Updated: Feb 17, 2019
For the Students of Wrexham Glyndwr University Together, We Progress Racing and the sister MX5 Parts sponsored Mk1 and Mk3 MX-5s it's been a long, hugely entertaining (not to mention busy!) season however, this was it; all to play for, everything to lose but equally everything to gain.
In a change to the usual format, the Team elected to enter the #Roadsports 45 minute race on the Saturday as well as the planned Sunday championship round. Qualifying proved to be 'eventful' when a blown Mk1 gearbox threw oil over the exhaust system causing an impressive smoke screen and equally impressive reaction from the Marshals!
An eclectic mix of 41 cars took to the 300 circuit for what transpired to be the first full wet race of the season. The relatively uneventful race did manage to throw up just one little issue however, when the cars collectively pitted for the driver-change the Mk3 door opened into the panel gap of the Mk1 just as it pulled away, leading to lots of shouting, two confused drivers and one very bent door!
This would be Bobby's first time on the MRF tyres (the previous days' Roadsports race having been on wet options). With more powerful brakes, extra grip and an aero package in comparison to the Club5 cars he was used to driving, he settled in quickly matching Graeme's qualifying times almost to the hundredth of a second.
Graeme would start the race (giving Bobby recovery time after his previous Club5 sprint race) and the team elected to fuel him long, allowing a longer pit window up to 80 minutes. An early safety car proved to be unworkable with the chosen strategy so Graeme stayed out and found himself running in eighth overall prior to pitting at the hour-ten mark. Ironically just one lap after the stop a safety car was called! Bobby managed to claw back the remaining lap to catch the train before the safety car pitted and the pair made good progress through the field to finish 28th overall with a best lap time of 2:19.55. --- Car 27: Nick Dougill would pilot the MX-5 Parts Nankang Tyres Mk3 MX-5 in a departure from his usual seat in the Mk1, alongside John Munro.
With a subtly different fuel strategy to the Mk1 the car was fuelled for seventy minutes but a timely safety car at the forty minute mark saw John pit and Nick take the car to the chequered flag. Saving almost a lap during the stop and catching up to the back of the train meant another lap saved and the car sat comfortably in fourth place in class.
All that was left was to keep hitting the lap times and hope that someone else's misfortune would see us gain a place and in the end that was exactly what happened with the '88 BMW suffering an engine failure promoting the TWP car to third. --- And with that, the finale became the end. An incredible season with 2262.54 miles raced thus far (and still with the 12 hour Race of Remembrance to contend!)
It wouldn't be right to end a Championship without thanking all those that have made it possible; from the team at the 750 Motor Club, the MSA officials and Marshals, our drivers and of course our awesome friends and sponsors who quietly help us in the background. THANK YOU.
In a little under a month the team will return to Anglesey Circuit for the final - arguably the biggest - challenge of the year: the Race of Remembrance. Twelve hours of racing split over the weekend with four hours at night and this year TWP will field not one but two entries in the hunt for a class win and ultimately the Heroes Trophy.
As well as that, there's the small matter of a new car for 2019...and some other bits...but more of that a little later...
2018 Race Calendar:
750 Motor Club CARTEK Club Enduro Championship
18 Mar Donington 2hr 14 Apr Oulton Park 2hr 10 Jun Rockingham 3hr 6/7 Jul Spa Francorchamps 2 x 100min 11 Aug Silverstone International 2hr 8 Sep Anglesey Circuit (cancelled Donington race) 3hr 7 Oct Snetterton 300 2hr
BARC / Mission Motorsport Race of Remembrance
10/11 Nov Anglesey 12hr
That's 29 (and-a-bit) hours of racing!!!
TWP: Together, We Progress. In partnership with Wrexham Glyndwr University.