1-GT150 Class 2-Overall 3-GT300 Class
1-GT150 Class 2-Overall 3-GT300 Class
||4th & 1st(1) 14th & 7th(2)||1st & 1st (1) 7th & 6th (2)|
||1st,1st & 1st (1) 10th,9th & 7th (2)||1st,1st & 1st (1) 9th, 7th & 6th (2)|
||1st & 1st (1) 16th & 14th (2)||1st & 1st (1) 14th & 15th (2)|
||1st & 1st (1) 11th & 11th (2)||1st & 1st (1) 11th & 9th (2)|
||3rd (1) 14th (2)||2nd
(1) 11th (2)
||3rd (1) 19th (2)||1st & 1st (1) 12th & 13th (2)|
||5th (3) 12th (2)||5th & 5th (3) 12th & 8th (2)|
Following a very successful year in GT150 with the Mirage I had been bouncing around with what class to go for next, the most obvious choice was GT200, I had sourced a new ECU and planned a few other mods to get us into the 180bhp area. Thoughts develop and next I am considering making the Mirage 4WD Turbo by utilising early Evo running gear, when it came to costing we worked out that a fellow competitors Pulsar GTI-R would be more cost effective. We agreed to buy the Pulsar and advertise the Mirage hoping that it would sell over the off season.
The week preceding the Mallory race, I had contact from one of the MR2 racers who was interested in the Mirage, a deal was done and I could still race at Mallory. As we would have an empty trailer home I contacted the Pulsar owner who arranged for the Pulsar to be delivered to Mallory Park.
As the hours counted down to the race day, I became rather aware that if I had an incident I would be stuck with 2 cars to get home, I elected to not race the Mirage. At the same time my mind turned to, could I run the Pulsar instead...
In the paddock on the night before the race, speaking to Adam the Pulsar owner, he thought I was a bit bonkers, but there was nothing fundamentally wrong with the car.
My plan was set, the Pulsar arrived at Mallory Park at 08:00, I had approx 2.5 hours to fit get permission to race it in place of the Mirage, fit harness, transponder, sign on, get scrutineered, fit number backgrounds and number, add fuel check it over and fit the video along with a few other bits.
With lots of help from other drivers and team members we got the car ready.
I just took it easy, I was on tyres I had not driven on before and brakes that needed quite a push to get any retardation, coming back in 1 piece was a good start and we qualified 12th
The plan was to not give it all, just go out and get familiar with the car and make any mental notes of jobs to do.
Got a good start and found myself ahead of Ross in the Celica, this was short lived as he passed me out of the chicane, happily plodding along I had a lonely race but got more comfortable with the car, kept my position, started to get fuel surge out of the Hairpin on the last corner. Finished 12th.
Took and even softer launch, but managed to keep an MR2 & Integra in sight, they were much quicker through the corners than me, purely down to tyres and lack of confidence in the brakes. On the straights I could reel them in. I eventually caught the MR2, given the unpredictability of a new car I decided to stay behind and enjoy the race, we were quite a distance ahead of the next car back from me, so no pressure. I did find myself lifting on the straights at times, then I saw the MR2 had a 10 second penalty, so as long as I kept him in sight I would finish ahead of him !
Approx 3 laps from the end, the brake pedal traveled further than before, not quite to the floor I was expecting a HANS device test, but I scrubbed enough speed and carried on, by the chicane the pedal was back up, but I was wary then, luckily the MR2 had caught some back markers slowing his progress, out of the hairpin, fuel supply issues again, only 1 lap to go, could I make it....
Yes... nursed it home in 8th.
Friday afternoon we set off for Silverstone from Stockport, despite the motorway networks best attempt to hinder our progress we made it to Silverstone by 17:00 - Beer O'clock
While Jayne & Adam set up, I went over to get a new set of Federal FZ201's fitted.
Out for qualifying I took it easy for a few laps to heat cycle the new tyres. 2 laps in, one of the Mitsubishi GTO's punched a hole in his transfer case, dropping oil on the racing line around the last corner and then across the track to where he ended up. This slowed lap times by around 2 seconds and caused cars to single file across the oil as a clean line wore through.
We were getting toward the end of the session and I had time for 1 flying lap, unfortunately I caught traffic at the end of Wellington Straight and by the time the flag came out I had only managed to Qualify 3rd in class and 19th overall.
