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Reports & in-car race footage of our 2008 race season in MR2 number 17

MR2 Racing  2008 Results

Race Date Race Track Races Entered Qualified Race Result 

(1) MR2 Racing  (2) Toyota Production class

April 27th Silverstone MR2 Racing 16th & 18th (1) 14th & 15th (1)
May 26th Mallory Park MR2 Racing 12th & 12th(1) 11th & 13th (1)
June 8th Rockingham DNE DNE DNE
June 27th & 28th Pembrey Nippon Challenge 3rd,3rd & 3rd (2) 1st, 3rd & 3rd (2)
August 25th Mallory Park MR2 Racing & Nippon Challenge 3rd,3rd(2) 5th & 6th (1) 1st, 3rd (2). 3rd & 5th (1)
September 6th & 7th Cadwell Park MR2 Racing & Nippon Challenge 3rd, 3rd 6th & 7th(2) 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 4th (2)
October 18 & 19th Snetterton MR2 Racing & Nippon Challenge 2nd,2nd,2nd & 2nd (2) 1st,1st (2)  2nd & 2nd (1)
November 8th Brands Hatch MR2 Racing 16th & 9th (1)  9th & 6th (1)

2008 Summary

I am very pleased to report that I was awarded not only 2nd Place overall in the 2008 series, but also the winner of Best Newcomer by Lanboss Software the Series Sponsor.

Having never raced before 2008, my only previous track experience was 6 track days in 2007 driving a Sylva Phoenix kit car.

I didn't even plan to race in 2008, it was going to be a learning year, buy or build a Mk1 MR2 and then do track days to improve my track skills. As things progressed at a rapid rate, I found a suitable race ready Mk1, took my ARDS test and was registered to race before the 2008 season started.

Knowing that the grid was a mix of experience, there were novice drivers like myself, there were some drivers who had come up through Karting, drivers from other race series and of course drivers with experience in MR2's.

Though not a very competitive attitude, I set myself a target for 2008 that every race I entered I would finish in the same position as I started, if I gained positions it would be a bonus.

With the exception of nursing a damaged car following an incident at Mallory in May I have achieved my target, and some...

I missed the race at Rockingham as we were re-shelling #17 following the aforementioned accident, Pembrey being it's first outing and also my first experience of racing in a mixed grid with more powerful cars (Nippon Challenge).

Pembrey and for the rest of the season I have settled into the car, begun to discover it's limits, unfortunately sometimes I have exceed the cars & my own limits.

I have had some fantastic races and no matter where you are in the pack, in reality you are only racing 2 other cars, the car in front and the car behind, if your fortunate enough to be at the front, it's 1 less car to consider.

Fortunately I have also had reliability on my side and have suffered no DNF's all season.

Brands Hatch was not only the last race of 2008 for me, but the first proper wet race against a grid of Mk1's, an experience for sure..

The turning point for me in 2008 was Mallory in May, it was when other drivers stepped up and helped me get the car repaired and back on track, it forged great friendships and the Paddock experience is now as important as the racing. I'm pleased to have been able to return the favour to some of the drivers who have needed assistance

My target for 2009 is simple, an overall win.

 

Brands Hatch 8th November 2008

We arrived at Brands Hatch on Friday afternoon, we were soon set up and settled in for the evening.

Saturday morning and it had been raining through the night with a very wet track and lots of spray we set out for qualifying, early on 2 MR2’s were involved in an accident and both drivers taken to hospital, thankfully injuries are not as serious as first thought.

I struggled to get hooked up when we went back out for a shortened qualifying, at the end of the period I had only managed to qualify 16th, my worse qualifying since my first ever race back in April !

Race 1

MR2 Racing

I lined up behind Nick Reed #91, as the red lights went out I got a good start and passed between Nick #91 and Roger Pullan #13

Up to Druids I was behind Ross Stoner #22 & Paul Barker #16.

