Tag Archives: Ralt

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 !


Promotion To Track Control – Bristol Llandow Sprint

On Saturday I picked up Bristol Pegasus Motor Club Secretary Tim Murray and headed across the the the Severn to Llandow where we joined other club members and those from Bristol Motor Club for the Bristol Llandow Sprint.

I earned a promotion from marshaling at the second corner to the control tower where I was responsible for safely releasing the cars onto the track roughly three at a time, below are an arbitrary selection of competitors vehicles I saw in the paddock during the lunch brake.

Ralt RT 33/34, Bristol Llandow Sprint

Above the #105/805 Sims Formwork 1990 Ralt RT33/34 SRD Formula 3 car shared by David, who took Fastest Time of the Day honours and Roy Sims who took the top class up to 2 litre / 122 cui class award.

Austin Mini 1275 GT, Bristol Llandow Sprint

While her Dad Mark was busy with Chief Marshall Duties and her mum Zoe was working busy with Race Administration duties Claire Tooth was busy pedaling her nicely prepared #4 1979 Austin Mini 1275 GT who finished 4th in the Road going series production up to 1400 cc / 85 cui class.

Megapin Mk3, Bristol Llandow Sprint

The late Ian Scott built a series of motorcycle engine powered Megapin’s in the garage behind his house in Carlisle Cumbria, Gordon Hick’s #95 Megapin Mk3 is powered by a 600cc / 36 cui motor but still came 5th in the Racing Cars up to 1100 cc / 67 cui class.

Austin Healey Sprite, Bristol Llandow Sprint

David Tandy left his Austin 7 at home and brought along his much modified Mk 1 Austin Healey Sprite to compete in the MG Car Clubs Championship and finished 13th in class.

Austin 7 Special, Bristol Llandow Sprint

Even more highly modified is Terry Griffin’s single seater Austin Seven Special, complete with ‘Brooklands’ exhaust box, which won the Austin 7 championship for track cars class.

Ford Escort 1600GT, Bristol Llandow Sprint

Finally before returning to my control tower duties I snapped Richard Hearnden’s modified #50 1975 Ford Escort 1600GT which finished second in the modified series production class up to 1800 cc / 109 cui, that started life as a rather more pedestrian Escort 1100L.

Bristol Pegasus Motor Clubs next Sprint will be The Hullavington Wessex Sprint on May 25th and entries and marshals are still being sort, for further information see the BPMC website linked here.

Thanks for joining me on this “Promotion To Track Control” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at another Pony. Don’t forget to come back now !


Fritzpro Hullavington Sprint – Hullavington

Having left Castle Combe on Saturday the 21st of March swearing I would never marshall again thanks to the unrelenting bitter cold wind on Sunday the 22nd of March I once again got up at the crack of dawn to go and marshall at the Fritzpro Hullavington Sprint in Wiltshire not more than a stones throw from the venue where I nearly froze to death the day before.

Luckily the day was a fraction warmer and the unrelenting winds had died down as Hullavington is essentially like Castle Combe used to be, the site of an airfield. Craven Motor Club and the British Army Motorsports Association were organising the first motorsports event to be held here for many years. Due to my marshalling duties I only managed a few snaps early in the morning, during the lunch break and at the end of the day.

Nissan Micra, Matt and Suze Endean, Fritzpro Hullavington Sprint

Regular readers might remember meeting Murial the 1994 Nissan Micra at the Autosport International earlier this year here she is again with owners Matt and Suze Endean who finished 2nd and 4th in class A3 respectively.

Austin Healey 3000, Fritzpro Hullavington Sprint

Making all the right noises was Peter Walton’s 1964 Austin Healey, despite competing against far more modern and nimble machinery Peter managed to avoid the wooden spoon and finished 8th fastest in a class of nine A5 competitors.

Ford Cortina GT, Fritzpro Hullavington Sprint

Similarly aged but not so lucky in avoiding the class B9/10 wooden spoon was Callum Barnley in his pre cross flow Ford Cortina GT, which new would have produced just 78 hp.

Talbot Sunbeam, Fritzpro Hullavington Sprint

Runner up in the unofficial most entertaining drive of the day category easily went to Mike Smith in his Rally spec Talbot Sunbeam that suffered from a chronically loose rear end which saw him collect the class D15 wooden spoon.

