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!
27, Jul, 2017
Two meetings, three wins and two seconds: not bad for a month’s work.
The bare statistics tell the story in a nutshell but can’t hope to convey the full nail-biting drama of our racing in June and the background to it.
You can read more elsewhere about the American SpeedFest at Brands Hatch and the preparations for our annual outing to Spa. So I’ll pick up the story at the start of the 30-minute qualifying session at the super-fast Belgian track.
Over this week-end of 23-25 June we were running in the two Gold Arts Magnificent Seven races at the Classic and Sports Car Club’s Spa Summer Classic. We had taken five cars, the newly-acquired C400 of Tim Davis, the Superlights of Graham Charman and Peter French and Richard Carter’s C400. Colin Watson and I were sharing the newly rebuilt and upgraded Boss Racing C400 that was still being completed on the morning of our departure from Longfield two days earlier.
Testing Thursday morning brought out the vast array of competitors from near and far. We were sharing the track with 60-odd cars ranging from Caterham Sevens and BMW M3s to MG Midgets and Sprites – lap times varied by more than half a minute!
Qualifying Friday and Tim put up the third fastest time with Graham fourth, Richard 16th and Peter 47th. Colin and I were 7th, our car showing no signs of the oil leak which had affected it the day before and which we had burned the midnight, um, oil working to cure.
Saturday, by now the fourth day of our trip and we were racing at last. Colin took the first stint and from seventh on the grid he was soon battling for the lead. By the end of the first lap he was second and in front the next time around. Then Tim took the lead only to lose it to Colin on the fourth. Along with arch rival Gary Bate the racing was epic.
By the time of the driver change on lap 6 we decided that as we had a genuine chance of winning Colin should stay in the car. I was disappointed but realised that we couldn’t spare the time it would take me to play myself in.
We finished second on the road but Gary Bate who took the flag first – as he so often does – was disqualified for passing another competitor under a yellow flag. So we won! And we set fastest lap.
Tim was second, just three-tenths adrift, Richard was 21st but Peter wasn’t classified and Graham was forced out on the seventh lap after a collision with another car holed his radiator.
That evening in true Boss Racing fashion, we prepared the cars for Sunday’s race. And went down the pub. For a while….
Sunday dawned and Colin started the second race from pole, while from second spot, Tim went wide on Turn 1 on the opening lap and lost a lot of time. Then, in his attempts to improve his position he tagged the back of Dean Cook’s car. Dean, an old TVR sparring partner of Tim’s, is also running a Caterham Seven but Tim now had a damaged radiator to contend with. He was classified 20th.
This was to be another race in which I didn’t get to drive. On the ninth lap, while fighting for the lead once again, Colin came on the radio to report an ominous vibration. We soon found out the cause, a broken drive shaft. So we were out, leaving the field clear for Gary Bate. All was far from lost, though. Graham finished fourth and set the fastest lap with his recently upgraded Boss Racing K-series engine! Who says the K-series is dead?
As I write this, our cars are in the workshop in various stages of disassembly being prepared for our next outing, five days at Croft racing over the weekend of 22-23rd July. As someone said, “a mini Spa!” but more about that next time…
26, Apr, 2016
It’s been a long winter for us at Boss Racing but spring is here, the daffs are out and so are we! And already we’ve had three successful outings this season, at Brands Hatch, Snetterton and Silverstone.
Since the end of the last season we’ve been flat out – as usual – at our Longfield base near Brands Hatch, preparing for 2016. Lots of customer race cars have been in to be prepared for the new season and we’ve added a new car, a Caterham SV with wider cockpit, to the track-day hire side of the business.
But before going on to talk about the way we started 2016 I’d like to thank those of you who voted for us to receive the MotorsportDays.com team trophy. You’ll forgive me, I hope, if I repeat a few of your kind words: “Well organised, friendly, high quality work” and “Excellent preparation, friendly towards other competitors, and support for many different cars and series.” The website itself noted: “Without doubt, this team leads by example.”
We also won the British Automobile Racing Club South East’s Twosome’s team trophy. It was a great honour to receive these prestigious awards on behalf of the team at the BARC awards evening in February. It was also very humbling because I’m only too well aware that it couldn’t have happened without the hard work of the whole team. Thanks guys, for making Boss Racing such a successful team in 2015.