I had good drive out of Graham Hill bend and moved ahead of Ross #22.

A couple of laps later I had the run on Paul #16 out of Druids, I pulled away a little, approaching Paddock Hill bend I was gaining on Aaron who was apparently slowing, as we went round Druids I drew up alongside just as his engine let go in spectacular fashion with flames shooting out the back of his MR2.

Next time round to Druids double waved yellows were out as the Marshalls were recovering Nick #91 from the gravel trap.

Out of Druids to Graham Hill there appeared to be oil or fuel on the racing line so I played safe and stayed off line for the remainder of the race, the following lap Daniel Woolfe #78 had gone off at Paddock Hill and was being moved to safety.

As I exited Graham Hill I got a bit crossed up, next thing Ross #22 is gaining on me, into Surtees he was all over the back of me.

I managed to keep Ross behind me for a few more laps with him passing me into Druids only a few laps from the end.

Despite my poor qualifying performance I managed to finish 9th

Race 1 in car footage

If you can only see a white box you may need to update your Adobe Flash Player

Race 2

MR2 Racing

Usually 2nd race grid position is dictated by your second slowest qualifying lap, on this occasion it was your finishing place from the first race, I was happy with that after my dismal qualy.

Lining up with Sarah 23# alongside, Rob Jefferies #35 ahead of me.

As the lights went out I got a good start and moved to pass Rob #35 as he starts to close the door, I got through and also passed Ross #22.

Sarah #23 also had a good start and as we went into Paddock Hill she moved in front of me as Ross #22 tucks in behind me, the approach to Druids I drew up alongside Sarah #23 and having the corner pulled ahead, as we headed out of Druids I saw Sarah had been spun.

I was now sitting behind Jason Jesse #37, a lap later Ross had a great run out of Graham Hill and passed me just before Surtees, coming out of McLaren I slid wide and Jonny White #61 moved up on the inside, we ran side by side along the S/F straight but Jonny having the corner I backed off.

As we came round Paddock Hill bend Jason was Barrel Rolling across the gravel after running wide. Thankfully he was fine and quickly vacated the car and retreated to the other side of the tyre wall.

Over the next few laps Ross #22 & Jonny #61 pulled away from me I was left with a quiet race on my own, with no threats immediately behind me I eased off and cruised round for the rest of the race.

Finishing 6th I was happy given it was my first wet race with MR2 Racing.

  Race 2 in car footage

 

 

 

 

Snetterton October 18th & 19th 

Having never driven Snetterton before, I decided to do the Nippon Challenge races on the Saturday to give me some extra track time, this meant ideally arriving on the Friday, Jayne had to work so the plan was I would leave Stockport on the Friday morning and Jayne would follow down after work, the trip was uneventful and I arrived at 15:30 

Saturday morning I missed the first driver briefing, so attending the second briefing was going to cut it fine for Sign On and Scrutineering.

After Scrutineering Jeff McCall (#20) came back with a couple of issues to be resolved, Rob, Jeff and myself jumped in and he was soon okay to go.

Having not driven Snetterton before I chose to follow Rob around for a few laps and qualified alongside him on the grid, both of us doing a 1:31

Nippon Challenge Race 1

A slow starting MX5 in front of Rob gave me a leap on him, by the time we hit the Bomb Hole I was bringing up the rear of a train of 10 MX5’s.

Over the next few laps Rob seemed to be slipping further back into the distance. I managed to stay with some of the MX5’s and even managed to pass a couple, more positions were gained as other drivers fell off.  

Nippon Challenge Race1 in car footage

 

  

At the end of the race we entered Parc Ferme and I noticed Rob was missing, I spoke to Jeff McCall who had limped round the later part of the race stuck in 3rd gear.

Back in the paddock Rob had to DNF as he had a plug lead make a bid for freedom, I had a spare set so that was easily rectified.

Both Rob & myself carry spare gearboxes so we could fix Jeff’s car though he would not be done for Saturday race 2, but he would be out Sunday with the MR2’s.

