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Bournemouth Wheels Festival 2014

By Mark Kidman

Well it all started off in March with a small post on the Petrolhead Nirvana website asking for Supercars for a new event, needless to say I responded straight away! The event was planned for the May bank holiday weekend 24th to the 26th Sun, Sea and Speed, sounded great!

Lorina Mclaughin from forcegrandprix.co.uk was organising the list of supercars and competition cars and she would also be driving in the event in none other than Michael Schumacher’s Benetton B192 F1 car!

Several emails were exchanged and my car was accepted in the Supercar display, this consisted of the car being on display inside the conference centre, then twice a day the cars would be taken out of the hall in a moving motor show so that the public could see the cars in action.

I then had the pleasure of meeting Lorina and her Husband David at the Goodwood Supercar Sunday Breakfast meet, more good news was to come (for me anyway). Lorina informed me that as well as the supercars, there would be a closed road course where competition cars would be putting on displays for the public. This would include early cars from the days of Brooklands, to Historic F1 cars and Le mans cars. She then said that due to one of the Le Mans cars being out of action, would I like to be included in the Le Mans six, Well I jumped at it! This was to get even better when she informed me that Competition cars got free weekend accommodation and hospitality too.

We arrived at Bournemouth on a wet Thursday afternoon and were directed into the competition paddock, we had a large marquee supplied and it gave competitors time to clean and prepare the cars for the weekend’s events. As the afternoon went by more and more competition cars began arriving, I had to keep pinching myself as I was in such great company. Historic Le mans wining Ford GT40, Ferrari Daytona and other historic Ferraris, Superformance Daytona Coupe, Historic Aston Martins, Austin Healeys and of course the F1 cars.

We then made our way to the Cumberland Hotel which was positioned mid-way along the closed road course. The evening flew by making new friends and talking cars. What could be better?

Peter Sharp another local Viper owner had also been invited to the event, Peter owns a NARRA Race car which has been slightly converted to run on UK roads, the car was originally prepared by Dan Cragin of DC Performance. Peters car was to be included in the Supercar show.

Luckly the sun came out for much of the weekend which added to the additional crowds. The closed road course consisted of a two lane section of road about ½ a mile long with one chicane in the middle complete with a speed camera set to 30mph! Luckily the borough council had switched it off and covered it over, (mind you, it could have been fun seeing just how fast we were going past it). The road course was right on the clifftop past all the hotels, and the crowds had great views of the cars and the sea front.

We made two passes each way totalling 8 runs a day. Wheel spins prior to the start line pleased the crowds, Peter also laid down a massive set of elevens at the far end of the course (we wondered what the smoke was then saw Peter coming back up the course in the Viper).

Monday saw the last of the action and the weekend had gone by with no incidents, that was up until my last run, I dropped the clutch for another wheel spin only to find not much happened apart from the smell of burnt clutch! Woops, I made it down the course but not quite at the intended speed. Back in the paddock I waited for the car to cool down and then had the prospect of driving home in holiday traffic! Well luckily the car just made the 3hr journey back. A quick call to the VOA Vendors and a new lightweight Fidanza flywheel and clutch was on its way across the pond.

Austin Healey Sprite formerly driven by Sir Sterling Moss