Monday, 13 October 2014

It's been a busy few weeks in the press

As a fan of all things car related I'm delighted to see that we have made it into all of the magazines I buy at the same time this October.

It all started with a letter I wrote to Octane following the Festival of Speed at Goodwood.  Now I've never managed to make the FOS due to two reasons:
  1 - Newcastle to Goodwood is one hell of a long drive;
  2 - As I race frequently over the summer it tends to clash with many events. 

Anyway, this year I had the opportunity to squeeze the Friday in at the FOS before continuing across to Brands Hatch for the Aston Martin Intermarque Championship; so off I went in the RV.  The event was fantastic and I'm so pleased I made the effort, using the opportunity to meet up with some friends from the south at the same time.  It worked a treat and I'll definitely do it again.  Great atmosphere and loads of access. I'm sold.

Next up we had a trip to the Silverstone Classic. Again I took the RV and stocked it full of car mags for the weekend.  Opening Octane I was enraged by Robert Coucher's column indicating that the FOS brought the 'wrong crowd'.  So much so that I immediately bashed out an email to Octane on my iPad.

After the letter appeared it clearly hit a chord as the following month a further letter was published sighting the same disappointment in tone.

On a happier note, although I missed the formal EVO supercar shoot over the lunch break at VMAX200, primarily due to the fact I was in the burger van queue with Max, the photographer managed to take a snap of Blasst cooling off after the morning run.

Plus a snapshot in the video summary.

Evo Magazine Video from EvoMax

Finally, following a great race at Snetterton my trusty black 355 managed a 3rd overall and 1st in class in the Intermarque behind two Astons. It's always worth checking Autosport.  Tim got the Championship, but he knows who really came out on top, I'm sure.....

Friday, 3 October 2014

2014 - Vmax200 EvoMax

Wow what a day.  Thanks to Amos Menin and Craig Williams for inviting me to Vmax200 with EvoMax last weekend.  It required an early start, with Max and I waking at 4:00am on Saturday morning before attempting to creep a 5ltr V12 carb fed Countach out of the garage without waking the whole of Newcastle at 4:30!!!!

We took a leisurely 200 mile drive down to Vmax and were the first car to arrive at 8:15am, stopping once for fuel at Woodall Services.  The Countach was brimmed before we set-off, which highlighted a slight issue with the fuel pump within the near-side fuel tank which would only take a few litres, whereas the off-side tank was almost empty.  No matter she was running well.

The setting for Vmax is amazing with old planes littering the roads around the airfield. It was clear #blasst was not going to outrun the modern metal, and there was no way I wanted to replace the clutch after removing the engine twice in the past 3 years already, so gently off the line was the plan for the day.

I was pleased to see so many people enjoying the Countach and what it stands for in the history of the Supercar, and love the footage Martyn and Richard took from the 911 Turbo when we ran together.

After a full day on track we were one of the last cars to leave and head back to Newcastle, running in Convoy with the @supercardriver gang in the Ford GT Mirage 720 and 9ff.

200 miles south, Vmax200, then 200 miles home in a day with no problems. That my girl.

So what did she do? I don't know, but somewhere in the 140-150 mark. Now I'll have to fix that fuel pump before the next run to see if that helps at the top end.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

2014 - Ferrari Racing Days - Silverstone GP Circuit

Two years after achieving the world record of 964 Ferraris (yes I know it's the code for the 90's 911) on track at once, we return to Silverstone to support the European Trofeo and Shell 458 Challenge series' and the clienti programme of FXX, 599XX and F1 cars.

The Pirelli Ferrari Open has been invited again, but unfortunately the Classics remain excluded by the factory.  Such a shame as they do put on a great show and would definitely add a further dimension to the weekend.

Listening to the engines of the older F1 cars in contrast to my trip to the British GP in July really brings home what has been lost from the sport since the introduction of the turbos.  The scream is immense as the cars fly past.

The FXX and 599XX are similarly spectacular and it was a great privilege to watch from the pit lane.

Open Race

So onto the Open Race and specifically the gaggle of 355s.  After qualifying it is clear that Nigel's modifications for the Intermarque series have now bedded-in and starting to deliver the benefits.  Unless Nigel has a problem we will be in his wake.  Thankfully, the remaining cars are very close, so we should have a good battle.

Race 1

Tim and I are nose to tail behind the 360 of Gavin Shirley, which we know is difficult to get off the line, so there is a chance we both go backwards at the start.   As expected the 360s are slow off the line, but a spin in the first corner shuffles the pack and I get ahead of Tim and pull a large gap.  I maintain the gap for the race, with Nigel well ahead fighting with the 360s on SLICKS.  Unbelievable !!!.  2nd in class is a great result and ahead of Tim. 1 nil for the weekend to Tris.

Race 2

Tim and I start nose to tail again, but this time on the outside of the track.  Unfortunately the 360 of Gavin Shirley hasn't made the grid and both Nigel and Lee get a good run on the inside of turn 1.  Thankfully a decision to follow Lee gives me the chance to go around the outside of Tim at Village and pull a gap.

I keep with Lee and Nigel for a few laps, but gradually lose ground.  Tim makes good use of the faster cars as they lap us and is back on my tail by lap 9 and it is clear that he has more time in the car than I can match, so it's all eyes on the mirrors as I keep him behind.  Thankfully I retain 3rd and ahead of Tim for the second time in the weekend. Result !

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

2014 - Ferrari Experience Day (Trackday) - Silverstone GP

The first Ferrari Owners Club track day of the season was held on the GP Circuit at Silverstone. Although the forecast for was rain the main weather system decided to avoid Silverstone and the sun actually made an appearance from lunchtime through to the end of the day.  With everything from a 246 Dino through to an Enzo on track it was a fantastic sight and clear that everybody was enjoying the chance to drive the cars as intended.  Don't be afraid get yourself booked into one this year if you haven't tried it. FOC are offering free instruction to all club members, plus for the novice who hasn't tried driving on track before you can have a go for 30 minutes.

Francis Newman, a long standing member of the PHR who has marshalled  many track days over the years finally bought a 308GT4 and used the opportunity to take it on track with yours truly.

See his write-up within the June edition of Ferrari News.

Frances takes to the track with Tris

Paul B's Enzo was on track all day long

Hublot approach to spending 250k was on display