As Rob & myself got stuck into the gearbox swap some of the Mk1 MR2 club members arrived and lent support to the job.

DSCF8132 

Nippon Challenge Race 2

For the second race I was lined up on the inside line, the slow starting MX5 from the first race was directly ahead, as the lights went out I made a great start and got ahead before they shut the door, having the inside line into turn 1 enabled me to claim a few more places.

For most of the race I was mixing it with the MX5’s, I found chasing the faster MX5’s led me to push more and had a great time racing against them.

On the last lap I saw Rob’s MR2 on the grass just out of turn 1, as I passed I saw what I thought was steam coming from the engine cover.

Nippon Challenge Race 2 footage

   

Back in the paddock the full extent of the damage was unraveling, what I took for steam was the Marshall’s Fire Extinguisher powder!

We think the Head Gasket failed, possibly pressurising an oil way and forcing oil out that then caught fire, we also discovered coolant across the front of the car, caused by a holed radiator.

With the Spark Plugs out oil was visible in the cylinders.

One of the MR2 club members (Phil) present mentioned that he had an engine and only lived 15 mins away.

After a quick time calculation we figured we could finish Jeff’s gearbox and still get Robs engine swapped for Sunday.

Jeff & Phil went off in Jeff’s Frontera to get the engine and a crane while Rob, “Jinxy” (from the MK1 club) and myself jumped back onto Jeff’s #20 gearbox.

Once Jeff’s was finished and loosing light Rob asked Jonathan Blake (MX5 #99) if we could use their facilities which they kindly agreed to once they had finished some repairs to the MX5’s. While we cleared up we eyed up the vacant pit garages, Rob went on a recce and found a garage that we could use. At 18:30 we pushed the MR2 down to the garage and got stuck in, the replacement engine was complete with loom so we decided to leave it in place.

 DSCF8157

Apart from Phil from the Mk1 club, Jeff, Rob & myself beavering away, we had regular stream of visitors to the garage, curious of our night time venture, we had regular supply of coffee and even catered for by the father of one of the drivers from the Future Classics series who brought us some Lamb Curry, later coming back and assisting in the final assembly.

Mo Stoner came down and lent a hand (and came back again later when we were head scratching).

The install was quite straightforward, the challenge arose when the engine would start then die after a few seconds, after various ECU & relay swapping, we accepted the fact we would have to change the inlet manifold & loom back to Rob’s original.

Jason Jesse arrived dressed to impress and lent support, while Cheryl went to Robs Motorhome to help Mel & Jayne dispose of some alchohol.

Roger Pullan was on the other end of the phone taking requests for parts such as an Exhaust manifold that was discovered to be cracked.

We finally had a running car by 03:00 Sunday morning !

Just some finishing touches by Rob Sunday morning and he was able to go racing. 

 

MR2 Racing Qualifying

We went out to qualify at the same time as the MX5’s, as the MX5’s took off I had clear track ahead of me and settled down for some laps, my in car lap timer usually differs from the official timing so I took little notice when I was (apparently) stringing low 1:29 & high 1:28’s. Hooking up with Carl Powell in MX5 #9 gave me something to chase, it seems to work as it put me 2nd on the (split) grid alongside David Thomas who had put in a blistering 1:28 in his #60 MR2.

 

MR2 Racing 

Race 1

Having the MX5’s released 20 seconds before the MR2’s meant some clear track ahead.

I had a great start and managed to get ahead of David #60 and close the door on him coming through, though by the time we were at The Esses David had come through to take first, the fight for 3rd looked to have been taken by Jason Jesse (#37) who started from 6th.

As David #60 pulled away over the next few laps, the gap between Jason #37 and myself grew.

Within a few laps we had begun to catch the MX5 back markers. Full credit to them as despite they were fighting for overall position against the MR2’s, they moved off line and allowed us through without too much trouble.

