Bloke In A Capri – The
reading on this is a reader warning – Listeners
to Globecast Radio and the ALMS Radio Web may be subjected, possibly
more than once, to a blow by blow repeat performance of the race
have been alerted to warn the ALMS drivers at their Laguna
Seca briefing that John Hindhaugh is
likely to be offering
driving tips and ‘advice’ before the start of the forthcoming
final round of the ALMS.
and against my better judgement, here, in (rather a lot of)
his own words is the tale of John Hindhaugh,
Indy Circuit and a Ford Capri. GG
Top Of The Class
ALMS and Radio Le Mans frontman John Hindhaugh claimed his first
class victory in the Heritage Grand Touring Car Championship at
Brands Hatch over the weekend of September 24/25th. The ODL Securities/Quintus
Events Ford Capri was entered in Class D - for sports saloons of
the 1960s and 70s.
Apart from a brief brush at Paddock with multiple Touring Car Champ
Andy Rouse in the Camaro, for once qualifying was relatively unremarkable
with Hindhaugh clocking a creditable 1.00.7 for the Indy circuit.
With 32 cars entered on the 1.2 mile circuit the biggest problem
was traffic. "I haven't looked in my mirror as much since
I had 11 points on my road licence" said Hindy after the session.
race one saw a recurrence of the oil smoke problem that has
plagued the Capri since its return to racing after
a five year lay-off. After just 3 laps the car was brought
into the pits
to answer a black and orange flag, "I can't blame the
Hindhaugh, "it's not much oil but its getting onto the
manifold and creating a lot of smoke. It looks like a chase
scene from a
Bond movie out there!
With Hindhaugh on commentary duty for ITV Sport and Motors
TV it was left to the capable Kelsport team to get the car
the Sunday event. The problem was traced to simple overfilling
of the oil system so it was all systems go for race two.
The Capri got away well from the rolling start and made 3 or
4 places up into Paddock, up the hill to Druids and more
jockeying for position put the Capri around the outside of one
and even Mike Youles in the Lotus 26R was in the Ford's mirrors
(as opposed to the fluffy dice hanging from the mirror which
can just be spotted in the image below!).
Bottom Straight on lap 1 all hell broke loose as an ambitious
move by one of the Camaros pitched the hapless John Roades
in the Mini head-on into the tyres. As the Mini bounced
back onto the
track Hindy just squeezed through almost putting Youles
onto the grass. Although the safety car was deployed it was
the race could not continue.
Whilst on the grid for the red flag, the Capri started
dropping oil. Hindhaugh headed to the pits where long-suffering
Tony managed to trace the problem to a rocker box gasket.
After negotiation with the officials and some remedial
the stoppage, Hindhaugh rejoined from the pitlane as the
off on the green flag lap. One of the Astons had failed
to restart leaving a big gap in the grid. The pit exit
the field had gone through waved out Hindy - into 12th
restart saw the Capri move briefly into the top ten before
the bigger cars caught up and went through. "I
had a fantastic dice with the lightweight E-Type
and a couple of
the big American
cars. The Capri is great through the corners, especially
but they are so much quicker on the straights."
" I saw the class competition a couple of times in the mirror early
on and I was expecting the Minis and the other Class
D cars to catch me up but I managed to pull out a little. Once I passed half
distance I decided to just get the car home and get
a finish and a signature - also I was getting tired as the car has no power
The Capri was very popular with the crowd although
Hindhaugh admits that it was nearly too entertaining. " When
I saw the last lap board I thought I would hang it
out at Paddock
and got on the
power really early. As planned the back end came
around - very cool - except that it rather got away
exit and I
thought I was going to bin it. The rest of the lap
was much more sedate!"
Unknown to Hindy, the competition behind him was hitting
problems and by the chequered flag the ODL Securities/Quintus
Ford was 18th and the class winner.
" Brilliant effort by the whole team - now I need a drive in the
BritCar winter series... any takers?"