Tag Archives: Caterham

Coffee Croissant & Cars 11/14 – Avenue Drivers Club

Around 8am on a sunny Sunday morning I rolled down the hill for the monthly, second Sunday of the month, Avenue Drivers Club meeting at Queen Square in Bristol.

Talbot, Avenue Drivers Club,

Among the hundreds of details I captured this horn from a 1921 Talbot.

Sunbeam, Avenue Drivers Club,

I’m not entirely sure what the story, behind this Lands End mascot sitting atop the radiator of a 1925 Sunbeam, is but he seemed to be enjoying the sun.

Ford, Avenue Drivers Club,

Ford branding circa 1953 on a Ford Anglia.

Jaguar XK120, Avenue Drivers Club,

This superb upgraded 1953 Jaguar was restored by Bristol Classic and Sports Cars Ltd is for sale or they will build you one like it from their stock, usual disclaimers apply.

Land Rover SWB, Avenue Drivers Club,

Another vehicle from 1953 was this 88″ short wheel base (SWB) Land Rover with a Station Wagon body.

Reliant Scimitar GT Coupé, Avenue Drivers Club,

Fast forwarding 13 years this is the fuel cap on a 1968 Reliant Scimitar GT Coupé of which just 118 were built.

MG B GT, Avenue Drivers Club,

Above a teddy bears picnic was being held in the back of a 1970 MG B GT.

Morris Mini Cooper S, Avenue Drivers Club,

Rarest of the Mini Cooper S models are the Mark III, internal door hinges, versions, like the the 1971 example above of which 1,570 were built between 1969 and 1976.

Austin Maxi, Avenue Drivers Club,

The humble Austin Maxi hatchback was the first all new product launched by the newly created British Leyland in 1969. John Lennon was probably the most famous owner of a Maxi, which he subsequently crashed into a tree. The power transverse Maxi power train was used to build a prototype AC and a prototype Ginetta.

Triumph TR6, Avenue Drivers Club,

Another car for sale was this attractive TR6, if you are interested in buying one message me and I’ll put you in touch with the owner, usual disclaimers apply.

Hillman Avenger, Avenue Drivers Club,

In 1976 the Hillman name was dropped in favour of Chrysler and the Avenger model was given a minor face lift while production was moved from Ryton on Dunsmore near Coventry to the former Imp / Chamoise manufacturing plant at Linwood Scotland. All of which must make this Hillman badged face lifted Avenger a bit of a rarity.

Bentley Brooklands R Mulliner, Avenue Drivers Club,

Before the introduction of the Bentley Arnage Bentley built a series of 100 long wheel base Brooklands R Mulliner models in 1998. All of them were RHD and all numbered. Not sure which won was in Queen Square on Sunday but it was a most impressive motor car.

Caterham Roadsport, Avenue Drivers Club,

Looking timeless above a Caterham Super Seven.

TVR Tuscan, Avenue Drivers Club,

Finally from 2001 this TVR Tuscan was one of numerous examples of the marque to turn up on Sunday.

Thanks for joining me on this “Coffee Croissants & Cars 11/14” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a homage to Richard Petty’s 1959 rookie season. Don’t forget to come back now !


EU6 Compliant – Caterham Aero Seven Concept

Caterham bought the rights to produce the Lotus Seven Mk III over 40 years ago and have continued to develop the product to the present day, but have noticeably failed to replace it.

Caterham Aero Seven Concept, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

The Caterham Aero Seven Concept features the latest Caterham Seven CSR platform which has been fitted with a Carbon composite body.

Caterham Aero Seven Concept, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

Power comes from an EU6 compliant evolution of the 2 litre / 122 cui Ford Duratec motor which produces 237hp at 8,500 rpm. The steering wheel is said to be focused on driver functionality.

Caterham Aero Seven Concept, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

The Aero Seven Concept will be the first Caterham to feature traction control which should help the car accelerate from rest to 62.5 mph in less than four seconds.

Caterham Aero Seven Concept, Autosport International, NEC, Birmingham

At the time of the Aero Seven Concept announcement last year it was anticipated the car would go into production this year at their Dartford factory.

Thanks for joining me on this “EU6 Compliant” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


First Wooden Spoon – Caterham Renault CT03

In 2010 two budget Airline moguls entered Formula One teams for the first time, one was Malaysian Tony Fernandes who headed a consortium under the Lotus Racing banner with the blessing of Lotus owners Proton and the other was Richard Branson who entered his team under the Virgin Racing banner.

Caterham Renault CT03, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

At the beginning to the 2010 season Fernandes and Branson made a bet that which ever owner finished lowest in the Constructors Championship would join the aircrew of the others airline for a day dressed as a hostess. Richard lost the bet and last year finally got togged up as an Air Aisa Stewardess.

Pic, Caterham Renault CT03, British Grand Prix P1, Silverstone

Fast forward to 2013 and Fernandes team is still on the grid having changed it’s name to Team Lotus in 2011, and then to Caterham in 2012 after Fernandes bought the Caterham Cars company and Proton let the Genii Capital led consortium which runs the old Renault Team use the Lotus name.

Caterham Renault CT03, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

In 2011 Tony’s team managed to secure a supply of Renault motors as used by Red Bull, and the following season Williams in favour of the Cosworth units they had used in their first season. However they finished both the 2011 and 2012 seasons 10th in the championship standings on best finishes, having failed to score a world championship point in their entire history.

van der Garde, Caterham Renault CT03, British Grand Prix P1, Silverstone

Mark Smith was responsible for the design of the Caterham Renault CT03 used by the team in 2013 which was not too dissimilar to the 2012 CT01 designed by Mike Gascoyne.

van der Garde, Caterham Renault CT03, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

Frenchman Charles Pic, see second photo, moved over to Caterham from Richard Branson’s old team, rebranded Marussia in 2012, to be joined by Dutchman Giedio van der Garde, seen above for the driving duties.

Caterham Renault CT03, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

The Caterham team’s highlights in 2013 season were two 14th place finishes at the Hungarian Grand Prix for Giedo and at the Korean Grand Prix for Charles.

Despite not having the slowest car, Giedo qualified a team best ever 14th in Belgium, the Caterham team could not better the 13th place finish recorded by Jules Bianchi driving a Marussia in the 2013 Malasian Grand Prix and so Caterham finished the 2013 season last in the constructors championship with their first wooden spoon.

For 2014 Caterham will again be relying on Renault for their turbocharged primary motors but have yet to make any announcement regarding their drivers at least one of whom is expected to be a well known “star”. You can stay abreast of developments at Caterham on their official website linked here.

Thanks for joining me on this “First Wooden Spoon” edition of “Gettin a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again tomorrow on the streets of Toronto. Don’t forget to came back now !


Young Driver Test – Silverstone

Last Friday I popped over to Silverstone for the final day of the three day Formula One “Young Driver Test”.

Ferrari Trucks, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

On the way over to the paddock there was an imposing array of Ferrari tractor units.

Red Bull Transporters, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

Even though paddock access was restricted there were a few fans hoping to catch a glimpse of Sebastian Vettel on his way from the Red Bull hospitality suite to the pits.

Massa, Ferrari F138, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

The on track action started at 9 am sharp most of the cars were running with an array of extra airspeed sensors, such as that seen on Felipe Massa’s Ferrari F138, not usually seen on the race cars.

Parffett, McLaren MP4-28, Vergne, Torro Rosso STR8, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen and Torro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo set the pace on day one and day two respectively, on Friday Gary Parffet and Jean Eric Vergne took over the respective cars seen at Becketts above.

Wolff, Williams FW35, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

Making her second appearance in testing for the Williams team was Susie Wolff who recorded 89 laps, nearly two Grand Prix distances recording ninth best time of the day, just under a second slower than Williams team leader Pastor Maldonado recorded the day before.

Prost, Lotus E21, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

Nicolas Prost, son of four time World Champion Alain, driving the Lotus E21 set third fastest time on Friday.

Sutil, Force India VJM06, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

Second best time of the day was recorded by Force India regular Adrian Sutil trying out the new tyres that will be used at the Hungarian Grand Prix next week.

Vettel, Red Bull RB9, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

Fastest time of all three days was recorded by Sebastian Vettel, who like Sutil was testing the Hungarian Spec Pirelli’s.

McLaren MP4-28, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

After the test there was a ‘sold out’ pit lane walk about during which most of the teams put a car out for display. The well worn wheel nut above is seen on the McLaren.

Caterham CT03, Young Driver Test, Silverstone

Caterham put on a demonstration of pit stop drill, blink and you’ll miss it at this close range.

My thanks to Tony “Giraffe” Gallagher for additional track access.

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


Number 2 Drivers – British Grand Prix

Last Friday I popped along to Silverstone last Friday to see the first two practice sessions for the British Grand Prix. This was my first visit to Silverstone for Formula One action since 1981 when John Watson won the race for McLaren.

Rosberg, Mercedes Benz, F1 W04, British Grand Prix, P2, Silverstone

Today’s blog focuses on how the 11 teams number 2 drivers got on, above Nico Rosberg driving his Mercedes F1 W04 finished the opening day of practice at the top of the time sheets. Nico qualified second for the race and won after team mate Lewis Hamilton blew a tyre and then Sebastian Vettel retired with transmission problems. Despite having visiting pit row for the second time this season, twice more than his team mate Nico is still three seven points behind his team mate Lewis Hamilton, who has yet to win and fifty points behind Championship leader Lewis Hamilton.

Webber , Red Bull Renault, RB9, British Grand Prix, P2, Silverstone

Last years British Grand Prix winner Mark Webber, seen driving his Red Bull Renault RB9 above, similarly set a faster time than his team mate Sebastian Vettel on the opening day of practice. Mark qualified 4th behind his team mate for the race and dropped to 15th after making contact with Romain Grosjean on the opening lap and recovered to finish in second place on his final British Grand Prix appearance. Mark announced at the British Grand Prix that he would be retiring from Formula One at the end of the season and joining Porsche’s Le Mans program for 2014.

Massa , Ferrari, F138, British Grand Prix, P1, Silverstone

Ferrari’s Felipe Massa is seen driving his F138 in the first practice session he was slowest of the the eleven drivers to set a time in the morning and in the afternoon knocked a wheel of the front when he came off the drying track in the afternoon and again set the slowest time of the 22 drivers in the afternoon. Felipe could only qualify 12th for the race, but despite a high speed blow out did well to recover a sixth place finish by the end of the race.

Sutil , Force India Mercedes, VJM06, British Grand Prix, P2, Silverstone

Adrian Sutil driving a Mercedes powered Force India VJM06 set 8th fastest time on day one, qualified 7th for the race and spent a long period running in third place behind Vettel and Rosberg but then got swamped at the end to finish 7th.

Ricciardo, Torro Rosso Ferrari, STR8, British Grand Prix, P1, Silverstone

Daniel Ricciardo one of several drivers in the frame to replace the retiring Mark Webber at Red Bull, finished the opening practice session at the top of the time sheets, he qualified his Ferrari powered Torro Rosso STR8 an impressive 6th, seven places ahead of his team mate Jean Eric Vergne. After running in 4th place for much of the race he too was swamped at the end to finish 8th.

Bottas, Williams Renault, FW35, British Grand Prix, P1, Silverstone

Williams were celebrating the 600th Grand Pix at Silverstone unfortunately Valtteri Bottas driving his Renault powered FW35 could not repeat his fine Canadian 7th fastest qualifying performance. Starting 16th Valttteri came home 12th in the race.

Gutiérrez, Sauber Ferrari, C32, British Grand Prix, P1, Silverstone

Mexico’s Esteban Gutiérrez started the British Grand Prix from 17th place on the grid in his Ferrari powered Sauber C32 and climbed to 14th by the end of the race.

Chilton, Marussia Cosworth, MR02, British Grand Prix, P2, Silverstone

Max Chilton in the Cosworth powered Marrusia MR02 was the slowest qualifier but thanks to penalties for Paul di Resta and Giedo van der Garde he started his home Grand Prix from 20th and finished 17th.

van der Garde, Caterham Renault, CT03, British Grand Prix, P2, Silverstone

van der Garde started the British Grand Prix from last place after ignoring blue flags, shown to signal that he was about to be lapped, in Canada and finished the race 18th and last unlapped runner.

Grosjean, Lotus Renault, E21, British Grand Prix, P2, Silverstone

Driving his Renault powered Lotus E21 Romain Grosjean started the British Grand Prix from 7th on the grid but was involved in a collision with Mark Webber on the opening lap he finished the race 19th 1 lap down last car still running.

Perez, McLaren Mercedes, MP4-28, British Grand Prix, P2, Silverstone

Finally Sergio Pérez suffered a tyre failure during practice on the opening day that would be a portent for 4 similar failures on race day. Starting from 13th on the grid Sergio suffered a second puncture on race day that forced his retirement due to the damage to his Mercedes powered McLaren MP4-28 caused by the flailing remains of the tyre on lap on lap 46.

More on the British Grand Prix at Motorsports Unplugged.

Thanks for joining me on this “Number 2 Drivers” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for an Independence Day edition tomorrow. Don’t for get to come back now !


Air-time – Cholmondeley Pageant Of Power

Cholmondeley Pageant Of Power takes place on the estate of the Marquess Of Cholmondeley, a descendent of Sir Robert Walpole the first British Prime Minister, against the back drop of his fine 19th century mock Gothic castle in Cheshire.

G Smith, Bentley Speed 8, Cholomondeley Pageant Of Power

The opportunity to get close to the Le Mans winning Bentley Speed 8, the subject of next Monday’s blog, seen above demonstrated by Guy Smith who drove this car to victory in 2003 is what initially attracted me to make the journey.

Kingston/Cropley, Infiniti FX Vettel, Cholomondeley Pageant Of Power

There were many attractions at the event on four wheels, two wheels, hovering and flying, but I spent the whole of Saturday morning transfixed by the sight of the participants in the sprint event getting air-time over the bridge close to the finish and it is that feature which I would like to share today. Above the Infiniti FX Vettel named after reigning three time world champion Sebastian Vettel was driven by Autocar journalists Lewis Kingston and Steve Cropley.

Cray/Cropley, Vauxhall VXR8 Tourer, Cholomondeley Pageant Of Power

Vauxhall Motors Director Martyn Cray shared this Corvette C6 powered Vauxhall VXR8 Tourer with Steve Cropley, the Tourer is based on the Holden Special Vehicles GTS.

Strafford, COT, Chevrolet Impala SS, Cholomondeley Pageant Of Power

Last time I saw a Sprint Cup COT Chevrolet Impala SS was at Talladega four years ago this one appears to have once been part of the Stewart Haas Racing fleet run for Ryan Newman but has been repainted in the Hendrick Motorsports Dupont colours used by Jeff Gordon for owner driver Mick Strafford.

Van Nierop, Audi 80, Cholomondeley Pageant Of Power

In the early 1990’s Xavier Lapeyre ’90, Marc Sourd ’91 and Frank Biela ’92 won the French Supertourisme championships with all wheel drive Audi 80’s like the one driven above driven by Johannes Van Nierop.

Reid, Ford Mustang Mach 1, Cholomondeley Pageant Of Power

Glaswegian Anthony Reid, 1992 Japanese Formula Three open wheel champions and Saloon car ace and a regular Jaguar C-type competitor, is seen getting three wheels off the ground in a Ford Mustang Mach 1.

Boutwood, Nobel M600, Cholomondeley Pageant Of Power

Among the Supercars Peter Boutwood’s Noble M600 won the high jump award …

Marshall-Rowe, Lamborghini, LP570, Superleggera, Cholomondeley Pageant Of Power

from the Lamborghini LP570 Superleggera driven by Tim Marshall-Rowe.

Mansell, Caterham SP/300.R, Cholomondeley Pageant Of Power

Scott Mansell was in the running for the high and long jump events in the Track Day class with the Caterham SP/300.R but …

Robbie Kerr, Radical SR3 RS,  Cholomondeley Pageant Of Power

he could not quite match the best efforts of Robbie Kerr driving a Radical SR3 RS.

Jenkins, MAN TGX, Cholomondeley Pageant Of Power

Easily winner of the Golden Cojones award was 2011 Truck Champion “MAN in black” driver David Jenkins who manhandled his MAN TGX at terrifying speeds through the narrow lanes of Cholomondeley.

All in all the Pageant of Power was neither as corporate or as busy as Goodwood Festival of Speed which made for a great day out in the opulent surroundings of a country home in Cheshire.

My thanks to Alan Cox for identify Anthony Reid.

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


Coffee, Croissant & Cars #4 – Avenue Drivers Club

Last Sundays Avenue Drivers Club meeting filled Queen Square with another staggering selection of motor vehicles.

Vauxhall Viva SL, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

This 1968 Vauxhall Viva SL 90 has some go faster stripes, but not just any go faster stripes, these are replica’s of those that were originally supplied as part of the over the counter Brabham tuning kits that were available from 1968 to 1971 when the HB Viva was in production.

Lada 1200, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Like so many popular cars you do not notice them until they are almost all gone. This 1983 Lada is one of a fast disappearing breed, first time I have seen one slammed, modified with extreme lowered suspension.

Toyota GT86, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

This is certainly the first Toyota GT 86 I have ever seen on the road, it comes with rear wheel drive and even more unusually a 4 cylinder boxer engine !

Caterham Seven, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Continuing the sports theme was this 2007 Caterham 7 with a 50th Anniversary Paint option.

Alvis Silver Eagle, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Among the vintage vehicles present this 1931 Alvis Silver Eagle sold with the strap line “The Freedom of the air comes to the road with the Silver Eagle”

Riley Nine Falcon Special, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Staying with an ornithological theme further round the block I found this 1936 Riley Nine Falcon Special.

Crossley 2 litre Sports Saloon, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Only 25 Crossley 2 Litre Sports Saloons were built this one, chassis and engine #16/103 was the third built in 1934, and is thought to be the only one that is still road worthy.

Cadillac Allanté, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Cadillacs are rarities in Britain what ever the age this is a Pininfarina designed 1988 Allanté Roadster, the only option available for it when new was a ‘cellular phone’.

Dodge Charger, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Harking back to the zenith of the Muscle Car Era was this 1968 Dodge Charger, about the only option missing was Miss Daisey Duke !

Harley Davidson Road King, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

A little humour from the owner of this Harley Davidson Road King.

MGB GT, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

A couple of months ago I met Rich and Matt and related their tale of an adventure going to fetch a left hand drive Volvo 121 from Sweden, this is one of Matt’s cars a tidy 1971 MGB GT.

Bristol 412, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

Finally as it was time to head home this 1977, Chrysler powered, Bristol 412 came purring past.

Thanks for joining me on this “Coffee, Croissant & Cars #4” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”. I hope you will join me again tomorrow with the first of my Goodwood Revival 2012 posts. Don’t forget to come back now !