Oulton Park Opener!
Updated: Feb 17, 2019
The Wrexham Glyndwr University students of Together, We Progress Racinghave had to wait an extra month for the first 750 Motor Club CARTEK #ClubEnduro race after the cancellation of the Donington round but, after three days of testing in biblical rain, the skies cleared and bathed the Cheshire circuit in warm spring sunshine.
Such is the success of the Championship that the capacity grid had 22 cars contesting the Class C trophy and after the highs and lows of 2017 TWP Racing were hungry for a step on the hotly contested podium.
Growth: The Team has welcomed five new faces this season: Students Charley and Elise will run the website, social media and imagery side of things whilst also not adverse to getting their hands dirty when required. Mark and Jack - both studying engineering - have also proved their worth back in the workshop already. Finally, joining us just for this one race having attended a short course, French exchange Student Paul-Henry will return to visit the Team at Spa later this season having proved both popular and invaluable in his short time at Wrexham-Glyndwr!
With ever-more Students expressing an interest and already talk of a third car in the build programme these are exciting times...
Car 72: Wet testing and no dry data for the new - but very impressive - MRF tyres was the least of the worries for Graeme McMurchie and Nick Dougill in the MX-5 Parts MRF Tyres Mk1 MX-5. Qualifying (disrupted by two safety car periods) proved the car continues to have Class-leading pace but the race sadly wasn't to be...
A huge rear-end shunt into the hairpin (that lifted the offending car into the air) followed by a heavy side impact coming out of Lodge meant the pristine 23 year old car is going to need a lot of work to be ready again in time for Rockingham.
The cars' woes continued after the splitter was damaged taking avoiding action across the grass from a wayward BMW. The subsequent black-and-orange flag costing four full minutes in the pits.
So, not the season opener the Team had hoped for, but 18th overall and 6th in Class and a fastest lap of 2:04:02 shows promise given the extra stop. Now it's time to turn the car around in time for Rockingham testing... --- Car 27: As first races go it's fair to say Alex Duffy's was a baptism of fire! Partnered with his tutor John Munro, all his testing in the MX-5 Parts Nankang Tyres Mk3 MX-5 was completed in pouring rain!
Alex took the rolling start cleanly and kept the car out of trouble during the frenetic first few laps before settling down into his stride. Considering this was his first time in the dry, the first half of his hour in the car was essentially testing. By the driver change Alex had knocked eight full seconds off as his confidence in the car grew and he showed considerable race-craft as well as some great overtakes as he picked off the competition!
John's stint was trouble free with a fastest lap of 2:03:57. The car crossed the line 23rd overall, 9th in Class.
As the Team rolled the cars back into the workshop late on Saturday night it really was a tale of two halves: the Mk3 just needing a polish and spanner-check, the Mk1 needing considerably more!
Both cars will have oil samples sent to the Team's oil partner FUCHS Lubricants (UK) for spectral analysis and both will see the rolling road before the next race, the Mk3 in particular has significant potential in terms of tuning.
As for the weekend. As always a huge thank you to the 750 Motor Club, in particular the Marshals that keep us all honest and safe out there on track.
So, no May race but one very big, very exciting event for the Team to attend. Our friends at Nankang Tyres UK are sponsoring the track action at the Silverstone Japfest, as such TWP Racing will be there offering passenger laps to lucky guests. See you there hopefully!
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 Sep (TBC) Anglesey Circuit (cancelled Donington race) 3hr 7 Oct Snetterton 300 2hr
BARC / Mission Motorsport Race of Remembrance
10/11 Nov Anglesey 12hr
That's 27 (and-a-bit) hours of racing!!!
TWP: Together, We Progress. In partnership with Wrexham Glyndwr University.