Ralt RT3,Fritzpro Hullavington Sprint

2nd and 3rd fastest respectively in the same D15 class were John Opie and John Burton in their splendid 2 litre / 122 cui Ralt RT3 above.

Jedi Mk4, Fritzpro Hullavington Sprint

The most entertaining and fastest driver of the day was Bradley Hobday who danced rather than drove his Jedi Mk 4 a full 3.65 seconds round the course than 2nd placed Andy Porter in a similar 1 litre / 61 cui motor cycle engined Jedi Mk 4.

Austin Mini, Fritzpro Hullavington Sprint

During the course of the day I was stationed at the back of the circuit with Ian Fisher initially we parked our cars we thought well away from the circuit on another perimeter road however during the two practice runs an errant Mini Cooper S was headed straight for us when it left the track. Mercifully for all concerned the car came to rest on the grass and carried on unaided.

Suitably warned of the dangers of our position Ian and I immediately moved our cars another 30 meters away from the incident. Later in the morning novice Tom Russell was not so lucky as his car, seen above, left the track spun across the grass and on across the perimeter track, where we had been parked earlier, and as it broadsided the grass on the other side of the perimeter track the wheels dug in and flipped the car onto it’s roof.

Fortunately Tom unlike his car was completely unharmed, we soon had the car back on it’s wheels whose drivers side tyres had popped off the rim, the rear window had also popped out in one piece, Tom and friends in the paddock managed to patch up the Mini so that he could carefully drive home.

Finally the event raised £1584 for the Combat Stress Charity, among their fund raisers was a quality cake stand to absolutely die for !

If you are interested in competing in Sprints Bristol Pegasus Motor Club have one coming up at Llandow near Cardiff on Saturday 9th May and another at Hullavington on Monday May 25th more details can be found on the BPMC website here.

If you would like to Marshall at either of these events, I shall be at both, please leave a fb message below and I will get in touch about the arrangements.

Thanks for joining me on this “Fritzpro Hullavington Sprint” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a 1957 Imperial. Don’t forget to come back now !


Great Western Sprint – Castle Combe

On Saturday I got up at some unseemly hour and braved rain, hail and sunshine on my way over to Castle Combe for the Williams Automobiles Motorsport Specialists Great Western Sprint organised by the Bristol Motor Club.

Volkswagen Golf IV, Great Western Sprint, Castle Combe

For my sins I volunteered to be a marshal and found myself rather busier than expected by being assigned the paddock gate where my duties included checking competitors competition numbers were visible and that they were wearing mandatory seat belts, gloves and helmet, I was also instructed to make sure each car that passed me had the correct scrutineering sticker attached.

Volvo Amazon, Great Western Sprint, Castle Combe

Before the action started and during the lunch break I’m managed to take a few snaps, above David Jameson’s 1968 Volvo Amazon basks in the mid day sun.

Hillman Avenger Tiger, Great Western Sprint, Castle Combe

Looking mean at dawn above is Neville Breach’s 1972 Sunbeam Avenger Tiger Mk II which unfortunately retired early when the motor started seizing up.

Ford Fiesta ST, Great Western Sprint, Castle Combe

Bristol Pegasus Motor Club’s Pete Goodman only took delivery of his Ford Fiesta ST a couple of weeks ago, but had already put sufficient miles on it for a first service before Saturday, he told me the car was still so new he was circumspect of “really thrashing it”.

Zeus ZR 163, Great Western Sprint, Castle Combe

Among the open wheelers present was the Formula Ford spec 1980 Zeus ZR 163 shared by Russell and Mark Haynes. Up close the body work bears some resemblance to the 1981 Lotus 88. Little remembered Zeus fact; well known scribe for Motoring News, Autosport and more recently MotorSport, Simon Arron once drove a Zeus into the sleepers at Silverstone.

Ralt Judd RT37, Great Western Sprint, Castle Combe

The 1993 Ralt RT37 was originally built for 2 litre / 122 cui Formula 3 racing, Peter Howgate’s example above is fitted with a 3.2 litre / 195 cui Judd V8.

Lola Tegra T90/50, Great Western Sprint, Castle Combe

Slightly older is the 1990 Lola Tegra T90/50 built for the 3 litre / 183 cui Formula 3000 series. The car shared by Graham Porret and Terry Holmes is now fitted with a 3.5 litre / 213 cui V8. On it’s last run the electrics cut out leaving Terry Holmes stranded in gear just short of the finish line.

