Archive for the ‘On Track’ Category

Boys On Tour

Marcus and I at the 2016 Goodwood Revival. Don’t we look smart.

Another Vintage Year


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Nurburgring revisited for Marcus’s 40th

Marcus decided as part of his 40th birthday celebrations that he wanted to return to the Green Hell in the Eifel Forest, but this time with a car which he did not care about, so the search started! A 10 year old Mitshubishi FTO was identified which we bought from an unsuspecting chap in Kent for £400. Next it was stripped to save weight (but Trevor then added this back by custom making a roll cage from scaffolding). A quick trip online bought new brake discs, Yellow Stuff track pads, braided cables, springs and a servicing kit – we proudly did all the work ourselves. Nick gave the wheels a quick paint job, and a few well considered vinyl decals later SHiH-TZU was born.

A date was chosen, Eurotunnel was booked, SHiH-TZU was loaded onto Marcus’s trailer and off we went one Saturday morning having only test driven the car around Trev’s garage forecourt – this was to prove to be a fatal error! Eight hours later we arrived, unloaded and took the ‘beasty’ for a quick drive only to find out that our race car juddered violently at 60mph plus… oops. A quick trip to a friendly garage on the Sunday uncovered a wheel balancing issue which was quickly fixed, but the juddering was still there, just less so (it proved to be a bearing gone in the diff)! So we just took her to the track and drove, the three of us had a fantastic day. It only ended late afternoon after the alternator belt fell off following a violent trip across the curbs and the battery lost charge, at which point we abandoned SHiH-TZU in a Lidl car park by the off at Adenau and went to the Pistenklause.

As ever the Ring took its fair share of casualties on the day, its still dangerous, and still shows no mercy if you go off line. Just ask Nick that question…

Cadwell Park

The clock is counting down to the first trackday of the year at Cadwell Park for SPR, just a week to go until the 7th July when a black ribbon of hell beckons!

Donington Park Race Circuit

Another warm and sunny day greeted us for our first trip to Donington Park. No drama’s, just lots of lovely grip on a very fast and flowing circuit. SPR had been fitted with new Pagid RS-14 brake pads all round to cope with the recent power upgrade (following the demolition of our Mintex ones at Bedford last month), these worked a treat with no brake fade throughout the day.

192 Miles Around Bedford Autodrome

Saturday 30th July saw a 192 mile shakedown of the Minister Power engine upgrade on the airfield circuit at Bedford Autodrome. The first pitstop of the trip however was on a slip road just off of the M25 on the way to the circuit to re-seat the detachable steering wheel which had started to wobble alarmingly. The day on-track also started with a surprise as SPR just sneaked under the static noise test level of 101db by a mere 0.5db – surprising because the upgrade didn’t sound that much louder than the car that has previously sailed under a 98db limit and worrying given Bedford’s one-strike-and-you’re-out rule with the council imposed 87db drive by limit.

The ‘opposition’ on the day was a diverse collection of metal covering a Peugeot 205, a Saab saloon(!), other Lotuses, BMWs, Porsches, TVRs, an 8 litre Corvette, Radical SR3, the obligatory Nissan GTR and what seemed like every Aerial Atom ever sold in the UK. A couple of sighting laps then saw us set about seeing just how much quicker the enhancements have made the car and I’m happy to report we were able to mix it with everything upto and including the Porsche 911s – a pleasant surprise after the mugging we took at Spa. The morning session was ended by a plume of smoke from the far side of the track as the hot exhaust on a Honda S2000 that had left the road set fire to the patch of grass it had come to rest on.

At lunchtime we met the extended family of the ‘next Lewis Hamilton’ (who’d been in the 205) and then the sun came out for the afternoon session and the track got hotter and hotter, so we dropped the tyre pressures and went faster and faster. Checks later in the afternoon showed SPR running at less than 80db past the drive-by noise monitors so we can only assume the static test in the morning had been faulty, and the chequered flag finally fell at 5pm after 192 rapid miles.

Next up is Donington Park in September after a trip to Back On Track to see whether we have any brake pads left!

SPR battle scarred from Spa

Pocket Rocket mk2 – meet FPO

Finally a couple of shots of the new run around:

Now thats a picture! (Spa 2011)

Spa Francorchamps

So SPR took to the track at Spa on Monday 23rd May 2011. A day both Brian and I will not forget in a hurry. There is only one word for it: AWESOME! Flying through Eau Rouge at 100mph+ time and time again will live forever in ones mind. The whole four mile circuit is superb as it weaves up and down through a natural bowl in the forest.

The day was blessed with clear blue skies, a warm sun, and track temperatures which just climbed and climbed, this meant on went the slicks. They quickly got all lovely and sticky giving huge grip and covering SPR in rubber marks as the tyres marbled in protest to being pounded around the track for hour after hour. In fact we had 8hrs of open pit to play with.

Below is a small gallery of images which sum the day up:

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