Despite the fact that we keep talking-up this year’s St Mary’s Trophy races, the drivers and teams who’ve been testing here recently still keep submitting more and more evidence to support our long-held assertion.
When we first witnessed Andrew and Mike Jordan’s immaculately-prepared Lotus Cortina and the manner in which the pair were attacking the circuit, it was hard to image how a similar tin top was going to keep up. Having reviewed today’s footage and seen how Messrs Neal and Shedden pedal their Cortina around our corner of West Sussex we’re confidently predicting that whatever the final outcome, the battle between the two cars should be something very special indeed.
This clip begins with ‘Flash’ completing a warm-up lap, casually adjusting his harness as he brings the Cortina around to the chicane. You’d be forgiven for thinking that he’s about to pit the car, but then he exits the chicane and sets about putting in a lap. And what a lap it is.
From the late, late braking into Madgwick and right around to the chicane again, all four wheels rarely point in the same direction for long, even though the circuit was bone dry! And as for his treatment of No Name and St Marys… well you’re just going to have to see for yourself in order to come up with some fitting adjectives. As a bonus the team decided to record some basic data, so we get to see what kind of speeds and G-forces the BTCC ace was generating.
Traditionally, the likes of the Lotus Cortina just don’t have enough overall performance to keep up with the larger V8-engined cars. Even though we’ve seen how fast Henry Mann hustled the Fairlane Thunderbolt around and will be sharing the pace of Bill Shepherd’s always-rapid Galaxie shortly, looking at this footage we’re really not sure if the big cars will be able to keep the Cortinas at bay. Oh and we still have to see what kind of pace Nick Swift can extract from his screaming Mini! This is going to be superb …