12 September 2009

Merlot at Mallory

2009 was a special year for the MX-5 and the MX-5 Owners Club. They both had birthday, 20 and 15 years old respectively. The Owners Club big celebration of 2009 was a National Rally at Mallory Park circuit on Saturday 12 September.

A big highlight of the day was the track action organised by Mazda on Track and Project Merlot took part in the morning open pit lane session and the afternoon 20 sessions, but it nearly didn’t. Merlot regulars Robbie and Martin took the morning session and it was Robbie who brought the car in off the track at around midday as it wasn’t handling well and it was no surprise to Robbie to find that one of the front tyres was flat! Not since its first track session way back in October 2006 at Donnington Park had the Merlot ever suffered a problem on a track day. With an hour or more of the session to run, and more booked for the afternoon, the hunt was then on to find a way to carry on. The solution was simple! We were at an event with in excess of 1000 MX-5 parked up and that makes 4000 wheels available to borrow. So it was that Owners Club Eastern Region member Gary Smith, who was due to take the car out on track in the afternoon lent us a wheel and off we went again. Gary wanted his wheel back to drive home understandably so Dave Larkman was kind enough to lend us the spare from his drift MX-5, which was a bit better than having to creep home on a space saver tyre.

So all’s well that ends well. Mallory is a brilliant little circuit, the sun shone, the rally was a success and the Merlot lived to fight another day.

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