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.
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.
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.”
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
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.
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”.
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
hope that the weather warms up by March 20, when a capacity Britcar
grid takes to the Silverstone National circuit.