After arriving at the venue and carrying out the usual pre-track ritual of emptying Project Merlot of what wasn't essential to driving, setting the damper settings to the preferred hardness (unlike the last event!), changing the road wheels and tyres for a set of Team Dynamics wheels & super sticky Toyo R888s and on this occasion also fitting a new set of EBC yellow stuff pads to the front axle, kindly supplied by MX5parts.co.uk.
After signing on an completing the sighting laps Project Merlot was allowed, for the third year, out on the familiar Blyton circuit. As usual, the car took all that was thrown at it in it's stride and behaved impeccably throughout the afternoon (apart from a on going knock from the front suspension that seemed to be getting worse as the afternoon progressed).
As a thank you to MX5parts.co.uk for their support over the last few years, the staff were treated to passenger rides in the car, most of them not having been on track in an MX-5 before, so seeing what the car can do under track conditions seemed to really impress, with some of them coming back for more on the following day (watch out for the MX5parts Motorsport range in amongst the usual shiny stuff that they offer).
The afternoon ended all too quickly though and after a couple of pints at the onsite bar the team retreated to their questionable lodgings for the night (see Arties Mill & Lodge on Trip Advisor, Martin felt the need to leave a review!). After a good night's sleep, breakfast (which once again wasn't smoked salmon and poached eggs) and questionable coffee, the quartet made their way back to the circuit ready for the second afternoon of driving, with a twist! After some investigation into the knocking noise from the front suspension the previous evening, the car was jacked up and some grease applied between the upper arm suspension bushes and their mountings, meaning the noise was gone. Next came the track. Having visited Blyton twice previously and driven the same circuit on both occasions, since last years visit, the owner had added an alternative track layout.