RAF snatch victory at Inter Services-Sports Car Championships!
Watching cars go round a track for six hours is not to everyone’s taste but the Birkett Relay is somewhat special; 70 cars on the grid in relay teams, all different classes of car and a special pit brotherhood exudes from the pits as this mixed bag of teams take to the track. It is the culmination of the sports car racing for the season and also acts as the Inter-Services Sports Car Championships – which the RAF have dominated in recent years but lady luck was not entirely going their way this year.
So, with warm, spring-like weather at Silverstone last Saturday, Team Forces was able to take 20 ‘petrolhead’ enthusiasts to support the racing and to be expertly looked after and hosted by the RAF motorsports association. What a great day! Two RAF Teams, one army, one Royal Navy and even a veterans team meant there was plenty of forces representation. However, 65 other teams did their best to thwart the service challenge. The racing was relentless and with a string of unfortunate mechanical failures things were looking decidedly uncertain for the men and women in pale blue as the race moved towards the closing stages. However, with a complicated handicap system to level up the varied grid (based on car type and previous placings/performance), it was nip-and-tuck right to the end. With 3 out of the 4 cars from the RAF’s top team suffering mechanical gremlins it meant they tumbled down the finish order, but this left the door open to the development team who put in a stellar performance that clinched the Inter-Services title with an overall finish in 8th, a 3rd in class and 40 seconds ahead of the Royal Navy after 6 hours racing. What a result!
With the pizza wagon keeping the teams and guests fed, the ability to support from the pit wall, grandstand, pit garages and even trying a hand on the RAF’s simulator, it was a grand day out – even if you don’t normally get enthused by watching cars go round a circuit for 6 hours! Thank you the RAF for making us all welcome, congratulations to all the teams for a well fought championships and well done to the RAF who again triumphed in the Inter-Service Championships and took the honours.
Thank you NP Aerospace, Carwood, Caterpillar, Splunk and Collins Aerospace for showing support and enjoying the fun.