Monday, 13 April 2009

In the papers.... just >90)

After our surprisingly successful debut race at Snetterton just over a week ago, it was a further nice surprise to open the National section of this weeks Autosport and Motorsport News to find that I had finished far enough up the grid to be listed in both!

Its only a mention in the results tables, so I won't bother scanning it to put it up here, but is still a pretty good result from our first race weekend. >80)

Also in the press is the Nippon Challenge (under which the Subaru Cup is run), who will be working with Japanese Performance Magazine for the duration of the 2009 season.

The partnership with JPM should mean the championship will feature in every issue from now until the end of the season and, together with Silverstone Tyres and Fedral Tyres coming on board as championship sponsors, could also result in some additional TV coverage, making the racing even better value for sponsors.


PS - If you are interested in sponsoring us in the Subaru Cup 2009 (we have a range of options starting for as little as £1000/season) please contact us through this blog.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

[Cheezy] Trohpy Pic

Before I post this...... the dumb grin is 'cos I was still in shock to be holding a trophy (and to have a car in one piece!)........

LtoR : Miles Hulford (2nd), Martin White (1st)
and Karen Phillips (3rd) after Race 1 at Snetterton.
Lance Wittenberg, 2009

Fortunately no-one managed to gather us all for photos with trophies after Race 2, so you are spared further exposure to my gormless grin >90)


More Snetterton Pics....

This time they are by Mikee (tengudo mechanic) and include the prerequisite posing by the car photos.... taken before the first race in case it was all we had to remember the car by!

Car looks lovely... shame about the idiot spoiling the view!
Mike Herbert, 2009

Car looking pretty... convincing you to go give CBN money ;)
Mike Herbert, 2009

Chasing Darren through Russell in Race 2
Mike Herbet, 2009

Hunted by James Nichols' SuperGT Class Evo during qualifying....
Mike Herbert, 2009

.... unfortunatly the monster blew up by the end of the straight!
Mike Herbert, 2009

Incidentally, official timings for the races can be found on the TSL Timing website HERE (thanks to Rich for pointing that out).


Monday, 6 April 2009

Snetterton Pics By Lance Wittenberg

Here are the first load of photos from the Snetterton round. All were taken by Lance Wittenberg, who has done a great job getting loads of shots of all the cars which are available on his website.

On the run from Miles Hulford!
Lance Wittenberg, 2009

On the run from everyone else at Russell Chicane!
Lance Wittenberg, 2009

Attacking Darren Hughes through Russell Chicane
Lance Wittenberg, 2009

Ahead of Miles,
one of the few times we will see that I suspect!
Lance Wittenberg, 2009

Obviously a massive thankyou is due to Lance for letting me use the shots and spending his weekend getting them!

More pics on the way as soon as I have them....


Snetterton - April 4th

  • Race 1 Qualifying : 11th (2nd in Subaru Cup class)
  • Race 2 Qualifying : 12th (3rd in Subaru Cup class)
  • Race 1 : 8th (1st in Subaru Cup)
  • Race 2 : 5th (1st in Subaru Cup)

    The season is finally underway, after months of preparation and remortgaging my soul to pay for everything, the Subaru Cup 2009 kicked off with two races at Snetterton in Norfolk.

    This was to be my first race meeting as a driver, so the nerves were really on edge on the journey up on Friday night.... not helped at all by being stuck on the M25 for nearly 5 hours, causing us to arrive at 2:30am. Massive thanks go out to Mikee (TenguDo race mechanic) for getting us through an epic 10 hour journey in my aging Transit!

    As we were so late arriving the morning of the race day was so busy, with new tyres and wheels waiting for us at the circuit (thanks to Service and Sport for the tyres and X-Spec for the wheels!), that I did not have a second to think about things and get myself in a panic. We finally managed to get the tyres on and car ready in time for Practice/Qualifying, with Mikee still tightening the wheel bolts as a strapped myself in.

    Qualifying went well (I didn't crash!), but in the rush to get out on track the tyres had been left massively over pressure (running 50psi when 24 was more appropriate) leaving me with less grip once they had heated up but at least meaning that the brand new tyres were scrubbed in very quickly and would be ready for Race 1.

    Qualifying second in class behind Darren Hughes for race 1 was fantastic, with a gap of just a few 10ths of a second covering all the runners in the class. Darren again took best grid slot for Race 2 (based on your second fastest qualifying lap) with Miles Hulford just ahead of me and Karen Phillips just behind after problems with what seemed to be overboosting on the exit of Russell and the Esses.

    Race 1..... wow.... heart.... pounding. I was sitting on the grid for my first ever race and was not at the back as expected, I had to get this right or cars could come clattering into the back of me before I even got off the line. I sat sweating as the 30sec board came out and realised that the cars seem alot closer together then it looks on the telly!

    The lights came on as I desperately tried to remember what the hell I was doing here and what Mikee had said about getting a good launch.... I try to hold the car at 4500 revs..... the lights go out and I drop the clutch... too violently as it turns out as I sit still spinning my wheels.

    Karen and Miles shoot past me, showing exactly how the launch is supposed to be done and catching Darren by Turn 1 and 2, meantime I finally get the car moving and end up going the long way round Riches as cars from behind rush past on both sides.

