FORMER Leicester team manager Glyn Taylor has been digging up Pirates’ track – and is hoping falling temperatures during the current freezing spell do not scupper his hard graft.
The 64-year-old Australian, who designed and built Somerset and Redcar’s circuits and is renowned as an expert in his field, spent more than a week working at Wimborne Road.
Among a string of changes, Taylor carried out extensive upheaval to bends one and two, moved the start line back six metres and added more camber to the corners.
The work was carried out following consultation with Chris Holder, and the Pirates star and his team-mates are due to test out the track with a behind-closed-doors practice session next month.
Discussing the tweaks, Taylor said: “Last year, the track was quite bumpy and we couldn’t find a reason for that, so we dug the top surface off and found the hardcore underneath had disintegrated. We dug about 60 tons of stone out of turns one and two and replaced it to about three metres out from the curb, then we put in new base material”
“Each time you put a new layer on, you roller it in and then compact it. We left it for a week and then on Wednesday last week, we put on 30 tons of material which we call base – a blended mixture of clay, shale and limestone – and graded it all up.” “Then, we pulled the old track surface over the top and did all the levels and everything was looking rosy. The big problem we have now is the weather, because it’s damp. Frost can get into the newly-laid shale and what happens then is it lifts and separates and then we are back to square one.We have left it to settle and we will see what the weather does.” Oldham-based Taylor represented a string of British clubs during his racing career including Sheffield, Bradford and Newcastle, while his father Chum rode for Poole in 1964.
Explaining the decision to shift back the start line, Taylor added: “The riders always use two metres of track from the fence at the end of the straight and where they are turning into the corner is where they want the starts ripping up to get more grip from the starts.”
“The two do not go hand in hand. I spoke to Chris and told him my suggestion and he thought it was a great idea, so we moved it back six metres.”
Pirates boss Matt Ford said: “Glyn has done a great job and I’m excited, as I’m sure the fans are, to see the difference.
“Glyn would like to be involved more full-time with the club but at the moment I can’t say if that’s going to happen.
“I’d like to thank David Wilkes of MB Wilkes, who are associated with the club this season, as they helped us with plant hire and materials.”