There is a strange, baffling lie that most of the British public tell themselves, and that is that they like the weather to be incredibly hot and sunny. No, they don’t. The people who say this are usually sitting perfectly still, in the shade, with a gallon of iced drink to hand. As soon as it comes to having to actually do something, that lie becomes clear, because the same people become grumpy, sweating complainants.


We don’t even pretend. We like it sunny, but not properly hot. There is no clearer confirmation of our ancestral origins than our hatred of excessive heat. Wherever it is that the Northern Kutukans’ genes originated, it was somewhere cold. We can deal with extreme cold, but our idea of hell is somewhere stupidly hot and humid, and that meant that the trip to Castle Combe on the hottest weekend since the universe began would be a bit of a pain in the arse. It would actually get far worse than that, another long-haul drag for precious little result, a miserable, sweltering misery of an event that did nothing but cost us money, sweat, and time, four days of effort undone by a defective spark plug.









And it had started out so promisingly too. A few repairs since Mallory, for obvious reasons, and an electric water pump for the Comermobile to finish off the upgrades we wanted to the cooling system. We’ve been wanting to get the temperatures down a bit for a while, and we are now pretty sure that some of the early season woes were due to a pump that, whilst visually quite passable, and with none of the dreaded bearing wobble of leaky nose, just wasn’t shifting water properly. Put it this way, replacing that pump appeared to sort a lot of overheating and pressure issues, so whilst it looked fine, it can’t have been. We’re never happy with explanations like that, we like to find a problem, but swapping it fixed it, so swapping it is the answer. New Jaguar pump is £lots. Electric is £less. Simple really.


To get the fuel bill down, two West Riding XJS in the back of the truck. Old hands would recognise the cars as ex-Ulph machines, last used in 2006, and not having turned a wheel since. A quick install of new safety equipment and a check of the brakes appears to be about all the attention they’ve had, and we’re intrigued to see how they go at that, because this grid has come a long, long way since then. These two are the standard of cars that were out when I started in early ’07, and by and large they were piles of rusty crap. Nobody is running cars like this now, so how will they fare, performance-wise?







And so to Combe, that quirky little insane asylum with its fast, flowing track, technical corners and more bumps than a fat lass. Actually, on the evidence of the weekend and the number of seriously overweight men prepared to strut about half naked, more bumps than grid-full of Jaguar drivers. Seriously people, put some clothes on, please.


A Thursday afternoon test meant we could leave at sensible o’clock on Thursday morning, and one of those easy, seamless transitions from one end of the country to the other, 185 miles in 3 hours 45, which even works out as legal speeds. We don’t stop on our little jaunts, we always do the full distance in one hit. A word of advice for anyone doing the same. Never dine on “reduced to clear” seafood the night before such a journey.







The weekend would be dominated by one factor, that burning, battering yellow orb in the sky, mercilessly bleaching the world into a scorched, seared dustbowl. Shade, water, and the surface area you could expose to cooling airflow would be the single most important issue facing both cars and crew. And it started early, by 11am on Thursday it had hold of the paddock and would not let go again.


Unloaded, and out of curiosity, as we unloaded the new West Riding cars, a spin turn for each on the grass. One of the pair coughed, choked, refused, and languidly spun a single wheel. That one might not be on pole. Nick Wade’s car has been recently black-painted inside, and when I say painted, they painted everything. Wiring, pull cables, the extinguisher nozzles, the entirely of the car inside is gloss black, and the fumes were incredible. We left this to bake in the sun for him for 2 days with the doors open so that he didn’t pass out in qualifying.









Testing itself went well, 3 15 minute sprints saw Philip wake up, find his rhythm, and in a straight contest with main rival Pizzala, averaging 3 seconds+ per lap faster. That’s quite a lot. Philip is usually pretty quick here, and the 1.23.8 that marked his best was almost exactly 1.7 seconds faster than last year, the combination of tyres and new car adding up to 1/10 second per 1/10 mile. I’d like to think there was a bit more in it, but there isn’t a lot of point battering a car to death in this heat, and the fact that she ran without temperature issues in the 30+ degree heat, putting tyre pressure on evenly on all corners, told us that this car is sorted. Just how bloody wrong that would later prove I can’t begin to describe.


A very civilised end to the day as our humble encampment gained shade in the form of a £15 gazebo, sun loungers that would go nowhere near the sun, and as the evening settled, the hum of a new generator, a 37” television, and an Xbox to play DVDs. A cooler full of ice and cider, hell there was even a tuna salad about the place, this is Kutuka doing al fresco with more style than usual. We do try, a bit.










