After nearly 3 months of hot sunny weather, the 29th July was torrential rain. The only saving grace was, that the rain was set in and we didn’t have to make a decision about which tyres to use in the race or qualifying. With the race on a Sunday and a bike meeting on the Saturday there was no opportunity to test beforehand. Fortunately, I was invited to drive the Feathers Motorsport 1973 2.7RS at the circuit a few weeks earlier, so although I’d not raced at Donington since 2015, I had the chance to refamilurise myself with the track.
So qualifying started wet and didn’t get any drier, we ventured out on wet weather tyres and qualified 4th once you exclude the invitation cars.
On the last lap the car got stuck in 2nd gear exiting redgate corner. Unable to get it out of gear I headed for the grass to find somewhere suitable to park up. Once on the grass the car bounced around and it worked its way free, so I headed back to the pits to end my session.
We went over the outside of the gearbox and nothing looked out of place, so with the gearbox working again we decided to try to race and hope the problem wouldn’t reoccur.
On the warm up lap the same issue happened again so, again, I steered onto the grass to look for somehwere to park. This bounced it free again, so I tried all the gears and decided to take the start. By this time the entire field had gone by and I would have to start last, this was ok as I was worried about the gearbox and didn’t want to cause an accident. So with the gearbox working I made progress on the first lap, overtaking several cars before the old hairpin and another just after. By the end of the 2nd lap I was back up to where I started. I had planned to just stay in position and try to nurse the gearbox to the end, as I was in front of all my championship rivals. But after the pitstops I found myself in a close battle with James Guess in the Porsche 968 and Tim Bates in his rapid Porsche 911. By this stage on a drying circuit we all seemed to have overheated wet tyres and we were all moving around far more than we’d wanted. So the racing was very close but fair, with only a small amount of paint traded.
In the end we came out on top, and finished the race 2nd, behind a very rapid Porsche 964 RSR of Mark Williams, who won by nearly a minute.