21, Nov, 2017
What a difference a day makes: on Friday we were messing about with bits of cardboard but on Saturday we were taking home the silver.
Let me explain. To enable our cars meet the noise requirements at Oulton Park we found ourselves, along with many of the most powerful cars, making airboxes from carboard and tape to deaden the engines’ induction roar. We’d never encountered such problems before and I can’t explain why we did on this occasion but we were fortunate on two counts: we’d arrived at the circuit a day early and we had plenty of cardboard available!
It was all worth it, though. Tim Davis took a win and a second, while Colin had a pole position and a third. We were at the Classic and Sports Car Club’s Sunset meeting on 7th October to support no less than six Caterham 7s: Colin Watson (C400 2400), Tim Davis (C400 2000), Richard Carter (R300 2400), Hugh Coulter (C400 2000), Peter Hargroves (Superlight R 2000) and Peter French (Superlight 1800).
There were more noise issues on the pre-race test day when we had to cut open Richard Carter’s silencer and re-pack it. But that was to be the least of his troubles – and ours too. Later in the session his clutch exploded and cracked the bell-housing, so we spent the evening removing his engine and gearbox to replace it.
Qualifying for the Gold Arts Mag Sevens race the next day ended with our driver coach, Darren Burke, two seconds faster than anybody else which was fine except that he wasn’t in one of our cars! The changeable weather made tyre choice something of a lottery but in the end Colin lined up fifth, Tim Sixth, Richard ninth, Hugh 10th, Peter H. 13th and Peter F. 20th.
There was little doubt about the weather for the race itself. It started wet and got wetter. Colin was having a good run in sixth place but as the rain intensified he aquaplaned off and hit that wall hard. Several other runners did the same and the race was red flagged after 17 laps. Tim finished second after a close race with the redoutable Gary Bate. The pair had a few grassy moments but Tim forced Bate to settle for third. Richard was seventh, Peter H 14th and Peter F 17th. Tim won his class, as did, Peter French, although he was the sole runner.
The changeable weather had made qualifying for the Meteor Suspension Open Series seem watching like an F1 session with successive drivers putting up the fastest time. As the chequered flag dropped arch rivals Gary Bate and Simon Smith were P1 and P2 and looking secure. However the Boss drivers were still on their final flying laps and timing their runs to perfection as first Tim, then Colin jumped to the top of the time sheets to lock out the front row. Colin was the last to go and ended up on pole, nearly a second ahead of the pack and the only driver to get below 1min 50 secs. Tim was second, Richard ninth and Hugh 19th but his gearbox let go and as we had no spare he was a non-starter.
The Boss team had little more than an hour between races to repair Colin’s damaged car. And there was quite a lot to do. He needed a new nose cone as well as the upper and lower wishbones but we got him to the grid in time.
From the start, though, Colin and Tim seemed to be going in different directions. When the lights went out Colin got bogged down with wheelspin, while Tim headed for the front. The race was shortened by poor visibility but not before Tim and Jonathan Mitchell had spent most of the race swapping the lead. Tim was no doubt pleased by the organisers’ decision to show the chequer after just ten laps but Colin, heading for third, could probably have done with a longer race. Richard Carter, handicapped by his tyre choice, was seventh. Hugh Coulter was a non-starter.
As the season winds down both our next two outings will be at our local track, Brands Hatch. Meanwhile the workshop continues to be full of cars, but we do have some cool new toys to play with!
We’ve recently had installed a Maha car lift installed which, while being a fantastic piece of kit also levels itself at whatever height it is set to. This means that ‘flat floors’ are easier and more accurate and it works in conjunction with our Hofmann computerised wheel aligner. We can measure a car six feet in the air while walking underneath to adjust it – luxury!
Finally, anyone who is involved in motorsport knows you always need a little bracket to hold something on or a widget to do this and that. So we decided to buy a 3d printer for those odd parts that are tricky to make. The reality is that it has been running round the clock recently as we push what it is capable of. Some of these parts – dive planes, mirror mounts, brake ducts – will become available over the winter as they are tested and signed off, watch this space!
14, Jun, 2015
What a difference a week makes! On our last visit to Brands it was wet and cold and Dean Cook retired. Last Sunday it was warm and sunny and Dean was the hero of the hour with two dominating performances.
The spectacular and well-attended American Speedfest, the third in the series, included two rounds of the popular Bernie’s V8 Challenge, plus two for SpeedFest Silhouettes in which drivers could earn points towards the 2015 Avon Intermarque Championship.
In the first silhouettes dash our man Paul Adams in his Mercedes SLK look-alike took seventh spot on the grid and finished sixth. He started the second from the front row but was unable tom capitalise on this because a first lap accident at Druids caused him to take evasive action. Out came the safety car meaning that when racing re-started Paul had a fair bit of work to do and he clawed his way up to eighth at the finish.
Dean, meanwhile, had dominated the V8s, heading the growling, grumbling, snarling, popping and banging field from the start of both rounds. In the first he was passed by Tim, although the silver TVR Tuscan retired on the ninth lap. This left the red Cerbera free to clear off at the head of the pack to a win a fast and furious race that had to be red-flagged after 16 of the planned 20-minutes.
Sadly, the battle between the two TVRs had been cut short when Tim was forced to pull off. His engine had started making “clanking noises” when suspected lubrication system troubles intervened, causing him to miss the second round. Dean sportingly offered Tim the loan of his car for the race but the Brands officials ruled that he couldn’t compete in a car he hadn’t driven that day. “Far enough, I suppose,” was Tim’s rueful comment.
He absence left the way clear for Dean to lead the second 30 minute race which also featured a mandatory pit stop. He was kept honest first by the Lim/James Ram Cobra and then by surprisingly rapid Sunbeam Tiger of William Smallridge
Despite the heavy traffic Dean appeared to have matters well in hand. “It’s been a great day,” was his comment from the top step of the podium, as well it might after such a totally convincing performance.
As ever, both the Brands Bernie’s V8 rounds were characterised by a large and varied entry featuring British, American and Anglo-American machinery ranging from TVRs and MGs to Mustangs and amazing V8-motivated Mk 1 Escorts.
But Dean had the measure of them all, as did Tim while he lasted. Dean set fastest lap in both rounds and in fact, he and Tim were the only drivers to lap within 52 seconds.
Ah, yes, Tim. With his next outing being at Spa in three weeks’ time it’s not hard to guess how the Boss Racing team will be spending the intervening time. Well, it is what we do.
14, Jun, 2015
It may have started all grey and damp, but for Team Boss the last day of May ended with a nice drop of sunshine – and it wasn’t entirely to do with the brightening weather.
Two class wins and a memorable fastest lap wasn’t a bad day’s work and being at our home track, Brands Hatch, just added to the pleasure.
We were there with seven assorted Caterhams and a brace of TVRs to contest three events at the Classic Sports Car Club’s third meeting of 2015 and it’s first of two visits to the Indy circuit.
In the Gold Arts Magnificent Sevens Group 2 we had six cars running in three classes in a 40-minute race which also involved a mandatory pit stop. It rained during qualifying but our runners certainly didn’t disgrace themselves.
Christian Pittard had the best of it with sixth spot on the grid. Graham Charman started two places further back with Jonathan Pittard another two places behind him.
And it was Jonathan who did best in the race itself. He took seventh overall with his 1998cc Superlight R and first in class E for cars with up to 220bhp. Graham was 16th with his Superlight 400 and third in class D, while Colin Watson was 11th overall and third in class H with his R300. C400-mounted Mark Simmons also took a class third – in class E – on his way to 14th overall, while Hugh Coulter in his R300 was fourth in a class D.
By the time the group 1 cars came out to play the track was beginning to dry but it was still slippery as I was to discover. It was my first time in our number 90 Superlight and my first time out since I’d stuffed number 92 nose-first into the bank at Mallory Park a week earlier.
Nineteenth on the grid wasn’t much to shout about so I felt I should be able to improve on that in the race. The pit stop went OK – thanks, guys – but at one point during the race I made contact with another competitor while trying to pass. The result was a 360-degree spin plus a stalled engine. That cost me some time plus a wing.
Despite that I had a great time. I finished eighth and first in class A for the lowest power cars. At one point I thought I’d inadvertently held up the winning Roadsport shared by Wil Arif and Stephen Mansell. But after the race Wil – in his first ever Caterham race – was kind enough to say he hadn’t noticed. “We all have to drive our own races,” said the veteran Brands instructor.
In between the two Caterham races came the fast and furious New Millenium and Dunlop Puma Cup race. Another 40-minuter with mandatory pit stop, this event attracted a very mixed bag of quick cars including our two TVRs, the grey Tuscan of Tim Davis and the red Sagaris of Dean Cook.
Qualifying had been wet but Tim took fourth spot on the grid with Dean, a little unhappy with the conditions, down in 23rd. Indeed, the damp track didn’t suit the powerful V8s but Tim kept his well in contention until his pit-stop.
Thanks to his success at Silverstone earlier in the month Tim had a 30-second winner’s penalty added to his time in the pits. Once that had been counted down he rocketed back a lap down on the race-leading Porsche Boxter of James and Alan Broad. As the track surface dried, though, Tim’s race came alive.
You didn’t need a stop watch to tell he was the fastest out there. As the race wound down Tim had the big Tuscan well wound up as it rumbled round visibly quicker than anything else on the circuit. Tim not only got back on to the lead lap but hauled himself up to fifth by the flag – not bad for someone with a 30 secs handicap to overcome. Tim’s best lap was 57.463 sec: only he and the winning Porsche went round inside a minute.
Dean, meanwhile, was out soon after the pit stop window opened. The car trickled down the pit lane in a manner which, according to race commentator Mark Werrell, didn’t suggest “the body language of a car heading for a mandatory pit stop.” He wasn’t wrong: the wicked looking coupe with the bulge in the roof to accommodate its driver was suffering from fuel pressure problems.
But even that couldn’t dampen our spirits. And as we were packing up to go home the sun broke through the clouds. Next week-end we’re back at Brands for one of its landmark meetings of the year, the American Speedfest. See you there.
Tags: Boss Racing, Brands Hatch, caterham, Caterham C400, Caterham K Series, Christian Pittard, Classic Sports Car Club, colin watson, CSCC, Hugh Coulter, Jonny Pittard, Mag 7 Series, Mark Simmons, Racing, Robert Singleton, TVR, Winning
14, May, 2015
It was a successful weekend for the Boss Racing team. Tim Davis was racing his Silver 4.5 AJP TVR Tuscan at Silverstone with Bernie’s V8’s, Chris Whiteman was at Brands Hatch for his first meeting of the year in his Honda Civic Type R with the BARC Cannons Tin Tops and Rod Birley was also at Brands Hatch in his WRC Ford Escort.
Tim Davies, Silverstone 02/05/15
Tim’s Qualifying did not go all his own way, he was on the top of the timing sheet till the last minute of the session when William Smallridge in his rapid Tiger Sunbeam put in a 1:02.48 lap 0.09 faster than Tim. When the cars lined up for the race it was a stunning sight
This is just to name a few of the cars on the 19 car grid. Tim lined up second with William Smallridge Tiger Sunbeam on pole, when the lights went out, the two of them battled hard trading places till William lost the Tiger round Luffields leaving Tim to take an easy victory.
Chris Whiteman, Brands Hatch 02/05/15
Chris Whiteman narrowly missed out on pole position to Tom Bridger in his Rover 220 Turbo. Tom lapped the Brands Indy circuit in 54.880 Chris lap was 0.856 slower, the pair lapped over 1.5 seconds quicker than the rest of the 18 car grid. Race 1 Tom lead the way with Chris never more than 2 seconds behind when on the last lap of the 13 lap race Toms driveshaft failed and let Chris passed to take the victory. Race 2, the top six cars on grid was reversed #4 Len Colley on pole, #77 Peter Osborne 2nd, #27 Dominic Ryan 3rd, #73 Terry Seales 4th, #72 Tom 5th and Chris was lined up 6th. At the end of the first lap the pole man #4 Len was leading and Chris was up to second Tom 3rd on lap 2 tom moved to the front and Chris was second. Tom lead the way till lap 12 when his crank sensor failed and Chris moved into the lead and won the race.
Rod Birley, Brands Hatch 03/05/15
Rod also qualified in 2nd place to Rick May in his Escort Cosworth, Rick lost control of the Escort at Graham Hill bend on the first lap Rod then had the lead till the end of the 17 lap. Race 2 Rod lead from the start and was still leading after 17 laps.