At around half distance David had a good 4+ seconds on me, 3rd place had changed to Adam Lockwood #51 and looked to be around 3+ seconds behind.

I was happy with my pace and providing I could keep Adam #51 at some distance the potential 2nd place would be safe.

I crossed the line 2nd around 5 seconds behind David #60 with Adam #51 around 3 seconds behind to take 3rd.

    

 MR2 Racing

Race 2

Not quite as good a start this time with David #60 keeping his 1st place into Riches, a good run out of Sear had me alongside David with Jason #37 hustling for a move. Into The Esses I had the line and took 1st from David, as we headed out of Corram towards Russell, David lined me up for a dive, I went defensive and we entered the chicane side by side, I had the line out, just back on the power and the Red flags are out.

A coming together of Shane Wright #42 (in Karen Phillips old car) and Jeff McCall (#20) led to Jeff’s initiation with a tyre wall, fortunately Jeff was okay and sustained minor panel damage.

 

Restart

A much better start this time, was enough ahead of David #60 to close the door on him, into Riches I got a bit crossed up, but kept it ahead. I managed to keep ahead of David for a couple of laps, into Riches he had the inside line braked late & made a clean pass. Knowing that David would soon have a gap over me with clear track ahead of him, my new challenge was keeping the hard charging Adam #51 at bay.

As we caught the back marker MX5’s they didn’t make life too difficult letting us through, though they were giving up overall places, Thanks guys.

A messy exit out of Sear saw Adam #51 draw up alongside me, MX5 #77 (Kevin Middleton) used the MX5’s superior straight-line speed to pull back the position I had just taken from him along the S/F straight. Late breaking into The Esses had us both side by side, though I had the line for the exit, Adam #51 too got past Kevin, something I was hoping to avoid.

With Adam still breathing down my neck, I was hoping the Chequered flag was out as we came down the S/F line, unfortunately there was still at least one lap to go.

I managed to keep Adam behind me for the lap, though he had a good exit out of Russell and closed the gap further.

David crossed the line 1st, I came in 2nd just over 4 seconds later, with Adam coming in 3rd only 0.2 seconds behind me.

   

Cadwell Park September 6th & 7th

Having never driven Cadwell before, I decided to drive in the Nippon Challenge races on the Saturday prior to the MR2 races on the Sunday.

Arriving at a very wet Cadwell on the Friday night, we located Jason Jesse #37 & Cheryl in the paddock and parking up nearby, Rob Jefferies #35 & Mel arrived shortly after.

Forecast for the weekend was wet, having never raced in the wet before Cadwell was not really the track I wanted to be my wet debut.

 

Cadwell is a very challenging circuit, narrow, unsighted bends, elevation changes. It can be dry at one part and standing water on another. Qualifying then was finding my way round, keeping a couple of the other MR2’s in sight did assist in lines to take, helped by the fact qualifying was dry.

My target for the Nippon Races was to learn the track and stay on the black stuff.

I qualified at the back of the MR2’s as I expected.

Nippon Challenge race 1 & 2

The first Nippon race I made a good start and passed a slow starting Integra and 350Z.

The 350Z was to take his place back on the straight, I kept the MR2’s in sight but was unable to close the gap on them.

The second Nippon race was wet, very wet with spray and standing water.

I was happy just to push a little more on each lap and made sure I finished.

Overall in the Nippon races I finished 3rd & 4th in class.

Saturday night Jason, Cheryl, Rob & Mel came over to join Jayne & myself we had a few drinks and a BBQ, John Tyres stopped by to say hello and pick up a spare ticket.  

Having signed on and attended scrutineering on the Saturday we had a calmer Sunday morning, the track appeared a little damp but the cloud cover was thin and looked like it may remain dry.

Due to the limited number of Mk1’s entered we were sharing the grid with the Ma5da MX5 guys.

During qualifying having MR2’s to mark around the track I found some new pace and was considerably quicker than Saturday.

