Friday, 3 October 2014

Number 11 - Cadwell Park

After a few weekends at home or in the USA, it was all systems go for the final three weekends of my challenge - and first on the agenda was Cadwell Park - the "mini-Nurburgring" in the Lincolnshire Wolds. For the first time this year I was unlucky with the weather and it was a bit damp for most of the day until the misty drizzle turned into more substantial rain for the last couple of races.

When I planned this tour I focussed on the dates that were available and in trying to combine venues into a workable programme and did not regard what was actually racing until I had the itinerary planned. I have been quite lucky in seeing a wide variety of the 140+ categories that abound in British motor racing - I have been to two BTCC rounds but the rest has been a good mixture.

My apathy about some single-make racing has been expressed before but there are a few categories which I do enjoy, and amongst those are the Minis - not the steroid pumped up BMW versions but the original 'mini' version which is what it says on the tin!! Cadwell Park featured the Mighty Minis and Super Mighty Minis while the next day at Croft I would be seeing the Mini 7 and Mini Miglias. It would be a good way to compare the two approaches. Here we have a picture of them all:

First - a Mighty Mini

and now a Super Mighty Mini

next a Mini 7

and finally a Mini Miglia

So can you tell the difference!! The most obviously different one is the Mini Miglia because of its flared arches and wider wheels but the others.....

Oh and just to add another variation - here is a Special Saloon Mini from a later visit to Oulton Park:

Also at Cadwell the Track Attack Club were featured and so it was a repeat dose of Nippon Challenge, Tricolore Trophy, Hyundai coupes and Mark 1 MR2s after my previous experience of them at Castle Combe back in May while it would be my first chance to see Formula Jedi for 7 years. The big disappointment would be the paucity of the Arrowpak Saloons and Sportscars, which I had noticed had been suffering tiny fields this season, and it was little better at Cadwell with just 6 entrants of which only 3 made it out for their second race. My desire to see a packed and assorted field of sports and saloons would have to wait until he next day at Croft (though I will say that the Nippon / Tricolore fields were quite varied).

I arrived in time to catch the end of the practice sessions and it was a modest crowd that saw the racing begin with the Mighty Minis. Cadwell is a bit out in the sticks and having a meeting on a Saturday probably does not help the crowd numbers but I was amazed at just how few spectators there were - 12 races for £15 is a bit of a bargain these days, but I guess family and financial pressures mean that attendance is getting difficult for many.

Time for some more pictures however and a reminder that you can see many more on my Flickr page -

You do not see many of these racing - this is Wayne Schofield's Suzuki Cappuccino from the Arrowpak Championship

and Andrew Dunn's Championship leading Formula Jedi showing the mud after a wet race

The Jedi of course was originally developed for hillclimbing by John Corbyn and there are as still a number on the hills today. Hillclimbs have taken place at Cadwell Park in the past and this picture of  Doug Ellwood's Marcos Mantis cresting the Mountain may give you a good indication of how appropriate it was to hold such events there.

The best races of the day were for the Mighty Minis - great bunches of them swopped places as they slipstreamed along the long Cadwell straights and three-wheeled through Hall Bends - here is a group at the latter

while the main pack come down from Mansfield Bend and the Gooseneck to enter the Mountain section

So two closely fought Mighty Mini races but also in the Nippon Challenge we had two great lead tussles between James Janicki and Adam Lockwood in their respective powerful Nissans seen below

Though Janicki was never headed, the gaps at the end of the two races were just 0.202 and 0.582 seconds. In fact over the whole of the meeting of 12 races, 8 of them had less than 1 second between the first two at the end so it was a great day out, even if the weather was a bit damp.

So it was back on the road and heading North for Croft, stopping overnight at Doncaster. Eleven down and just 4 to go.

No comments:

Post a Comment