Gould GR55, Graves, Great Western Sprint, Castle Combe

Running a top sprint car is fraught with difficulties if the motor gets too warm the electronics take over and cut the motor and will not let it start again until the engine has dropped well below operating temperature, if the engine temperature gets too low damage is guaranteed when the motor is run at maximum revs hence Terry Graves Gould GR55 has a blanket wrapped over it in the near freezing conditions as he waited to go out in the top twelve run offs. Terry who has just acquired this car, still fitted with short hill climb gear ratio’s finished the day with a respectable if breathless 8th fastest time.

Reynard DB Mk1, Sampson, Great Western Sprint, Castle Combe

With the cars all assembled for the top 12 run offs my enjoyable if a little hectic contribution to the day was over and I had time to watch some of the track action from the pit wall. Above Craig Sampson in the unusual if not unique Reynard DB Mk1 managed forth fastest time while his partner driver Mark Smith recorded the 3rd fastest time of the day.

Gould GR55, Calder, Great Western Sprint, Castle Combe

The top two spots on the ‘podium’ were reserved for the Calder clan Gould GR55 which had made a 15 hour one way trip from Scotland to Castle Combe. Dad Colin is seen above grinding out the fastest time of the day pipping his daughter Heather by just by a smidgeon over a tenth of a second.

Calder & Calder, Great Western Sprint, Castle Combe

Below father and daughter give each other a hug after the final run’s, to make up for Heather’s disappointment she at least knew the 15 hour journey would be marginally more tolerable than if she had not let her father win.

Thanks for joining me on this “Great Western Sprint” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at the last in the present series of vintage American vehicles. Don’t forget to come back now !


Criptic Details – GALPOT Quiz

I thought it would be fun to look at some details I caught on camera in recent weeks and set a a cryptic details quiz. There are no prizes answers will be given next in next Wednesdays blog.


It’s a ’58, but which letter ?


Another slippery MOPAR, but which model ?


What was the code name that Product Planning Dept leader Erick A. Reikert lent to the base model of this RS Turbo ?


Surnames names of two US presidents who might be associated with this door handle.


What was the most popular block used in the Formula A / Formula 5000 open wheel series ?


Which Brazilian went on to become a three time world champion after running into the rear end of Martin Brundle’s Formula Three Ralt RT3 ?


Enzo Ferrari described this as “The most beautiful car ever made” what is it ?

There are no prizes but if you would like to e-mail your answers to me at info@psychoontyres.co.uk before mid night Monday where ever you are I’ll publish a list of anyone who gets all the answers right or failing that the person or persons who get the highest scores on Wednesdays, please do not give away answers on fb links. Wishing you all good luck.

Thanks for joining me on this “Criptic Details” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”,
I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at the last in the present series of racing Corvette’s. Don’t forget to come back now !


Cum On Feel The Noize – Donington Park Test Day

When Ted Walker told me about the possibility of a 1939 Mercedes Benz 154 Grand Prix racer appearing for a test day at Donington Park a couple of weeks ago my ears just knew I had to be there to hear it.

Ligier Matra JS17, Donington Park Test Day

At 6 am (ish) I picked up GALPOT contributer Tim and headed up to Donington Park and headed for the Hall & Hall pit where a mouth watering selection of cars was on display including this 1982 Matra V12 powered Ligier JS17 Grand Prix car.

Matra MS 630 C, Donington Park Test Day

Next to and in front of the JS17 were not one but two 1973 World Sports Car Championship winning Matra 670 C’s powered by similarly awesome sounding V12’s !

Lola T70, Donington Park Test Day

As we waited in the pits for the Gentleman from Crosthwaite and Gardiner to prepare the W154 for an engine warm up this Lola T70 Mk 3 Coupe rumbled down pit road to wet our appetites.

Mercedes Benz W154, Donington Park Test Day

After a five minute warm up the plugs on the W154 were changed and one lucky Rob Hall jumped out of his Matra and into the Benz. The car sounded great although it was anything but a smooth test as first a recalcitrant motor had to be cured and then a water leak from the radiator brought and end to proceedings. While it was running cleanly the ear splitting sound of the 476hp 3 litre / 183 cui two stage super charged V12 was music to the ears !