Despite the LSD, I usually struggle off the line against the quick starting MR2's, I had been fine tuning my starts, and it paid off. Making a great start and found myself chasing a Mazda RX8 & Nissan 350Z, after few laps the RX8 spins at Copse leaving me and the Nissan to battle through the race. On the straights the Nissan would pull away a little, but I would catch him in the corners, some close, clean racing
Finished 1st in class and 12th overall. Setting a new PB for me of 1:13.0
Another great start, the Nissan 350Z got a poor start and was mugged by cars around him, I pulled away and spent some time chasing one of the Subaru's. Jason in his Celica GT4 that had started from the back soon caught me.
The Nissan was never far away, slowly reeling me in.
Finished 1st in class and 13th overall
Though some of the Nippon Challenge drivers were leaving on the Saturday night after the races, we were staying for the MR2 races on the Sunday as I perform the duty of Eligibility Scrutineer for the club, making sure the MR2's comply with the Sporting & Technical regs. Saturday night a few drivers came over for a few drinks and a BBQ.
Some of the drivers wanted to do a track walk, a bit after the fact for me, but a good way of burning off some of the burgers I had eaten...
Anglesey would be my first race of the year with the Classic Sports Car Club (CSCC) in their Tin Tops series. Anglesey is a fantastic circuit that, unfortunately the Red Dragon club will not visit, so I get my fix with the CSCC.
We traveled over from Stockport on the Friday afternoon to be greeted by a very windy circuit, possibly windier that Castle Combe 2 weeks previously. Both Jayne & myself have family in Wales so there was going to few members coming over, 15 as it turned out.
Friday evening Adam & myself walked the track, here looking back at the run up to Rocket
Saturday morning was a little calmer so we set up the gazebo & awning to give some shelter. The weather forecast was changing constantly due to the wind, but it looked like Qualifying would be dry.
My PB from 2011 was 1:24.6, I was looking for an improvement, though I don't believe the new Federal FZ201 are quicker than the Toyo R888, but other suspension changes should yield a new PB.
Despite sharing the Qualifying period with Deutsche Marque, I was able to find some space and once the tyres were warmed I was stringing consistent 1:24's with an occasional dip into the 1:23. A 1:23.6 was enough to put me 3rd in class & 14th overall.
Back in the paddock it was time to practice our pit stop, Jayne's son Adam was being joined by his cousin Carl, we soon had a consistent time we were happy with.
Of the start I dropped a couple of places, I was soon hard on the heels of Marshall Groves in his Alfa 33, passing him out of the banking. I soon caught up with my follow Class C cars, Puma of Lisa Selby/Toby Harris & 106 of Mike Nash, we were very close for several laps until the pit window opened and I elected an early stop.
The pit stop with Adam & Carl went well, despite problems opening the door, we still recorded the 2nd fastest stop with a total pit lane time of 40 seconds.
I came out into petty much clear track, a couple of laps later I came round turn 2 to find Mike Nash coming out ahead of me, though a little closer to him than I had been, shortly after a car off at Rocket caused the Safety Car to come out, we were waved by while it waited for the lead car.
When racing resumed we were behind #12 Clio & #22 Proton Coupe, there were no waved Blue's so I believed we were racing for position, I was beginning to struggle with the tyres and made an error into the banking that allowed Dave Hill #23 Civic to come through pretty much unchallenged, though he was class A so I was not overly concerned. Despite the tyres I hung on until the flag. Crossing the line 2nd in Class C & 11th overall.
I had not raced at Castle Combe since 2010 and was looking forward to a return visit. Both the MR2 & Nippon Challenge races were on the Sunday so we had left on Saturday morning; arriving early afternoon. We were soon set up despite the strong winds and occasional heavy shower.
Sunday morning we were sharing qualifying with the MR2, making a fair mix of speed, I took the first couple of laps easy to heat the tyres and found myself a nice space on track, my lap times were in the area I was looking for, apart from a competitor not observing blue flags and hitting me on the run to Quarry, it was pretty uneventful, so back to the paddock to straighten the bodywork...
With little time between Qualifying & Race 1, I pulled out the panel to prevent further tyre damage and a quick check of the rear tracking saw it was out a little from my settings but good enough to run with.
The Nippon Challenge were called early, but with no speakers audible at our end of the paddock, many of us did not realise. By the time I was aware and headed down they had already closed the gate to the circuit and I, Chris (Suzuki) & Ross (Celica) were sent down the Pit Lane. I expected to be held there until the race start, once the green flag lap started we were allowed to join the back of the train. I was furious that I would have to start from the back, though a part of me was looking forward to picking my way through the cars. As we slowed to form at the back of the grid, we were waved through to take our proper qualifying positions, though I think I still started 1 place back than I should, I was happy to be back on class pole !
