Tag Archives: Aston

Test Day – Donington Park

With a sunny midweek day off last Thursday I popped along to a Test Day run at Donington Park.

Dallara F308 VW, Robbie Watts, Donington Park

Among the large variety of machines being given a workout was the #7 Volkswagen powered 2008 Dallara F308 which is being prepared by Team Fox Racing for three time Monoposto 2000 champion Robbie Watts’s challenge for the F3 Cup.

Ralt RT1 BMW,  Rob Hall, Donington Park

In 1977 Eddie Cheever was midway through a three year spell with the Project Four Formula 2 team run by Ron Dennis, that year he drove the BMW powered Ralt RT1 seen above to two top point’s scoring finishes at the Nurburgring and Rouen to finish second in the F2 Championship to Rene Arnoux, 39 years later I believe Rob Hall is seen testing the car above which I believe belongs to Peter Wunsch.

Lamborghini Huracan GT3, Darren Nelson, Adam Carroll, Donington Park

I believe Darren Nelson and Adam Carroll shared the driving of the #18 Lamborghini Huracan GT3 with which they are competing in the 2016 GT Cup, they finished second in Sunday’s opening race of the series.

Tyrrell Ford 001, TBC, Donington Park

So far as I know the Tyrrell family are owners of the original Tyrrell Ford 001 seen above and loaned it to John Delane in exchange for it’s restoration and maintenance. John’s helmet is predominantly white, if you know who is seen at the wheel in this photograph’s please do not hesitate to chime in below.

Aston Martin DB4GT, Simon Hadfield, Donington Park

Simon Hadfield was a busy man driving both Wolfgang Friedrich’s Aston Martin DBR1 and his #10 1961 DB4 GT seen above.

McLaren Ford M23, Scott Walker, Donington Park

Looking for details on who might be driving the 1974 built but now 1976 spec McLaren M23/6 looked after by Hall and Hall I came across someone by the name of Scott Walker who had a similar helmet on what appears to have been his only previous appearance in the car at Jarama way back in 2011, if you know anything else about Scott please do not hesitate to chime in below.

Mini Gen3 F56, James Turkington, Donington Park

All of the above were regularly swamped by many Mini’s in Gen3 F56 spec and earlier JCW R56 spec, James, younger brother of double British Touring Car Champion Colin, Turkington will be completing his first full season of racing in the MINI Challenge with the ExcelR8 Motorsport #61 Gen3 F56 MINI seen three wheeling into Coppice Corner above.

Thanks for joining me on this “Test Day” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Concours winning Packard. Don’t forget to come back now !


Hartz Avenue At Its Finest – Danville Concours d‘Elegance

A month ago Geoffrey Horton popped over to Old Town Danville to participate in the Danville Concours d‘Elegance and see Hartz Avenue at it’s finest, an event that raises Parkinson’s research and patient care.

Land Rover 101 Forward Control, Danville Concours d‘Elegance

Among the British vehicles on display this mid 1976 Land Rover 101 Forward Control designed initially for pulling field guns and carrying 1 ton of ammunition, a fleet of 31 101’s were converted by Land Rover to “City CABs” for the 1995 film Judge Dredd set in 2139.

Aston Martin DB5, Danville Concours d‘Elegance

For many years the Aston Martin DB5 could probably lay claim to being the the worlds most recognisable automotive movie star, with the James Bond franchise about to release a new film “SPECTRE” it is quite possible the DB5 will rise to the top of that chart again.

Jaguar E-type, Danville Concours d‘Elegance

Winner of Class B: 1960 – 1969 British Sports Cars was this 1962 Jaguar E-Type belonging to Donald Morris.

Austin Healey 100, Danville Concours d‘Elegance

From 1956 a cracking high performance 110hp Austin Healey 100M version of the BN2.

Lagonda 2.6-Litre DHC, Danville Concours d‘Elegance

Ideal for touring on the Continent is this 1952 Lagonda 2.6-Litre Drop Head Coupé one of only 125 built that was discovered in a barn by a Doctor in 2004 prior to an extensive restoration complete in original factory colours.

