ClioSport.net

Register a free account today to become a member!
Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

Britcar 500 Race Report



  Turbos.
The Britcar 500 is a 6 hour version of the 24 hour race you may have seen on Top Gear. With the Elise's previous fragility, it was never really on the cards, but with our main competitors not attending, it provided a chance for us to go for a win in their absence.

I've never raced on the Silverstone GP circuit before, so the first thing we did was a trackday with our co-driver Rob Barff. Rob works at Silverstone and probably knows it better than anyone. By the end of the day we'd learnt the lines well in a rented Elise.

As the day came to a close, we met up with the race team who were unpacking all the gear for the weekend.

P1070187.jpg


Some tasty cars were already in the car park too!

P1070191.jpg


Everyone agreed that it was best to save the car for the race and do as few laps as needed. The car was prepped and we simply went over our lines and altered things like the pit lane limiter.

P1070197.jpg


P1070200.jpg


P1070199.jpg


Worringly, the car wasn't running well from the start, despite a fresh engine! After replacing a few bits, it turns out the coil pack was knackered where the car was idling rich for ages. Thankfully, it was easy to sort and we were back out.

P1070221.jpg


P1070192.jpg


P1070194.jpg


The next day was qualifying, where we had to do a mandatory 3 laps per driver at both day and night.

Rob (an ex-milkman and vinyl graphic designer) became sticker b**ch, applying some day-glo stripes so we could be seen better!

P1070202.jpg


P1070233.jpg


The car was checked over with fresh brakes fitted.

P1070222.jpg


P1070228.jpg


Qualifing at night was pretty scary, we relied on Rob setting a decent pace!

P1070235.jpg


P1070219.jpg


The lights worked, but they were a bit crap in all honesty. We couldn't add too much as the alternator isn't much cop...

P1070246.jpg


P1070247.jpg


The little LED light fitted on the roof was meant to make us easy to see in the pitlane. It mysteriously disappeared in the race LOL...

P1070226.jpg


We then got bored and started mincing around as the race wasn't until 4 'clock the next day.

P1070243.jpg


Race day objective was pretty simple. Our main competitor bluffed, as he'd turned up. Essentially we needed him to DNF in order to make Brands the decider. Because of that, it didn't really matter where we came, but obviously we still wanted to do well!

Before all that, there were a number of pitwalks for the public.

Image1-10.jpg


It was decided that Rob would do the first stint of the race. The idea was that he could put pressure on the rival M3 CSL, increasing chances of its known transmission issues over long distances.

Rob made a great start, but it was nervous watching the first few laps!

Image5-3.jpg


Image4-1.jpg


I was next to get in the car after an hour and a half. Avoiding the night, i thought i would have an easy ride. Little did i realise the sunset would mean a few corners couldn't be seen at all!

Image2-6.jpg


I brought the car in after my stint without any major problems, other than the tyres were shagged. Unfortunatley, as my dad got in to take over it started to rain. He was going out in pitch black, in the rain, with slicks...

After a few laps, we had to bring him in for wets, costing an additional pit stop. Worse still, the Ferrari team next door came out at the same time as our mechanics. My dad accidently stopped at their pits wasting more time! Even worse, we had a stop go penalty for overtaking under yellows... despite the fact the car had spun!

Our other driver James did his stint that involved a safety car thanks to an old E-Type dumping it's oil everywhere. This gave our competitiors a chance to get a 'free' pitstop. We were 2 laps down.

Image6-2.jpg


With an hour to go, Rob got back in the car to bring the car home. Almost unbelievably, the little Elise was still running fine but it looked impossible for Rob, despite being the 3rd fastest car on track.

Rob took the chequer flag in an admirable 10th place and 3rd in class. Although we'd beaten many faster cars, we were disappointed not to win class.

P1070269.jpg


The guy in the CSL did in fact DNF, but finished 40% of the race which was enough to get him classified. The championship is therefore out of our reach.

The car finished totally unscathed. Nice collection of rubber in the engine bay though!

P1070258.jpg


P1070268.jpg


We're now 2nd in the championship with a small lead over a Seat Leon Supercopa. It will be essential for us to beat him at Brands next month to get the runners up spot!

