After the previous weeks warnings of disasterous weather conditions in North Yorkshire , it was a most pleasant suprise to find the Harewood course and grounds in superb condition when we arrived on the friday afternoon. Hot and muggy was the best description of the first day of competition with more than a few sunburnt drivers and helpers!
Saloon cars had a healthy field of 9 drivers. Simon Braithwaite set fastest time in his Escort which unfortunately then lunched its BDG motor on the second run leading to retirement. First on handicap was Mark Linforth in another Escort, from Simon , followed in third by Andy Clarke in his Mini.
Sports cars was rather thin on the ground with only 3 runners - reduced to 2 when Philip Stader's MGB V8 engine cried enough during the first timed run. Fastest was therefore John Newton in his Sprite, also the handicap winner from Steve Phennah in the MGB roadster.
Racing cars had a field of 8 cars with Nick Stephens being a non-starter (sold car!). Fastest was Andy Tippett in the V8 Brabham but he was run close by Grant Cratchley and Mike Bainbridge who unfortunately faded with engine issues after some impressive practice runs. First on handiap was Grant followed by Les Buck who is having a very good run this season. Third handicap was Mike Gale in his Lotus FF1600.
The hot conditions and long, hard course certainly seemed to claim more victims than normal.