Jaguar XK140 FHC, Danville Concours d‘Elegance

Once again congratulations to Geoffrey whose 1955 Jaguar XK140 Fixed Head Coupé SE/MC was judged Class A: Pre-1960 Sports Car winner.

My thanks to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photographs from Danville more of which will be seen on Friday.

Thanks for joining me on this “Hartz Avenue At Its Finest” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a Plymouth Wagon. Don’t forget to come back now !


4th Autumn Classic – Castle Combe

Last Saturday saw the 4th action packed Autumn Classic at Castle Combe which saw large numbers of fans entertained with nine races and several demonstrations most notable for this observer of which were a pair of BRM P160’s from 1972 and a 1973 which regaled the Wiltshire countryside with the awesome sound of a couple of unsilenced V12’s.

Frazer Nash Super Sports, Patrick Blakeney-Edwards, Castle Combe

Patrick Blakeney-Edwards had a moderately successful day as a driver, above he is seen scampering away from a delightfully varied field to win the VSCC Sports Car Race aboard his Frazer Nash Super Sports.

Jaguar Mk 1, Williams, Butterfield, Dorlin, Castle Combe

The JEC Norman Dewis Trophy for Pre 66 Jaguars was won by Martin Hunt driving a Blakeney Motorsports prepared E-type Jaguar while one of the most entertaining battles of the day was fought by Grant Williams and Richard Butterfield both in Mk 1 Jaguars and Peter Dorlin in his Mk2 after Andy Wallace also in a Mk2 retired from third at the half way stage, Grant hung on to finish first saloon home in the #12 seen above.

Austin Healey 3000 Mk1, David Grace, Castle Combe

David Grace driving the #17 Austin Healey 3000 Mk1 won the first of the two Healey Driver International Challenge 25th Anniversary races from second on the grid beating pole sitting white and blue #46 driven by Healey Specialists Bill and Jack Rawles by just under 4 seconds.

Cooper Bristol T24/25, John Ure, Castle Combe

Steve Brooks starting from third on the grid in the #34 Aston Martin DB3S is seen above about to go into the lead on the opening lap of the Fiscar Historic Intermarque race, he looked set for a win until the race had to be called on lap 12, before the compulsory pit stops had cycled through, which meant Stephen Bond in the #95 Lister Bristol starting from 8th on the grid was declared the winner after an accident involving three cars without injury to the drivers blocked the track at Quarry.

Staride Mk3. Xavier Kingsland, Castle Combe

Andrew Turner in the white and red #2 Cooper Mk VI led the opening 8 laps of the BAC Motor Sports Club Challenge for F3 500’s race from 3rd on the grid until he was caught and passed by Xavier Kingsland in the silver Staride Mk 3 two laps from home, pole sitter Darryl Woods in the Cooper Mk XII kept the two race leaders honest and finished 3rd just less than 1 second behind the winner !

Ford Falcon, Chris Clarkson, Castle Combe

Michael Squire easily won the HSCC/HRSR Historic Touring Cars race from pole driving a flame spitting Ford Mustang, but second place finisher Chris Clarkson had a very busy time keeping eventual third place finisher Chris Saunders in the white #77 Ford Cortina and Bob Bullen in the yellow #69 Ford Anglia behind.

Lotus 20/22, Jack Woodhouse, Castle Combe

Jack Woodhouse made a great start from 2nd to lead the opening 9 laps of the FJHRA/HSCC Millers Oils Formula Junior race in the white #84 Lotus 20/22 before yielding to the faster #53 Lotus 20/22 driven by 3rd place starter Sam Wilson seen in third place at Quarry above. Sam however tripped up behind a back marker on the final lap to let Jack back into the lead which was just .2 of a second over Sam at the finish line.

Elva Courier Mk4T. Sean Kukula, Castle Combe,

Having been unlucky in the Fiscar Historic Intermarque race Stephen Brooks easily won the Jon Gross Memorial race in his DB3S leaving Sean Kukula and Jonathon Loader to squable over second place in their #149 and #46 Elva Courier Mk4T’s respectively, Sean won the Elva battle which was fittingly once raced by American Jon Goss.

