“On our very last run of the season, I had an interesting ride! Usually, just as I cross the finish line, I reach up and pull the lever to deploy the twin parachutes and wait for the ‘hit’ of the chutes to scrub some speed off and then start to apply the brakes. This time nothing happened! When you are doing a little over 191 mph, you start thinking quickly, VERY quickly!
I realised that for some reason the chutes were not doing anything, so I started to use the brakes whilst trying not to burn them up, so I was feeding the pedal in, easing off and feeding it in again. It soon became apparent that I was fast running out of tarmac before the field starts at the end of the shutdown area at Santa Pod!
The safety marshals at the Pod (who do an awesome job) soon realised that I had a bit of a job to do as I was hurtling up the top end. I soon took a lot of speed off thanks to the four wheel disc brakes, and made the decision to not try and make the return road turn off! The car came to a stop about 15ft short of the field and literally seconds later the marshals came running over, fire extinguishers in hand. “Are you okay?” was the question, quickly followed by the comment “your brakes stink!”.
Well, yes I was okay, good experience actually, and yes the brakes did stink, with quite a bit of brake dust floating about in the car, no harm done. I was pushed back and on to the return road and inspected the chutes. They had opened on the run, but just kind of fell on the floor, and didn’t catch any air until too late, so didn’t make any effect. The reason appears to be the pilot chutes are a little bit “rough around the edges”, so they will be replaced over the winter period. A few other bits and pieces will be updated / changed over the winter including a brand new supercharger!!
Thanks to everyone, we are looking forward to next season…….”
Photos courtesy & copyright Phil Grayston