This was enough to get me a 1:57.8 on lap 5 and put me 7th of the MR2’s.

MR2 Racing race 1

By the time of our first race the track was dry.

Unfortunately Alex Gassman #48 had sustained terminal engine damage in Qualifying and was unable to start.

Ross Stoner was an early retirement after a coming together with an MX5.

I got a good run out of the Barn onto the S/F straight to pass Jason #35, I was then gaining on Adam Lockwood #51 with an MX5 between us, as we came around Charlies onto Park Straight we saw Sarah Wherry #23 have an off, Rob #35 taking avoiding action ended up having a 1 to 1 with the tyre barrier as Sarah hit the tyre barrier in front of the marshals post.

As the green flag came out Jason #37 had a good run and passed Adam & myself, I passed Adam soon after.

Chasing Jason as we came around Mansfield, steam shot out of his engine cover and I took the pass. Due to the #23 & #35 accident locations the race was cut short at 6 laps.

Finishing 2nd in class, the track time the previous day had paid dividends.  

Race 1 part 1 & 2

   

 

Fortunately our next race was due to be the last of the day as there was lots to do helping Rob #35 with his panel damage and Jason #37 with his coolant loss problem.

Jayne & Mel had laid on lunch and set the TV up in the awning so we could watch most of the F1 race at Spa especially the final few laps.

MR2 Racing race 2

The MR2 second race was in doubt as delays during the day meant races were running late. Assurances from Steve Vince that we would race put smiles on faces.

I got a reasonable start and settled in behind Sarah #23 who was suffering some bodywork to tyre rubbing.

By the second lap Jason #37 retired with possible Head Gasket problems.

Coming into Hall Bends, Aaron #26 made his way through and passed Sarah in the same place the next lap.

Getting a good run on Sarah out of Charlies, I passed on the Park Straight.

I was soon on the back of Aaron who’s not easy to pass, I had a look down the S/F straight, but was blocked before we got to Coppice.

Carrying more speed through Coppice into Charlies got me a good run and I lined myself up for a pass, Aaron gave me an MR2’s width along Park Straight and I took back my place.

I was now gaining on Rob #35, but running out of laps I had to settle with finishing 4th.  

Race 2 part 1 & 2

     

 

Mallory Park August 25th 

Entered MR2 racing & Nippon Challenge


Nippon had the first qualifying session, it was rather challenging stringing a flying lap together as there were lots of traffic and watching for faster cars lapping was distracting.
My only benchmark for laptimes was breaking into the 59 seconds from last time I raced at Mallory, the same outing that saw the demise of old #17.
I managed 3 laps in the 59’s.
A 59.897 was enough to put me on row 12, more importantly it was 3rd in class F (Toyota production)
End of qualifying and back in the paddock, there was just enough time to refuel me & the car before we were called for the qualifying for the MR2’s.

MR2 qualifying got underway, the field soon spread out, I found that getting a couple of good laps was difficult due to traffic, a couple of times I dropped back off line to try and find some space.
On my 18th lap I managed a 59.158, enough to put me 6th on the grid, my best qualifying to date.

Race 1 Nippon Challenge
I made a good start, suddenly smoke & brake lights presented themselves in front of me, it seems Andy McLennan in his very Suzuki Swift (#97) had snapped a driveshaft and been walloped by Jim Bridge in his 350Z (#30).
As I manouvered round debris Liam O’Toole (MR2 Mk1 #4) cut a swathe through. David Thomas (Mk1 MR2 #60) took the lead of the MR2’s, Liam #2 close behind, Rob Jefferies #35 and then myself in #17.
Soon Liam was leading the MR2’s followed by David, then Rob & myself.
Rob harking back to his rallying days seemed to like the line through the grass at the chicane.
Within a few laps Rob #35 was past David #60, not an easy feat as he is very good at making his MK1 very wide !
My pass of #60 started at the hairpin, the two of us ran through Devils Elbow side by side and down the S/F straight, having the inside line through Gerards gave me the advantage and #60 dropped in behind me. By now Rob #35 had pulled ahead, with a bit of clear track ahead of me I drove the wheels off #17 and caught up with Rob, I wasn’t going to pull any stupid moves and settled for a 3rd in class coming across the line 0.5 seconds behind Rob.
I was happy with 3rd in class and even more happy with my first ever fastest lap (in Class F) with a 59.146.