Austin Healey Sebring, Richard Woolmer, Castle Combe,

Finally the Healey’s came out for a second race which again provided plenty of thrills with third place starter Marc Campfield making the running for the opening 8 laps until his car ground to a halt which left pole man David Grace to claim a 4.5 second victory over the Healey 3000 shared by 5th place starters Jack and Oliver Chatham, above as in the first race the Healey Sebring of Sprites of Richard Woolmer #38 and Gordon Elwell #33 kept spectators entertained further down the field on their way to 9th and 10th place finishes less than 2 seconds apart.

Thanks for joining me on this “4th Autumn Classic” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a six cylinder Plymouth. Don’t forget to come back now !


9 Mins Of Fame – EMKA C84/1

Trained accountant Steve O’Rourke and EMKA productions became the management team for Pink Floyd post Syd Barrat and both Steve and drummer Nick Mason shared an interest in racing cars.

EMKA C84/1, Silverstone Classic Test Day,

Steve’s international racing career got of the ground with a Ferrari 512BB which he entered and drove from 1979 to 1980 scoring a best 7th place finish in the 1980 Silverstone 6 hours with Chris Craft and Vic Norman.

EMKA C84/1, Rudolf Ernst,  Silverstone Classic Test Day,

In 1981 Steve had Michael Cane Racing convert Niki Lauda’s 1979 Project Four Motorsports BMW M1 Procar to a more liberal Group 5 spec and raced that for two season’s scoring a best 2nd place in the 1981 Silverstone 6 Hours whith Derek Bell and David Hobbs sharing the cockpit, Nick Mason also co drove Steve’s BMW M1 on it’s two outings in 1982.

EMKA C84/1, Rudolf Ernst,  Silverstone Classic Test Day,

For 1983 Steve made the bold decision to follow in the footsteps of Robin Hamilton and Nimrod to build his own Aston Martin powered Le Mans challenger the EMKA C83/1.

EMKA C84/1, Silverstone Classic Test Day,

Len Bailey who was based at Gomm Metal Developments in Woking did the design work, Gomm did the metal work, the fibre glass body was constructed by Protoco, Aston Martin Tickford supplied 5,340 cc / 325.8 cui V8 engine and the whole car was prepared for competition by Micheal Cane Racing.

EMKA C84/1, Silverstone Classic Test Day,

On it’s debut at Silverstone the C83/1 was driven by Tiff Needell, Jeff Allam and Steve, they qualified 17th but retired on the last lap due to a failed wheel bearing. Nick Faure replaced Jeff at Le Mans for the 24 hour race where the car qualified 25th and finished 17th despite spending 2 hours in the pits with a suspension problem.

EMKA C84/1, Rudolf Ernst,  Silverstone Classic Test Day,

Due to uncertainty over the 1984 fuel regulations the C83/1 did not race again until 1985, by which time the ground effect venturi had been replaced with a flat floor, the rear suspension had been revised and the car had been renumbered as C84/1.

EMKA C84/1, Tiff Needell, Mark Galvin, Steve O'Rourke, Brands Hatch, 1000 kms

At Silverstone the C84/1 driven by Steve, Tiff and Bob Evans was nearly four seconds a lap in qualifying than two years earlier and qualified 15th for the six hour race but it retired again this time due to an engine issue.

Nick Faure again drove the car at Le Mans in 1985, in place of Bob, and the trio were now nine seconds a lap faster in qualifying and started from 13th on the grid. By employing an out of sequence fuel strategy Tiff Needell was able to lead the 24 Hour classic for 9 mins during the opening hours before finishing a respectable 11th.

C84/1 appeared at Spa where James Weaver took over the guest seat from Nick Faure and at Brands Hatch, as seen in the last photo where Mark Galvin took over from James. The car qualified 17th and 10th respectively, retiring from both races fuel pressure and drive belt issues respectively.

Steve retired from competition until 1991 when he returned racing GT’s winning the British GT GT2 and GT1 class drivers championships with co-driver Tim Sugden in 1997 and 1998 respectively, his highest Le Mans finish was 4th also in 1998 when he shared his McLaren with Tim and Bill Auberlen.

