Rain’s a pain when Andy’s in a Rush

Published on: 30 Jun 2014

andy laurence CrystalPalace2

It’s been a busy month for Downend racing driver, Andy Laurence.  Four competitions in just three weeks started at the historic Crystal Palace venue, featured in the hit film Rush.  Andy is the current class record holder at the venue and was keen to build on that by beating his record and adding two more wins to his tally in the two-day event.

Sunday resulted in a class win, although no new record, but the Bank Holiday Monday was a new challenge.  Rain fell for the first time at this event, making the already slippery surface treacherous.  Andy struggled on his old wet tyres, but was looking strong after practice and an overall win was on the cards.  Andy was unfortunate to have the worst of the weather in the afternoon, but managed to set a time good enough for a class win.  On the final run, Andy pushed as hard as he could, but locked a wheel going into the third corner, Big Tree Hairpin.  With no run-off, there was no room for error and Andy clattered into the barriers, destroying the front bodywork.

Two weeks of hard graft later, Andy was back on track at Abingdon Airfield for the Abingdon CAR-nival Sprint.  The weather brought thunder storms and the event was delayed for 45 minutes as rivers flowed down the main straight.  By the afternoon, the track was dry and glorious sunshine led to soaring temperatures.  Andy pushed as hard as he could and secured a dominant class win by over two seconds.  The icing on the cake was collecting the award from 1981 British Grand Prix winner, John Watson.

Just 7 days later, Andy found himself at Prescott Hillclimb in Cheltenham for his first ever hillclimb.  The competition was fierce with Luke Trotman from Chipping Sodbury in his Mallock always on similar pace and Matt Carter in his Radical, who is the only person Andy’s never beaten and who had competed at Prescott before.  The day did not start well, ending first practice in the gravel trap.  Andy was struggling to improve his time and trailed Luke Trotman by a massive 0.9 seconds going into the final run.  A last minute tweak to the setup resulted in a time 1.1 seconds faster, which was enough to take the 2nd place trophy behind Matt Carter.

Andy now has a month off but will be competing at Castle Combe Circuit on 26th July for the Dick Mayo Sprint hosted by Bristol Motor Club.  If you want to get close to the action, you can volunteer to marshal and get a free lunch.  It costs nothing and requires no experience.  Search for Bristol Motor Club on Facebook or your favourite search engine or follow @BristolMC on Twitter to find out.

Andy’s car will be on display at the South Gloucester Show in Westerleigh on the first weekend of August on the Bristol Motor Club stand.

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