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Mallory practice (18 March) and Race (9-10 April)

Mallory Practice:

So here we are in 2022 at the start of the season after a two-year break. In fact, it has been a three-year break for me and Phil, apart for one meeting, as we put all our resources into Bonneville in 2019 and didn’t do any circuit racing that year either.

So, for the first time in three years all three members of Team Wildcard gathered together in the paddock at Mallory Park on a dry Friday in March to test out our various bikes for the coming season. I had Phil’s 250 velo and also my newly built Triton racer, while Phil had the 350 velo and the 350 Triumph. Chris had both of his outfits, the Triumph and the BSA along with his new passenger.

The 250 velo was going OK until the gearbox gave up, splitting the cover in half and cracking the casing as well. Back in the trailer with the velo and on with the Triton. It took a bit of starting but got it running eventually but there was a whole list of things to sort out before it was fit for the track, so the Triton joined the velo in the trailer.

Phil had rebuilt the 350 velo engine over the winter after serious engine failure at Pembrey last year, which resulted in a destroyed set of crankcases. Both the velo and his 350 Triumph ran well so it was a successful practice for Phil.

Chris was delighted to have secured a new passenger, Angela Moat, for 2022 and was looking forward to the day’s practice. They both decided to take the first session steady until they got used to each other. Sidecar racing is true teamwork and you have to be super confident with each other before giving it full beans.

Unfortunately, even the best laid plans can go wrong!

Exiting the bus stop Chris’s outfit was hit from behind by an outfit in a faster class. Angela was thrown from the chair and ended up with a broken ankle. Chris was shaken by this, particularly as she was a new passenger! Anyway, that was the end of practice for Chris as well, so we packed up after an eventful day and headed home.

Mallory race weekend:

The first time I went circuit racing in 1999 it was at the Mallory park Easter meeting. I was ill prepared for the experience and spent two freezing nights in the van without enough clothes or bedding. Now, in 2022, I am much better prepared, with double duvets and woolly hats, as the meeting was just as cold, with temperatures falling to minus 2 degrees at night. We shook the frost from the bike covers in the morning and got the bikes ready for noise testing.

Chris came up to the meeting with us although he wasn’t racing, but he was on the lookout for a new passenger as Angela was still out of action but on the road to recovery. So, all the team were together again!

Unfortunately, my Triton was proving hard to start and still wasn’t running right. It also failed noise testing, so we never got it out on the track. I did get the 250 Velo out for a couple of races on the Saturday which was a lot of fun. Phil got out on the 350 Velo as well, although it ended up with a clutch problem. As usual, Phil’s little Triumph behaved impeccably and put in some good lap times.

Sunday started bright and cold but unfortunately we never got out to race as there was a serious accident early on and the meeting was cancelled. We headed for home early, our thoughts with those involved in the crash.

Since our return I haven’t had a chance to look at the Triton, so I have decided to take my vfr750 to Cadwell instead. I have stripped the Velo and checked it over so that will be going too. Phil will be back on the 350 Velo and the Triumph.

As we were leaving Mallory we stopped to say goodbye to a new friend Simon. His mate had turned up and when Chris mentioned that he was coming to Cadwell but couldn’t race the outfit due to a lack of passenger, he bravely volunteered! So, we will all be back at Cadwell for more whacky races.

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