Finishing with a photo of the team...

P1070264.jpg


Come and join us at Brands on the 7th/8th where both cars will be racing :D

P1070272-1.jpg
 
  MB EQC
Rob Barff gave me a high speed passenger lap around silverstone in a Lotus two eleven last month, man got skillzzzzzzzzzzzzz :)
 

Clart

ClioSport Club Member
  S4
really? seems a lot more than that and looks like a very professional team you have!

any jobs going? lol\z
 
  It's A Reno
That looks like fun. What would be the route to become a gratis race tech? I'm feeling the need to get some racing experience under my belt.
 
  Turbos.
really? seems a lot more than that and looks like a very professional team you have!

any jobs going? lol\z

A lot of my threads are updates rather than races though...

Of course you can have a job. Naturally, i will have to meet your missus and father her next child in exchange.
 
  Turbos.
That looks like fun. What would be the route to become a gratis race tech? I'm feeling the need to get some racing experience under my belt.

Just contact a team for experience, probably quite easy!

One of our guys is only 14, he just does the easy stuff no one else wants to do. Another guy started out as a boat builder and is now one of the best guys in the team because he can adapt well.
 
  It's A Reno
Just contact a team for experience, probably quite easy!

One of our guys is only 14, he just does the easy stuff no one else wants to do. Another guy started out as a boat builder and is now one of the best guys in the team because he can adapt well.

That's the thing you see, I'm a long way off of 14 and have some serious, serious experience in all things mechanical, but particularly messing around with jet engines. My technical level is high.
I've always fancied a term in motor racing, but have no clue where to start. Any suggestions?
 

Jason_E

ClioSport Club Member
  Too many.
Good read! Havent been to the BritCar since TopGear was there! Love the car and the New NSeX ;)
 
  Turbos.
Thanks guys!

That's the thing you see, I'm a long way off of 14 and have some serious, serious experience in all things mechanical, but particularly messing around with jet engines. My technical level is high.
I've always fancied a term in motor racing, but have no clue where to start. Any suggestions?

I guess that it could be a frustrating experience for you then, unless you have an aptitude for engines, ECUs, suspension design or aero then you can only become a really good mechanic. That's not to say it's not rewarding, but there must be a pay threshold.

Like i said, most of the mechanics who work at our team (John Danby Racing) knocked on the door. Phoning round for opportunities is the only way outside going for a degree (which i probably would have done if it existed a few years back).

These might be useful...

http://www.independent.co.uk/studen...nt-your-job-motor-racing-mechanic-425349.html

http://promechanics.com/index.php
 
  It's A Reno
Thanks guys!



I guess that it could be a frustrating experience for you then, unless you have an aptitude for engines, ECUs, suspension design or aero then you can only become a really good mechanic. That's not to say it's not rewarding, but there must be a pay threshold.

Like i said, most of the mechanics who work at our team (John Danby Racing) knocked on the door. Phoning round for opportunities is the only way outside going for a degree (which i probably would have done if it existed a few years back).

These might be useful...

http://www.independent.co.uk/studen...nt-your-job-motor-racing-mechanic-425349.html

http://promechanics.com/index.php

Thanks for the links.

My experience is not motorsport orientated as such, but I am an excellent engineer and my mechanical skills are equally good.
I simply want a bash at motorsort teching, and tbh, if I don't get paid, I don't give a sh'it.
My problem is where to ask and who to ask tbh.
 

Ali

  V6, Jeep SRT, GTS
Is that how much money it takes at this level? Jeeez! :eek:

I'm sure Rob could provide a rough figure. Motorsport has never been a cheap game. not sure what class Rob fits in it. But it's about 300-400k for an independant season in touring cars...
 
  172, Tiguan
Fantastic report Rob. That NSX looks great, assuming it won't be on the pace of the Elise though (but more reliable?)?
 
  Turbos.
Thanks Jon. Yeah, it will be slower for sure. Over the winter it should, in theory, develop into a faster car though.
 
  Turbos.
I'm sure Rob could provide a rough figure. Motorsport has never been a cheap game. not sure what class Rob fits in it. But it's about 300-400k for an independant season in touring cars...

