Tiger Tom takes on racing challenge
EXCLUSIVE by TOM JACKSON A STREAM of Tiger sports cars descended on a Lincolnshire racetrack for the latest round in this year s Tiger Racing series - and I was on the entry list. I was invited to take part in Saturday s sprint event at Barkston Heath, ne
EXCLUSIVE by TOM JACKSON
A STREAM of Tiger sports cars descended on a Lincolnshire racetrack for the latest round in this year's Tiger Racing series - and I was on the entry list.
I was invited to take part in Saturday's sprint event at Barkston Heath, near Grantham, organised by Tiger Racing based at Thorney Toll.
It was open to racers, who were looking to add to their championship points tally, and non-racers who went along to see how quick they could go round the track.
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Mist hanging over the hills, and a damp track, greeted everybody early Saturday morning.
I signed in and stood in the drivers' briefing, which outlined safety requirements, the day's schedule and how the chicanes were made wider to make it easier for everyone taking part.
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I was then introduced to my car - a fully race prepared Tiger R6 - and was given a brief introduction into how the cars work.
I had the chance to learn the track thanks to a convoy run, which saw every car complete three laps around the circuit at slow speed.
A practice session soon followed, but before I was let loose, I was taken around the track by Jack Walton, from Long Sutton, who races in the Tiger series. He showed me the optimum racing line, where to brake and which gear to use in every corner.
And it was soon my turn to get behind the wheel. I completed four laps to get used to the car and testing where to brake and when to turn. On one lap I pushed slightly too hard, locking both front brakes on the way into a tight corner and nearly going straight off the road.
The afternoon saw the timed runs take place. Everyone had three timed laps, with the fastest time going towards the day's results. My first run was solid and I geared up for my final two laps which, I hoped, was going to be much faster.
But I made an error on my second run - a tiny bit too much power halfway through a fast left-hand corner saw the rear of the car slide out and, although I brought it all under control, I ran slightly wide and spun off.
I recovered to the track and did my final run - but I forgot to close the visor on my helmet and I was too slow through the first chicane, destroying any hopes of improving on my first lap.
My first lap of 57.6 seconds put me ninth out of the 17 entrants in the non-racers class. It was about three seconds off the fastest non-racer time and about six seconds slower than the fastest time in the racer class.
After the event, Mr Walton told me: "It was not bad for a first drive in the car. A 57-second lap around there would probably have equalled a 60-second lap with the tighter chicanes, and in the space of three meetings you could easily drop to a 57-second lap with the tight chicanes."
You can hire a purpose-built race car from Tiger Racing, as part of track days and races. For more information, call Tiger Racing on 01733 271131.