Friday, and nothing to do. Bear swapped the oil and filter in the Comer machine, and I set about repairing his power windows, which haven’t functioned all season. But in this heat, they are going to have to. Breaking my own rules, Philip’s door cards are riveted on, and had to be drilled off. Motors removed, and found to be seized. WD40 and a hammer freed it off, all back together and ventilation achieved. We like this sort of repair, it’s that easy mix of power tools and simple violence, whilst sounding somehow difficult.


A series of prototype fibreglass panels is spread out to bake in the sun as Kutuka experiment with lightening XJ40s. Young Butterfield plans to fit and test his in qualifying, and a plaintive call has us trudge to Merlin to buy bonnet pins. All a waste of time, when he got here eventually he’d be so drained from the trip that he fell into a cask of beer and never did fit the blessed thing. This too would be a bit of theme up and down the paddock, I’d love to know how many pints of booze we managed to piss away between us that weekend.










That was it, that was Friday, just dodging the oppressive heat and waiting for the massive grid to roll on in. Seriously, 30 cars, where the hell have they all been hiding? Mind you, it’s just before the main holiday season, nobody much is going to Pembrey due to the distance, Combe’s a great track, and the weather is “amazing,” you expect a good turnout. Problem is, 30 cars into turn 1 at 140mph, and not everyone in that 30 is out all that often, one mistake in the mid pack and it’s goodnight to half a dozen cars. The trick to staying out of trouble might be to qualify well.


Bruce is back, this time with brakes and some suspension. Camber is still all over the place, but he has a chance of living through the race this time, which is helpful. Bob is out, think it’s the first time this year we’ve seen Generally, which is what we call his bright orange XJS. You have to say that were you to add the missing Lenthall, Frost, Merrett, the Doyles, the absent West Ridingites and the banished Kutukans to this paddock there wouldn’t be room on this grid. Healthy numbers indeed.











Paddock filled, smoke from the barbies goes up, race day approaches. The long wait for the early arrivers is over. There is something about this track, and this encampment, that shouts Battle of Britain. Way down South, blistering sunshine, access roads and grass standings for the fighters, the clink of spanners and gentle swearing of mechanics, the tannoy, the machines lined up in rows for inspection, and then they trundle off in neat lines to a giant flat grassy field to engage in combat. It’s more like a wartime airfield than a circuit built out of a wartime airfield. I think it’s the grass that does it, it totally changes the scene.


Race day, and this is where it all went chest skywards for us. Scrutineering identified, again, that the extinguisher mount was not as tight as it could be, so out with the drill, couple more fixings added, easily fixed, not a worry. The building heat caused us to garage the car under the new gazebo to keep the cockpit cooler, and it all seemed very civilised.












As the cars roll out to quali, a sudden drama from the Kirkham camp as a bodge on the Lewis car he’s piloting fails, and the gearknob comes off. We’re asked if we can weld it. The lever doesn’t come off because it’s welded on – WTF? – so can we please weld the metal insert of the Bakelite knob to the shaft in the car next to the fuel lines without setting fire to the seat? Can we fuck! A wandering Pete Dorlin has an aftermarket knob to hand (stop sniggering) and one swift fix later the histrionics leaking out of a Kirkham are silenced. Watching him and Simon interact is actually the original script for The Odd Couple.


Our pilot Mr Comer is sent to qualify nice and early, only Howard would beat him out of the box. Trouble is, he then had a shite qualifying, because the silly boy forgot to set a hot lap. He spent ten laps with his elbows out fighting for space, never bothered to actually find any and set a time. Berk. At the end of quali he’s 15th, 2nd in class, and 2 seconds slower than on test day. His test times would have put him 8th. There’s nothing you can do about that, the potential is in the car, it hasn’t been used today, the pilot will kick himself harder than I will for it, so we move on.













The Barclay clan are getting ever more invested in this racing lark. Equipment of increasing sophistication is appearing. Pitboards, timing screens for the pit wall, what look like modified leaf blowers for static cooling, it’s all getting a bit professional. And we think we’ve done well to buy a generator after 7 years at the circuit! That said, the Barclaycard is on pole with a seriously fast time. I forget who I made my bet with about the pole time not breaking the 1.20 barrier, but I need to collect because I was right. 1.20.5 was still fast though. Bang on my prediction, but still fast. Howard down in p3 with the XJ6s of Barclay and Dorlin ahead must have wondered what the hell was happening.