    As we come out of the Bomb Hole for the first time and in to Coram, I finally start to calm down and stop thinking about the fact that all the other Subaru Cup cars are along way up the road. Today's target is just to finish both races. As I relax the car gets faster and I am soon making places up as I pass the slower GT150 cars that had enveloped me at the start.

    I finally catch up to the first of the Subarus on the way out of Sear, but it is Stuart Wards' GT500 class car which is having obvious problems down the straight as it can barely pull away from my car which has half its power... still its a quick car even then.

    I follow Stuart into the Esses and manage to make my way to the inside for the right hander, exiting in second gear I move across to the outside and force Stuart offline.... my first proper pass accomplished without any paint swapping, probably largely due to Stuarts' excellent driving as I bullied my way through >80)

    Setting off down the road I finally passed Karen on the exit of Sear when she missed a gear change and in the same lap caught up to Darren on the way through Coram, getting a better exit from the Russell chicane I managed to pass him on the straight, with Darren backing off as we head back towards turn 1 to avoid taking us both off.

    For the next few laps I enjoyed a great battle with Darren running so close I don't know how we still had wing mirrors! He was getting closer and closer until he followed me a little too closely through the Bomb Hole on Lap 7. With Darren breathing down my neck I entered the corner a little too fast and ended up across the curb on the exit with two wheels on the dirt forcing me to back off and regain control of the car. Fortunately for me Darren had followed me off, but not realizing it he turned in for a pass and span, sending is car up in the air and spinning across both sides of the track. Darren was fine, but out of the race with his tyre off the rim and bumper in the grass and the pressure to keep my place was off... now to find Miles.

    Miles was only a little way down the road and fighting with other cars allowing me to catch up to the back of him in just 2 laps. On the penultimate lap I again got a better exit from Russell and so carried more speed onto the straight. Miles pushed me right to the end of the straight, forcing me to brake deep into Turn 1, but with the back sliding the car somehow got through Turn 1 and I was leading my class in my first ever race.

    Bringing the car across the line to the checkered flag a couple of laps later, I could not believe it. Nor could Mikee, greeting me with "Did what I think just happened, really just happen?" and a bewildered grin. It wasn't until I was lined up in front of the Silverstone truck having my picture taken with Miles, Karen and our trophies and I finally accepted it had happened!

    Race 2

    My heart was a little bit quieter in my ears as we lined up on the grid for Race 2, even so my nerves were ragged, with the unexpected roller coaster of emotions from the unbelievable race 1 result and the knowledge that I had been far too mean to my brakes and would have to conserve them as much as possible in this race.

    The lights went out and again Karen came screaming past despite my getting a better start, keeping pace with Darren this time, but not Miles who disappeared off into Turn 1, leaving the rest of us to sort our selves out. Karen again had problems with a gear change and seemed to almost go backwards as we approached turn 1, leaving me 3rd in class behind Darren as we approached Sear for the first time.

    From the earlier accident it was clear that Darren had done some serious damage to his suspension setup, with the tail of his car all over the place through the Esses and Bomb Hole. I held onto him through Coram and considered a pass into Russell, but decided to stay behind for now rather then risk a collision with his erratic car. Darren had realised he could not fight for long with his car in this state and let me through as we passed the start line to begin Lap 2.

    As i exited Sear I could see Miles approaching the Essess at the other end of the straight, again fighting hard for his place. I set off up the road after him and caught up to him quickly with nobody around for me to defend against.

    Entering Lap 3 or 4 I was getting close to Miles, but already my brakes were squeeling as the wear markers dug into the disks. By the end of the lap I had almost no front brakes and could only brake in a perfectly stright line if I didn't want the rear to slide!

    Fortunatly there are only 2 corners where heavy braking is required with the car loaded up, so I was able to keep with Miles, battling for the next several laps before passing him through Sear, my least favoured corner.

    Miles continued to attack, forcing me to use ever more of my dwinderling brakes and I was certain it was only a matter of seconds before he got back passed me, relieved that the gap back to the other Subaru Cup cars should be enough for me to hang on to second.

    Unfortunatly for Miles he had to break off his attack with Stuart Wards still unhealthy Subaru closing up on him and forcing him to defend. Stuart and Miles had a great battle, with epic drifts from both cars on the exit of Sear for the next couple of laps and running wheel to wheel into the Essess.

    With all this going on behind I had stretched my lead and was able to back off enough to bring the car home, leaning on the curbs heavily to make up for the lack of brakes... hitting the inside curb at Russell so hard that over the next couple of laps I completely destroyed the tracking on the car. As I coasted across the line to take a second very unexcpected win, my steering wheel was turned about 20% to the left to keep me going striaght!

    What a day! Another trophy (a nice silver cup this time) and a clear lead... very unexpected result given our target for this year was to finish 5 races on the same lap as the leaders. Even the van giving up the ghost and throwing its cambelt on the way home, resulting in a 14 hour odyssy with the clinically idiotic AA seeming determined to make things take as long as possible, could not wipe the ridicoulous grin off my face >80)

    No pressure for next time then......


    Next Race : Pembrey 16th/17th of May