The GRRC track day season got off to a sunny start today. The first of a packed calendar of events for 2014 heard a wide variety of engines fired up for the day’s action… with everything from classic Triumphs to modern Porsches lining-up in the pitlane.
If you’ve never been to a GRRC track day, this should give you a taster of what to expect. And if you were there, check out the galleries to see if you can spot your car! Here are some of the drivers we met on the day…
Lotus Exige S: Dave Butler and Dave Walker
If Dave Butler was willing to share his gleaming Lotus Exige S with this son-in-law Dave Walker, he was willing hand over all of the limelight, electing not to have his photo taken! The more senior Dave has allowed his son-in-law to drive all manner of his cars on track over the years, including his previous Honda NSX, Porsche Cayman S, Ultima Can-Am and Nissan GTR.
All those cars have since gone, but the Lotus shares garage space with another car that ventures out on track occasionally – a 1965 Ford Mustang. “On the basis he is the father of two of my grandchildren, I don’t let him drive that one on track,” says Mr Butler. “They didn’t pay too much attention to safety when it was built!”
Porsche 911E: John Liles
John Liles’ Porsche 911 may be badged as a mid-range E model, but it received in period a number of tasty upgrades including suspension from the coveted 2.7 RS and a race-specification (but detuned) engine. It was used by Porsche for demonstration runs and has had some famous drivers behind the wheel; Vic Elford, Derek Bell, Stirling Moss and others have all been behind the wheel. Since buying the car six years ago, John has been collecting their signatures in the handbook.
When he bought the Porsche, he immediately put it in use on track and has taken part in over 30 events. In his first season, he took it to circuits all over the UK, but nowadays only brings it to Goodwood. It’s quite a commitment given that he lives almost at the other end of the country in Cheshire. “Goodwood is ideal for the car,” he says. “It suits its performance and gearing perfectly.”
ASM DBR: Bruce Copp
Bruce Copp’s ASM certainly looked the part in Goodwood’s period surroundings. He first discovered the ASM DBR, an exacting replica of the Aston Martin DBR1, at the Goodwood Revival in 2011. After visiting the company’s stand, he placed an order and received his car around a year later.
The round-tube chassis plays host a 4.2-litre Jaguar straight six engine and a Borgwarner T5 gearbox. The 290bhp stage two tune is plenty to keep the 970kg car entertaining, especially when it’s running crossply tyres (although today Bruce has switched to radials). The main bodyshell is GRP, while the doors, bonnet and bootlid are crafted from aluminium. “They offer a full aluminium body, but I was too impatient to wait for that,” says Bruce. He is currently seeking a 3-litre Aston Martin engine in order to commission a second ASM with a full aluminium body.
Radical SR3 RS: Jamie Sturges
Jamie Sturges has just started his third season of track days with his Radical SR3 RS. It’s not his only track day car; when he’s on a tighter, twistier track, he uses his Renaultsport Megane. He has owned many cars with similar power to the SR3, but it’s the downforce effect that dominates the experience. We’re told that a Porsche 911 GT3 RS will outdrag the Radical on the straights, but it can achieve much higher speeds on the corner exits. “To overtake, you have to hang back on the corner entry to get a clear run through,” says Jamie. “Then you can get past on the corner exit.”
We catch up with him during the lunch hour, when he’s giving the car a thorough spanner check and decided whether to alter the rear wing and front dive planes for the afternoon – things that drivers of road-going trackday machinery don’t tend to consider!
Triumph Beta replica: Neil Revington
Take a close look and you’ll realise this isn’t your average TR3. When Triumph was developing the TR4, two prototypes were built using modified TR3 bodies over its successor’s chassis. Neil Revington, owner of Triumph specialist Revington TR, owns one of those prototype cars… and this is his replica recreation of that car. The TR3 bodywork has been widened by 2in to fit over the TR4 chassis, while the fuel injected six-cylinder TR6 engine adds to its hybrid status.
Today is its first outing, so Neil will be concentrating on setting up the suspension – with a considerable weight saving over a standard TR4 (800kg plays 1100kg), its set up will differ from the factory settings. Once it’s ready, it will be driven by Neil’s son Marcus and daughter Natalie, together with friend of the family Toby, in the TR Register’s Sprint Championship.
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