Mind you, Dorlin was also a bit bemused. All that fuss from all and sundry about his controversial AJ16 engined coupe and a “proper” XJ6 is quicker. The difference? Thursday. One of them tested. Well then, what do you expect? You can’t beat some practice, and one of these days Rich will try it. He’s fast, and talented, but no practice. A test day is all he’d need to be seriously quick.













So, to the race, but before that, time to tackle all the repairs. One rookie with a car that lost its coolant as it came back in to the paddock. He’s refilled it, run it for a minute, and it threw up again. Oh no, I really don’t want to do a head gasket in this heat. Further investigation, however revealed that the fan wasn’t working, so what chance did it have. A hospital pass to Roger fixed that one, he’s good at finding blown fuses, which is as well because there’s a West Riding XJS that needs an exhaust downpipe welding back on. Lucky we packed the MIG. Less lucky that the flamin’ generator hasn’t got the guts to run it, meaning we end up kneeling in the scrutineering bay knitting this thing back together, but at least that’s sorted, another car back in action.


Sweat, at this point, has become a pointless exercise, and there are virtually naked people wandering about. It’s never those you’d hope. It is seriously hot. Nothing is cooling down, spanners left out cannot be picked up because they are simply too hot to use. It’s getting pretty extreme, and the problem with being away from home is you just cannot cool down again. The shade is sparse, the only indoors there is is the lorry, and that’s a big greenhouse at this point, there’s no aircon, you can’t jump into an air-conditioned XJ8 and go to buy ice and Pimms, you’re stuck here trying to manage one of the fundamentals of survival, your own body temperature.













And if something needs sorting, it’s for us to sort it, there is no choice, you just have to sweat through it and deal with the problem, there is nobody else to turn to, we’re it. I am not sure how we ended up being the general mechanical support crew for anyone in trouble, but I lose count of how many cars we end up spannering, sometimes they’re not even Jags. It would be easier if we could say no to folk, we just can’t leave someone stranded.


As the sun bleached the colour from the world and turned bright colour into faded 1970s video footage, there was a race. It wasn’t a bad race, in many ways. We fuel the car, send him packing to assembly, and trog off to Quarry to watch the pileup, ice lollies in hand like a gaggle of oversized teenagers. The ooze of Mr Whippy down a wandering Robinson’s hand as he strives to eat a melting 99 in under ten seconds was worth the price of admission.














Lights out, and amazingly they all get through Quarry without incident. How the hell did that happen? Lots going on up and down the order, but no damage. Howard makes an early move to take the lead, but swiftly the two cars he passed are back through and not long after a great move from Dorlin puts him into the lead as Barclay holds off Howard. How the hell did he make that one stick? And equally, how does Barclay then hold off Howard for the rest of the race? Because he did.


That lead trio gave us a good race. Ramm was lead XJS, and dominant with it, nobody else in class would trouble him as once again he proved himself the Combe specialist and walked all over the rest of the XJS field. Palmer simply couldn’t touch him here, which given Chris was the first XJS race winner here back in 2008 either means the grid has marched onwards, or that he needed it to rain again. Webster has poor memories of that same race, and I still think you can tell, it’s almost as if he doesn’t quite want to be here.















One car that is quietly getting it done, unnoticed, is young Butterfield in that XJ40. Ever-improving results, no drama, head down and putting the laps in, and it’s there to see, there isn’t a lot of pace left in that car, he seems to be finding most of it. Watch his progress.


Nicholls, in that ever-so expensive XJS, hoves into view each lap trailing flame, and I mean a lot of it. It sounds like a bag of nails being used to beat a walrus to death, and the flames from the side pipes are reaching the rear bumper. Not just a little, but for a good five seconds or more as he coasts into Quarry. Great for the kids in the crowd, and post-race Terry would be highly impressed by this, but to us it looked like a car that has been taken in completely the wrong direction. There aren’t any other cars doing this trick, they all sound healthy, and a lot of them are a lot faster. Well then. Sack your engine guy.















An amusing battle at the back, Simon Seath stole his wife’s shopping car, caged it, and is mumping round in a very tired, heavy automatic. He’s in battle with the West Riding XJS we noted earlier was unlikely to be on pole, but they were at least both functioning, and enjoying it. Bit of a throwback to how the series used to be, before all the cars became very shiny and fast. This race generally did take me back a bit, when we started in ’07 this was what it was like, a big grid, a lot of incidents, retirements, and two or three very fast cars at the front and running a separate race.


