We had a very nice summer, and the best thing about it was that it lasted till last Tuesday. However, since then the weather has been really autumn like, cold and damp. Because the sun sets rather early this time of the year, the organisers of the autocross I attended yesterday at Malderen (VLG) had set the starting time of their meeting at 10.00 a.m. I was happy they did, for the weather forecast was bleak. Heavy rain was predicted for the early afternoon. However, when I arrived at 9.45 a.m., the weather was dull but dry. The rain from the early hours of morning had made the large and fast clay course very slippery, but it was well prepared and the racing in the 9 different classes was quite good, even though only two of them had more than 10 cars. The organisation was slick and by 1.00 p.m., they had finished the second of three planned heats. That was the time the heavens opened up and within minutes, the track and the paddock looked like a swamp. I was prepared because not only had I parked my car on asphalt a few hundred yards from the track, but I also left in a hurry once the first drops fell. I managed to reach my car before it really became stormy, but when I passed the track on the way back to the main road, I saw people running towards shelter and cars stuck in the parking lot's mud. It brought back memories of my first visit to Knockhill, when the weather was just as bad. I had parked my car on top of a sloping parking lot and before getting out I did a recce on foot and found a path where no other vehicle had driven. I got out without a problem, but those using the beaten path were less lucky and had to get out of their cars and push them out of the ankle deep mud.
On the motorway, conditions were appalling. The rain was so heavy one couldn't see further than about 50 yards, but still some people drove in the middle lane at only 45 MPH without their light on.
Last week, I found two additional Dutch autocrosses replacing others that were cancelled earlier this year. Therefore, weather permitting, I will have two more weekends in which I hope to add another track to my list.
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