2010 Season

Reports & in-car race footage of our 2010 race season

 

                 

 

MR2 Racing 2010 Calendar

Race Date

Race Track

Races Entered

Qualified

(1) MR2 Racing  (2) Asia Class (GT150)

Race Result 

(1) MR2 Racing  (2) Nippon GT150

March 4th

Silverstone

Meet & Greet event

N/A

N/A

April 18th Mallory Park

MR2

3rd & DNS (1)

4th & DNS (1)

May 30th Snetterton MR2 12th & 10th (1) 10th &7th (1)
June 20th Castle Combe

MR2 & Nippon Challenge

 

DNF,& DNS (1) 2nd & 3rd (2)

July 17th Lydden Hill

MR2

5th & 5th

4th ( Fastest Lap in Race 1) & 5th (1)

August 22nd Cadwell Park

MR2

14th

13th & DNF

September 19th Mallory Park

Nippon Challenge

1st & 1st (2)

1st & 1st (2)

October 24th Brands Hatch

Nippon Challenge

3rd & 1st (2)

1st & 1st (2)

(DNF = Did Not Finish  DNS = Did Not Start)

Brands Hatch 

24th October 2010

With still no 16" tyres to run, I was still on the 14" Toyo's, though we had been busy in other areas.

To give the Proton a little more go we had replaced the Exhaust Manifold with a 4-2-1 & removed the Catalytic converter, to help it on the twisty stuff we had fitted front & rear Strut braces and borrowed a set of Coil Over's as the std lowered/uprated legs we ran at Mallory were much too soft.

We left Stockport early on the Saturday and a typically slow leg on the M25 we arrived at Brands Hatch some 6 hours later.

The MR2's & Nippon's had garages for the Sunday, but given the close confines of the inner paddock and the near empty outer paddock we elected to stay out along with Job Jefferies (Mk1 MR2 turbo) & Nick Reid Mk2 turbo (and his new RV, the only man I know to have got a speeding ticket in an RV !)

Sunday Qualifying and the Nippon's were first out, the track was super slippy and the Proton was really good and I ended up qualifying ahead of some of the higher classes, that said the 2 Hyundai's were a smidge quicker in qualifying, no doubt helped by the softer set up.

One of the Hyundai's was being driven by rapid Alex Gassman, an MR2 driver so would be a good benchmark of what the Coupe can do.

Race 1

Off the line I had the leap on Alex ahead of me, but as a car drew alongside Alex moved across and I was boxed in.

As the track had dried the cars that had not qualified well in the damp were making their way through the pack, I had dropped back a bit from Alex, but slowly reeled him in.

 

 

Mallory Park

19th September 2010

Project Proton hits the track !

Sundays Race day at Mallory was preceeded by a large triumph Motobike event on the Saturday, this meant no access to the paddock until late on Saturday and even then a paddock half full of Marque's made parking a challenge.

We were soon joined by Steve Hennesey #64 and Rob Jefferies with his Mk1 MR2 turbo.

The 16" Federal tyres I am running in 2011 had not arrived so I was running an old set of 14" Toyo R888's, this in turn meant I could not run the bigger brakes I had planned, but Mallory was all about getting to know the car and what we would improve before 2011.

I was pleased to see I had qualified ahead of the other Asia entrants, those being a new build Hyundai Coupe for the future planned Hyundai Coupe Cup Series and the SIAC MG.

Race 1

I got off the line quite well, keeping with the cars around me, but slowly over the next few laps the pack ahead pulled away, but as confidence in the car and my switch to driving through the wrong end grew I was able to better explore the limits of the car and identify where I was loosing ground. 

On the straights I had the pace, it was through the corners where I was loosing time, especially Devils Elbow. Mostly a lonely race but valuable in that we finished (ahead of the other Asia Cars), & nothing fell off !

Race 2

A reasonable start again, but a few places ahead an MX5 bouncing off the pit wall and back onto the track caused a few manouvers, I managed to avoid and then spinning cars at Turn 1 had me making lots of places, unfortunately the race was red flagged and I had do it all again

 

The restart was not as spectacular and I settled down to a similar race to race 1, plenty of space around me to push a little more and mentally draw up the list of imrovements before Brands Hatch in October.

 

Lydden Hill

17th July 2010

With Lydden Hill being just a stones throw from Dover we left late Friday morning, unfortunately the afternoon traffic as we approached Dartford crossing thought otherwise and it turned into an 8+ hour journey.

We arrived around 19:30 and tried to find some level ground as the are the Nippon & MR2 had been allocated had been taken up by other racer series.

 DSCF1212

By the time we were unloaded, set up it was getting dark and I wanted to walk the track so I headed off into the dusk and caught up with Steve Hennessy #64, Sarah Wherry #4 & Stuart Skinner.

Lydden is only 1 mile long, but with climbs, drops, camber changes and little run off, it keeps you focused !