I had a reasonable start and found myself in a pack with Dallas Jackson in his GT4 Celica #27 (GT250), Jonathan Blake #99 & Stewart Mutch #77 in the MX150-R (SGT), I had Neil Hurren #87 (MR2) close behind for a while but were able to pull away. Dallas was certainly keeping his elbows out and stopping anyone getting by, a few laps in I had the run on Stewart #77 on the S/F straight, as Dallas was squeezing Jonathan gave me 2 places and I was on Dallas. Dallas would pull away on the straights, but then slower than me on the corners and Jonathan & Stewart were keen for their places back.
Coming into Bobbies, Jonathan passed and pulled in front of me, I went left for a better line and Dallas parked it on the Apex, we both locked up and I took to the grass to avoid contact, this dropped me back 2 places and I had to start all over again, I was soon past Stewart again and Jonathan made his way past Dallas, I soon closed on Dallas again but had no way past. I crossed the finishing line 0.182 seconds behind him.
I reasonable start but I got bogged down at Quarry, this dropped me back a couple of places behind Ross Stoner #22 Celica (GT200) & Neil Hurren #87 MR2 (GT150).
I seemed to struggle for traction for a while, I noticed Neil was dropping coolant but perhaps not enough to cause an issue, I took me a while to pass Neil and not long after Ross retired with a sick engine. I caught Stewart Mutch in the MX150-R, eventually managing to pass after he had a poor exit out of Camp. I was soon hunting down Dallas GT-4 (GT250), expecting a repeat of race 1, I was surprised when he dropped back with fuel issues, this left Stewart & myself to battle to the finish in clean air.
Supporting the Superstars International Series
Though I have raced at Donington before, this weekend was to be the first time on the full Donington GP circuit. We arrived on the Friday afternoon as my duties as MR2 Scrutineer were required on the Saturday and the Nippon races were on the Sunday.
Our qualifying was not until early afternoon, the weather was forecast to be dry. Out for qualifying and there was plenty of space around to get a few consistent laps in, the addition of the Melbourne Loop added a new dimension, very slippery of line...
I was happy with my pace and had qualified 1st in class, 16th overall.
As expected, a poor start from the cold Federal FZ201's despite vigorous attempts to get some heat in them during the Green flag lap.
Of the line I dropped back several places in the first half a lap, I was confident I could recover when the tyres came on. Onto the back straight I was able to pass Nathan Harrison in his MR2 having already passed Steve Harman in his Subaru when he ran out of track. I was then chasing down the fast starting Paul Corbridge in his MR2, By 3rd distance I was close enough to pass down the back straight, onto the Melbourne Loop Paul did have a look but I was able to pull away enough to negate his chance.
This then left me some 10 seconds behind the next car of Jonathan Blake, similar lap times meant I was only able to close the gap to 7 seconds by the end of the race. Finishing 1st in class and 14th overall with a PB of 1:56.2
Not quite as poor start to race 1, I actually passed someone having a worse start than me !, though I still lost a couple of places.
A poor exit out of the last corner onto the back straight gave Dave Hemingway the opportunity to draw alongside and take the place through the chicane onto the Melbourne Loop. It took until Lap 3 for me to pass Dave on the back straight (you can see a pattern here), by this time Paul Corbridge was a few seconds ahead and I had my work cut out to catch him, a lap later I am able to pass cleanly.
The beginning of lap 4 I was starting to pull away, as I went down Cascades I noticed something in the mirror, but not sure what it was, as I exited the Old Hairpin I was down on power and struggling to gain speed, the engine seemed louder and initially I thought a cracked manifold or broken exhaust, looking in the mirror, the MR2 was catching, but looked clearer. My initial thought was the rear perspex screen had blown out, the turbulence at the rear was sucking the exhaust gasses into the car, so I opened the window slider to help. The MR2 was still gaining and the Mk3 MX5 behind him was taking chunks out of my time, as I slowed for the hairpin, bang... the Tailgate closed !! (from 8m. 50s. on the footage)
I had driven 2/3rds of a lap with the tailgate open, I must have forgotten to reattach the spring clips after fueling, as there are no tailgate struts to hold the tailgate open, it had been purely air turbulence and air pressure from inside the car, opening the window had reduced the pressure and from then it stayed down, which was very fortunate as I probably would have been given a Black/Orange warning flag had it stayed open.
I was then being chased by the Mk3 MX5 that closed the gap to 1 second, on the last lap it looked like he was going to take a dive down the inside into the Hairpin, but I managed to defend the position and finished 1st in class and 15th overall.
