Wednesday, 30 May 2012

2012 - Brands Hatch Preview


Brands Hatch Indy  Preview

My first introduction to Brands Hatch was as part of the A1GP series, with access to the full GP circuit and a 1:56 lap time, however all subsequent visits to Kent have been on the much shorter, and significantly simpler Indy circuit.   

During those four further visits we have only finished the race once, however this is primarily down to the delicate nature of the 328GTBChallenge we ran during those years.

For 2006 we managed a best lap time of 55.282 seconds, finishing 2nd in class in race 1 but failing to finish race 2.

In 2007 we had an engine fault with the car, lapping just over 1 minute and a DNF result.

Whist in the USA for the 2008 Gumball Rally we returned early for the Brands race, arriving straight from the flight and setting a fantastic lap time of 53 seconds only to lose the nearside rear wheel on the exit of Druids.

2008 - Missing Wheel Footage

2006 - Brands Hatch Race 1 Footage

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Tuesday, 22 May 2012

2012 - AMOC Race 2 - Oulton Park

2012 - AMOC Race 2 - Oulton Park

The earlier Ferrari Classic race has highlighted that our tyres are not up to a warm and dry day so it will be a challenge.  Also with a 45 minute race we know we are touch-and-go on finishing the race, so some short shifting will be required to get the result we need.

Intermarque rolling start

The rolling start allows us to keep with the pack and by maximizing the ability of the Rosso tyres to work best when cold we take the mighty Ferrari Daytona 365GTB/4 into Cascades, running side by side along the Lakeside straight.  We have the inside line into Island and Tim concedes.

Vance, the winner from Silverstone, is limping home in the white F355 as we pass into Druids but doesn't quite make the pits and parks on the inside of Lodge.

Early excitement ahead of the Daytona Group 4 racer ‡

We keep Tim's Daytona behind for a few laps, until he finally uses his extra power to pull through the inside into Island on Lap 5.  Once he is through and we have a healthy gap ahead of the chasing pack, we settle into a comfortable pace for the tyres about two seconds down on the max through short shifting to ensure we don't run out of fuel within this 45 minute race.  I let the leaders through just before pitting to change drivers.

DB4 lightweight lapping

A smooth pitstop hands over to Mark Cavoto for his second race. Gradually gaining pace we see the Aston DBS and DB4 Zagato parked up at the exit of Britten's but unclear if they have connected.  Cov allows the leaders through and brings the car back with a second 4th in class.  We arelooking forward to the Brands Hatch round in June.

Tris & Cov ready for action!!!

2012 - Oulton Park AMOC Race 2 Footage

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‡ Pic from Michael Robinson

2012 - Race 4 - Oulton Park

2012 - PFfC Race 4  - Oulton Park

At a surprisingly dry, yes very dry, Oulton Park we qualify second in class with around 1 second to find to match the leading class 1 car of Nick Whitaker, but must first pass the Mondial T Cabriolet of Didier.  The plan is hatched to take him into Cascades if we get a good start.

A busy start for the pack

 Unfortunately as the start lights go out, it's the Mondial's of Didier and Ray Fergusson that get the jump and both are comfortably ahead as we enter Cascades for the first lap and comfortably pull away. I see the awesome Daytona break through the battling GT4s in my mirror. Once free Tim easily powers by into Lodge, with the GT4s of Richard Stafford and David Hatherway continuing to have a great fight.

Daytona on my tail

On Lap 7 Richard takes two much speed into Old Hall, running wide and releasing David to chase me down.

ichard wide at Old Hall

Great footage onboard from Richard's own camera @ 2:12

After a lap of close running David makes an easy pass into Old Hall and manages to keep a comfortable gap. Richard is gaining but thankfully does not have the time to attack for my 3rd in class position.  It is clear the new Pirelli rubber is struggling in the dry and actually becomes slower as the temperature builds. Possibly due to the height of the tread blocks.  After the race we check the condition of the tyres against the old Corsa Cs and it is clear that they have less grip.

David inspecting my rear bumper

The search for some old Corsa Cs is on.  Without them we will struggle to maintain the series lead position in Class 1.

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† Pics from Simonpics

Thursday, 10 May 2012

2012 - Oulton Park Preview

Oulton Park International  Preview

We prepare for Oulton with both excitement and trepidation. Over the years the mini Nürburgring has delivered some exciting racing, but also disappointment. Our first visit was in 2004 in a Class 1 308GTB on the Island Circuit (an appropriate name due how wet the track had become) with a best time of 1:54.370.  In 2005 we returned  in the 308GTB on the International circuit setting a dry time of 2:09.800.

The dark days in the troublesome 328GTBChallenge failed to finish on both visits. In 2007 we blew the differential on the green flag lap and in 2008 we destroyed the front-end of the car with a big crash at Island Bend (a very fast left hander).

