Tag Archives: Britcar

2016 Bucket List – Autosport International

Every year for the past couple of seasons I have come away from the Autosport International with a few new additions to my bucket list of new things to try before the season is out, if I make it to one or two I am usually happy here are six things I’ll be looking out for in the season ahead.

Ford Fusion, Autosport International, Birmingham NEC,

In 2003/4 my passion for motorsport was reignited after a decades abstinence when I started reading articles by veteran NASCAR writer Jerry Bonkowski.

By 2009 when I visited Talladega Superspeedway I was as hooked as I had been back in the 1970’s when I first discovered it.

I’m under no illusions that having the privilege to drive a non emergency ambulance up to 450 miles in a ten hour day is any kind of training to drive a 500 hp Cup car but top of my bucket list for 2016 is to shell out £150 for a couple of laps in the Ford Fusion above at a Rockingham Performance Driving Day.

Chevrolet Camaro, Autosport International, Birmingham NEC,

Sadly to date the only drag track I have visited is Shakespeare County Raceway which is due to close this year, so as well as making a final visit to Shakey I also hope to make it to Santa Pod where I have been informed the big boys like Andy Robinson go to play.

Andy drives the Pro Mod Chevrolet Camaro above which will reach 239.05 mph from rest in less than six seconds !

Winnebago Tour, Autosport International, Birmingham NEC,

I do not have a licence to drive anything as big as the £249,999 Winnebago Tour® nor the financial credentials to drive one to the end of my street, but I am planing on visiting the 2017 Rolex 24 Hours with a school friend and I have been informed the best way to spectate is to park an RV in the infield.

So if anyone reading this has room for two well bred and groomed Europeans in their RV at the 2017 Rolex 24 Hours please chime in below ?

March Chevrolet 717, Autosport International, Birmingham NEC,

One of the new features of this years Silverstone Classic will be a race for Can Am cars like the March Chevrolet 717 seen above, at the end of the 1980’s these cars were a regular site in historic events and it will be great to see a full field of them for the first time in nearly 30 years.

Sin R1 GT Cup, Autosport International, Birmingham NEC,

A couple of years ago Sin launched their R1 model at the Autosport International this year I hope to so one racing in either the British GT Championship, GT Cup, or if it is legible in the Britcar series.

Ford Focus WRC, Autosport International, Birmingham NEC,

Finally I have been wanting to go and see a rally cross event ever since Ford took a four wheel drive Ford Capri to Croft for Roger Clark to drive in 1969, it has always looked like great sport on TV so maybe this year I’ll finally get to a Rally Cross event, one I will be looking out for is Guy Martin’s debut in the Ford Focus WRC owned by Ollie O’Donovan and prepared by Tony Brady Motorsport seen above which will be at a date towards the end of the British Rally Cross Championship.

Watch this space to see if I achieve any of the above and chime in with your bucket list for 2016 below.

Thanks for joining me on this “2016 Bucket List” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at another Daytona 24 Hour challenger. Don’t forget to come back now !


Happy Birthday Cheryl – Marcos Mantis GT2

After the successes of the Rover V8 powered Mantula Rover based Marcos LM400, LM500 and LM600 GT cars which won the 1995, 1996 and 2000 British GT Championships Marcos announced the Dunlop sponsored spec Mantis Challenge in 1998 with spec normally aspirated quad cam Ford V8 motors.

Marcos Mantis GT2, Britcar, Castle Combe

In 2002 racers Warren and Charlotte Gilbert (nee Osborn) established Topcats Racing in Westcott, Buckinghamshire which has become a leading contender on the British Endurance GT seen and a leading independent service center for Caterham, Corvette, Lotus, Marcos and Mosler cars offering everything from a full service to an LS7 engine transplant.

Marcos Mantis GT2, Britcar, Castle Combe

Today’s featured Britcar Class 2 Marcos Mantis is built around a space frame with a fiberglass body and is powered by a standard LS7, 7 litre / 427 cui V8 engine mapped to produce 505hp on 98 octane unleaded fuel which is transmitted to the rear wheels through a 6 speed Holinger sequential gearbox.