 

Saturday morning, long before we were called, Mk1's started heading to the assembly area, such a short track, you need to be the first 2 out to benefit so I carried on fettling.

I was probably one of the last 4 cars out on track when we finally got out, a couple of warm up laps and hey presto, clear track to get into.

My lap timer decided not to work, not that I had a benchmark anyway.

At the end of Qualifying I was happy with the new engine, all the temps and Oil Pressure were good, it took a while for the result sheets to come out and I was happy with 5th on the grid of the A race.

 

Race 1

Off the line I retained 5th place, with Jon Winter close behind, with the 4 cars in front squabbling for position down towards Devils Elbow I was close behind Dave Pittard #9 who was forced to break early and I lost momentum, this allowed Jon Winter through & I dropped to 6th, up the hill to the Hairpin I was able to go round the outside of Dave Pittard and take back 5th place.

 DSCF1261

On lap 10 following Jon Winter #46 he ran wide through the last corner, took to the grass, got himself airborne, as he headed back toward the track I lifted trying to avoid being collected if it went wrong, fortunately Jon held it and even kept 4th place. This cost me time and meant Dave closed back up, added to this Jon's exhaust was making a bid for freedom so I was less inclined to be too close.

2 laps later Dave had the run on me along the start finish straight and passed me into turn 1, though his place was short lived as he made a dive on Jon at turn one and took him off and me narrowly missing him.

 DSCF1272

I was up to 4th place now and the leaders were a few seconds ahead, I was keen to give myself a safe gap from the cars behind and pushed on, a couple of sideways moments had me thinking the tyres were going off, it seems I was pushing a bit too hard and managed to set the fastest lap of the race during the last few laps.

So, fresh engine, 4th place finish and fastest lap of race 1, tell me again why I'm selling this... ?

Race 2

Despite finishing 4th in the first race I was starting in 5th for the second A race.

 DSCF1256

I had a good start again, though through the first couple of turns I was coming under pressure from David Thomas #80, while defending the front 4 cars were slipping away, by the time I got ahead I was a couple of seconds off Simon Lockey #69, with Jon Winter a couple of seconds behind me I was happy with the Status Quo, I wasn't catching Simon and Jon wasn't catching me !

 

Came in 5th

Saturday night, though many people headed off home, we stayed for a BBQ and a few drinks, chatted about the racing and generally put the world to rights.

 DSCF1344

Castle Combe

19th & 20th June

 

Report Coming Soon

 

 

Snetterton

30th May

Saturday lunch time we rolled into Snetterton Circuit for the second race of the season.

We decided to set up in the Overflow Paddock as the main paddock was still full. 

By evening the Paddock was filling up with MR2ís.

Saturday night the rain was relentless and many a Gazebo came to an early end with the accompanying high winds.

Sunday morning was still raining but the forecasts promised dry.

Everyone seemed to get through scrutineering without a hitch.

A lack of testing time (& money) meant we were going into qualifying with an untested car after being taken off at Mallory by a back marker. 

Getting out on track for qualifying and initially the car felt fine, a worsening vibration down the back straight was a worry but nothing compared to the handling round the Bombhole and Coram.

At the end of qualifying I found I had qualified 12th, this was better than I expected as I know I was off the pace, at least 2 seconds off my usual Snetterton pace.

I sought out Mike & Chris from RSW Motorsport, who duly jumped on #24 and found the rear tracking was a country mile off, this must have happened post impact at Mallory when I took to the grass, more fool me for not checking the back of the car during repair.

  Photobucket

 

Race 1 Part 1

Lined up on the outside of the track, I got a decent start as the lights went out, I was having a run up the outside and was drawing alongside Matt Coggins #75 who was moving over toward me, as I lifted to avoid contact with Matt, the 2 cars of Neale Hurren #87 & Dave Hemmingway #5 came sliding across infront of me, as I steered right to avoid contact with them I got a tap from Sarah Wherry #4 who had ended up sideways, this changed my direction further onto the grass, initially I thought it had helped as I was heading back to rejoin the track, the car had other ideas and I slid back across the track to the infield, narrowly missing the remainder of the pack.

Rejoining the track I had a new handling issue to deal with, the steering wheel was 45* off centre.

The race was red flagged due to one of the cars being stranded at turn 1.

I was fortunate to be able to retake my 12th place slot on the grid.

 

Race 1 Part 2

I got a reasonable start again, though I stayed on the outside again to avoid more spinning cars, again the race was red flagged.

Race 1 Part 3

Didnít get quite as good a start this time and dropped a couple of places, though by the 3rd lap I had pulled back 3 places, I was having a great time battling with Roger Pullan #13 and did concede a place to him on lap 6. By the end of the race I had pulled myself up to 10th

Back in the Paddock I sought out RSW Motorsport again and we rechecked the car, it seemed the knock or the consequence of it had knocked the steering out, with it reset we were being called again for the 2nd race.