Changing to the 308GT4 for  2010 we had a shaky start with the car emptying it's oil along the pit straight on the first qualifying lap. Thankfully we fixed the car and after starting from the back of the grid we finishing second in class by just 0.176 of a second and a fastest lap of 2:10.883.
William and Tris battled all race finishing just 0.176 apart

In 2011, with confidence building in the 308GT4 we managed a 2:08.380 with a class win whilst chasing down the more powerful class 4 328GTB of Nick Cartwright.

For 2012, our fingers are crossed for a wet weekend in the north west to minimise the power deficiency of the class 1 cars.

2011 - Oulton Park Footage

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Friday, 4 May 2012

2012 - Join Tristec Racing @ the British GP

2012 - Formula 1 British GP

For the third year running Tristec Racing have teamed up with Marussia F1 and LDC for the British GP. This is an exceptional opportunity to experience top flight racing close up and personal with the coolest new team in F1.

For 2012 the camping tickets are not for sale to the general public and are available as an invite only from Marussia F1, LDC and Tristec Racing.  For 2012 we have retained the key facilities of:
  • Pre-erected tents
  • Showers and toilet facilities
  • Car Parking
  • 24 hour security
  • Transfer to and from the circuit
  • Saturday evening Hog Roast with Entertainment

Note that we have not kept the pay bar / catering services or huge TV screen to reduce overall costs. So all you need is a boot full of food and drink and you are ready for the party.   

Camping only is available at £150 per person (assuming two sharing)
Camping and race ticket package available at £370 per person

Space is limited so get back ASAP to ensure your spot.

If you are interested, please call Tris on 07702 292 473; email sales@tristec.co.uk,  or Cheryl on 07841 741 582; email ccooper@ldc.co.uk  and give Tristec Racing as your reference.

We look forward to catching up with you all at the track.




Thursday, 3 May 2012

2012 - AMOC Race 1 - Silverstone National

2012 - AMOC Race 1 - Silverstone National

After the excitement of the Ferrari Classic race we review the starting Grid for the Intermaque Championship race.  This is the first time we have entered the two driver, 40 minute race and a little concerned over the size of the fuel tank of only 40 litres.  At a burn rate of around 1 litre per minute, we are looking at finishing the race, but only just.

This will also be the first race for Mark Cavoto.  It surprised most people that although Mark is well known around the Ferrari paddock, he had never taken his race licence. This error was rectified on the Wednesday prior to the race, so no time to test just put the kit on and get out on track.

The track is truly wet as we start qualifying. Thankfully the experience from the Ferrari Classic session allowed us to immediately get on the pace whilst a large number of Porsche and Astons slid off in all directions. The result is 14th out of 22 just 0.5 seconds behind Vance in his White 355 and 2nd in class B. 

As we start the race the rain has stopped and there is a clear 'dry line' around the track. Oh, dear, that will make it difficult to keep the grid position.  On a full tank of fuel and the engine faltering slightly after the first race we work hard to keep up with the pace.  Losing places lap by lap, with only the odd opportunity to take other cars.  I think this will be the norm of a little Dino GT4 in this series.    

911 spins through Copse
I hand over to Mark Cavoto for his FIRST EVER race on Lap 13.  Starting slowly Mark gradually increases his pace and established a respectable result of 4th in Class, just behind an Aston V8.  An excellent result for the new pairing.
 The race was won by the White 355 of Vance Kearney, who started next to us on the grid. Well done to Vance.  Unfortunately the 355 of Tim Mogridge collected a spinning Wayne Marrs into Brooklands on Lap 28.

2012 - Silverstone AMOC Race 1 Footage

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Sunday, 29 April 2012

2012 - Race 3 - Silverstone National

2012 - Silverstone National Race 3

As we arrive at a soaking wet Silverstone it is sad to hear that Chris Rea's Class 2 308GT4 crashed into the wall along the Club Straight during Friday practice and will not be racing today.  Chris hasn't had much look over the past couple of years, so hopefully it won't take too long before he can bring the car back out to the series.

Race Day

At a very wet Silverstone, I have qualified much higher than the GT4 would usually manage on the new Pirelli rubber.  A good start brings me tight between Jim Cartwright (Blue 328GTB) and Wayne Marrs (Red / White Strip 328), however they squeeze me and I back out of it before getting on the power as Jim runs wide through Copse.  (Retaining my 7th position)  

Peter Everingham (White 328) is level on my right in the run through to Maggots. Entering Becketts I scrub wide and see Peter spin in my mirror.  On the Club Straight visibility is poor, but I'm catching Tim Walker (Red/Gold/White 328) on the entry into Brooklands and drive around the outside of Tim through Luffield. (6th)

Entering Maggots on Lap 2 following Wayne we see Ben Cartwright (Red / Stradale strip 328), and Wayne runs wide. I manage to keep it tight through Becketts taking both cars (4th). Watching Wayne along the Club Straight I keep a central position, but take too much speed into Brooklands and run wide on the exit. We track side by side through Luffield but I manage to get traction early and keep my position and pull a gap along the Pit Straight.