Marcos Mantis GT2, Head, Tilley, Britcar, Castle Combe

Additional features include electric power steering, quick fill fuel tanks, quick lift air jacks and spec 18″ Dunlop slick or wet tyres on center lock wheels, four of which can be changed in 22 seconds.

Marcos Mantis GT2, Britcar, Castle Combe

With a weight of 1050 kgs / 2315 lbs the car will reach 60mph in an ear splitting 3.5 seconds and a top speed of 190 mph.

Marcos Mantis GT2, Head, Tilley, Britcar, Castle Combe

Sam Head and Kyle Tilley drove the #26 car entry for most of 2011 and they are seen above at Castle Combe on the 27th of August where they finished a low 20th overall from a more representative 8th on the grid, this a month after Henry Fletcher and Raphael Fiorentino had finished 2nd overall and 1st in Class 2 at Spa.

At the seasons end the Topcats Class 3, 50 hp less, #36 Mantis finished 2nd in the Britcar Championship with Owen O Neill, Henry Fletcher, Jon Harrison and Raphael Fiorentino all taking turns at the wheel during the season and the #36 was classified 3rd with Jeff Wyatt replacing Kyle for one round at Snetterton and Neil Huggins and Jon Harrison being the cars drivers in the championship final at Brands Hatch.

Topcats appear to have retired their LS7 powered Mantis cars from competition at the end of 2012 after their 2 cars both now running in Class 2 finished 3rd and 11th in the Britcar Championship.

Wishing Cheryl a Happy Birthday.

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


The Power Of Dreams – Guglielmi Motorsport Lotus Exige

The Lotus Exige Series 1 coupé was launched in 2000, curiously just as production of the Lotus Elise Series 1 soft top on which it was based was about to be phased out in favour of the sharper styled Elise Series 2.

Guglielmi Motorsport, Lotus Exige, Britcar, Castle Combe

Like the Elise the Exige was powered by a Rover K series motor which all though not particularly powerful was enough to turn the lightweight Elise into a performance car with particular appeal to those who enjoy track days.

Guglielmi Motorsport, Lotus Exige, Britcar, Castle Combe

Today’s featured Exige was prepared by Guglielmi Motorsport who’s proprietor Steve Guglielmi was the 2001/2 double TVR Tuscan Challenge Champion. The Guglielmi Motorsport website suggests Steve retired from racing, although not from all competition, as of 2002 when he set up his Guglielmi Motorsport business to prepare road & track vehicles.

Ginetta G50, Lotus Exige, Britcar, Castle Combe

In 2011 Steve prepared this Exige which he shares with Jeff Mileman for the Britcar series. Above the #58 Guglielmi Exige is seen passing the #60 Ginetta G50 G4 coming out of Old Paddock Bend during the 2 hour Britcar race held at Castle Combe in 2011.

Mileham, Guglielmi, Lotus Exige, Britcar, Castle Combe

The #58 built is around an Elise 135R chassis with 220 hp Honda K 20 Civic Type R motor, which has since been upgraded to produce 250 hp and a Series 1 Exige body.

Mosler MT900 R, Lotus Exige, Britcar, Castle Combe

Steve plans to compete in this years Lotus Cup UK series this season, still sharing the Guglielmi Motorsport Lotus Exige with John Mileham, with whom he came 4th Overall and 1st Open Class in the opening round at Snetterton in April.

My thanks to Steve Guglielmi for sharing the details about his car.

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


2011 GALPOT Review #4 – Motor Sport

Today I am reviewing some of the competitive events covered on GALPOT over the past 12 months.

GN, Dundry

The GALPOT motor sport year started with the Cross Trophy a production car trial organized by the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club at the farm belonging to Duncan seen at the wheel of his air cooled chain driven GN in the photo above.

Richard Craddy, Ralph Colmar BPMC AGM

Above Bristol Pegasus Motor Club Vice President Richard Craddy presents yours truly with the Cross Trophy and Mug.

