Category Archives: Motorsport

Thanks Ross!

Back in March a friend foolishly invited me to a track day to have a go in his car. A few very careful laps later I had a great time! I also took the chance to take some pictures.

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Thanks Ross!

GRRC Easter Monday Spring Sprint

Easter Monday was the 10th running of the Goodwood Road Racing Club’s annual sprint. Open to the GRRC members there is the usual Goodwood fare of older machinery but also a chance to see more modern equipment in action. The day was very relaxed and it is more about the enjoyment rather than serious competition.

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Sierra Cosworth RS500 in action on the last runs of the day. I remember when these were common on the road, or at least copy cat rep-mobiles were. Now it is a rare chance to see one in action.

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Some well-known names were there including Anthony Reid in this Noble M600 in his role as one of the Goodwood team captains. As ever he was right on it and setting the pace in a car far newer than the circuit was ever designed to contend with. Though at a mere 450HP it is short of the Lola T70’s 500 odd HP and these tested in period and run most years at the revival. I know which I would rather have!

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On the other end of the timeline there was this 1927 Ford Frontenac also competing. Seen here at the end of Lavant straight where the exposed nature of the driving position was very apparent.

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During the day the Airfield was in full operation as well providing entertainment when the circuit was not being used. The plane in that picture (to my untrained eye) is probably at least 5 years younger than the Frontenac!

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The good thing with this kind of event is the sheer mix in abilities as well as age. The comparatively standard Triumph TR3A (above) and Austin Healey 3000 (below) compete with…

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The ‘Nike IMP’ of Kevin Cooper I had a look around this and the panel molds might have seen an IMP a long time ago but there was little else other than the shape remaining! The rear wheels hunkered right up in the arches make it look like it is accelerating even when it’s parked.

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This Audi A4 ‘V6 Star’ was originally fitted with a chevy V8 but now has a V6 giving in excess of 1,000hp. Seeming it has the grip to and handling to match as it seemed very much under control

And her come the Fords;

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A pale blue Anglia like my Dad had. I’m not sure if he had this before or after the mud brown cortina estate!

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The GT40. I’m not sure if this one is genuine or not. There were 2 copies on the entry list and this wasn’t either of them! was supposed to be and MGB.

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Lotus Cortina

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Jon Doubleday’s V8 Cotina, which has appeared in at least 1 of my Crystal Palace posts, pulls away from the BMW Batmobile.

And ok it’s an AC or a Shelby dependant on your viewpoint, but it’s Ford powered. 1963 289 Cobra.

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Finally just the plain odd;

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A 1953 Staride MKII

There were too many pictures for one update so the above and the overspill are in this slide show;
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South Downs Rally 2015

This was the second time I’ve been to the South Downs Stages Rally held at Goodwood Motor circuit home of the revival and there was only a little rain so definitely better than last year! As anyone who looks at my posts knows, I love old Fords. So to get around lots of pictures of the same car being posted I have decided to bump all of the Escorts to the bottom of the post… apart from the one above – Graham ‘Crank’ Palmer in his Pinto powered Mk1 which shed some spare parts before the end of the event.

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I’ll start with another two wheel drive rally classic. The 205 of Rob Aslett and Ashley Aslett who finished 12th in class C.

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This Nova was going very quickly all day and I was surprised to see that it was in the under 1,400CC class. What I wasn’t surprised at is that Christopher & Anthony Newton placed very high getting 3rd place overall in the event against some much more powerful machines as well as 1st in class.

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Like the Ferrari 308 of Neil McMahon / Dave Mellett which was 37th overall but 3rd in class.

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Not an Escort but it’s replacement. Nigel Mummery’s RS200 which came 1st in class and 11th overall going the ‘wrong’ way down Goodwood’s main straight.

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Now some mocked the Micra when they saw my pictures last year but Stuart Andrews was about the fastest thing through the chicane on the main straight in stage 8. I’m not sure he even braked!

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A 1,600cc 205 heads to a 4th in class B which probably would have been a 3rd were it not for this detour(they should have turned left before they got this far!) Matthew Ockendon drives with Vicky Barry co-driving.

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8 places ahead of them was Abi Mahmood & Colin Felstead to gain second place in class B with a pretty rapid Fiat Punto.

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The 2L Astra was putting in top 10 stage times until an oil fire put them out of contention shortly after this picture was taken on stage 3. They exit the chicane onto the main straight the right way.

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Nice to see a humble Sierra out competing though of course McRae’s Junior and Senior have run one at various times. This one is on proper sized wheels too, not ones borrowed BTCC super tourer! Bill Stewart & Caroline Brampton got second in class.

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Disappointingly this was the only Mini but it finished second in class a long way clear of third place beaten only by the Nova above. Alec Holding & Dom Worsfold.