Not having raced at Pembrey since 2009 I was really looking forward to coming back, I have always done quite well there and it was the location of my first ever class win (in an MR2).
Arriving on a rather wet Saturday afternoon, we were able to set up on the concrete part of the paddock, which is actually the end of the old RAF Pembrey runway.
The weather cleared up in the late afternoon and by evening it had mostly dried, I took the opportunity to cycle the track to reacquaint myself with the corners.
The Nippon Challenge were out to qualify on the Sunday morning after the MR2's, after a few laps the tyres had warmed up and I was happy with the handling. I was happy to have qualified 1st in class and 10th overall, I was only 2/10ths behind Jason Langan in his #96 Suzuki Swift.
A made a reasonable start, I was under pressure from Jon Winter (#46 Hyundai Coupe) & Tim Hartland (#33 MR2) until I got some heat in my tyres and I was able to pull away. While I was defending my position it had allowed Jason to pull away chasing James Janicki (#19 Skyline).
Slowly I was beginning to catch them until I ran out of talent (& track) at the hairpin dropping me back away from them.
I was happy to cross the line 1st in class & 9th overall, some 19 seconds ahead of 10th place Karen Phillips (#14 Impreza), setting fastest lap for the class of 1:10.4
A better start as I managed to pass Jason exiting the hairpin, this was short lived as I fluffed the exit onto the back straight, Jason passed me off line just before the right hand kink, this unsettled his car on the exit and caused a extended spin, luckily he did not make contact with the barrier and was able to continue.
After that it was quite a lonely race for me, again finishing 1st in class and 7th overall
A reasonable start, Karen Phillips (#14 Impreza) passed me with ease looking like her problems were behind her. I was keeping up on the twisty bits with Jon Winter chasing me down all the time. On lap 2 taking the fast right hander on to the S/F straight just behind #14 it looses power, I manage to narrowly avoid as I pass. With nothing catch able ahead I maintained consistent laps times and finished 1st in class and 6th overall.
Arriving at Brands Hatch on the Friday afternoon, we were soon set up and enjoying the good weather.
Saturday morning the Nippon Challenge was to be first out to qualify, this year I am running the the new Federal FZ201 tyre, having only had chance of a short try on these I have found them slow to warm up, especially on the Mirage being only 980kg (inc me).
Out for qualifying, a few steady laps to get some heat into the tyres, I had plenty of space around me, I was just getting into a flying lap when the red flags came out for a car in the gravel, when we went back out to complete the qualifying there was lots of traffic either lapping or being lapped to hinder a good lap. I did the best I could given the lack of space. A disappointing 4th in class and 14th overall was the result.
The Nippon Challenge race was the fist race of the day, just before the lunch break.
Knowing the FZ201 were slow to warm I got as much heat into them during the green flag lap as I could. Even at moderately low revs the fronts still spun up on launch, added to a slower launching car in front compromised me into Paddock Hill bend
I had dropped a few places to the MR2's & Hyundai Coupe's, once we were a lap in the tyres were improving and I began to make my way through the field. The handling though much improved still requires further development.
I managed to keep reasonably close to Jason Lanagan in his super quick Suzuki Swift and Ross Stoner in his Celica.
At the end of the race I had worked my way up to 1st in class and 7th overall, taking fastest lap in class along with a new personnel best of 58.601.
A slightly better start in race 2, though defending the inside into Paddock Hill saw a couple of MR2'2 go round the outside.
I passed Jason Lanagan coming out of Graham Hill and soon caught Gary Lawrence in one of the MR2's. Though I had the straight line speed, the better handling MR2's (and Gary's defending) meant I was outclassed into the corners. I finally had a good run out of Clearways and passed Garry and was soon up upon Dave Hemingway, a good run out of Clearways had me passed him as the Mitsubishi GTO came passed and began braking for Paddock Hill before I was completely passed Dave, this unsettled the car and Dave came back through, finally getting passed Dave out of Clearways (again).
A couple of laps later Jason Lanagan came through making me look like I was going backwards.
This then left me a couple of seconds off Jason & Ross and apart from lapping slower cars it was a pretty lonely race from then on.
Finished 1st in class and 6th overall.
A great weekends racing and only 3 weeks until we head to Pembrey, lets hope the FZ201's fare better on Pembrey's abrasive track.
Mitsubishi colt mirage cyborg r rs racing in the UK Nippon Challenge & CSCC Tin Tops. powered by the 4G92 MIVEC engine, similar weight and performance to the Honda Civic Vtec
pembrey, Snetterton, Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, Anglesey, Donington, Mallory Park & Cadwell