Race 1 part 1 & 2

   



Race 2 MR2 Racing
I made a reasonable start and did not loose any places from my 6th place on the grid, I went round Gerards on outside of Liam #4, with Jason #37 breathing down my neck, along Stebbe Jason came alongside and I had to enter the chicane with Jason alongside, 2 into 1 does not go and I took the escape route across the grass, as did Ross Stoner #22 ahead of me in 2nd place.
The detour cost me 2 places with Jason #37 and Paul Barker #16 getting through.
Lap 6 saw contact between Rob #35 and Ross #22, forcing Ross to retire and Rob damaged but able to continue, Paul #16 had now moved ahead of David #60, I had a good run out of Gerards and was able to pull alongside #60 and gave me the better line into the chicane.
My next move did not come until a few laps later when I got a good run out of the hairpin and went through Devils Elbow alongside Paul #16, the run along the S/F straight was so close between Paul & myself I managed to adjust his door mirror with my mirror, without damage or paint swopping. Jason #37 was my next target and my opportunity came after getting a very good run out of Gerards which gave me the line into the chicane, this had me into 3rd place.
By now I’m looking at my trip meter and wondering if the race would ever end !.
Jason was all over me wanting his 3rd place back and we were gaining on Liam, over the next couple of laps the gap on Liam was closed. Adam Lockwood #51 crossed the line 1st , Liam crossed the line 2nd and I followed 0.234 seconds behind in 3rd.
My highest ever finish in the MR2 racing series and I took fastest lap too with a 58.608.

Race 2 part 1 & 2

   



Race 6 Nippon Challenge
The start of the second Nippon race was not without it’s challenges again with a stranded car seeing other drivers darting left & right.
Of the MR2’s Rob #35 led, followed by David #60, myself #17, Liam #4 was a couple of places back behind a couple of MX5’s.
As the faster MX5’s worked their way through the MR2’s Liam was soon behind me.
A few laps later Liam made a great move on me at the hairpin, passing me and the MX5 I was trying to pass, as we left the hairpin I stayed alongside the MX5 and kept my foot in down to Gerards as I had the better line.
Once passed the MX5, Rob #35 & David #60 were around 4 seconds ahead of Liam.
We slowly closed the gap and Liam made a clean pass on Rob coming out of the hairpin, my pass on Rob came a couple of laps later as he went wide through Gerards, a short way ahead Liam was making a move on David.
Seeing myself with another 3rd in class I was happy to keep Rob at bay.
A good run out of the hairpin a few laps later had me making a move on David #60.
1 lap before the end of the race and I found myself in a position to give Liam a run down the S/F straight, the move stuck and suddenly I found myself leading the MR2’s, Liam was not giving up that easy and I could see the white of his eyes in my mirror, approaching the hairpin I saw him dart left, but I had a good exit and he fell back in behind me, as we came round Devils Elbow I was relived to see the Chequered Flag.
I was rewarded with a class win & another fastest lap (class F) of 58.789.

