorsport Photography (many thanks Eddie 🙂 ) – check out his work at:-
Rounds 5 and 6, Kames May 5th/6th
What can I say about Kames other than the weather was stunning, yes it was sunny at Kames.
8 MX5’s took part on Saturday with Ross Glen not only taking first place, but smashing the record by 1 second (must be those new tyres of his). Andy Connell took second with Allan Harrop third.
Sunday saw 9 MX5’s taking part. It was a stunning day and again Ross Glen took first with with Andy Connell second and Allan Harrop third. Leslie-Ann Scoular had a personal best on her first timed run and nearly went off on her second timed run but managed to hold it together. Neil Gridwood was very pleased with his timed runs after purchasing a set of MaxSport Tyres from Stewart Stoddart who managed to fit them during the lunch break. He took 6 seconds off his practice times!!! Driver of the day on Saturday was Ross Glen and on Sunday was Leslie-Ann Scoular. A bit on controversy on Sunday when Andy’s second timed run was disallowed because he allegedly went on the red light. However, after checking his in car camera it was clear the light was green when he left the line and he was eventually allowed to take his second run again, but it wasn’t enough to catch Ross. All in all a great weekend’s racing made better by the uncharacteristic sunny weather at Kames.
Once again we are indebted to Kevin Brown for allowing us free rein to plunder his extensive portfolio 🙂
Eunos Ecosse at Golspie, June.
Not a championship round, but already a firm favourite with members . . .
This weekend saw 6 members of Eunos Ecosse make the long journey north to Golspie. A brilliant kart track located next to the beach. The weather on Saturday was one of the best days of the year. On Saturday we run the Littleferry layout which is 2 and ¾ laps. Donald Coltart was first out on track and immediately set the pace with a blistering 114.70 second run, just 3 tenths of a second off the class record which is 114.34 seconds. Stuart Mather was out next and put in a 124.57. just 8 tenths off his best time from last June. Andy Connell who holds the class record was out next. He threw down the gauntlet with an amazing time of 112.22. Keith Rose was out again after a big off at Doune. His new car looking good. A steady start saw him put in a time of 120.76. Ross Glen was next on track put in a respectable time of 113.22 seconds. 1 second off Andy’s time. James Coltart was last out and was also straight on it with a 115.15. This was shaping up to be a tight battle. Second practice saw Stuart and James improve on their first times. Andy, Donald and Keith were slightly slower than their first times. Ross was looking fast but a fault with the timing gear meant there was no time recorded. He chose not to go out for a re run. After lunch it was into the first timed runs, Donald immediately broke the class record with a time of 114.04 seconds. Stuart chipped another 1.5 seconds of his earlier time with a 121.37. Andy then smashed it with an amazing time of 111.76 taking the record off Donald. Keith then put in another great time 117.91, over 3 seconds quicker than his practice times. Ross then put in a great run with a 111.22, 3 seconds under the class record. The last timed runs saw Donald trying too hard spinning off, Stuart put in a steady second run, Andy was slightly slower, Keith improved on his earlier time while Ross and James were also slower.
1st Ross Glen 111.2, 2nd Andy Connell 111.76, 3rd James Coltart 113.69, 4th Donald Coltart 114.04, 5th Keith Rose 117.01, 6th Stuart Mather 121.37.
Saturday evening saw everyone head off to relax and recharge their batteries. Helen and Stuart chilled out on site and cracked open a bottle and enjoyed the sunny evening. Keith and Sandra headed off for a lovely meal. Andy and Linda and Lynn and Ross and the girls went back to their caravans and Donald’s credit card took a bashing with a family meal. Afterwards Young James the party animal headed off to the Children’s disco for a few drinks and a game of pool. Too many 50p’s lined up on the table meant a trip to the arcade to spend his pocket money. Just as James Hunt would have done after a race….
Sunday saw a warm but overcast day. Donald setting similar times all day. Stuart also setting similar times throughout the day. Andy started off under the class record of 86.58. with a time of 85.28. Setting up another epic battle with James and Ross. Ross immediately reacted with a time of 83.98 and James an 85.48. 2nd practice again saw Andy, James and Ross going for it. After lunch and into the 1st timed runs saw Andy set a time of 84.02 and Ross a time of 83.61. All to play for in the last runs. Andy really went for it and put in a blistering time of 83.48. The pressure was now on Ross. He set off to try and beat that time but never quite managed it with a time of 83.52. Andy pipping him by 4/100th of a second. James also tried his hardest but ran wide and managed to take out some cones. Another great weekend over and we can’t wait to get back up in September.
1st Andy Connell 83.48, 2nd Ross Glen 83.52, 3rd James Coltart 85.29, 4th Donald Coltart 86.05, 5th Keith Rose 87.97, 6th Stuart Mather 90.57
Rounds 10 and 11, Kames July 28th/29th
Thought I’d enter a sprint….
But due to my usual inability to organise, I found myself abroad not knowing my competition licence number and the deadline looming – or so I thought, as I’m more used to the old fill out a form and snail mail entries of yore…
One quick email to the ever helpful Russell Fair of EACC suggested that the miracles of modern technology meant the following week was (almost) enough! So back home from the Classic Le Mans trip (another story!) and in goes the entry.
Almost a week to go.
Found the car, as I wasn’t sure where I’d left it. Got it taxed as it had been sitting a while, and it turns out, was the first entry for me this year. Poor unused neglected thing…. But one of the wonders of Mazda MX5/Eunos/Miata what have yous is that they forgive ignorance and neglect, and like a lethargic pet dog, lie there stinking for ages ‘till you call them into action. My prep consisted of fresh petrol and new tyres, turned the key and VROOM!
Weather the week before was promising but the forecast was not. Turns out the forecast was correct (!) and a practice deluge on Friday night just as I’m sticking the thing on a trailer did not bode well for the following day. With half the job done and water running down the shugh of my arse East Enders was the preferable option.
Next morning at least I can strap the car down, load up with dolly mixtures and head off to join like-minded souls in the Eunos Ecosse fraternity. Half an hour later, here we all are, enthusiastic and at this point not minding the steady drizzle that hovers around Ayrshire. All cars unloaded and lined up for scrutineering, suits and helmets all dusted off for the powers that be to examine.
As always, the Mazda class is the biggest and damp practice showed close completion between all 14 entries with most hovering just over the 100 second mark for our first attempts. Even at this point the top 3 are within 0.16 of a second of each other reflecting the close nature of a single make class. Soon the weather tried harder to wash us all away but could not dampen spirits, particularly as our chief organiser and persuader, Lynne has recently purchased a club gazebo into which we all huddled between runs.
The second run times reflected the increased precipitation, with times a wee bit slower for most. By the time we all finished, a collective decision meant the gazebo could be seen meandering slowly across the waterlogged paddock like a Galapagos turtle to dry land. Everybody being dry up top but with a rising damp problem from the river flowing underneath.
Timed runs in the afternoon were not that much different as the weather was much the same and most are quite familiar with a clockwise Kames track.
In the end it was Andy Connell winning the class with his arch rival Ross Glen less than a second behind. Donald Coltart was third with yours truly fourth, only because Donald’s son James was on holiday. But as I’m writing the blurb, I thought I’d mention it! Alan Head won the much coveted Eunos Ecosse mug for beating his personal best as well. Well done Alan!
Sunday’s sprint was the same track but going the opposite (wrong!) way. Weather much the same as Saturday but enthusiasm unabated (as far as I could tell, but as others will tell you, I rarely have a clue what’s going on….).
I would describe Kames as not being as technical a track going the wrong way, but I’ll always think of it thus as I’m old enough to have known it when it only was allowed clockwise running. Although having walked the track on Sunday and driven that way once on a track day, I had never competed turning mostly left. Turns out it’s good fun and quite fast. The slightly shorter run you get going that way contributes to faster times with about ten seconds less being an indicative average.
Learning a new track in the 2 practice, 2 timed run format that sprints allow usually means you get slowly faster so I was somewhat disappointed to see myself on consistent times for the practise and first timed runs until I noticed most folk were slower in the first timed run. Seems learning a new track and worsening weather cancel each other out, so by my second burger I was a happy bunny once more.
In the final standings, Sunday was Ross’s turn to be less than 2 tenths in front of Andy, again with Donald in 3rd. Most of the rest of the 12 car field were less than 7 seconds behind, which for a 12 car field of soggy amateurs I thought was quite impressive and reflective of how competitive the class is.
Despite the weather a very enjoyable weekend and a reflection on the excellent organisation by East Ayrshire Car Club.
Many thanks to EACC, Eunos Ecosse, Lynne and James for being on holiday!
Here’s to more in the near future.
Rounds 10 and 11, Forrestburn Speed Hillclimb 25th/26th August
We arrive Saturday morning with very pleasant dry weather. I decide that today will be my best chance of a PB as the Sunday forecast is for rain all day.
We have a good turnout with 14 cars in the paddock. First up the hill is James Coltart in a very respectable 53.53 seconds, just under a second away from the class record. The practise continued with almost everyone taking less than a minute to get up the hill. The quickest time and “Star” of first practise was Allan Harrop with a new PB of 53.08. Watch out guys, only 0.47 seconds off the class record and this is practise 1. We had one FTF (Far too fast?) as the car sailed on at the hairpin! The second practise continued in a similar manner with one car NTR (not track record?) We got a third practise run today which was welcomed by all, again pretty much incident free apart from one NST (no stop time?) can only assume he took a wrong turn on the hill.
Next came the timed runs, most were faster than practise and a number of us, achieved PB’s. As suspected Ross beat his previous class record and recorded a new one at 52.08 seconds. A special mention also goes to Allan Harrop who could not quite match his earlier time but getting DOD (driver of the day). In his usual modest manner he was heard to boast about his collection of mugs!
Final results :-
When we plot the times on a graph its quite surprising how progressive the results are. We effectively have two groups within the club. The drivers towards the right of the graph are highly competitive with each other with any of them capable of progressing to the main pack. What is interesting is how much the group is catching up with Andy and Ross.
A great day was had by all and we looked forward to the Sunday.
Sunday arrived along with the previously forecast rain which never left us until the event was over. We were joined on Sunday by Sophie and Colin Bell. The wet weather caught a few people out so we had a few delays in proceedings and just two practise runs and two timed runs. Sophie did the first run in the wet achieving a 69.00 run up the hill. The practise runs resulted in everyone been considerably slower than they had been the day before. The timed runs came with everyone improving on their practise times. A few scores were settled with James managing to squeeze between Ross and Andrew. Donald finally got in front of Allan as well so he was pleased. Ian, Mark, Keith and Henry traded places after their Saturday performance. David manged to finish pretty much in the same place as he had done in the dry the day before, performing very well considering his limited experience at Forrestburn. Stuart, James. Leslie-Ann and myself had our usual dice and I finally got passed James although only just! The big jumper however was Stuart who finished with a very respectable 60.23 in the wet conditions.
Final results :-
When we take a look at the results in graphical form it shows what a leveller the rain can be. A personal frustration for me (and I am sure some others) is how so many MX5’s can go quicker in the wet than I can in the dry!
After a cracking performance over the weekend Ross was awarded the coveted driver of the day. Michaela and Lynsey performed the ceremony in their usual inimitable style. Throughout the weekend various discussions took place about how we could make our cars faster. Not quite Formula 1 engineering, perhaps closer to Whacky Races!
Another great weekend with the Eunos Ecosse Guys and Girls. See you next time