Comer quickly took the class lead from Pizzala, but then doesn’t create the gap we’d expect to open up. Odd. He can’t be suffering from the heat already, can he? And then he goes missing on lap 6. Oh no. Bear is heard to mutter that he hopes he hit something, because if it’s that engine we’re in trouble.

















As we’re speculating, Gail explodes. A plume of smoke, and a coasting XJ40 onto the infield, that’s going nowhere anytime soon. She’s not alone though, BCB goes missing, and Dean comes to a halt at the exit of Quarry, there are broken Jaguars accumulating everywhere. And it doesn’t stop with the race, at least 2 cars pulled over immediately after taking the flag as the temperature takes its toll on the large grid. Well, you expect a certain percentage to break down. Not usually 25% of the grid, admittedly, this was a lot.


From the sound of things, it could have been worse, the list of cars with borderline overheating issues is long, and Howard’s XJ12 hasn’t sounded right all day, his evening would be spent troubleshooting.


















Back to base, and sadly the Comermobile is sitting there amidst the ranks of the non-finishers. 7 of them this race, I think. Comer and BCB both reported steam from under the bonnet and retired. Gail blew up, Dean’s engine died, broken crank, Scoins broke the X300. There are more recovery vehicles in the paddock than racing cars.


What’s the diagnosis with Comer then? Overheating, but he says he pulled off as soon as he saw steam. OK, good, not too hard then. We poke around for a while before deciding that the electric pump is in trouble, it’s far too hot for the water temperature, it’s not in direct sunlight getting baked, so it’s running hot. OK then, we’ll just put a mechanical pump back on, no problem. And we’ll swap the stat housing whilst we’re at it, return to standard. Bear has overheated and retreated to the lorry, but this is a one-man task anyway.

















The 6pm sun is still fearsome. With everything hot, and lubricated by sweat and coolant, it’s an hour’s task, but once refilled, the car is fired up to bleed the water, and the engine’s only on 5. Hang on. This was not reported by the pilot. Number 6 (mmm, Six) is still cold, pull the plug. And there’s something wrong there, there’s no plug gap. The insulator has broken off and slipped down, the bloody plug rattles. No wonder it’s not working. Spare plug fitted, lots of snide bystanders criticise our choice of spark plug, and with increasing vigour get told where to fuck off to, given they were new at Snetterton I don’t care how little you approve of Champion plugs, they don’t usually break in ten hours of run.


Fired up on all six (mmm, Six), and in about thirty seconds she’s blowing cold coolant at me. We know what that means. A Bear looks most unhappy, but we’ve got a head gasket to swap. Shit. It’s 8pm, the heat is hanging like an old man’s scrotum, but this has got to be done. Bear does look properly forlorn. He gets grumpy and less than enthused sometimes, but I’m with him on this, I really, really don’t want to have to do this, we’re both drained, dehydrated, and I know we forgot to have lunch, we were hoping for a bit of beer and a bbq. But what’s the choice, send Philip home? We don’t quit.


















Exhausts and inlet torn off, stat housing off again, we’re in a “who can take most bits off” contest with Howard, who has traced an ignition wiring issue that might explain his odd-sounding car. That’s a bit gloomy for the top 2 today if he can find and fix that. The Scoins X300 periodically fires up and misfires a broken drumbeat that fights with the cheerleader squad drunkenly singing in the West Riding camp. Sometimes it gets a bit surreal in the paddock.


Head off, and it’s had a really good chew at number 6 (mmm Six), but only number 6. Steam-cleaned piston, and a really clear track to the waterway, it’s properly eaten this. And as it’s the same cylinder as the errant plug, was this the chicken or the egg? A wandering pretend mechanic offers his thoughts on head gasket failures destroying spark plugs. Bear offers his thoughts on clueless wankers sticking their noses in where they aren’t wanted. I said he was a bit grumpy, though in fairness after a minute or two of feigned politeness I was idly considering clubbing the guy with the ½” drive ratchet. If they had proper big bins here to stash the body…


















As we lose the light and the clean-handed eat all our burgers, time to down tools, scavenge amongst the remnants of the barbie, and join the West Riding party that has been raging for hours. There were drinking games earlier on, and music and laughter, but by the time we arrive it’s tears, tantrums and the last hour of a wedding reception for that distant cousin you barely know. A whisky-swilling Sewell clutching an MP3 player, philosophical about his dead car, for now, it’s that time of the night.