Race 3 part 1 & 2

   



Race 8 MR2 Racing

My grid place for the second MR2 race was 5th (4th in theory as Ross Stoner had retired), directly ahead of me on the grid was David Thomas in #60, the first drama was during the green flag lap when #60’s exhaust decided to part company with the car, a quick swerve avoided damage.
I got a good start up to 3rd with Liam #4 and Jason #37 all over the back of me.
Ahead of me was Adam #51 and in the lead was David #60, a few laps later Adam got the inside line into Gerards to take the lead, my chance of second place came with a good exit out of the hairpin and running down to Gerrards with David alongside.
I was soon hanging off the back of Adam down the S/F straight, a lapse in concentration saw me turn into Gerards late & too fast, suddenly I’m sideways, then facing the wrong way as Jason looms down on me, fortunately he stayed inside as I continued to spin, I slid onto the grass and as I got into the gravel trap I managed to get 1st gear, keep some momentum and drive out.
I rejoined the race around 13th place, my first challenge was to get past Roger & Arron Pullan, no mean feat and took me the best part of 5 laps, my pass on Roger out of the hairpin, my move on Arron came the next lap when he got a bit sideways coming out of the hairpin and the 2 of us went down through Devils Elbow side by side, I had the inside line to Gerards and Arron slipped in behind me.
Ahead of me was clear track with not an MR2 in sight, I drove the wheels off #17 and slowly caught up with the next MR2, Rob #35.
My opportunity came a few laps later when I got a good run out of the hairpin and drew up alongside Rob, the 2 of us ran side by side through Devils Elbow, this continued down the S/F straight, round Gerards and onto Stebbe straight, I got a nose ahead of him just before the chicane, my next target was Paul #16, my pass on Paul was a duplicate of my move on him in race 2 down the S/F straight, however this time I did not adjust his mirror for him..
Sarah #23 was in front of me now, coming out of the hairpin I drew alongside and we went down through Devils Elbow side by side, looking ahead I could see the chequered flag, I glanced sideways and Sarah and I were perfectly level, I pulled forward by a gnats hair and crossed the line, I had no idea where I had finished until the results were published, finishing 5th, the same position as I started.
The gap between Sarah and myself over the line was only 0.052 second, now that’s close !!
Amazingly I took another fastest lap of the race of 58.107.

Unfortunately the camera focused on the roll cage diagonal after running across the rumble strip early on in the race and the on track footage was out of focus

Pembrey 27th & 28th June

Race 1 part 1 & 2

   

 

Rockingham June 8th 2008

DNE

New car not finished

Mallory Park May 26th 2008 

Report

MR2 Racing

Rather than drive down in the morning we opted to travel down on the Sunday afternoon, we did plan to rough it in the tent, but with rain and heavy winds forecast we opted for a lousy nights sleep in a Premier inn nearby.

We took the car over Sunday evening and set up next to Rob Jefferies #35 then retired to our hotel.

Early Monday morning and we were getting ready; we were parked near Sarah Wherry #23, Jason Jesse #37, David Block #45 & Nick Winter #28

 In qualifying, I managed to qualify 12th with a best of 1:00.159 with an average speed of 80.47mph round the 1.35 mile track.

A few words of wisdom from some fellow competitors had me confident I could easily break the 1.00m consistently during the race.

MR2 Racing

Race 1

It all happened so fast…

I seemed to get a good start and was coming up the inside of Kevin Poole #1, suddenly he is broadside in front of me and we are heading for the barrier.

It seems that Steve Woolfe #78 had taken a tap off another MR2 that put him broadside and hit Kevin Poole #1 that then collected me and our 2 cars ended up in the barrier.

Kevin managed to reverse off me and the barrier, I was then able to get back on track, rather tentatively I built speed, the car felt okay, the steering a little askew, Kevin #1 retired. I took the next lap or so a bit easy building back up incase anything let go.

I pushed on and soon caught Steve Woolfe #78 who had sustained damage to the N/S who was now upping his pace despite a smoky N/S front tyre round Gerrads.

I did manage to break the 1:00m barrier with a 59.444 on lap 8 and finished 11th.

Back in the paddock I expected worse for some reason, with help from Jason Jesse #37 & Rob Jefferies #35 and moral support from other competitors we reshaped the wings to clear the arches as the damage had badly cut 2 tyres, plenty of Tank tape and we were ready for race 2…

In-Car clip of the crash

 

 Race 1 part 1 & 2

   

MR2 racing 

Race 2 

Not a good start, I lost 3 places.