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Heading up the Escort cavalcade is a Fiesta driven by Stephen & Melissa Hall.

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1st in class C in the Mk2 Escort Stuart Cogger & Ade Summers get very sideways.

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Vince Sillett & Samm Keeley just as sideways but a slow stage 4 harmed their final position.

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Tim Mewett got the braking wrong in stage 4 and missed his turn in but still got 6th overall. Liz Jordan laughs(?) as they make their way back on course and is seen again in the afternoon.

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2.3l Escort Mk2 which I didn’t get a chance to look at in the paddock but now wish I had! Geoffrey & Claire Martin who got second in class D.

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Steve Toney & Ross Wilson get their Mk1 very sideways. No this didn’t end well but fortunately they missed anything solid and nearly every car got it wrong here on this pass.

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Kevin & Lee Jones spin the wheels of the ex-works escort as they recover from a spin. I have quite a lot of pictures of this car so might do a mini update with just pictures of it.

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A funny looking Caterham this one…?

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Escort awaits stage six but sadly retired before the end with a broken clutch cable.

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One of the great things about this event i that it runs into the dark. In all honesty I positioned myself on the wrong side of the track for these shots but lesson learnt… Richard & Irene Lewsey running for fun after failing to post a time in stage 2.

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Speed Trials ’14

Quick update of pictures from the speed trial earlier this year. Always really hard to photograph because you are against the light but I got a few reasonable ones. Good to see it back after the petition earlier this year.

First off I can’t decide if I like this picture or hate it, you decide.

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It’s too busy, but then Brighton is too busy.

And a more conventional shot of the Ford Fairlane on the return pass.

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The bikes really upped their game this year, or it could be that there were fewer quick cars.

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In previous years I remember the fastest shoot out being close between 2 wheels and 4 but this time the bikes had it hands down. Fastest over the line was, I think 167mph.

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As ever there was a good mix of speed machines and classics, or even classic speed machines! I couldn’t get close enough to see if this was a real Gulf car or not.

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For once the Police aren’t called for a burn out on Madeira Drive!

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I’m not even sure what this is? A trike?

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And another 60’s icon is prepared for another run.

Goodwood 2014 – Shelby Cup

The second update of photos from Goodwood. These are taken from Friday practice for the Shelby Cup. This race was for the Ford Falcon and derivatives to celebrate it’s win on the Monte Carlo Rally.

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Above is the regular (only at Goodwood could you use regular in this context) Falcon. This example is owned by Rowan Atkinson of Black Adder fame. He unfortunately connected with a stationary car during his race later in the weekend. It had spun in front of him and he had nowhere to go. The damage was not too heavy and I should imagine it will have been fixed by now.

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Also involved was this, a Mercury Cyclone… and they wrote it down the side so I didn’t have to look up the number! It ultimately looks to be basically the same but with 4 eyes.

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Now this I did have to look up – the Dodge Dart of Grahame Bryant who shared the drive with Anthony Reid. Anthony seemingly had a drive in every race, very much in the spirit of the era. It is a shame that we don’t get the likes of Hamilton entering Tin Top races and the F1 calender usually clashes with events like Le Mans.

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This is a car I had never heard of, a Studebaker Lark Daytona 500. It appears that later models used the Ford V8, not sure why this was out there for this race though.

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Finally of the variants is the Mustang, which is just a Falcon floor pan in fancy dress.

Some other pictures from the Qualifying session. While some seemed to be concentrating just on getting around others were hard on it right away.

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And at the end of the session Neil Twyman brings Julian Balme’s car in.

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Goodwood Revival 2014

Having taken a lot of pictures on Friday at the revival I intend to put up an update for each class but for now I thought I would put up a few of my favorites from a first pass of those taken. My programme has been ‘borrowed’ so I will have to be light on detail for now.

Unlike last year (pictures here)  the weather was great so I got lots of interesting (to me at least) pictures. I forget each year that you just can’t get around in a day and so missed most of the infield this time around… next year!

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I think one of the appeals of the event is that you can see the drivers working the cars. From a race engineers point of view the chassis flex of the car above is terrible but seeing the driver fight the short comings is the spectacle.

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Alonso, I have found your issue. Get the team to paint your wheels blue… and maybe fit a flat 12 engine.

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The cars are used and sadly accidents happen but I would rather this than never hear the sound or see the site of these cars sliding through the kink.

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Some drivers have so much spare capacity they are checking their mirror… coming into the 100mph Madgwick. Larger below;

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And finally you go outside to a field which on an normal day would be the best car show in the world but on revival day is just a car park

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PGM Open Day 2014

On the 27th April Partridge Green Motorsport held its first annual open day where customers were invited to come along and show off their cars as well as having the opportunity to weigh them.