So on to 2016. And it looks like being another great season. Our first meeting, over the Easter weekend, was at our local track, courtesy of BARC SE. We had cars running in several championships at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit, including the Intermarque and Quaife Motorsport News saloons.
First on track, though, were the Cannons Tin Tops. Up to that point it had been dry despite an overcast sky but shortly after the green flag dropped to start the opening qualifying session the rain came down. As ever, Rod Birley, now in the Peter Bevan Honda Integra which had been set-up by Boss Racing, was one of the first out.
The track was still dry when, on his fourth lap, Birley stopped the clocks at 1:00.834 to secure pole by over two seconds. Chris Whiteman could only manage 1:03.58 with his refreshed Honda Civic Type R to secure fourth spot.
The two Hondas weren’t the only cars on the grid to benefit from set-up work by Boss Racing. Ken Angell was 20th and third in class with his BMW 328i, while Kelly Dann emerged from her first-ever qualifying session 27th overall and 12th in class in her VW Golf 2000.
Both Rod and Chris made great starts in the first race, completing the opening lap at the head of the field. But on the third lap the positions were reversed. Chris held the lead to the flag, using his oval track racing experience to thread his way through the backmarkers and open a gap to Rod who finished second. Ken Angell was ninth and second in class, while Kelly Dann also advanced to finish her first race 24th and 10th in class.
Battle was joined again in Race 2. Chris and Rod charged over the line to end the first lap first and second again but this time Chris succumbed to pressure from the hard-charging Birley. He spun off on lap three, re-joining 10th just as the yellow flags were being waved following an incident. Five laps later, the green flags provided the signal for Chris to set about chasing Rod.
Birley kept his cool, though, and held the lead until the end. Despite setting the fastest lap of the race in 54.55 seconds, Chris could only manage third, 1.5 seconds behind Rod. But a nine-second penalty for a yellow flag infringement dropped him to fifth. Ken was eighth and second in class, but Kelly suffered engine problems and dropped out of her second race.
Paul Adams was driving his Mercedes SLK look-alike in the first of the two Scapco Intermarque races. Although the rain had stopped, the track was wet, leaving the team uncertain about which tyres to use. Paul opted to start the qualifying session on wets but on his third lap changed to slicks. The pressure was now on Paul to make his slick-shod laps count in the 15-minute session and he did well to secure 12th slot on the grid.
But his first race didn’t go to plan. On the fifth lap several cars, including Paul’s, spun at Paddock on coolant dropped by another competitor. This brought the safety car out but Paul had stalled his engine and wasn’t able to carry on.
As a result he had to start Race 2 from the back of the grid. But as the cars gathered in the collecting area the havens opened and there was no time to change to wets. Consequently, it was a slower race than usual with many other cars spinning off. Paul kept his head and came home in 14th place.
By Sunday afternoon when the Motorsport News saloons went out to qualify the weather was more stable. Rod Birley was able to take advantage of a dry track and put his familiar black and blue Ford Escort Cosworth second on the grid. And on Easter Monday the West Kingsdown man duly converted his front-row position into two more victories, proving that the Boss Racing-applied set-up was working well.
Snetterton’s 300 Circuit was the venue for our second meeting of the season on 10 April.
At this Classic and Sports Car Club event, Boss Racing was supporting Tim Davis in his TVR Tuscan and Hugh Coulter who was driving our number 93 Seven in the Magnificent Sevens series at Snetterton.
In his first outing in the car Hugh managed to qualify ninth and first in class E, while Graham Charman was outstanding to lead class D in fifth spot. In the race, run on a dry track late in the afternoon, Hugh pitted for his mandatory stop on lap nine from 10th place, with Graham coming in a lap later from sixth. By the end of the stops, Hugh was ninth, while Graham was now sixth. At the flag Hugh had moved up to eighth and head of the class, but fuel surge problems dropped Graham down to seventh and second in class.
Tim was out in his 4.5 litre Rover-powered TVR This car had proved troublesome last season with an intermittent misfire but over the winter it was treated to a new wiring loom, switches and fuel pumps. But after positive tests at Brands we were confident we’d got the mighty TVR running to its full potential.
But, guess what? After one lap of the Snetterton 300 circuit the misfire was back and as bad as ever. Yet Tim managed to put it into to sixth spot on the grid and second in class but the return of the elusive misfire left Tim depressed about his chances for the race.
