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

Click here to go to the to Ferrari Owners Club - Club Racing Series'.


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

Click here to go to the to Ferrari Owners Club - Club Racing Series'.