It varies wildly depending on how competitive you wish to be. For example, at this race a pretty standard Honda Prelude competed. The entry fee was £4.5k, but i doubt he paid much on top of that.

We on the other hand, had a motorhome and a full race team. If we didn't know Rob and James, they would have been around £350 per day. I often argue with the old man over 'luxuries,' but he just likes doing things in style. Although personally if i had to slum it i probably wouldn't go racing.

Unlike some other people, we have lots of spares and spend money on things like the advertising boards and team clothings, i.e. things you don't need.

We have been developing three cars in various stages over the last year, so naturally this isn't cheap. Sensible people would stick to just the one car!

Much of this year's expenditure has been put through the company (the logos on the cars are my business) which has helped. It is closer to the lower range of Ali's estimate.
 

Ali

  V6, Jeep SRT, GTS
motorsport will never warrenty the investment. And i wasn't good enough to merit spending 60-80k a yr on it...I admit that. Or rather, we wern't willing to pay even more to find the extra tenth!

The entrys, control fuel and tyres, travel, hotels, food, hell even cups of coffee's mounts to the bill of the above figure. Sponsors will lose you VAT or donate to the cause, but ultimately the anology of making a bonfire with 20£ notes is pretty accurate.

Do i miss! - You fuckin right i do! Even put my helmet on the windowsill last wk! memories!
 

BIFCAIDS

ClioSport Club Member
  340i M-Sport & 182
next time your at oulton park ill come down (if you ever go) looks awesome wish i could do something like this
 
  Sprint 172
It varies wildly depending on how competitive you wish to be. For example, at this race a pretty standard Honda Prelude competed. The entry fee was £4.5k, but i doubt he paid much on top of that.

Yes, I was with that team. The car was an ebay special ex-Nurbugring 24 hour car bought for peanuts really. Clever choice as it uses ex BTCC Honda Integra wheels/tyres/brakes which are available cheap as chips from the various outlets. Not that fast (compared to the rest of the field) but very reliable and good enough for a 3rd in class finish.
 

Tav

  Clio 197
Of course motorsport doesn't have to cost £300k a year and you could have varying degrees of fun (maybe even more) on a much smaller budget. Plenty of race series to choose from. For most people the thought of a £10k a year season is out of reach.
 
  Seat Leon Supercopa
Nice one guys!! Here's our report :)

Another mammoth effort from the BPM team saw us take the class runner up spot and 25th overall in this years Britcar 500. The 888 Solutions Honda Civic just pipped the Clio to the chequered flag after an amazing 6hr battle.​

We were joined at Silverstone for Thursday testing by third driver Vicki Butler-Henderson, who after a first drive the previous week was eager to get back behind the wheel and put the Clio through it’s paces. Chris, Jim, Matt and Keith once again put a fantastic car under us and we were soon lapping a full 7 seconds quicker than our last outing on the Grand Prix circuit. By the end of the session we were all within a few tenths of each other in the low 2.15’s. Pleased with the driver consistency, Matt and Chris were able to get some good fuel burn data and quickly began building a race strategy.


Friday morning saw us out for qualifying and gave a first chance to look at the real pace of the in-class opposition. The enemy were looking good, and despite a gearbox problem, the 888 Civic put in a blistering 2:09, which was quickly followed by a 2:08 from the always-rapid Chimptune Lotus. Technical problems were hampering the Lunar Racing MG, which set a 2.24. Ash took the first qualifying stint and quickly got into the 2:15’s – no doubt spurred on by the potential prize available from the £5 each we had in a fastest lap bet! I matched the pace but Vicki was a girl possessed and with a fantastic last minute lap pushed the car to it’s first ever sub 2:15 time – 2:14.8 – 3rd in class and 41st overall.

Unfortunately the data was showing that at the pace we’d been driving, there was precious little room in the fuel strategy….in fact there was none! Our 2 stop plan was looking in danger – we would run out 12km short. To stay on a 2 stopper we’d need it to rain or to get a safety car.