Early to rise to reassemble this car in the cool of the morning, trying to quietly knock an exhaust on without waking the hungover, but by 9 it’s together, we just have to wait for Dave Bye’s hangover to subside enough to borrow his timing light. And then show us how it works. Fancy toys only work if the operator understands them!



















Timed, we run it up to temperature, and the coolant is fine, temp holding nicely at normal with the fan on, it’s all looking good. But the throttle is weird, it barely runs, and opening her up tries to stall the car. Is it the potentiometer? Really, we should have been smarter here, because it’s obviously an air leak, but we’re tired, we used all the brake cleaner on the head swap, and the day is already hotter than Tricia Helfer in that red dress.


Time is ticking on, we’re first race today, we’re on before lunch, we have to move faster than this. Throttle off, the pot was loose, tightened, trouble, now it doesn’t go at all. Lots of chuffing about, throttle on and off again, but it will now run. Still not right, inlet manifold off, new gaskets, refitted, and that did it, she runs. Thank God, because the pilot’s in his overalls and we’re only ten minutes from race time. But she’s running, on all six (mmm, Six) and she’s in the race.




















As the car rolls out, a non-stop, sticky, shitty half day after she rolled in broken, a swift survey of Camp Kutuka reveals that we’ve had pretty much every piece of equipment out. Packing this lot away will take forever, the mess created by a head swap, the reams of sodden blue towelling, pieces of cooling system and pumps and belts everywhere, generators, welders, we used everything. We have had what can only be described as a miserable weekend, and none of this was expected, not one part of this could have been foreseen after that easy, successful Thursday test. Really balled off about it. But it’s back in action, we did it.


Another baking hot race, our boy starts almost dead last, the temp gauge in assembly is nice and stable, she’s not pressurising or overheating, and off to race she trundles. See how high up the grid he can get, a Comer on a mission is genuinely entertaining to watch. We watch from the banking alongside base camp, not trogging down to Quarry this time. She burbles past on the green flag lap, sounds healthy.





















Soon as the red lights went out Comer’s car erupts in the biggest cloud of steam and smoke I’ve ever seen, and trails an immense fog of it all the way to Quarry. Oh dear. Not fixed that then. Immediate diagnosis was a warped head yesterday, not a lot we can do about that. He’s not last by turn 1 though, and the cars astern are never going to catch up again, they can’t see. Nice tactic.


Barclay takes the early lead, under pressure from Dorlin. Dorlin gets backed into Howard, who powers past, his car sounding better today. Whether that wiring was it,who knows, but it seemed to work. And then something odd happened. He’s hounding Barclay, who seemed to move out wide at Folly, and a hand comes out of his driver’s window to wave Howard through. I don’t know if it was acknowledgment that he’d got him, of if Tom was playing the points game – he’s after winning the class championship, why not let Howard through, he’s a different class – or what that was all about.


But if that’s the game, why then fight Dorlin for the rest of the race? To the casual bystander this was a bit of a puzzle, because if you have half an eye on the overall title, you ought to also let Dorlin through to have a go at Howard, see if he can nick some points off him. I don’t get it. Many are the possible reasons, but it caused a ripple of consternation through the crowd at Folly.





















One lap chasing Bob, and Comer retires it. Sensible really, that was broken. Talk about a shit weekend though.


Webster isn’t far behind, brake failure sends him back to paddock, a rare failure of the electro-hydraulic brake system fitted to the later XJS. Not alone either, the Scoins X300 takes its second DNF in as many days, last night’s whooping celebration of a successful repair apparently premature.


Ramm ran off for a second time to take a clean sweep of class C, but the thing that is a little annoying now is that class C, the dominant force only 2 years ago, is now out of contention on this grid. We have a soft spot for class C, the modified 6-pot XJS. The arms race has swung firmly towards the saloons, the more modern, more develop-able XJS now languishing well behind. You only have to look around to see it, but that development race is really on here, the saloons are all bringing new parts to every round, Barclay and Dorlin leading the charge, but it’s on, everywhere. But not the XJS.























One of the faster cars in recent years, Palmer, has not moved on in a good 4 seasons now, the car goes this fast, and continues to do so race in, race out. Ramm has crept up to match and sometimes surpass him, but these two are no longer favourites for the race win. There are more XJS than saloons now, but the push to move the car on has faltered, indeed there are more pieces being made and fitted up in Rotherham for a race series that only has one solitary Jaguar in it, and even we are making more saloon components than XJS now.


The old hands, whose fall down the order we recently commented on, continue to slip. Where is Darth Pearce now? Last year I revelled in his astonishing commitment at Folly, this year I didn’t notice him on the track at all. The Mk2 doesn’t like the 888s, simple. But the “names” we raced with, Rich Dorlin aside, are now also-rans.


And so it was again today, same top 3, in reshuffled order, win for Howard from Barclay and Dorlin. Other cars took part, few of them memorable. Couple of minor spins, no real damage, few more retirements, Dave Bye smacked another tyre barrier and retired with steering damage, but by this point we’ve given up caring, it’s been a long, hot, crap weekend and we want to go home.


And so the scene that greets us at base camp is one that inspires misery. A tonne of equipment to load, a broken car leaking a noisome stench that I cannot identify, a 4 hour trip home to contemplate, and that merciless sun determined to batter the life from the day. Loading up was a shiny, dripping experience, the only upside to it being that clearly we were drinking enough fluid, or it wouldn’t still be coming back out. An hour of graft, and we’re ready to roll out.
























The trip home was hardly one of celebration. What do we have to do, exactly? We just want a roadgoing class engine to run in standard form, and at every turn we hit trouble. We’ve now done 5 head gasket swaps this year, and the car is on the 2nd engine. Most of that caused by a water pump failure, admittedly, but to lose two race entries here for the sake of a 3 month-old spark plug that fell to pieces is really sickening. We’d cracked the early season woes, the Snetterton misfire was cured, the Brands cooling problem was fixed, but then a sodding spark plug kills the cylinder head? That’s just rude. Add that to the Mallory collision and the loss of Vanessa at Brands, and I don’t think this is our year somehow.


It’s annoying, because the car is good, it really does like to corner, we’re not scrimping on the maintenance, and it’s still going tits up. We’re sitting Pembrey out, screw it. We’ll see you at Donington. Which is near to home, and should be nice and cold.


But, as we were getting set to leave the paddock, an idea hits us. Why not assemble a Birkett team? Not a good Birkett team, we’ve done that before, and who wants the hassle of trying to win anyway. No, why not a team that can’t possibly win it, an assembly of the old, the broken, the mentally unstable, the emotional wrecks, a team which will put more time into planning the Friday night meal than the 6-hour race, a disparate bunch of reprobates who can barely tell their left from right? A quick look down the retirement list, a few swift inquiries, and we cobble together a team for a 6 hour endurance event exclusively out of a list of people without running cars. Not one of the six on our list, me included, had a functioning car at the time. And that, that’s got to be a first. Well, if you’re going to do something, commit to it…
























When we built the lorry we never imagined we'd end up carting these cars about.


There is an odd vertical shadow on the car on the trailer at the bonnet/screen transition. What the hell is it?


We might be first here.


It's actually quite a nice paddock. Shame it's a million degrees already.


Unloaded and baking, two cars and fibreglass panels off the Bear's colourful production line.


With 30 cars predicted, setting out your stall and grabbing some space is a sensible move.


Whatever you do, don't hit that. Your brakes are better, if he hits the anchors early this could get expensive!


Our home away from home got a little more civilised than usual.


Struggled for a wireless internet signal though.


Tiny naked man lurks in the background.


Now this is more like it. We didn't even have to light the barbie, you just lay the food out and let the sun do it.


Seath needs to get this home before his wife notices. The least racy car on the grid would not be last.


Lost cowboy attempts to work out how to ride this horseless carriage.


And so the sun begins its job, leaching the colours from the world.


Man with two heads  has the organisational advantage, he can see everything at once.


Keeping the cockpit temperature down was a priority. The rare occasion a 4-door car has the advantage!


His rivalry with Gail has reached such a level now that Barclaycard has to wear a stab vest.


Early to quali, only Howard beat us to the punch.


Now to remember to actually qualify....


Fortunately Combe has a big assembly area, sensibly laid out. Many tracks could learn from this.


These people all love a nice hot foreign holiday. The drivers at this point have only done quali.


An impressive line up of Jaguars fills a paddock that was once-green but now rapidly turning brown


When the recovery lorries outnumber the cars in the paddock, you know it wasn't a great race for reliability.


An eclectic mix of cars, or so it seems. In fact on numbers there were very few saloons, this was an XJS race.


And so out they roll to race 2. I'll wager we're more worried than most of the drivers. Bloody car.


We had rather predicted this winner, but was it the repaired wiring, or just a different day?


As swiftly as they all arrived, the paddock empties, leaving only those entered into the Powered By race to sweat it out.


Don't reverse into that one Bear, don't, don't, please don't.


Hometime at last. Not a good meeting.