Sneaking through ahead of Wayne's Class 4 328

Lap 4 and Wayne is catching, waved yellows warn that Danny Winstanley (Silver 328) has spun out of the lead on the Pit Straight and has hit the wall.  (3rd overall in the GT4)

Lap 5 Wayne passes on the outside along the Club Straight, but I'm close through Luffield. Spray makes visibility a nightmare (4th).  At Becketts, the waved Yellows are out as they recover Nick Whittaker's  car (Blue 308GT4). Wayne pulls out a good gap.

Lap 7 we catch the back of the field and follow Pauline Goodwin (Red 328) and Ray Ferguson (Red Mondial T), passing both into Brooklands.

Lap 8 Wayne twitches into Becketts and I have a chance, however my fans fail and the screen mists up to zero visibility. I frantically flick the switch a couple of times and it clears.  Wayne has pulled a good gap, but I pull him in at Luffield.

Lap 9 Following close behind Wayne into Brooklands, he twitches in Luffield and I sneak through onto the Pit Straight.  

Lap 10 Wayne moves to the inside entering Copse, and I twitch on the exit but maintain my position (3rd) and see Didier (Red Mondial T convertible) in the gravel at Maggots.

Lap 11 I reach the two GT4s of Steven Routledge (Red/White) and William Moorwood (Red) into Maggots.  Wayne gets good drive out of Becketts and passes along the Club Straight and we both lap the cars into Brooklands.  Wayne blocks the inside into Luffield so I take a wide line, tightening as he runs wide and manage to get enough traction to get ahead onto the Pit Straight.  (3rd) 

Lap 12 into Copse, Wayne is on the inside and I run wide allowing him to get a run into Maggots before the waved yellows as the Mondial is recovered.  Wayne gets a good run out of Becketts and pulls away……

Lap 15 I catch Pauline and Ray for the second time and cross the finish line 4th overall, first in class and definitely the best result for the little Class 1 GT4.

1st in Class, 4th Overall - pics from www.simonpics.co.uk

2012 - Silverstone Race 1 Footage

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Thursday, 26 April 2012

2012 - Silverstone Preview

Silverstone Preview

Although I love the Silverstone GP circuit, including the new Arena section, I must say the National isn't a particular favourite.  Not only is it pretty much a pure power circuit and therefore the little GT4 will struggle, I have frequently had failures at the track.  The seven attempts to race the circuit have resulted in only two finishes with the other five failing to even start the race due to mechanical difficulties.

The fastest time we have recorded at the circuit is 1:07.207 in 2006 with the 328GTBChallenge modified car, and last years best on Corsa tyres in the GT4 was 1:12.270.

For 2012, I'm feeling positive that we will get a result after the full day of testing on Monday with the Ferrari Owners Club on the GP circuit.  Fingers are crossed.

2011 - Silverstone Race 1 Footage
2011 - Silverstone Race 2 Footage

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Wednesday, 25 April 2012

2012 - Race 1 & 2 - Snetterton

2012 - Snetterton Race 1 & 2

The FOC had a great turn out for the first race of the season. 35 cars in total (21 classics and 14 open) with plenty more expected to turn up throughout the season will keep us all entertained.  Although Chris Rea couldn't make this first race weekend, we were entertained by another Ferrari loving musician in the form of Jay Kay, in the Pink Porsche of Sarah Bennett-Baggs (just collecting signatures for his race licence was his excuse). Unfortunately the Porsche did not finish the race due to an engine fire, but hopefully JK will get his signatures and come across to Ferrari for his adrenalin rush.

Jay Kay - Potential new recruit to Classic Series

Race 1

Starting from a mid-field position on the new Pirelli PZero Rosso tyres (see footnote) was a good start, however turn in was poor into the first corner, scrubbing wide around the outside of Ray Ferguson in the Mondial T. Peter Fisk (dark blue 328GTB) jinks left pushing me onto the grass after he avoids Wayne Marrs (Red/white 328) as he spins. Returning to the track David Hatherway (Red 308GT4) has got ahead and blocks into Montreal, so I drive around the outside, taking David on the exit. Catching Tim Walker (328 Red/White/Gold) he shuts the door at Agostini and starts to pull away as we enter the Bentley Straight. Michael Squire easily pulls past ahead of entering Nelson and Ben Cartwright takes an easy pass on the Senna Straight to complete Lap 1. Hanging on with the pack of higher powered cars I see Squire twitch at the apex of Palmer.