Night qualifying gave us the first chance to test the lights we’d borrowed from MGA Motorsport. We learnt the hard way at last year’s 24hr race that under illumination destroys night lap times! No such thing this year, the big twin PIAA’s were fantastic and allowed me to set our fastest night lap time at 2:17.

We decided to get Vicki out first and she was awesome from the start, despatching five cars in the first lap! She rapidly set about the main task for the first hour – hang on to the Civic! Chimptune had developed a problem with the Lotus, so as the Honda pitted for fuel and we took the class lead. Some fantastic consistent laps followed and at the end of her 2hr stint Vicki had hauled the car up to 24th overall.

More great work at the pit stop saw the team change drivers, refuel, fit 4 new tyres and fit the night bonnet in under two and a half minutes. Ash set off into the twilight and got quickly onto the pace. Little did we know about the fun and games that were to follow!

As darkness fell the rain came, but with the downpour only expected to last for 20 minutes, all the teams had to gamble on whether to change to wets, or stay on slicks. Ash radioed in to say he felt comfortable on the slicks, but the rain was getting heavy and standing water was forming on the track. One of the Moslers had a spin as it passed, forcing Ash into a seriously evasive manoeuvre…time to change to wets!

The wet had thankfully done it’s job helping us out with less fuel use, but as the rain persisted Ash got a nudge from the no77 Mustang, sending him flying into the gravel. He managed a quick recovery, but after half a lap it was clear that there was something wrong. A visit to the pits confirmed a punctured right rear and despite more brilliant work from the pit crew, the Civic re-took the lead. They had also been helped by the rain’s effect on fuel use – our bigger tank was losing its advantage!

Already in one of his most eventful stints ever, things were about to get even more interesting for Ash! One of the other cars gearboxes let go on the approach to Priory, spreading oil across the track on the fallen rain. The first four cars through all ended up in the gravel and Race Control immediately called for the safety car. This presented us with a problem as you are only allowed to add 25 litres of fuel in a pit-stop under the safety car….we needed to add 50!

With marshals all over the track in the treacherous conditions, the pace car was ordered to run extra slowly. Back in the garage, we took stock of our options - the rain had stopped and the beginnings of a dry line were forming. We were in the slicks versus wets debate again, but with the safety car out and still running at a crawl we realised we could pit, change drivers, add 25 litres, put slicks on and go back out. I could then feel the car on the slicks, come in for another 25 litres and tyre changes back if necessary – all without losing a lap.
We set the plan into action and although the slicks were very lively on the out lap, I could see from the track that it was the right call. Unfortunately as we pitted for the second lot of fuel, the safety car came in leaving me a long way behind the Civic. They pulled further away for the first part of the stint as I struggled to get the tyre temps up on the cold damp track, but having stayed on wets, 888 began to have the opposite problem. As their tyres faded away, mine came in but it was too little too late and despite biting chunks out of their lead, I couldn’t quite reel them in!

A huge well done to 888, it was another brilliant race and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. Here’s to the final round at Brands Hatch next month! A massive thanks to Vicki for coming to drive with us and to all the sponsors for making it possible. ;)

O.
 
  ExigeV6|Q5|DS3|Fiat
Excellant work.

Great write up as usual. Love to do a race series one day, how much is tin-tops these days?
 
  Turbos.
Excellant work.

Great write up as usual. Love to do a race series one day, how much is tin-tops these days?

I would look at the 750MC and take a look at the hot hatch championships or the Caterham-alikes. There you could probably do a season's racing for £10k.
 
I would look at the 750MC and take a look at the hot hatch championships or the Caterham-alikes. There you could probably do a season's racing for £10k.

I'm sure some of the Combe guys (who have the additional advantage of only having to travel to the same circuit all season) run for £10k, some probably even a lot less than that. One of the guys I spoke to last week virtually only has to pay for entry fees, tyres, fuel and the occasional part once the season is under way, he built a solid reliable car and once the big costs were out of the way (the car, seat, HANS etc) he can pretty much run it once a month on consumables only.

A lot of the cars stay in the series when they are sold, so it doesn't even have to be that expensive to buy a reasonably competitive car 'out of the box'.
 


Top