Having never been to Brooklands and being invited to attend the motorsport day and do a few laps of the Mercedes experience track in the Lola along with two other single seaters I jumped at the chance.
Not knowing what the exact format was, Team TeGra arrived equipped with BRMC flags and set up shop next to a pro fuel dragster. Steve Castle the organiser then took me for a ride in his buggy to show me the route to be taken to get to the Mercedes track, bearing in mind the car is only 40mm off the ground and needed to be pushed the 800m it was not going to be easy, after showing me a couple of routes the one which, although longer, avoided the two speed humps for the power cables into the Concorde at the museum. Steve explained that he had an hour slot to run nearly sixty cars in batches and that we would run near the end bearing in mind we have to pre-heat our cars engine it needed a bit of planning he also showed me the other two cars that would run in the batch, a Benetton F1 circa Schumacher era, and an F1 Renault of Alonso era. I was introduced to the current drivers and they explained how it normally runs. I then returned to the car and awaited our time.
In the hours preceding our runs we chatted to members of the public and to the owner of the dragster next to us and found out that he was going to run up the engine several times during the day the first time to be shortly before our drivers briefing. Steve was invited to sit in the car and operated the throttle, unfortunately it wouldn’t start and while I went to the briefing Graham helped the owner to get it running. Having been to a drag racing meet I know they are loud but being so close - Wow! The ground shook and the noise was deafening but great at the same time. Our turn soon arrived and we started the long push to the test track following the other two cars.
When it was our turn we went onto the track a very tight and twisty 1st gear section followed by a very short straight just into third about 130mph, just as the tyres were warming up our time was over but it was good to be in such high company. We were then told there might be a possibility that if time allowed we might get another run so we turned our cars around and waited unfortunately one of the other cars lost a wheel so there was no time, but we had to turn the cars around so for the public we had a racing start down the straight to turn them around, then the long push back to the display area. All in all a good day out, good to talk and meet new people.
Thanks for Graham for coming along for the jolly, sorry you didn’t get to drive.