 

Race 2

Again I was starting from the outside, a decent start and maintained my place, out of turn 2 I had a run on Ross Stoner #22, down into the Esses and over cautious car in front meant having to brake too much to avoid hitting them and Ross & Dave Hemmingway #5 slipped through. Down to the esses for the 2nd time and Dave had a moment, took to the grass, got airborne and then rejoined, the avoiding braking allowed Jason Jess #37 and Roger Pullan #13 to get on top of myself and Simon Lockey #69.

Round the Bombhole and Coram Jason was anlong side and out braked me into Russell Chicane. Down the start/Finish straight I was taking chunks out of Jasons advantage and round turn 1 I was having to lift, having a look before turn 2, Jason shut the door on me.

Onto the back straight and I was able to pass Jason on the left, while Roger passed him on the right, (Jason soon retired with a coolant leak).

With all this defending and attacking going on, it had allowed Simon to make a comfortable gap, I was soon able to make a gap on Roger who had his work cut out defending against David Pittard #9 and Jon Winter #46.

Crossing the line to finish 7th, I was pleased with the cars handling improvements.

 

With only a couple of weeks until we visit Castle Combe there are some jobs that need doing

 

Mallory Park

18th April

 DSCF0741;

With all the races being on the Sunday we left on the Saturday afternoon and arrived mid afternoon to relax in the sunshine.

We didn't get into the Paddock until 17:30 but were soon set up and the BBQ fired up. Jason #37 set up alongside and we were soon relaxing and enjoying a few drinks.

Steve Hennessey dropped off his car and came to join us for a while before retiring back home for the night, a steady stream of drivers calling by to say hello and share a laugh and a joke.

 

Due to the record high of entries, the qualifying was going to be busy with 36 Mk1's tussling for space on the short Mallory circuit, with the slowest 6 in qualifying racing with the remainder of the Mk1's that had been late entries and ran with the Nippon Challenge.

Mk1's were queuing up long before we were called, possibly a little in vain as by the time the first cars out were coming round to start a hot lap, the last of the cars were still filtering out of the pit lane.

I managed to let a couple of cars by, this left me a decent space without tripping over anyone, lap timer problems meant it was very much seat of the pants.

Around 7 laps in and the session was red flagged, around 8+ cars were directed back to the Paddock and we thought the session was over, it seemed the remainder of the cars were held either in the pit lane of on the grid. We were amazed when we looked to see the Mk1's out again and a mad panic to get back out, though we only got 2 hot laps in the restarted session it was worth it because I managed a 57.60s, enough to put me 3rd on the grid behind Adam Lockwood #51 and Alex Gassman #48 who set a blistering 56.80s lap.

 MR2 #24

 DSCF0757

Race 1

I was pretty confident that off the line Adam would close the door on me, what I didn't foresee was Jonny White #60 appearing from behind to try to come by, fortunately Adams positioning meant Jonny couldn't any further and a coming together of Jonny, Jon Winter #46 and Tim Hartland #33 mixed up what was happening behind.

Exiting Gerards for the first time, Jon was sitting behind me in 4th and gave me a run to the Esses. Into the Hairpin I was being challenged by Jon and this in turn allowed me to challenge Adam from the exit of the Hairpin and we went side by side through Devils Elbow, though Adam had the run back down to Gerards.

DSCF0764

I was starting to pull away from Jon who later was suffering from mechanical issues, I spent the middle part of the race trailing 2nd place Adam by around 4 seconds after I had a bit of a moment exiting Gerards.

 Jonny White was closing in lap by lap and as we came to traffic, the back markers were doing well at getting out of the way

As we crossed the line to start the last lap, Jonny was around 3 seconds behind, into Gerards I was gaining on a backmarker, down Stebbe Straight, if they had lifted we could have both passed cleanly, they kept their foot in and went into the Esses too hot.

The MR2's back end stepped out and they were too slow to correct, or they lifted, either way they were heading for my line leaving me no where to go and the inevitable happened, Jonny dived across the grass and did well to avoid me.

Last Lap: 

 

Full race 1 

 

I was furious that I had been robbed of a podium finish, the car was pulling and smoking from the bodywork cutting into a new tyre, trying to salvage something with only 1 corner to go I limped across the line 4th and then pulled into the pit exit to be recovered. 

 

 DSCF0770

A quick chat with the very helpful Marshals who then sent me to the Medical centre to see the equally helpful Medics and I was given the all clear to await the return of my crumpled car.

Initially I was hopeful of pulling out the damage and being able to enter Race 2, but the damage had pushed back the suspension around 3" and we decided to retire.

The search is now on for panels to repair and hopefully have it done in time for Snetterton in May.

 

Gareth@NewtonRacing.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 & for 2x15 minute races & qualifying

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

 

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.