Again the team went to work on the car and after an hour or so we found a filter dislodged inside the fuel swirl pot. Although Tim was still not confident as he took his place on the grid, a couple of laps we were getting an emphatic thumbs-up from the TVR’s cockpit as it growled past the pits. Tim moved up the field to be third by the time of his mandatory pit stop. But the gremlins struck again as the car left the pits. The red TVR slowed to a halt at the exit from the pits with no drive to the rear wheels: the gearbox was jammed. Massively frustrating but Tim was ecstatic that we seemed to have banished the misfire!
I had my first race of the year at the BARC SE meeting on 23rd April at the Silverstone International circuit. We set out with Peter Hargroves, Rob Grant and the number 93 hire car, and as none of the drivers had experience of the International circuit, we all opted to take advantage of the Friday test day. All three cars performed well and by the time qualifying started we all reckoned we knew which way the circuit went.
Which was just as well for, with the Sevenesque cars sharing the track with the Scrapco Intermarque machines, it was going to be busy. All three of us made it to the front of the queue in the hope of some clear laps. After 15 minutes I managed to be eighth fastest overall and second for the Sevenesque race, while Peter was 14th and 4th Sevenesque and Rob Grant was 19th and 7th Sevenesque.
The two races were to be run concurrently with a split grid enabling the Intermarques to start first and the Sevenesques 10 seconds later. Ian Conibear and myself shared the front row of the Sevenesque grid but Ian had the better start and led in to Turn 1. With a good run through the last two corners, I passed Ian on the second lap. But my lead was short lived. Ian’s Class 1 car had too much power on the long straight for my Class 3 car.
On lap seven, the Class 1 Seven of Gary Bate breezed past me on the straight but two laps later I got a run on him through Turns 1 and 2 just as Gary was trying to pass Ian. Gary re-joined the racing line at Turn 3 but that un-sighted me. I took to the grass and swung into a 360-degree spin. So with just two laps left I had to settle for third. Rob Grant made it to fourth and Peter was sixth.
It was a top seven reverse grid for Race 2, which put me fifth for the start. Peter was on the front row in second and Rob was fourth. I made a great start but Gary’s was even better. By Turn 2 he was leading with me second. We changed places several times until, on lap 10, I managed to put a back-marker between us and break his tow on the back straight. That left me clear to win. Peter was fifth but Rob was classified as a DNF due to a misunderstanding with a flag.
I learned later that I was voted driver of the day. Great stuff!
14, Mar, 2016
In the Caterham department we obviously have our own familiar white and red cars to prepare to get back out on tack, and this year Hugh Coulter will be driving one too! The Caterhams that we run for out customers are also being worked on, with Christian Pittard getting a nice new orange metallic one and his brother Johnny’s black one is also being prepped. Another one we have in the garage at the moment Peter Hargroves Caterham which races in the BARC sevenesque series and his car is recovering from a crash at Brands Hatch at the last meeting so it will be in great shape for the new season.
We have two tintops in the garage at the moment which is a welcomed change. One is of a long term customer and friend, Chris Whiteman. His Honda is in being prepared for the CSCC season ahead. The other one belongs to a new customer, Andy Banham who races his Subaru Impreza in the BARC Quaife Motorsport News Saloon Car Championship. He is a successful driver having been Class runner up in both 2014 and 2015, so here’s hoping 2016 is his year!
And that’s just the race cars in the garage! We also offer full garage services for road cars, and below is a Caterham that we have just fitted freestyle suspension to.
5, Mar, 2016
So this does seem quite late to be doing a round up for 2105 but it feels like this is the first chance we have had to catch our breath and reflect before the whirlwind of the new 2016 season starts! We want to start by saying a huge thank you to those that supported us and all our customer last year and we look forwards to working with you all again this year!
2015 was another successful year for Boss Racing, as we added more silverware to our collection and we have been very fortunate to be recognised by so many people as being good at what we do! Once again we were recognised for our Racing with the CSCC which is always great. Graham Charmer won his class, Colin Watson was second in his class, and Tim Davis won the overall TVR trophy. Also we have been racing in the Sevenesque Series with the BARC South East and Colin Watson and Rob Singleton won the Twosomes Trophy, Best Team Effort for their race with them at Brands Hatch which was very close between the tow of them but with Rob ultimately winning!
A new award that we received this year, and one that we are really proud of, is the Motorsport Days Team of the Year award 2016!