Donington Park Test Day

As the test day progressed Tim and I took a wolk around the track which I had not seen, despite several trips to the Donington Museum, since the early 1990’s. Since my last visit the gravel traps have substantially increased in size and safety fences have increased in height. Above Rob Hall charges down the Craner Curves pursued by a Porsche GT3.

Donington Park Test Day

One of the many advantages of traveling with Tim is that he has breath taking memory for motor racing details, he has won several prestigious motor racing knowledge awards, during the Test day he pointed out that the arch in the Folly above was part of the pre war Grand Prix circuit through which the likes of the Mercedes Benz W154 along with Alfa Romeo’s, Auto Unions and ERA’s once raced in anger !

Aston Martin V8 Vantage, Donington Park Test Day

The works Gulf Prodrive Aston Martin team had three V8 Vantages present the #97 above, seen exiting Coppice, appeared to be the 2012 Le Mans entry driven by Adrian Fernandez, Stefan Mücke and Darren Turner which finished 19th overall and 3rd in class behind to Ferrari 458 Italia’s. The distinctive deep thump of these V8’s made it easy to tell where they were on the track even when they were not in view.

Crossle 25A, Donington Park Test Day

When we got back to the pits we found Terry Durdin’s 1972 Formula Ford Crosslé 25F being prepared for an afternoon’s run.

Sunbeam Tiger (Lister), Donington Park Test Day

Another rumbling monster with a Le Mans history was this Sunbeam Tiger Coupé, one of two built by Lister for the Rootes Groups 1964 Le Mans challenge. Keith Ballisat and Claude Dubois qualified 34th for the endurance classic but both cars, powered by Ford 4,2 litre / 260 cui motors failed to finish due to engine failure.

Ferrari F430, Donington Park Test Day

There were two Ferrari’s present a 360 and this F430 driven by Sam Smeeth.

Tatuus FR2000, Donington Park Test Day

Following in the footsteps of Danica Patrick is the ambitious Laura Tillet who has stepped up to Formula Renault this year. Here her Fortec run Tatuus FR2000 is being prepared for a last minute run before the track closed at 5pm.

Ralt RT1 BMW, Donington Park Test Day

We did not time all the cars but thought the 2 litre / 122 cui BMW powered Ralt RT1 Formula 2 car of Philip Harper was amongst the quickest on the track. Ted Walker told us that Philip was running laps in the 1 min 02 second bracket. Tim and I reckoned Philips time would have seen him challenging James Hunt and Mario Andretti for second or third place at the very first meeting held at Donington Park the Gunnar Nilsson Memorial Trophy in 1979. To be fair the 3 litre / 183 cui cars of Hunt and Andretti had a much slower chicane to negotiate than Philip did.

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


Endurance Record – Castle Combe

Thanks to the hospitality of Simon Lewis sponsor of the THE SIMON LEWIS TRANSPORT BOOKS FREE SINGLE-SEATER SERIES I found myself attending the British Endurance Championship Racing Weekend at Castle Combe on Sunday.

Smart, Castle Combe, BECRW

As I got out of the car and prepared myself for a long afternoon’s racing there was a demonstration of Smart cars in progress including this neat 3 axle combination of car and caravan. Not exactly what I had in mind when I made up my mind to retire from camping in favour of wheeled temporary accommodation, but this combo would certainly cut a smart dash in the Le Mans camp site.

Britcar MSA Endurance Championship, Castle Combe, BECRW

The first race of the day was for Smart cars which preceded the Smart car demonstration, the second race of the day was the 2 hour Britcar MSA Endurance Championship Round which included a welcome grid walk for the public before the race got underway.

Britcar MSA Endurance Championship, Castle Combe, BECRW

Javier Morcillo from Spain driving the #3 Mosler MT900R set an electrifying early pace from pole position that only Micheal Millard driving the #7 Rapier 6 SR2 was able to match.

Calum Lockie, Mosler MT900R, Castle Combe, BECRW

I was rooting, in vane as it turned out, for one of my many racing instructors, Calum Lockie, driving the #6 Mosler who was forced to join the fray from a pit lane.

Javier Morcillo, Mosler MT900R, Castle Combe, BECRW

After an incident requiring a Safety Car, during which Lockie now running in the top six pitted early for fuel, Millard got past Morcillo who promptly indulged in some lawn mowing which forced him to stop with serious overheating issues out on the circuit.

