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, May, 2015
This week was a lot lower key for boss racing, once again we found ourselves back at Snetterton 300 with the BARC Intemarque Championship. Paul Adams was racing his Mercedes SLK, it was Pauls first trip to Snett and he found him self struggling, qualifying was only 15 minutes and with a safety car half way through Paul was 13th of the 15 runners,
Race 1 Paul only managed 3 laps and pulled into the pits with a rough running car, when we investigated it back in the paddock he found the head gasket had failed and the put a end to the day for the 99 car.
Also running at Snetterton was Lee Bristow in the very competitive Caterham Tracksport Championship. after a visit to the workshop last week for a setup on the 4 wheel alignment, Lee qualified 5th and in race 1 he dropped back to 10th. Race 2 Lee had a much better run to finish 3rd.
Mark Crome was back out racing with his 2L hot rod at Great Yarmouth on Sunday night with 3 races Mark was 3rd in race 1, 5th in race 2 and the final he crossed the line 5th but was docked 2 places for contact.
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
16, Apr, 2015
The arrival of the Easter week-end means the racing season has slipped into high gear. It also signals the start of a hectic time for us at Boss Racing. This week-end we were in Norfolk and Hampshire for two very different forms of motor racing.
On Saturday we were supporting Caterham Seven racer Peter Hargroves. Hampshire-based Peter owns a string of cycle shops as well running a very successful cyclo-cross team, all of which keeps him very busy. But when he wants a taste of something a little quicker he runs a 2-litre Duratec-powered Caterham.
He’s also having a BMW built so he can compete in a tin top championship. We’re looking forward to maintaining it for him. Peter runs the Caterham himself and we look after maintenance.
For the start of the season we changed the diff ratio in its final drive together with LSD loadings. We also overhauled the steering rack and, using our four-wheel alignment equipment, set it all up to optimise the diff and steering work. Finally, we fitted some aero parts, a race half-door and tonneau. Both were painted to a high standard in gloss black.
At Snetterton Peter had entered his Caterham for a couple of all-comers’ events. The first featured an 18-car grid. Talk about a mixed bag: seven Caterhams, a two BMWs and a couple of Crossle sports cars plus single examples of Jade, Nemesis, Westfield, Atom, Lotus Elise, Toyota MR2 and MGF VVS.
Not unexpectedly Martin James put his Atom on pole. Peter wasn’t able to get a really good qualifying run and started 12th and fourth fastest Caterham. As it happened, there were two starts for the first race as Merrick Linnett (also in a Boss-prepared Caterham) hit the pit straight wall. Malcolm Shaw was also having problems with his BMW and both failed to make the second start.
Tom Eden in his new Caterham CSR took the chequered flag with James second in the Atom and John Gray third in the Jade. After 15 minutes of racing on a drying track Peter came home sixth and third in the “Caterham Class.” After a good start he was eighth on the first lap, having made up several places. On lap seven he passed Mark Drain’s Caterham and a lap later, Stephen Pearson’s BMW.
By the time the second race started the track was drying. Peter made up two places from the start to finish fourth just behind Richard Green’s Caterham. James was the winner with Gray runner-up.
On Sunday another of our runners, Slade Green-based stockbroker and 2 litre hot rod driver Mark Crome, was busy at Aldershot. This is one of the hot rod classes I used to race in and I still have a passion for it.
I love the cars, which have a space-frame chassis. Bodywork is a mix of steel panels from a two-door hatchback – Corsas, Novas, Fiestas and Saxos are typical – with doors, boot lids, bonnets and bumpers of Kevlar. The cars have rear-wheel drive with power from a 2-litre Ford Pinto engine mated to a three-speed gearbox.
Circuits are usually quarter-mile Tarmac ovals and although most feature Armco crash barriers, wood and wire fencing is not uncommon. Race format comprises two 15-lap heats with results decided by a 30-lap final. Grids of up to 38 cars are not unknown but the norm is 20 to 25.
At the wheel of his Saxo look-alike with Boss Racing-prepared engine Mark had quite a good day. He was third in his first heat and won the second but he failed to finish the final.
I still can’t get over our amazing four-wheel alignment equipment. We used it on both Peter’s and Mark’s cars. Operating on such different cars certainly keeps us on our toes and our intention now is to try some different set-up disciplines.
Meanwhile, we’ll be racing again next week-end so there’ll be a lot more to report. It’s all happening now!
13, Jan, 2015
Boss Racing is well versed when it comes to the CSCC Mag 7 Series. We have had four drivers in the series for the past two years, well as class and championship wins. This year is an exciting time for the team as we are expanding.
So, let’s meet our drivers…
Hugh Coulter #10
Hugh is the newest driver to join the Boss Racing Mag 7 team. From Surrey, Hugh will be driving his new Caterham duratec powered R300, and he will be competing in Class D. Hugh is experienced in the Mag 7 series, having competed for the past five years and he has a number of impressive class wins to his name.
Graham Charman #22
Graham will be racing his R4oo K series powered Caterham also in class D. He started racing back in 2013 with the CSCC, and within only 3 months he upgraded his race license to be able to race at our favourite track, Spa Francorchamps. At Spas Summer Classic a Graham took the class win and a he also has a number of other class wins from the past two years.
Rob Grant #34
Rob is new to the CSCC, having only competing in one round of the Mag 7 series last year, at Donnington Park. The Kent based driver found the 250bhp Duratec Caterham a little different to his motor bike powered RGB 750 race car that he was used to. However we have high hopes for Rob, and he will be racing in class G.
Christian Pittard #45
Christian has raced with Boss Racing, in the CSCC MAg 7 series for the past three years. He had a out right win in his first race at Snetterton in 2012 and was racing his 20L Vauxhall powered Caterham in class H in 2014. However 2015 brings some new changes for Christian, and this year he will remain in Class H, with his new CSR supercharged Caterham.
Julian Sage #66
Julian has raced his Caterham R500 Knseries on and off for many years, and last year he tried the CSCC Mag 7 series and enjoyed a couple of podium finishes. The Kent based driver will be competing in Class F this year.
Jonny Pittard #81
Jonny is the second Pittard brother we have here at Boss Racing. He has raced his 2oL powered K series Caterham in the series for the past two years., and in that time he has taken some class wins. This year Jonny will be racing in class E.
Colin Watson & Rob Singleton #92/ #91
Colin started his racing career in the National Hotrod Series, and since then has moved to, and now cannot imagine racing anything but Caterhams. Colin has raced in the CSCC for the past three years and in 2013 he took over all honours in the series and in 2014 also took the class E honours. The Kent based driver is expecting big things for the new year, and is looking to move up to class H for 2015.
Rob also has experience out of Caterhams, starting in 2L Nationals. Rob has also raced in the Mag 7 series for three years and has been runner up to Colin in bth 2013 and 2014 in class E. Rob also took an outright win at Anglesey and a podium at Spa Francorchamps in 2014.
Mark Rider #93
Mark started racing last year and had a very successful year, including a class E win in his second race with the CSCC. The Kent based driver is looking forward to another year with Boss Racing and will running again in class E for 2015.
Mark Simmons #93
Mark raced in the CSCC last year for the first time after 15 years away from racing. He quickly got back up to speed and took a class E win at Oulton Park in 2014. Hoping for another exciting season Mark is also running in class E.
Peter Hargroves #10
Peter has raced his 260bhp Caterham in other series and is looking to compete in the CSCC Mag 7 series this year at selected rounds. We look forward to having him onboard.
26, Nov, 2014
2015 looks like an exciting year for Boss Racing!
We have so much lined up! This website is due to launch on January 1st 2015, with that comes a monthly newsletter, as well as an exciting competition for you to enter! We have more full time customers joining Rob at the workshop for racing services, and they will be racing under the Boss Racing banner. The 2015 Racing season starts on April 11th at Snetterton and Colin and Rob have a title to defend, whilst looking to join the next class up. See here for the full CSCC 2015 dates.
We would love for all of you to get involved, to come and support us at meetings near you. As well as coming along to see us doing promotional work at big meetings. We will be posting to let you know where we will be and when, so you can pop along and see us, and maybe even the cars.We will also be keeping you updated on what we are up to at races, with the Caterhams and the TVRs, as well as what is happening a the workshop.
Here at Boss Racing we really do appreciate the support we get from you all and we look forward to seeing you all in 2015!