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Above: The first cars take their place in the queue to be weighed. There was a steady stream of cars throughout the day coming and going despite the weather.

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Above: Line up of some of the cars which attended during the day.
Below: Some of the cars of the braver owners who turned up during a particularly heavy down pour.

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As well as PGM’s own staff a number of suppliers to the Caterham market were also in attendance offering advice throughout the day.

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Soft Bits For 7’s even got the power tools out with a bit of help from PGM’s Colin Jupp

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The main focus of the day was the weigh in where the drivers and cars were put on the scales to see who could get the lightest and best balanced car. Below Andy (the Boss) talks to a customer while Becky does the hard work of taking down all the numbers;

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Tea, coffee, and cake were supplied while people took the chance to catch up inside out of the rain;

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Becky in discussion with a customer while, below, Andy checks on progress;

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Other cars attended as well and were also weighed in;

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Generally a good day was had with everyone pitching in and catching up with friends as well as exchanging ideas for the future

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BTCC season opener at Brands 2014

A good first round was had by the BTCC grid at the beginning of April. The racing was a bit tentative to start with but soon got up to speed. Jason Plato was particularly impressive coming through the field in race 2. The Yuasa Honda’s seem to have gone from a quick car to a not so quick car as they were unable to catch Andrew Jordon in last years car.

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South Downs Stages Rally Goodwood

On Sat 8th Feb it was the 10th running of the South Downs Stages Rally at Goodwood motor circuit. The weather forecast wasn’t great but there isn’t much opportunity to see rally cars at full bore in this part of the world so I decided to take a chance. Fortunately it held off for most of the day only getting really bad at the end.

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Stages were run over various configurations of the circuit during the day with the afternoon running the ‘wrong way’ around the circuit. In the above picture the 2l Mk1 Escort of Roland Brown and Terry Luckings is seen coming up from Fordwater toward Madgewick they would ultimately finish 16th overall and 8th in class.

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On what would normally be the exit to Madgwick a series of ‘wiggles’ had been put in using the tarmac run off area to form part of the course. Jack & Martin Brazil are exiting the main circuit in the 1.9 205 on the way to a 5th in class and 12th overall.

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Coming into the wiggles is the Mk2 Escort of Mark Wiltshire & Adam Dunn who would ultimately come 5th in class and 8th overall. With over 1/3rd of the entry was made up from MK1 & 2 Escorts these pictures may get repetitive if you aren’t a Ford fan. I love them and so needed no excuse to take lots of pictures!

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Other cars running on the day were top to bottom Chris Selfe & Paul Lowman in a BMW M3. John Taylor and Lindsey Watson in the Talbot Sunbeam finishing second in class. Dean Thomas & Rich Knowlton in the Davrian Dav-Tec which sadly retired after SS7 with, what looked like to a spectator, an overheating issue.

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And showing that you don’t need flash machinery to take part Oliver and Simon Howard in a K11 Micra which won first in class beating the Talbot and Astra amongst others. My Mum’s never went like that… unless possibly when my Dad was driving.

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What was noticeable wandering around the paddock was how relaxed people were compared to a race paddock. There were far more groups of people chatting and no way near the amount of ‘mines bigger than yours’ nonsense going on.

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Just before lunch when the paddock pictures were taken John and Sharon Mills go the right way through Madgewick in their class B Citroen C2.

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The 1600 Mk1 Escort driven by Tony Rendell and co driven by Sed Simeone gets the power down going through the run off section used as part of the rally stage. They would ultimately finish second in class and 24th overall ahead of the Citroen above as well as a 205 and other Escorts.

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The 205 GTi of Philip and Robert Smith makes steady progress through the wiggles. Believe it or not this is not cropped at all, I managed to frame it just so… of course I haven’t posted all the pictures I have of half a car…

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Apart from this one of Mark Wiltshire trying to spot his turn in point.

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Stephen Hall looks like he is enjoying his rally co-driven by Lee Williams in the 1700 Mk1 Fiesta.

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The last stage of the day ran into darkness and eventual winners Simon Mauger and Melanie Holmes are seen here doing the only sensible thing you can do with excess fuel. They seemed to be really on it on every run being totally committed as the car squirmed under braking.

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I grew up on images of rally cars running in the dark so to get to see them in the flesh was quite special even if there were no Group B monsters. Russell Davies and Andy Thomlinson show they are trying really hard with the brakes glowing to get a 3rd in class.

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Escorts Stuart Cogger & Lee Bezuidenhout (top – 2nd in class) and Richard Lewsey & Irene Lewsey (lower – 4th in class) pushing on into the night, even in the wind the sound is unmistakable. Finally the point I decided I wanted to be warm and dry;

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Sorry no credit to the driver/car of this one but I can’t see who you are in that rain. Free print of your choice if you can prove it is you!