Tag Archives: Ark

The Crumpled Cup Auto Solo – Rolls Royce Car Park Filton

On Sunday I headed down to Queen Square for the regular second Sunday of the month Avenue Drivers Club meeting only to find all access roads blocked by Bristol Half Marathon stewards one of whom apparently had no idea where Queen Square was, which made for an interesting point of departure for a conspiracy theory which I shall refrain from repeating here.

MCW Metrobus MkII, Rolls Royce Car Park, Filton

Later at mid day I made my way over to the Rolls Royce Car Park at Filton for the Bristol Pegasus Motor Clubs first Crumpled Cup Autosolo. Upon reflection I wish I had stopped off longer at The Ark Bus, 1982 MCW Metrobus, a faith in motion project, to ask for some much needed devine intervention to help me to remember the three different routes through the 31 cones that were to make up the three timed tests of the event.

01 Crumpled Cup_5894sc

The Volkswagen Golf Mk IV Estate is not an obvious choice of vehicle for this type of event and certainly not when carrying more than half a tank of fuel, but I determined that I would have fun and that I did in spades despite the fact that of my nine runs, three times through each of the three routes I actually only managed to complete the course correctly on five occasions ! Fortunately this was still better than some so I did not come last in the front wheel drive class.

Honda Civic, Rolls Royce Car Park, Filton,

Martyn Mitchell warned me that his Honda Civic would only be in contention for the slowest time of the day and perhaps next time he will join me by the bus in some requests for devine intervention on the memory front.

Citroen Saxo, George/Ashley Pope, Rolls Royce Car Park, Filton

Father and son George and Ashley Pope shared their Citroën Saxo to take front wheel drive honours with Ashley only scoring two clean runs on the final test which ironically was the only test on which George scored only one clean run, George was the comfortable winner of the front wheel drive class and would have finished 3rd overall had the event been run as an open competition between all eight competitors.

Westfield SEiW, Andy Moss, Rolls Royce Car Park, Filton

Struggling with the turning circle of his self built Westfield SEiW was club chairman Andy Moss.

Vauxhall VX220, Martyn Lidbury, Rolls Royce Car Park, Filton

Despite having the smaller Lotus Elise size front tyres on his Vauxhall VX220 Martyn Lidbury also struggled with the turning circle of his car which otherwise made all the right noises as he drove it to third in class on his first event with the club.

Westfield SEiW, Ben Bishop, Rolls Royce Car Park, Filton

Second in the rear wheel drive class was Ben Bishop in his Westfield SEiW with the second best score overall too.

Mazda MX5, Chris Buckley, Rolls Royce Car Park, Filton

Lowest scores of the day were recorded by Chris Buckley in his supercharged Mazda MX5 who only scored maximum points on his very first run of the afternoon.

Everybody seemed to enjoy the event which I hope shall be the first of many to come, my thanks to Pete Goodman for getting permission from Rolls Royce to use the venue, to Alan Spencer for organising the event, to Tim Murray the events secretary and score keeper, marshals Ann Mitchell and Nick Woods and not least my fellow competitors who made the 4 hours of the competition fly by.

Thanks for joining me on this “The Crumpled Cup Auto Solo” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Mercury Monterey. Don’t forget to come back now !


Out Of The Ark – Lotus Elan (Ark Racing)

In 1976 one year after production of the Lotus Elan had ceased the 4th generation Group 5 regulations came into effect for “Special Production Cars” for cars that met the criteria for groups 1 to 4 but were allowed almost unlimited bodywork modifications excluding the bonnet, roofline and railpanel combined with unlimited lightening of the chassis.

Porsche dominated the series overall from 1976 to the series demise in 1981 with numerous variations of the 935 model, though it’s ultimate development ‘Moby Dick’ 935/78 ironically only one one race. Lancia was most successful in the smaller under 2 litre / 122 cui division with it’s Lancia Beta Montecarlo winning two championships with BMW and Ford taking the smaller category once each.

Three different Lotus models were entered into selected Group 5 (Silhouette) races three Elan’s like the one featured today, a Europa and a couple of Lotus Esprit’s. Over the next couple of weeks I will be looking at how three of those teams faired.

Lotus Elan, Ark Racing, Silverstone

In 1968 Derek Mathews built the first of several well known and successful racing cars a Sprite for John Banks, which by 1970 became the Ark Sprite powered by Ford Twin Cam engine. After building and running a Group 6 2 seat open sports car with F Lester Ray originally called the (Derek Matthews) DM6 (sixth car) which became the Vogue Derek built a Lotus Elan for John Evans to race in the 1974 in British Modsports races a combination which recorded many class wins in 1974 and 1975 being crowned BRSCC (British Racing Sports Car Club) Modsports Champions in 1975.

For 1979 Ark Racing built an Elan for Max Payne and John Evans to run in selected World Manufacturers Championship, German DRM, and Belgian events, becoming the third Elan to be used in Group 5. According to ‘The Oracle” and Richard Jenvey the Ark Racing Group 5 Elan, seen above making it’s debut at Silverstone, was built on a Lotus chassis.

At Silverstone the Elan qualified 23rd overall, 3rd last in class and retired with gearbox issues. The car was raced four times in 1979, Max Payne beating a de Tomaso Pantera to win a Benelux race at Zandvoort in The Netherlands.

Lotus Elan, Ark Racing, Silverstone

The last time I saw the Ark Racing Elan was in 1982, again at Silverstone above, when Max Payne was sharing the car with Chris Ashmore they qualified 32nd and were disqualified for a push start. The Ark Racing Elan is thought to have been the last one to have raced taken part in an international ‘in period’ race qualifying 25th and finishing 18th at the 1982 Brands Hatch 1000 kms race with Payne and Ashmore at the wheel.

My thanks to The Oracle, his spokesman Pete Taylor and Edward Fitzgerald for their comments at The Nostalgia Forum and to Richard Jenvey for his private comments.
Thanks for joining me on this “Out Of The Ark” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !