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Castle Combe - Club Lotus trackday - 28th May


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Blimey!

After 11 years of CL days at Castle Combe i tend not to stay long, even when i still had a Lotus, but i've not seen anything like that!

Normally (as it's not a race day) the whole paddock is parking and it's a sea of Lotus cars with the whole circuit being a Lotus based day, being hired out by Club Lotus.

But today...

The whole paddock full of the lorries and race teams from yesterdays jap trackday all ready for this weekends MX5 series, and a really low turn out of Lotus owners, confused, parking where they can.

I heard Alan from Club Lotus was furious.

:wallbash:

Nice to see some of you folk though.

:D

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Really enjoyable day Castle Combe once again. Weather tried to dampen sprits but started to clear mid afternoon. Big thanks to Bibs for letting me take the Evora for a spin and same to Tony for letting me take his Evo 10 out on the road - Both very nice indeed and would gladly accept either as my own :unworthy: Also nice to get into Paul's 911 - another boyhood want!

Travis - Nice to meet you and well done for braving the Brittish weather.

A couple of pics

(click on last two to view iphone film)

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Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk - that will teach us to keep mouth shut!

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Here are a few pics from the day. Nice to meet up with everyone again. I think the BBC need to sort out there weather forcasts, cloud and some occasional light drizzle it wasn't.

http://www.lotusespritturbo.com/Lotus_Track_Day_2011.htm

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Well that was different! I've done over 20 of these now. Got there soon after 8am and by lunchtime it was pretty much confirmed as the worst Castle Combe yet. Not just the weather - yeah it was cold and damp but its been colder and wetter before. It was being greeted with a paddock full of race series lorries/motorhomes/pit garages for the Mazda series. Nowhere obvious to park, certainly no contiguous areas for groups/clubs/types to organise themselves. So I did the usual sign on/briefing/noise test, found out my "professional" suction camera mount has been banned by the fun police as being far too dangerous, so had to strip all that out of the car after I had found somewhere to pitch my store tent. I saw a couple of the LEC guys and fortunately Tony and Charlie arrived at that point and we went for a nice breaky. But everyone was saying the same - all the regulars really incredulous and disappointed at what faced us. How could we make a Lotus day out of this? And how would it all appear to those coming along for the first time. What a shame. Yes its a track day but only for 100 cars. What happened to the other 300 Lotus, and what were all the non-tracksters supposed to do. A big part of the day is wandering around the acres of Lotus cars with your buddies and seeing what's been brought along. Anyway, I eventually heard from Geoff who'd been out in his Sunbeam that the track was OK so hooked up with Peter and went to queue. Managed to mistime it such that we had to wait for not only the expected Lotus session but also the first of several Mazda sessions that Alan had sold on to try to balance his books. B****r!

The session started OK although I felt a bit tentative with a fine mist on the windscreen and a greasy looking surface. Towards the end of the session it started drizzling harder and we had a double moment at Camp corner and a slide after the esses and although I caught all the movement early, I was actually pleased when the session ended and we had got through it without major incident.

So no good then? Nah! As usual turned out to be a brilliant day didn't it. Spent time with friends in TLF, spent time with friends in LEC, spent time with friends from SLOC (was their 30th anniversary of the RAC 1st 3rd 4th). Eventually the weather brightened up. Went out for my second session (sadly everyone made themselves scarce so no passenger!). Had a much better go and a great dice with Spud and Pinky from LEC. By time I came in from that it went open pit, so after a quick cuppa, back to the Q. Had a much better session with Bibbo on board, back nearer to my normal times (thanks Peter!) so drove straight through the pit lane at the end to go back out again (Bibs had had enough of my driving(!) and went out with Cliff instead) and we all had yet another great session. Wooopeeeewoo.

Afterwards Pete and Jen helped me clear up, load the car, (and bump it in gear cos with all the track time the starter seemed to stick). Had an OK run home (just 3 junctions of slow on the M5) so only about 30 mins delay. Grin on face.

Thanks for posting my pit drive past Ian - looks fast doesn't it!

Great to see everyone again. :thumbsup:

Loving Lionel and Eleanor......missing Charlie and Sonny

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A shame I am always away for this event on family hols. Looks like you had a good time and the rain would have been a good opportunity to take the S3T on the track. Maybe next time.

Trevor.

I'll get around to it at some point.

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Thanks to everybody who made the trip down to Combe yesterday despite the very average weather. Great to see you all as usual.

I can only apologise for all the race transporters/motorhomes that were everywhere in the paddock and ruined our intended display areas.

The really annoying thing was that I’d complained last year to the Combe management about how the competitors were increasingly encroaching on our agreed areas. They promised it would be better this year but it was about 200% worse!

I can tell you I was not a happy bunny when I arrived on Friday afternoon to set up only to discover we had no space. By then of course there was nothing that could be done about it although we did move the circuit access to outside the Strawford Centre to free-up the road and area up to the Avon Bridge and behind the Tavern for Lotus parking.

Combe know how I feel and I’ll be calling them on Tuesday. I don’t want to drop the day as it’s a traditional part of our events and is usually great fun but things have to improve. One thought is to change the date away from the Bank Holiday weekend – maybe later in the year – but not on a race weekend. That way the problem will disappear. Any thoughts?

How big a stand do you want at Doni…….?

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Move it to a sunny weekend then Alan!

I know you can't control the weather but I guess Combe may have got the other message now.

Agree with Mike (MPx) though, it was still a good day.

Well done to all those who made this happen, roll on next year!

Dave.

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What started as a cold wet day turned out to be a fantastic weekend which finished a little over 5 hours ago after Bibs, Dodgy and Travis left sunny Wales following the Monaco GP.

Greeted by drizzle, icy cold wind and a Carpark full of numpties was swiftly improved by double helpings of bacon from the hubbabubba girl in the canteen. Lots of people to talk to all day, a nice little ride in Bibs' new Evora, handbrake turns and rally driving in the Evectra 4 up with Dodgy, Travis and Pilko.

Watched Dave spin his V8 off in decent fashion and an Excel comically dragging half the infield back into the paddock, hope there wasn't too much damage!!!

Drinks followed in the local pub following a magical mystery tour behind Martyn where it was decided a trip to Wales for Travis was the next best thing to do.

Bibs just about managed to keep up in the Evora and Dodgy was painfully far behind in his S3T by the time we got to the Severn Bridge. The Evectra was the car setting the pace once again :)

Big fire was had, much curry was eaten and drinking finished at 5 am when we decided it was far too light to sensibly stay up any longer, oh and we had run out of rum and whisky!

No chairs were burned, no oil was tipped on the fire but Bibs did try to set fire to the tree and log store not being content with the inferno that was burning far too intensly infront of us at times making us have to back away!

A great weekend all in all.

Travis it was great to meet you finally after years of online exchanges.

Alan, my only complaint is that you hogged the seat in the Evora for far too log on the parade laps, I really wanted to see how far I could egg Bibs on in the wet...! :)

Oh, and that grumpy cow in the pit lane, god she was painful! She made me get out of Clifs car because I had shorts on. Secretly she wanted to do me in the marshals office but I gracefully declined her kind offer and went and had a burger.

Happy days :thumbsup:

Edited by Simon350S

Chunky Lover

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It looks like it was a good day, i'm gutted i couldn't make it :( still next year though.

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I really enjoyed the day too, it was nice to meet more members of this forum as well. I'm trying to prevent the wife from seeing any pictures of my spin otherwise i won't be allowed out again without proper adult supervision.

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It was good to meet everyone! Ian, Cliff, Simon, Dodgey, Graham, Mark B, and Rob C.

Simon,

Thanks for the hospitality! I had a great time!

I actually didn't get to ride on the track, I forgot who was in the Evora on the parade laps.

Though the handbrake turn in the "Lotus Vectra" may have made up for it;)

Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

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It was a most impressive waltz across the grass from my vantage point Dave! ;)

Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk - that will teach us to keep mouth shut!

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Thanks to everybody who made the trip down to Combe yesterday despite the very average weather. Great to see you all as usual.

I can only apologise for all the race transporters/motorhomes that were everywhere in the paddock and ruined our intended display areas.

The really annoying thing was that I’d complained last year to the Combe management about how the competitors were increasingly encroaching on our agreed areas. They promised it would be better this year but it was about 200% worse!

I can tell you I was not a happy bunny when I arrived on Friday afternoon to set up only to discover we had no space. By then of course there was nothing that could be done about it although we did move the circuit access to outside the Strawford Centre to free-up the road and area up to the Avon Bridge and behind the Tavern for Lotus parking.

Combe know how I feel and I’ll be calling them on Tuesday. I don’t want to drop the day as it’s a traditional part of our events and is usually great fun but things have to improve. One thought is to change the date away from the Bank Holiday weekend – maybe later in the year – but not on a race weekend. That way the problem will disappear. Any thoughts?

How big a stand do you want at Doni…….?

This sort of thing always creeps in when you go to things year in year out,the organizer/owners start to take things for granted that you will be back next year what ever happens so it dont matter :shuriken:

Did anyone get bob as in you been bobbed spin of the track on film

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How big a stand do you want at Doni…….?

Alan, i've recieved several PM's from members of this forum and we all agree that what would make this years lotus festival different would be to have an '86 Porsche 911 smack bang in the middle of the hall.

:)

Move it to a sunny weekend then Alan!

If he can afford it!

I'm with Alan on this. I go down to castle Combe a lot to watch racing. the whole circuit is full, you park on the grass carparks at the other end of the circuits and the whole paddock, including the paddock on the way to quarrey is full of the teams and cars. There are people parked up around the whole perimeter of the track, food and drink vendors at all the major corners, race programmes, practice, qualifying and several races.

Big money stuff that books the whole track all day, requires the whole race package and all it's staff, stays over and books the next day as well. Plus it brings people (20+ times the amount you get on the free to attend CL day) coming though the gate paying £15-£25 a go.

Booking it for the day so people can drive in for free and park in the paddock because the whole facility is otherwise unused is never going to happen (without costing a fortune) on a nice sunny summer weekend.

:(

Here's a selection of events at the circuit this year, it does not need a non race weekend where people walk in for free, i think Alan is lucky he gets a slot at all, especially a saturday on BH weekend.

:)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday, August 13, 2011/14/08/2011

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011/24/07/2011

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011/19/06/2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011/26/06/2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Monday, May 30, 2011

So it's May or november basically, hand me that sun tan lotion!!!

:D

Edited by Paul C
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Did anyone else purchase the photo shots taken on the track of their car? I bought 8 all together on the disc and they are superb high resolution shots.

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Did anyone else purchase the photo shots taken on the track of their car? I bought 8 all together on the disc and they are superb high resolution shots.

Not this time Dave but I've been there sooo many times I've not only got several CDs of but even quite a few "prints" from the days before digital. Jim Gaisford (if its still him doing it) knows how to get the car centre shot doesn't he! In the full fat version of my avatar you can see the detail of every water droplet spinning of the wheel arches. Amazing stuff.

Loving Lionel and Eleanor......missing Charlie and Sonny

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It was a most impressive waltz across the grass from my vantage point Dave! ;)

Thanks Ian, Hopefully next year both me and the car will be ready to go on track properly, as long as I keep my excursions that side of Camp Corner I should be o.k.

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