Lap 3 sees the recovering Wayne Marrs pass as I go wide through Hamilton.

Lap 4 sees Squire parked in the centre of the track at the exit of Palmer, following a spin. He later confirms that the lack of grip from the Rosso tyres compared to the Corsa is causing him trouble.

Lap5 and Richard Allen (Silver 328GTB) has caught me. He tries taking on the entry into Brundle, but I take the wide line and block into Nelson. Along the Senna Straight he goes for the outside but pushes across to the inside of Riches. I try to keep the speed around the outside, however the grip is too low and he has me.

I try around the outside of Montreal and keep the pressure on the infield, however he pulls away on the Bentley Straight, only for me to catch him under braking into Nelson. I keep with him into Lap 6 and push hard through the infield. The Rosso's screaming in protest, I manage to dive inside into Oggies. He attempts to pass around the outside into Nelson, however I keep the speed up and hold him off.

Lap 7 and Richard takes the inside into Riches and passes.

Lap 8 managing to keep carry mores speed through Riches I notice a light mist of oil is clearly visible from the engine cover, hopefully nothing serious. It is now or never, so I decide to use the small gap he has left on the inside into Montreal and dive through. Pulling newly built engine up to 7k to keep ahead I am conscious that I may need to back off at any time, but want to pull a gip in the corners before the Bentley Straight. the engine

Finally on Lap 9 I reach the flag, ahead of Richard Allen. Yes, a class win to start the season plus 5 scalps from cars in higher classes. Result.

Catching Club Chairman Richard Allen's 328

Race 2

A shocking start drops me back 5 spots, however taking the outside line around Riches and Montreal brings me right back to my grid position behind club chairman Richard Allen. I just about keep with him along the Bentley Straight and go around him at Brundle drawing level on the inside into Nelson. Scrubbing more speed off to ensure we don't collide, I bog down in 3rd exiting and Richard pulls clear. I'm all alone at the front of Class 1 and 2 for the remainder of the race, however due to the 200 layout the front running 328's of Danny Winstanley closely followed by Jim Cartwright come through to lap the Class 1 & 2 cars on Lap 10. Finally on Lap 13 Nigel Jenkins and Wayne Marrs come through before the checkered flag. A comfortable second win of the season, even with the reduced grip from the Rosso tyres. Hopefully we will have an opportunity to raise the revs limit over the next couple of rounds.


For 2012 Pirelli have supplied the classic teams with 17 inch wheels and new PZero Rosso tyres to replace the old PZero Corsa we have used since 2004. Unfortunately they are a significantly harder compound, reducing grip and therefore lap time. Only 6 cars started the first race with the Rosso tyres, including Tristec Racing. The squealing tyres are quite noticeable, so it will be interesting to see how long it takes the other teams to move across.

2012 - Snetterton Race 1 Footage
2012 - Snetterton Race 2 Footage

2012 - Snetterton Results Sheet

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Wednesday, 11 April 2012

2012 - Snetterton Preview

Snetterton Preview

It’s time for the 2012 season to commence at Snetterton this weekend, 14/15 April.
  We can’t wait.

Over the years Snetterton has always featured as an event worth the effort to attend.  It can be difficult to get to the track (just outside of Norwich) from Newcastle; be it a 6-hour drive, 4 hours on the train via Peterborough, or 3 hours by fly & drive via Stansted. 

The first ever visit in 2004 with a standard 308GTB delivered a fantastic battle, with Sam Whitman’s blue 308GTB and Chris Drakes GTO resulting in a spin and a very close battle, with a lap time of 1:30.14.  Chris got the better of me that day. The GTO was just too quick in a straight line.


In 2007 and 2008, we returned to the track with the highly modified and fragile 328GTBChallenge, resulting in a first, second and DNF result and a lap time of 1:19.02, significantly up on the standard 308. 

For 2009 we switched to the Aston Martin Vantage GT4, and raced in both the 3 hour Martini Trophy and the Open race, delivering a first Amateur pairing within the Martin Trophy and two firsts within the Open at an even quicker 1:16.90 lap time. 

Now, back in the classics, we are using the Ferrari Dino 308GT4 on the new Snetterton layout.  In 2011, Snetterton featured for all the wrong reasons.  Race 1, on the new 300 circuit, the car started to overheat and therefore a DNF, with a lap time of 2:25.79. This result caused the team to lose out on winning the 2011 series by 9 points (a win delivers 25).  After cleaning out the cooling system and adding a new fan to the radiator, we won Race 2 on the 200 circuit, with a lap time of 1:32.08.  

2011 - Snetterton Race 1 Footage
2011 - Snetterton Race 2 Footage

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