I didn’t defend my position by staying left too long allowing them through.

I was soon chasing Jason Jesse #37 and Krish Kumarasinghe #10.

We had some very close racing and swapped places a few times but it seemed to settle with me behind Jason & Krish.

Krish had to defend a lot from Jason; I didn’t seem to have the legs to get by either.

My chance came when Krish & Jason seemed to touch through John Cooper Esses, I was just able to avoid joining their little pirouette and drifted nicely past them and ran the last few laps with no one around me to finish 13th.

 

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the day, even the accident didn’t put a dampener on things.

The support from the other competitors was great and I’m very grateful to you all.

 

I had said to Steve Vince in the Monday morning that if I came away unscathed I would give him my entry forms for Rockingham, sorry Steve, can’t make it…

By a stroke of genius/ pure luck I have been preparing a replacement shell, Mondays action has brought my plans forward a little.

 

 

 

Silverstone April 27th 2008

MR2 Racing

My target for Silverstone was quite simple.

Retain my starting position and more importantly finish the race!

The reason for these realistic expectations was due to this was only my second time out in the car and the first competitively.

The first time out was at Silverstone but under very wet conditions so I had little chance to explore the cars (and my) capabilities.

 

I qualified 16th for the first race and 18th the second race.

At the start of the first race I didn’t start well and lost 3 places, the car was working very well and we soon started closing the gap on those in front.

A great tussle with Dan Lowe in car #20 and Chris Dunnett #31 for most of the race

By the end of the race I had pulled back my earlier losses and gained a place to finish 15th.

These places were all by overtaking moves with the exception of one, which had spun at Copse and allowed me through.

My fastest lap was 1:17.6 on lap 10

 

Second race I was further back on the grid as qualifying was done off your best and second best lap rather than your previous finishing position.

A much better start had me in the main pack, though a avoiding a wide running car into maggots had me off track lost me a few places.

Rejoining the track I was back in the company of Dan Lowe in #20 and Chris Dunnett #31

We spent several laps swopping places and was some great close racing without swopping paint.

Finishing 14 I had exceeded my target of retaing my position overall and more importantly we had finished both races.

 My fastest lap was 1:17.7 on lap 8

Next race Mallory Park 26th May

 

 

 

Silverstone Tyres - MR2 Racing is a very cost effective ways of getting into Motor Racing

With minimal modifications a front running car can be built for a lower budget than some spend on engines alone in other race series, the grid is very close and encompasses drivers of all ages & abilities.

There are drivers such as myself who have never raced before 2008, others who have come up through Karting or found other racing classes too expensive to be a contender.

There is a very helpful and knowledgeable Paddock atmosphere, with competitors willing to jump in and assist with problems to make sure your out for the next race.

Gareth Newton is in his second year of racing the Mk1 MR2 in the MR2 Racing series, after making his race debut at Silverstone in April 2008 at the back of the grid he has improved his race craft and can often be found running toward the front of the grid, this was enough to land Gareth the 1st runner up overall in 2008 and Highest Placed Newcomer Award 2008

MR2 racing & MR2 Championship race at Oulton Park, Pembrey, Anglesey Trac Mon, Brands Hatch, Silverstone, Snetterton, Mallory Park, Cadwell Park

Using the word budget racing devalues what the racing is about, it benefits from using currently inexpensive Toyota Mk1 MR2's (AW11) fitted with the 4AGE 16valve engine, as modifications are limited  the result is very close racing with only seconds splitting the grid.

Seasons racing budget will vary but generally entry fees for a double header race are MR2 Racing 250 & MR2 Championship 210 for 2x15 minute races & qualifying

MR2 Challenge, Roadsports, MR2 race, racing, competition, motorsport, feeder series, novice, MR2 racing.

 

 

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