Speedy David Greenslade tops Clay Pigeon times
By Matt Gale, Dorset Echo, 13/04/20 – direct link here
DAVID Greenslade set the fastest time of the day at a rain-soaked Catch the Pigeon Sprint at Clay Pigeon Raceway, near Dorchester.
Greenslade’s fastest lap time of 38.86 was a masterful demonstration of car control and a real highlight for many who braved the changing conditions to take part.
Monsoon wind and rain during the Bournemouth & District Car Club (BDCC) meeting made for a true test of skill for the drivers who braved the conditions to take part.
A record number of drivers signed up for the event with a total of 57 drivers across 12 classes in an array of cars all arriving at the venue each hoping to be the fastest over in their respective category.
The Clay Pigeon Raceway is best known for being one of the UK’s premier karting venues with its fast sweeping corners, hard braking zones and classic layout. It has provided many young drivers a unique opportunity to get started into racing.
Twice a year the circuit offers the BDCC and other regional car clubs a unique opportunity to come together and tackle the circuit in reverse as part of a series of time trials known as the “Catch the Pigeon Sprint” named after the Hanna-Barbera cartoon series from the 1970s.
Awards are made in each class to the top competitor with the fastest overall time with second and third awarded dependent on the number of entries competing in the class. Additional awards are given out for the Best BDCC and Best Downton Motor Club Speed, Best Lady and the fastest time of the day (FTD).
The morning practice conditions proved a big challenge for most as the excessive rain mixed with strong winds made the track a slippery and somewhat treacherous place for most of the competitors.
As the day went on the conditions continued to improve. Many of the drivers who were unable to post respectable times during practice where able to show their pace during the official timed runs with many drivers showing considerable car control on the slowly drying surface.
Andrew Mathis (OMS), Kristian Puddy (Ford Escort Mk2), Alison Lock (Mazda CX7) and Rob Thompson (Renault Clio 172 Cup) all put in notable performances.
The day though belonged to Greenslade, Simon Clemow and Ben Bonfield setting the overall fastest lap times on the day.
Bridgewater & Taunton College will have more to celebrate than most, the students who are studying Motorsport assisting all three drivers with their car’s setups on the way to a complete podium lock out.
Burnham-on-Sea Motor Club’s Kristian Puddy said: “For the whole first practice I was trying to see how slippery it was and learning to control the car, it turns out that it was the easiest car to drive in the world.
“I was skating on ice, slowly but (surely) having an absolute blast, the wheels were lighting up all over the place.
“I wasn’t going for speed on my first ever go.”
BDCC’s Andy Street added: “We are very proud of running two events at Clay Pigeon Raceway – and thank you to everyone at Clay for their continued support – that gives a value for money, fun and friendly day’s motorsport.
“This year we had a full entry with over three weeks to go, with eight reserves.
“Considering the weather in the morning we were very lucky to get in two timed runs in after a lunch break. The marshals deserve a massive thank you because it sure was not nice in the morning.”
The weather did not deter the spirits of those present or put them off taking part and while this was the last motorsport event prior to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and government restrictions on public gatherings it will not be the last.
When the restrictions are lifted the sound, smells and friendly club racing atmosphere will surely reverberate once more around the paddock.