(Photo Courtesy Martin Baker)

I’m not to sure how I ended up competing in my land ladies 20 year old Volkswagen Passat but I am pleased I did, I got a welcome dose of beginners luck and ended up winning the event out right ! Unfortunately the Passat was replaced soon afterwards and I am not too sure how I’ll defend my trophy next year.

Backdraft, Shakespeare County Speedway

When I met ‘Crazy’ Chris Hartnell in the back of a bus on my way to Race Retro I became totally infected with his enthusiasm for Drag Racing, at the end of May I managed to catch up with Chris and his classic sling shot dragster Backdraft at Shakespeare County Raceway. Catching him popping a wheeley proved quite difficult so I am looking forward to catching him again next year.

Porsche 911 RSR, Caterham 7, Castle Combe, Tour Britannia

I got to see several events at Castle Combe courtesy of Simon Lewis of Simon Lewis Transport Books including the Tour Britannia event which featured a cracking race between the front row starting ex New York cabbie Danny ‘spin and win’ Sullivan in his Porsche 911 RSR and the ex private airline pilot and Formula 5000 champion Ian Ashley who started on the back row of the grid in his Caterham Super 7. I still pinch myself when I am reminded the 1985 Indy 500 winner visited our local track this year !

Hawk HF3000, Sheepcot Farm

A couple of weeks later I returned to reality with a bump when I entered a Kia Picanto in the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club Gymkhana held in the hills of the Welsh border just out side Chepstow. The little Picanto had a huge weight advantage over the Passat but had absolutely zero traction in the long grass. My run of novice success was over I came in 10th out of 11. But I still had fun sitting in the passenger seat of Alan’s Hawk HF3000 seen above which finished one place ahead of me.

Ferrari 458, Castle Combe, Britcar

At the end of July it was back to Castle Combe again courtesy of Simon Lewis for the Britcar 2 hour endurance race. What an experience it was with the early leaders eventually giving way to the Scuderia Vittoria Ferrari 458 being shared by Phil Dryburgh and John Gaw who set a new record for most laps covered in a single race at Castle Combe. I believe this was also the first time I have seen a Ferrari win a race outright in person.

Formula Ford, Castle Combe

Three weeks later I was back at Castle Combe for the August Cup meeting which was overshadowed by the death of Pete O’Shea who suffered a heart attack at the wheel of his Formula Ford car. The meeting was hastily rescheduled after Peter had been taken away. A cracking weekends racing ensued as if to do the memory of Peter proud. There were several Caterham races featuring race long wheel to wheel battles through out, but it was the Formula Fords who celebrated their fallen comrades life with the most scintillating display of all as Rob Hall, seen leading above from Felix Fisher and eventual winner Ben Norton, were joined by Steven Jensen in an entertaining four way shoot out.

BriSCA Formula 2, Mendips Raceway

On another diversion this time twixt airport and home I managed to visit my local short track Mendips Raceway for the first ever, last time I saw anything like this was over 30 years ago and most entertaining it proved as the ever present short track conundrum about inside lane of inside lane was repeated again and again. Liam Rowe is seen getting airborne above going for the inside lane.

'Dick' Terrapin Kawasaki, Castle Combe, Wessex Sprint

For my final two visits to Castle Combe this year I volunteered to be a marshal. At the Wessex Sprint I was assigned to the start line team responsible for ‘staging’ the cars. I loved every ultimately exhausting minute of it. Shame I only got to take photo’s during the occasional unscheduled breaks but if you love motor racing I can’t recommend marshaling highly enough as a great way of getting close to the action.

Lola T400, March 79B, Oulton Park, Gold Cup Classic

Over the August Bank Holiday I made it up to Oulton Park for the first time since the early 1990’s, the facilities and track have been considerably improved since my last visit but the circuit still has the same atmosphere. The feature race of the meeting was the Derek Bell Trophy race for the open wheelers dating from the 1970’s back to the late 1960’s. Michael Lyons in the Chevy powered F5000 #64 Lola T400 lead for most of the race but towards the end Richard Evans giving away a 3400 cc / 200 cui advantage managed to line Micheal up for a clean pass in his Formula Atlantic #54 March 79B a couple of laps from home and hold on to win the race.