This one is really special for us as motorsport Days readers and fans have voted for it, and it recognises all our work off track, including the garage services and track day car hire.
This award takes into consideration teams of all sizes, and the winner has surpassed expectations on all aspects of race preparation, servicing, on-circuit, transportation, facilities and hospitality. The voters’ comments speak volumes: “Well organised, friendly, high quality work”; “They provide support not only at the track but from the build of your race car, race tuition through to on track support; and “Excellent preparation, friendly towards other competitors, and support for many different cars and series.” Without doubt, this team leads by example.
8, Nov, 2015
According to my dad I didn’t like carrots when I was a lad! But it wasn’t so much seeing in the dark that caused me trouble during the night race at Brands Hatch on Halloween night, in fact there was too much light and most of it was coming from my main competitor. As we threaded our way past the other 30 or so cars sharing the one-mile Indy circuit Pascal Green’s lights were dazzling me so much that it was hard to see the entry point for the corners. Druids was the most difficult. Even opting to take the mandatory pit stop early in the 40-minute race didn’t help.
When I saw that the Classic Sports Car Club was organising a night race at its Halloween meeting I was really excited. I was also a little apprehensive because it wasn’t something I’d ever done before. When I discussed it with Colin Watson and Tim Davis I found they agreed it was something we couldn’t miss. The other races on the programme set the scene for us. In the Gold Arts Magnificent Sevens 40-minute thrash I was first reserve but the organisers said I wouldn’t be able to start the night race if I didn’t compete during the afternoon. So I shared the drive with Colin in the Caterham R300/C400. We finished fifth overall and second in Class G. Graham Charman was eighth and first in Class D, Hugh Coulter came twelfth and third in class D.
It was Tim Davis’ chance to shine in the New Millennium and Dunlop Puma Cup 40-minuter. He, though, had to pay the price of success. CSCC rules say race winners have to carry a 60-sec pit-stop penalty: Tim had to pause for a minute. Overcoming such a penalty was a big ask but Tim very nearly pulled it off. He’d qualified on the inside of row three but soon bustled the silver TVR into the lead. The race’s second half was really tense as the big Tuscan rumbled around, chopping into the lead of Dan Wylie’s M3. But the race wasn’t long enough and Tim had to be content with a brave second place just 22 seconds in arrears.
In the interval before the night race we fitted the three cars – Colin’s R300, Tim’s Tuscan and my C400 – with LED lights and anti-dazzle covers for the rear-view mirrors. Tim qualified fourth, Colin eighth and I was 12th. In free practice, though, I found myself quickest with Tim and Colin just behind. I looked like being a good race. I got a good start Pascal Green in his C400 started from 5th on the grid. We’d worked our way to the front by the fourth lap and I reckoned I was the faster but when I got past I found Pascal’s lights dazzling me so much I was having trouble placing the car. I decided the best thing to do was to come in for my pit stop as soon as possible. But as I turned into the pit lane entry I clipped the front of a Lotus Elise I was lapping with my back tyre. I apologised to the driver after the race. When I stopped I got the guys to check the tyre but it was OK. What I hadn’t expected was that Pascal had also decided to make his stop at the same time. I left the pit lane with him right behind. And we went at it again. At one point we were three abreast with an Alfa GTV: Pascal on one side and me on the other. Fortunately, the Alfa driver kept it straight! Then I managed to put a lapped competitor between us and that gave me the break I needed.
By the end I was near 10 seconds ahead. My biggest problem, as it turned out, was that the race officials wanted to bring me in to check my lights. As Pascal’s were causing me so much trouble I thought I’d return the favour by distracting him when he was ahead. Operating the switch under the dashboard was a bit of a fumble so there was a bit more flashing than I’d intended. When the officials told my crew to bring me in the guys insisted I was flashing deliberately. Fortunately, the officials accepted that and allowed me to continue.
It was a great race, really exciting. I don’t think I’ve come down yet! Colin was third and Tim fifth so it was another great result for Team Boss. Pass the carrots!
Click here to ride on board with me!
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
22, Apr, 2015
Phew! It was certainly an active week-end for Boss Racing and its customers.
It started the week before with five Caterhams and two TVRs to prepare for the Classic Sports Car Club’s season opener at the Snetterton 300 circuit. Meanwhile, our old mate and neighbour, Rod Birley, was bringing his famous Escort in for set-up checks before racing at our local track.
At Snett we had the new number 91 Boss Racing Caterham R300 to be driven by Colin Watson from Barnehurst, Kent. The 56 year-old paint sprayer normally shares the driving with me but the plan for this weekend was for Colin to do the 40-minute race single handed. As it was, our own car was the last to be prepped so problems with the dash display, flat shift and ECU meant it wasn’t ready until late on Thursday night.
Hugh Coulter from Esher was having his first race in his new R300, number 10, while Jersey-based Christian Pittard was in the number 45 car he’s campaigned for the past four seasons. Somerset’s Jonny Pittard, in number 81, has also been racing for four years. Our own number 93 car was again hired out to Mark Rider who was successful in a number of events last year.
Tim Davis from Orpington had his well-known silver number 22 TVR Tuscan. He was still on a high from his earlier win at Donnington Park, while Dean Cook was our second TVR runner with his red number 20 Segaris.
Just three before the start of the season, Dean brought the car into our workshop for a pre-season check when we discovered that one of the V8’s cylinder heads was cracked. But with some late night working – of course! – We managed to get the TVR running on Thursday afternoon. It meant that Dean missed the booking-in deadline and had to miss out on Snetterton.
The Friday test day saw Hugh, Christian and Colin out on the circuit with Fulvio Mussi on hand to provide driver tuition. Hugh’s car ran faultless all day and made steady lap time gains in each session. Christian’s car suffered a misfire at high RPM but once this was sorted his lap times were impressive. Colin’s car, though, was plagued with an electrical problem which side-lined it for the rest of the week-end.
Saturday was race day for Tim, Jonny and Mark. Tim was competing in the new Millennium series but in qualifying on a very wet track the best he could manage was seventh out of 13 runners. Pole position went to the rapid Randall/Randaccio Lotus Europa, of which more later.
The track had dried up by start-time. It looked like normal service was resumed as Tim stormed into the lead on the first lap. He stayed there until his pit stop on the seventh of this 19-lap 41-minute race which Tim had elected to drive solo.
Meanwhile, the Europa, which had stopped two laps earlier to change drivers, had established itself at the head of the field. Randaccio was lapping 10 seconds faster than Randall and five seconds better than Tim. By the time the field had sorted itself out after the stops Randaccio and Tim were first and second. Tim drove as hard as he usually does but was still 51 seconds behind Randaccio at the flag. But he won class A.
Jonny and Colin were competing in the Sports V Saloons 15-lapper. There was a mixed grid of 24 cars ranging from Caterhams to Jaguars and including the very fast pole-sitting Randall/Randaccio Europa.
Qualifying was wet and Jonny Pittard was a little rusty and struggling to get some grip from the CR500 tyres. Consequently, he could manage only 19th and last of the 11 Caterham runners. Colin, now in the 93 car, had a much better run to qualify seventh overall and fifth Caterham.
After a good start Colin moved up to fourth, which he held until lap four. He made his pit stop on lap seven of the 15-lap event and emerged tenth. By the time everything had settled down Colin was running sixth, but on lap 11 Colin come into the pits for a second time after a mix-up with a black flag which wasn’t for him. At the finish he was seventh and second in class. Jonny, meanwhile, had also made a good start. He pitted on lap nine and moved up to 14th and third in class.
Hugh Coulter, Christian Pittard, Jonny Pittard and Mark Rider were out for Sunday qualifying on a dry circuit. Christian’s was the fastest of the Boss cars and posted a lap in 2:02sec, just 0.238sec off the pole time of Danny Winstanley. Still, it was a time that put him third on the grid and third in class H. Mark posted 2:05.368 for ninth and second in class E.
Jonny did 2:07.609 to place 12th and third in class E, while Hugh recorded 2:08.626 to be 14th and second in class D. Other Caterham runners using Boss engines were Graham Charman (11th and first in class D), Richard Carter (13th and third in class G) and Paul Browes (16th and fifth in class E).
After a rolling start there was plenty of action at the first corner so much so that the safety car had to sort things out. Fincham and Oreilly failed to complete the lap. Christian’s right front wheel had made contact with something solid, knocking the tracking out and pushing him down to fifth. Mark slowed down for the safety car boards and waved yellow flags coming round Hamilton (the bend, not the driver) but in the excitement six drivers failed to see the yellows and overtook Mark, pushing him down to 15th.
Although he’d made a good start, moving up to ninth, Jonny was one of the errant drivers, as was Hugh who’d made it up to 12th. After the safety car pulled in at the start of the third lap Christian discovered driving a Caterham with the front wheels pointing in different directions isn’t that easy yet moved up to ninth by lap five.
Hugh, meanwhile, had overtaken Graham Charman at the restart to lead class D. The pit stops started on lap five and had been completed by lap nine with Christian in sixth, Mark seventh, Hugh 10th, Graham 12th and Richard Carter 14th. Christian
move up to fifth on lap16 and stayed there to the flag. Mark had an epic battle with Green for the last seven laps, the pair trading places every lap for class E honours and seventh overall. But Mark lost out on the last lap and had to settle for 8the, while Jonny was ninth – and third in class – just 5-sec behind the Green-Rider duel.
Hugh was holding the class lead until lap 11 when his car slowed and Graham passed him. In the pit lane it was discovered that Hugh’s alternator mounting had failed and, with loss of drive to the coolant pump the resulting overheating had prompted the ECU to go into safe mode and cut power. This left Graham Charman to take the class win.
Meanwhile there was plenty of action at Brands Hatch. In preparation for his outings in the two rounds of the Motorsport News Saloon Car Championship, Rod Birley had brought his all-concerning number 44 Ford Escort WRC into the workshop for four-wheel alignment and set-up.
It obviously paid off. In qualifying Rod took pole despite the wet conditions. Glen Rossiter’s number 7 Clio Cup car also made good use of set-up work in our shop to grab fifth and first in class D. Daniel Palmer, racing his number 8 Mitsubishi Evo for the first time, missed qualifying but Bernie Baxter put his number 39 Audi S3 on 15th slot and fourth in class C.
In the first race Rod had a turbo pipe problem, forcing him to settle for the runner-up spot with Ian Butler taking the win in his rapid Ford Focus. Glen crashed heavily on the opening lap and took no further part in the proceedings, while Bernie Baxter moved up to 12th overall and third in class. Although he started from the back of the grid in his first-ever race, Daniel Palmer took eighth overall and third in class.
The second race saw things back to normal with Rod pulling away from Butler to win. Despite a first lap spin, Daniel fought back to take sixth overall and class second, while Bernie’s Audi managed 13th and fifth in class.
So it was quite a weekend and I’d like to thank everyone who make it such a success. To them I say: there’s too many of you to list but you know who you are. Thanks for all the hard work, boys.
Boss racing results summary for the weekend
New Millennium Series: Tim Davis, 2nd overall and 1st class A
Sports V Saloons: Colin Watson, 7th overall and 2nd class H; Jonny Pittard, 14th overall and 3rd class H
Magnificent Sevens Group 2: Christian Pittard, 5th and 4th class H; Mark Rider, 8th and 2nd class E; Jonny Pittard, 9th and 3rd class E, Graham Charman, 11th and 1st class D, Richard Carter, 14th and 4th class G
Motorsport News Saloon Car Championship Race 1: Rod Birley 2nd overall; Daniel Palmer, 8th overall and 3rd in class; Bernie Baxter, 12th overall and 3rd in class
Race 2 Rod Birley, 1st overall; Daniel Palmer 6th overall and 2nd in class; Bernie Baxter, 13th overall and 5th in class.
Tags: caterham, Caterham C400, Christian Pittard, Classic Sports Car Club, colin watson, CSCC, Dean Cook, Fulvio Mussi, Hugh Coulter, Jonny Pittard, Mag 7 Series, Magnificent Sevens, Mark Rider, new millennium, Rod Birley, Snetterton, snetterton 300, Tim Davis, TVR
28, Jan, 2015
At the moment Boss Racing is busy building a new Caterham for Christian Pittard, Number 45, for the 2015 CSCC Mag 7 Series season.
Christian has been racing with Boss Racing, as well as in the CSCC Mag 7 Series for the past three years. He has been successful in this series, with a out-right win in his first race at Snetterton in 2012. In 2014 Christian was racing his 20L Vauxhall powered Caterham in class H in 2014. However 2015 is bringing Christian something new and shiny, and supercharged! Christian will remain in Class H but with a brand new CSR Supercharged Caterham.
This is the new car being prepped for painting by us. We will be updating this as the build goes on!