It was game over before it had begun for Steve Soper at the 73rd Members’ Meeting test day at the circuit today.
The touring car ace got behind the Ford’s wheel for his first laps in the ex-Gordon Spice ‘Autocar’ Capri… but that’s as far as he got.
Proceedings were promptly called to a halt when a head gasket let go on the famous Group 1 3.0 S.
‘It’s back to the workshop and we’ll be burning a little midnight oil,’ Steve’s co-driver John Young (pictured below) tells GRR.
‘Hopefully the problem can be resolved by getting the heads skimmed and fitting a new pair of gaskets. Anything more than that like a cracked head or, dare I say it, a cracked block would be a lot more serious. But whatever, we will definitely be there for Members’ Meeting.’
John did manage four laps in the car today before the car went sick. In any case he knows the Chris Ballard-owned Capri well since he drove it with Emanuele Pirro in the Gerry Marshall Trophy at the Members’ Meeting last year, coming home second.
Any differences for this year?
‘The control tyre this year is a crossply when last year we all raced on radials,’ explains John.
‘It was controversial but I must say I haven’t found that much of a difference. We have had to adjust camber and castor angles to suit the crossplies, and now I think the car will put in around the same times as it did last year.’
John and Steve Soper have driven together before in the Cologne Capri – for a taste of that, watch ‘Soperman’ in action at Donington Park here.