The start of any race season is always a challenging time, but this year has taken it to a whole new level. Thanks to the wet start to spring, round one was cancelled due to a flooded paddock. Going into this round, at Manby, tensions were running high.
The track build went exactly to plan. The team put in a fast-flowing circuit with wide corners to maximise racing and the early birds had started to arrive; energy in the paddock was building nicely. The dozer had just pulled off track after grading the track to near perfection and all that was left to do was to set up the banners and remaining flags. Unfortunately, the weather had other plans… Torrential rain poured down bringing buckets and buckets of hail and rain in waves that never seemed to end.
Initially the track held up but, in the end, it just couldn’t cope with the volume of water as the corner and straight began to flood. There was nothing we could do but just watch, hoping the flash would drain. When the rain finally stopped everyone worked hard to try and save the event. It was decided that leaving the circuit completely alone was the best thing that could be done initially so as not to dig big ruts.
The morning came and the staff and volunteers jumped to work digging ditches and drains to try and remove the last of the water, persevering until it became clear everything that could be done was. After testing the track with a few select side-by-sides, the decision was made to run a practice session of each class. It became very apparent that the side-by-sides were going to dig, the grip was non-existent and visibility was extremely poor. Saturday was then abandoned with the hope of some dry weather overnight.
Sunday arrived and the weather hadn’t been kind overnight with some gentle rain adding to our problems. The decision was a simple, the track just could not be raced safely. After calling off the race for the weekend it was import that the drivers got some seat time. To ensure everyone was safe the track was altered to suit the practise by using the sections that could be driven. The Youth and Adults ran alternate sessions for the remainder of the day.
Well done to all the drivers and thank you to everyone who helped salvage something of the day.
The Diamond in the Rough
Even after the disastrous weather, we still managed to raise some smiles with the brand-new Kids RZR 200 session. Five cars took to the miniature circuit to take on three 15-minute sessions – the perfect amount of time for the young drivers. This class really is the future and watching them race was an absolute pleasure. There are definitely big things to come from these little hot shots and everyone is excited to watch it develop.
Thank you to all the spectators and drivers who helped make the session possible and also to Poppin Candy for supplying the sugar fuel for the youngsters. it really did bring a fantastic energy to the paddock. Well done everyone!
For all the latest SXS Racing updates visit sxsracing.co.uk