A second EMKA was built in 1989 using the discarded ground effect floor from the C83/1 and spare parts from C84/1 including the revised type of suspension, with the original red C83/1 bodywork.

Owner Rudolf Ernst is seen at the wheel of C84/1 in the photo’s above taken at the Silverstone Classic Test Day earlier this year.

Thanks for joining me on this “9 Mins Of Fame” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at another Le Mans Challenger from Mercedes Benz. Don’t forget to come back now !


Five In The Car Park – Silverstone Classic

To celebrate Silverstone Classic’s Silver Jubilee I thought it would be fun to select 25 highlights from the last four years that I have been attending the event, today I am looking back at 5 of my favourite classics seen in the Sliverstone Classic car park over the years.

Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk2 Touring Spider,Silverstone Classic

My car of the day on my first visit to Silverstone Classic in 2011 was this 1956 Aston Martin DB2/4 Mk2 Touring Spider which Mr Alexander Smith won in a Daily Express competition with his catch phrase “Who Said A Spider Couldn’t Fly ?”.

Ferrari 250 GT Europa, Silverstone Classic

Two years later my car of the day was this 1955 Ferrari 250 GT Europa #0373GT in which Oliver Gendebien and his co driver Pierre Stasse finished the non stop 1956 2,000 mile Liege Rome Liege Rally 3rd overall.

Lotus Seven Series IV, Silverstone Classic

By no means the rarest, nor necessarily most popular, of cars, but one I used to lust after as a school kid was the chunky Series IV Lotus Seven this 1970 example on Wolfrace Alloy wheels appeared at the 2012 Silverstone Classic.

Lamborghini Jota, Silverstone Classic

Mr Piet Pulford spent 15 years and large sums of money turning a beaten up Lamborghini Muira he found in the States into this copy of the one off racing spec Jota that was destroyed by fire in Italy in 1972.

BMW 3.0 CSL, Silverstone Classic

One of the more lurid colour schemes seen at Silverstone Classic was that on this 1973 BMW 3.0 CSL.

Thanks for joining me on this “Five In The Car Park” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking a pony. Don’t forget to come back now !


Serviceability – Aston Martin Vantage V8 GTE

In 2012 Aston Martin returned to racing a GT programme with up to three Gulf sponsored works cars, split between the Pro and Am subdivisions, appearing in last seasons Le Mans Series races.

Aston Martin Vantage V8 GTE, Donington Park

The GTE is similar to the previous GT2 incarnation of the Vantage V8 though it is lighter, features improved cooling for the driver, has improved aerodynamics and also improved serviceability which means that the motor can now be changed in an hour without altering the suspension settings where as previously the same operation took four hours.

Aston Martin Vantage V8 GTE, Donington Park

The dry sump lubricated 4474 cc / 273 cui V8 motor produces 600 hp that is transmitted to the rear wheels by a six speed X-trac sequential semi automatic gearbox that is operated by paddle shift from the steering wheel. A carbon fiber prop shaft is fitted between the gearbox and rear axle.

Aston Martin Vantage V8 GTE, Donington Park

To bring the car to rest ventilated disc brakes are used with six pot calipers on the front and four pot calipers at the rear.

Aston Martin Vantage V8 GTE, Donington Park

Helping to keep the dry weight down to 1195 kgs 2634 lbs are a lithium battery, carbon fibre body panels and seat.

Aston Martin Vantage V8 GTE, Donington Park

At Le Mans last year two GTE’s were entered the #97 Pro car driven by Adrian Fernandez, Stefan Mücke and Darren Turner finishing 19th over all 3rd in class while the #99 Am car driven by Danes Allan Simonsen, Christoffer Nygaard and Kristian Poulsen after 31 laps.

Aston Martin Vantage V8 GTE, Donington Park

Last season Aston Martin finished 2nd in the LMGTE Pro series with one class win and six further class podiums. At the time of writing the week before Le Mans Aston Martin are leading both the Pro and Am 2013 LMGTE series.

Aston Martin Vantage V8 GTE, Donington Park

The #99 featured today is seen at a test day at Donington Park prior to the Silverstone Six Hour race where the car driven by Jonathan Adam, Andrew Howard and Paul White failed to finish.

