Finding the balance28.06.15 Solid event staged by the South Wales League.
It’s with the benefit of hindsight that we look back favourably on round two of the Series, because the consensus at the end of day one was one of disappointment.
Slicker organisation on day two, however, along with a decent set of finals to produce an exciting climax, improved the overall feel of the event to something much less worrying than it had been on Saturday. We had built this up to be a sensational event that could have been the best of the year: it didn’t quite hit that mark, but the league should feel pleased with their contribution to what we feel could be one of the best years ever for the Series.
One of the overriding memories was how bad the dust was; almost impossible to see the racing from some angles at times, and if you were stood on the finish straight, the clouds blown into spectatorland by the wind were so thick and cloying that it impaired both vision and enjoyment.
The deal was that the Cwmdu Car Club would lend the league their bowsers for the event, if they could be left to make the decision when the water was needed. A fair agreement if the water was correctly applied and in a timely manner, and while we’re not saying the results were a disaster, it could have been organised a little more efficiently with better results, especially if the league marshals had been able to request water where they knew it was specifically needed on their corner. We heard several Marshals and officials discussing the issue; all seemingly similarly aggrieved.
The fact that racing didn’t finish until shortly before 8pm on Saturday is an indication that proceedings were a little slow, but the lengthy periods of downtime for watering, along with the recovery of broken machinery were punctuated by some excellent racing as you’d expect on this track. With a late finish like that – Stroud was several hours earlier remember – the Marshals and Officials have too little time in which to relax and unwind, the ratio of work to rest too disproportionate, which isn’t something you’d expect from this league and, to some extent at least, doesn’t make for a very happy meeting at times. Therein lies a point of praise though: while the first day may have dragged a little bit, the point of balance between urgency and nonchalance having been tipped a little too far toward the latter, it’s quite refreshing for the most part to be surrounded by people who are relaxed and unstressed, and clearly enjoying being part of the event.
An earlier finish of half past six is indicative that things were rather better on Sunday – that was with a number of reruns and a long hiatus while the fence was repaired because of the incident in the Junior Saloons final, so it could have been considerably earlier.
A turnout of just over 400 cars is perhaps fractionally less than the average attendance since the split, but there were still enough to form a decent number of grids and provide excellent racing. Crucially, the number was small enough to be able to fit into what was unfortunately a smaller pit area than last time, as the league were unable to use the same field as at round four last year, but no matter. Space might have been at a premium, but the situation was still workable.
This kind of track makes the unlimited classes all the more exciting, and there were some truly memorable races both in the heats and in the finals; the Class Seven final in particular was spectacularly good, and Micky B deserves special mention for his brilliant commentary.
Perhaps in the run up to the event we had over-hyped it; predicted that what we’d get would be something virtually faultless, like we know the league are capable of. Instead it was a solid performance; not free of issues, but an enjoyable event nonetheless, and their standing in the Autograss world, along with the beautiful setting, ensures that they will always remain in high regard.
Main: One of the races of the weekend: Jake Roberts and Mathew Dance left Craig Kampschulte behind and starred in a thrilling battle.