Tuesday, 28 August 2012

BRC British Rallycross Championship, Lydden Hill

Having enjoyed a great day out at Brands Hatch in July, I was keen to try a different type of motor sport and teamed up with Ian to hit Lydden Hill circuit on Sunday last.

Final checks before entering the lions' den
We arrived soon after 10am and walked around the circuit to ascertain some potential vantage points. Unlike larger circuits, there are very few places at Lydden where your view of the track is obscured by security fencing. We opted on an anti-clockwise sweep round the circuit during the day, keeping the sun roughly at our backs.

The day got of to a slow start with regard to action. First out was a set of three 'drifters'; not really a motor sport - just a demo of how to burn through a set of tyres in 3 laps!

There are a number of different classes, from little Suzuki Swifts for the juniors up to hard-core ones that can out accelerate an F1 car from 0-60mph. I was particularly taken by the RX150 class, a kind of dune buggy, these were great fun to watch.

An RX150 fighting oversteer

The start line is controlled by a set of lights, with an IR beam to check for false starts - of which there were many - and to our amusement, no disqualifications appeared to be dished out. After a while this became rather tedious as the cars would do a full lap before lining up again. DQ them I say - if Usain Bolt has to deal with it then why not Rally Cross!

Starter waiting for the cars to pull up on the grid
Ready, steady, go!
Rally cross is contested on a circuit that is part tarmac and part dirt/gravel - or in periods of dry weather, dust. Despite numerous heavy watering sessions, the sun and wind quickly dried out the exposed parts.

Most of the images I took were panning of the cars on the off-road sections.

Jos Jansen kicking up a plume of dust
Pat Doran
Despite all the bright paint jobs I thought I'd try some monochrome processing.

Julian Godfrey - monochrome
Volksport Beetle of James Harold
The above Beetle was not a serious contender in the races but was probably the smartest car there. Ian managed to capture it with flames coming out of the exhaust.

I shall make a point of going back next season and checking out the action from other parts of the circuit.

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