Updated: Feb 17, 2019
Every team has its 'boogeyman' circuit, the one where the team's strengths show as weakness and for the Wrexham Glyndwr University Students of Together, We Progress Racing the International circuit at Silverstone is definitely ours!
Where the sublime handling characteristics of the team's MX5 Parts sponsored Mk1 and Mk3 MX-5s suit more twisty circuits; the long Silverstone straights equal long acceleration periods meaning a marked advantage to the more torquey BMWs.
The 750 Motor Club CARTEK #ClubEnduro event was organised to the usual standard of perfection and Friday wet testing suggested the TWP cars had pace thanks to the latest round of improvements and upgrades - actually lapping quicker than the Class A TCR cars in the deluge! However the forecast suggested a dry race and any hope of a game-changing result was dashed when Saturday raceday broke with bright sunshine.
With the cars sat 2nd and 3rd in Class in the Championship this race was all about survival, keeping out of trouble and hoping for others to suffer a bit of bad luck...
Car 72: The usual pairing of Graeme McMurchie and Nick Dougill took the MX-5 Parts MRF Tyres Mk1 MX-5 to a respectable 36th on the 48-car grid with a 1:22:44 lap, exactly mid-point out of the healthy field of 20 Class C entries.
The team returned to the more understated rear wing (minus the end plates) for the race as testing suggested the extra aero was actually lightening the front so much the car was experiencing understeer!
Nick took the helm for the first hour-long stint but the decision was made to pit at the 40 minute point due to a Safety Car period, meaning a heavy fuel load for Graeme to contend with for the remaining hour and twenty minutes.
The pair drove consistently and cleanly to finish a credible 4th in Class, 21st overall with valuable points in the bag towards their Championship contention. --- Car 27: Alex Duffy and mentor John Munro would pilot the MX-5 PartsNankang Tyres Mk3 MX-5 in what is Alex's second-ever race. The pair would start the race 31st with a 1:20:96 best time.
With a large grid, heavy track density and limited race-craft Alex enjoyed a great scrap with two of the Paul Sheard Racing MX-5s and a Ginetta G40 until he too pitted early - just after the Mk1 - to try and make use of the Safety Car.
Sadly, with light numbers due to the Summer break from studies, the team was unable to pit both cars concurrently, meaning that as Alex rolled into the pits the SC boards went in. A further confusion (with Marshals holding the car due to a radio message about a drive-through penalty that transpired to be an error) meant that John rejoined the circuit at least a lap down over the rival cars Alex had been battling.
However come the flag a respectable 26th overall (8th in Class) finish. Not bad given the delay in the pits.
So, two cars, two mid-pack results but all-important Championship points nonetheless.
It is testament to the team's passion and drive that a non-podium result from at least one of our two cars has become almost unheard of, but given the low expectations of this round, any and all points were welcomed!
Next up, Anglesey: our 'home' circuit and one that very much lends itself to the MX-5 chassis... --- Finally, a personal and very humble thank you to the 750 Motor Club. Aware that the drivers get to keep the spoils of war, Giles popped into our The Awning Company home to drop off a trophy especially for the team; our first #ClubEnduro Class win - made all the more special because the win came at Spa Francorchamps.
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.