Thanks for joining me on this “Serviceability” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


“LMS Series Winner” – Lola Aston Martin DBR 1-2

With the announcement of the discontinuation of Group C, from 1991 on, at the end of 1989 Aston Martin decided to withdraw it’s AMR1 V8 Prototype from the top line Sports Car series with immediate effect as they had no engine to with which to compete under the proposed new rules mandating 3.5 litre / 213 cui motors.

Lola Aston Martin  DBR 1-2, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

In 2008 the Aston Martin name appeared in the top Le Mans Prototype category with a pair of Lola B08/60’s powered by the 6 litre / 366 cui Aston Martin V12 that had been used in Aston Martin’s class winning DBR9 GT programme. The Lola Aston Martins were run in a collaboration between Prodrive and the Czech Charouz Racing System with Jan Charouz, Tomas Enge and Stefan Mücke sharing the driving of a single entry per race.

Lola Aston Martin  DBR 1-2, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Charouz and Mücke finished season high 2nd in the Silverstone 1000kms. The following year one car chassis HU01 was sold to Speedy Racing who continue to race the car now under the Rebellion banner having used a motors from Aston Martin, Rebelion V10 and most recently Toyota.

Lola Aston Martin  DBR 1-2, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

For 2009 Aston Martin increased their involvement in the Le Mans Prototype (LMP) class using Lola chassis again both the second Charouz Racing B08/60 HU02 and newer B09/60 types all fitted with updated body work. Gulf Oil sponsored, two cars entered by Aston Martin Racing, and an occasional single AMR Eastern Europe entry. All three cars are known as Lola Aston Martin DBR1-2’s and are again powered by DBR9 V12 variants producing around 650hp.

Lola Aston Martin DBR 1-2, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Jan Charouz, Tomáš Enge and Stefan Mücke driving the #007 got the 2009 Le Mans Series off to a fine start with a win in the Catalunya 1000 kms, though the #009 of Harold Primat, Miguel Ramos and Darren Turner retired. At Spa the team finished 3rd and 5th in numerical order, while at Le Mans the team were out classed by the works diesel powered Peugeots and Audi’s, which did not take part in the rest of the Le Mans series races.

Lola Aston Martin  DBR 1-2, Silverstone 1000kms

The #007 salvaged a 4th place while the #008 driven by Turner, Anthony Davidson and Jos Verstappen finished 13th and the #009 driven by Primat, Stuart Hall and Peter Kox crashed out while lying 3rd. For some reason the Le Mans 24 Hours was not however part of the Series to which it lent it’s name.

Lola Aston Martin DBR 1-2, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

#007 and #009 next competed at Algarve where the original driver line ups finished 3rd and 5th in numerical order, at the Nurburgring #007 won a 1-2-3 finish followed by the #009 and #008 driven by Stuart Hall, Chris Buncombe and Miguel Ramos the latter had been scheduled to drive the #009.

Lola Aston Martin  DBR 1-2, Silverstone 1000kms

Three cars were again entered at Silverstone, where today’s on track photo’s were taken, and third place for the #007 was enough to clinch the LMS drivers championship for Jan Charouz, Tomáš Enge and Stefan Mücke, the #009 in 4th helped seal the Teams championship for Aston Martin Racing and the Manufacturers Championship for Aston Martin.

Lola Aston Martin  DBR 1-2, Goodwood Festival Of Speed

Over the following two years Aston Martin Racing sent cars to events on an apparently as hoc basis to events in Asia and Europe often joined by a chassis that had been acquired by Signature Racing. No more wins were recorded in 2010, but in 2011 the Aston Martin Racing team now sponsored by Muscle Milk driven by Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr won at Mosport while a Gulf sponsored AMR 1-2 won at Laguna Seca driven by Harold Primat, Stefan Mücke and Adrian Fernandez.

Lola Aston Martin DBR 1-2, Silverstone 1000kms

At the end of the 2011 seasons the DBR 1-2’s were retired and scheduled to be replaced by the ill feted AMR-One.

Thanks for joining me on the “LMS winner” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !