Saturday 6 May 2023

Sprint - The Big Smoothie

Car clubs often don’t get the recognition they truly deserve. Their activities and efforts taken for granted. Folk may remember to thank Marshals, Officials and event Organisers but all these individuals are just part of a bigger team. Without a strong motor sporting club behind them these individuals would not be able to function quite so professionally without the collective support of the wider team to which they belong.

The badge holders are easy to spot at rallies and speed events around the country with their tabards and lanyards, but they are just the visible part of the effort. Behind the scenes of every successful car club are the folk who put in the hours maintaining and repairing equipment, providing the office based on-line and paperwork support and in the case of East Ayrshire Car Club, the work parties who go out of an evening or weekend to maintain the Sprint Track at Kames. All of course, willing volunteers and unpaid!

This weekend’s two day Iain Pinkerton Memorial Sprint was the second speed event of the new season. And yet just two weeks ago there may well have been some doubters who thought it might not happen.

That’s because the contractors were in. Inside one day, the top 40mm of the 800 metre Motorsport UK licenced track was stripped off and carted away while during the following day and a half the brand new 40mm top layer was laid. Tillicoultry Quarries supplied what they called their ‘motorsport mix’ and Ayrshire based Hamilton Tarmac stripped the old and laid the new. Over 3,000 sq mtrs of material was first shifted before the new stuff could be applied, and all inside two days and a half.

Which prompts the question, how come council roads departments take weeks to repair and/or re-surface a similar sized job? Maybe they just need a ‘Gemmell’ for Operations Manager!!

After that, it was the club volunteers who moved in and tided the place up ready for the weekend’s action.

According to Ian Gemmell, it could take up to six months for the new surface to ‘properly bed in’ and yet there was grip to be had first time out. Mind you, Ian reckoned it could have been a different story had it rained with folk skiting off the slippery track. Fortunately, it didn’t.

Competitors were full of praise for the new surface which is as smooth as a Botox filled celebrity complexion but perhaps not fully aware of the effort behind the scenes. Not to mention the constant club fund raising efforts and grant-seeking applications that are an ongoing part of the whole Kames motorsport complex maintenance budget.

Marvellous, simply marvellous effort.

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