Volvo 144, Castle Combe, Regency Laundry Sprint

I was a corner marshal for the Regency Laundry Pegasus Sprint during my last visit to Castle Combe for the year, again this proved to be a very entertaining way to get close to the action, the TVR’s seemed particularly difficult to drive, while ‘stood down’ from marshalling duties I managed to take a couple of photo’s of the cars in action of which, as a previous Volvo 144 owner, I found the example driven by John Dando particularly appealing.

So there it is my motor racing year started by winning a cup in a muddy field and ended as a corner worker in the sunshine at Castle Combe with all manner of entertainment in between. Life can’t get much better than this can it ?

My thanks to BPMC treasurer Martin Baker for the use of his photo.

Many thanks for joining me on this Motor Racing edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I will be reviewing the 2011 GALPOT Fridays. Don’t forget to come back now !

PS Don’t forget …

Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz

Automobiliart, Paul Chenard

December 26th – January 2nd

Win a set of Paul Chenard Greetings Cards

Sports-GT cars set, Paul Chenard

Set 1 Sports & GT Cars

Phil Hill, Sharknose Ferrari Set, Paul Chenard

Set 2 Phil Hill World Drivers Championship 50th Anniversary Edition

1934 GP Season Card set, Paul Chenard

Set 3 1934 Season

1950s Grand Prix Engines

Set 4 Grand Prix Engines of the 1950’s


Mike Hawtorns racecars Card set, Paul Chenard

Set 5 Mike Hawthorn’s Race Cars

The Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz will comprise 8 categories.

Overall winner chooses one set of Paul Chenard Greetings Cards from the five sets shown above.

The cards measure 15.24cm x 11.43cm, come in packs of 12 with 3 copies of 4 designs in each set, plus A6 envelopes.

Which set will you choose ?

The free to enter Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz will run from December 26th – January 2nd Entries close January 8th 2012, Winner announced January 16th 2012.

Full details on December 26th at GALPOT.

Looking for Automotive Seasonal Gift Idea’s? Visit Automobiliart Now !


Racing Maloo – HSV Maloo

Two weeks after starting the ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ blog I remember getting a huge thrill from discovering an HSV Maloo on the streets of Bristol and learning that it was the fastest pickup truck in the world.

HSV Maloo R8, Castle Combe

Last weekend while at the Britcar British Endurance Championship Racing Weekend at Castle Combe I stumbled across another Maloo this time in full race trim including

HSV Maloo R8, Castle Combe

slick tyres to compliment it’s 400 hp Corvette LS2 engine which according to one passer by in a Britcar T shirt is tuned to 600 hp good for reaching 60 mph in under 4 seconds.

HSV Maloo R8, Castle Combe

When I got home I was surprised to learn that there is an Australian racing series for Ford and Holden pick ups, where pickups are known as Utes, which is part of a staircase to find talent for the top tier Australian V8 Supercar series.

HSV Maloo R8, Castle Combe

Even more surprisingly I have found out that late last year an announcement was made by Britcar to the effect that they would organise a debut season for a UK V8Ute Series using only the rebranded Vauxhall VXR Maloo pickup model.

HSV Maloo R8, Castle Combe

The cars were to be rented from Britcar with the rental cost including entry fees for a full season of races.

HSV Maloo R8, Castle Combe

The plan was that at each meeting the Maloo’s would take part in three 40 minute races with mandatory pit stops for driver changes.

HSV Maloo R8, Castle Combe

The projected series is on temporary hold, I look forward to an announcement from Britcar that the series will get a chance to go public and from Vauxhall that the VXR Maloo gets the opportunity to enter the UK market place.

Thanks for joining me on this Antipodean Racing edition of ‘Gettin a lil’ psycho on tyres’ I hope that 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.