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HRDC at Donington – 28/07/12

Race three of the year saw us trailer the XK150S up to Donington and there was something strange in the air; It took us some time to figure out what the bright glowing orb floating in the sky way but we have been reliably informed that it was the sun. ‘Perfect driving conditions’ is not something you hear much in the UK this year but it truly was a beautiful day in Leicestershire. Sadly the pleasure of this beautiful day surrounded by the sights, sounds and smells of classic race cars was tempered by the usual chaos and bureaucracy of scrutineering and sound tests.

Qualifying was fantasying. The car is running very well and some expert adjustment of the seat position has finally found a sweet spot that allows both Ian and Nik to drive well. Unfortunately neither Ian nor Nik have driven Donington for four years so with 12 minutes of qualifying each they have to relearn the track quickly. In the last lap of qualifying a respectable 10th position was secured on the grid.Twyford Moors Classic Cars XK150 S race car at Donington

A well prepared car with no niggles left Ian and Nik with only one thing to do... add weight to themselves. Apparently this helps with weight distribution. That age old motorsport hunt for a bacon sandwich ensued but proved fruitless (or should I say baconless). We are still unsure how you can go to a motor circuit and not find a bacon sandwich (pissups and breweries spring to mind) but somehow Ian and Nik managed it. Having contented themselves with chips and extremely suspicious looking macaroni cheese the car was perfectly balanced and ready for the off.

10th position on the grid was looking good. Our XK is impressively quick in a straight line so we had high hopes for climbing a few places by the first corner. As the flag dropped there was the usual cacophony of revving engines and squealing tyres, the smell of fuel and clutch and the sight of a grid full of fantastic race cars pulling away. All but one car that is; sadly the XK wasn’t in first gear, or any gear for that matter, so some catching up was in order.

Jaguar XK150 race car on the grass at DoningtonNik, now is about 20th position, set about trying to catch up with the main pack. An excellent few laps followed with Nik displaying great judgement, driving skill and nerve resulting in climbing back to 14th. Confidence growing and 12th place taken Nik pushed a bit too hard for 11th and took ‘Redgate’ too fast. This was followed by a series of crowd pleasing pirouettes on the grass. By driver change Nik had got back up to 12th position again.

Ian took to the wheel with warm tyres and brakes, and quickly set about trying to catch the leaders. After a few good laps Ian had piloted the Jag to 7th place. Unfortunately the safety car then had to come out due to a badly parked A40 in the middle of the track. Once the race recommenced there was little time to gain more positions and team Twyford finished in a respectable 7th.

Not a bad race all things considered; 1st in class, 7th overall and lap times that would have put us on the podium if not for some issues with consistency. Most of all we are thrilled to have finished with an undamaged car and were happy to have helped mow the lawn at ‘Redgate’. Finally we would like to tip our proverbial cap to Joao Mira Gomes who had driven his XK140 FHC all the way from the continent, raced it and then drove it back. This truly is in the spirit of classic motorsport and demonstrates how brilliant and reliable XK’s are, even in full racing trim.

Twyford Moors Classic Cars prepared race car

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