Britcar Testing at Thruxton
I’ve seen fire, and I’ve seen rain, but I ain’t never felt anything like the ice-cold wind that blew across Thruxton on Friday afternoon, when half-a-dozen EERC entrants turned out to test their 2004 mounts alongside TOCA competitors, JWR Racing’s Porsches and a smattering of Ginettas.

The long-awaited Nissan Skyline of Nigel Mustill, resplendent in its stunning Falken livery, at last broke cover, former owner Andy Middlehurst doing most of the testing miles.

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Andy will share the race driving with Mustill, who is returning after an 11 year break. He was last seen racing a Sierra Cosworth in Thundersaloons, and has spent the intervening years supporting his daughter’s equestrian activities. “The car has only done 12 hours”, explained the returnee, “it was punted off during the Nurburgring 24 hours, and hasn’t raced since. It’s got a Nismo Z1 engine giving about 500 bhp, and Andy says the brakes are fantastic.”

dailysportscar.comAfter nine years racing Porsches, Hot Wheels Racing is moving into Britcar, with the ex-Ian Donaldson Willhire-winning BMW M3, and drivers Mike Salmon and David Ellis were acclimatising themselves with the very different vehicle. “We’re old-timers, and we needed a change from the very expensive Porsche series,” said Salmon. The red car will be joined by the ex-Cirtek M3 at the start of the season.

Ignorance is bliss, they say, and rallying star Gwyndaf Evans had absolutely no idea that he was testing on the country’s fastest circuit, one that has scared the living daylights out of the hardiest of souls. “It’s just a circuit, isn’t it,” shrugged the Welshman, who has only ever raced on a track once before (Lotus Elise guest car at Silverstone), and had a quick refresher course on flag signals before being let out. Whilst testing under Britcar auspices, the works MG ZR160 was actually destined for the Mayflower trophy, and Gwyndaf’s test role, capitalising on his MG experience, is unlikely to develop into a race seat.

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The Burton brothers were giving their Proton Coupe a shakedown, having just had one race at the tail-end of last season, and Peter Seldon (below) was testing son Matt’s Kumho BMW E30, his own M3 GTR still not ready. “We’ve had an electronic problem which we can’t get to the bottom of,” he explained, “and we’re sending it to a BMW electronics expert next week”.

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Andy Demitriou lasted just four laps in his Caterham before a broken jubilee clip dispensed the oil on the driver and over the rear mudgard. Andy will race this car in the new-for-2004 EERC Avon 100 series, and is warming to the idea of bringing out his trackday Porsche 911 into Britcar.

Let’s hope that the weather warms up by March 20, when a capacity Britcar grid takes to the Silverstone National circuit.
Steve Wood

 

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