Micheal Millard, Rapier 6 SR2, Castle Combe, BECRW

Millard then proceeded to lead for most of the next hour, a lap ahead of the next fastest car on the circuit, who proved to be Lockie, until he pitted to hand over the Rapier to Ian Heward.

Phil Dryburgh / John Gaw, Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari 458, Castle Combe, BECRW

By the time the mandatory pit stops had all been completed it was the Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari 458 driven by Phil Dryburgh and John Gaw running in the invitational class that was uncomfortably in the lead being chased down by the Rapier of Millard/Heward.

No sooner had the #7 Rapier taken the lead with 25 mins to go then it too spun out, leaving the Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari to finish first for the second time in this years Britcar Championship. In the process Dryburgh and Gaw set a new Castle Combe record for the most laps covered in a single race at 96 laps up from the previous record of 95.

Arty Cameron, Jedi, Castle Combe, BECRW

The third race of the day was the first of two races in the THE SIMON LEWIS TRANSPORT BOOKS FREE SINGLE-SEATER SERIES. 2010 Monoposto 1000 cc champion Arty Cameron caused a huge upset by catching those ahead of him asleep at the start and snatched the lead from the third row of the grid driving the chain driven #46 Jedi and held it for the opening lap until the more powerful Formula 3 Dallara Renault F302 of pole sitter Stuart Wiltshire breezed past to a comfortable victory. Arty blew his motor making a race of it with the Formula 3 Ralt Vauxhall RT3 of Jim Blockley which came in second.

Tony Dolley, Peugeot 206 GTi, Castle Combe, BECRW

Tony Dolley driving a Peugeot 206 GTi drove to a second win of the weekend in the Castle Combe Racing Club Saloon Championship after his main challenger Rob Ballard went hay making in his Seat Cupra at Bobbies Chicane early in the race.

Ben Norton, #111 Spectrum 10b, Rob Hall, #35 Swift SC10, Castle Combe, BECRW

It’s been around 20 years since I last saw a Formula Ford race and though there was a change from using Ford Kent engines to Ford Zetec Engines in 1993 and again to using Ford Duratec Engines in 2006 this race catered for cars Formula Ford cars of all ages but all powered by the early Kent engines. My conviction that Formula One would be a lot more entertaining if the cars were built to Formula Ford regulations was confirmed by the race long duel of Ben Norton seen driving the #111 Spectrum 10b and Rob Hall in the #35 Swift SC10. The race was red flagged after an accident between two competitors on the penultimate lap. So far as I know neither was seriously hurt.

Ian Hall, Darrian T98 GTR, Simon Tilling, #23 Radical SR3 RS, Castle Combe, BECRW

Variety was again the watch word for the Castle Combe Sports and GT Championship which featured a somewhat recalcitrant Rover V8 powered #17 Darrian T98 GTR of Ian Hall seen here about to be overtaken by Simon Tillings immaculate #23 Radical SR3 RS powered by a 400 hp 1300 cc / 79 cui Radical Performance Engines tuned turbocharged Suzuki GSX_R motorcycle engine. Tilling, who starting from the back of the grid, blitzed the opposition recording a new class 103 mph lap record, and fastest overall lap of the day, in his amazingly agile machine.

Ray Rowan, Dallara F398, Jim Blockley, Ralt RT3, Roger Orgee, Van Diemen RF00, Castle Combe, BECRW

The final race of the day was another in the THE SIMON LEWIS TRANSPORT BOOKS FREE SINGLE-SEATER SERIES and in the absence of Arty Cameron it was Castle Combe regular Roger Orgee, driving the #6 Ford Zetec powered Van Diemen RF00 Formula Ford car, who got the jump on Jim Blockley in the #24 Ralt and Ray Rowan in the Formula 3 #23 Dallara F398 and almost completed a lap in 2nd place before the more powerful Ralt and Dallara breezed past the wingless Van Diemen.

Stuart, Wiltshire, Dallara F302/04, Castle Combe, BECRW

Blackley in the Ralt passed Rowan for second but by this time Stuart Wiltshire was long gone on his way to his second victory, concluding an excellent day’s entertainment.

My thanks again to Simon Lewis who made today’s blog possible.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Endurance edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a post war Rover. Don’t forget to come back now !

14 01 12 Amended Britcar record race distance to 96 laps not 97 laps as originally stated, thanks to Tim Murray and Pete Stowe for pointing out the error.