And so, the blossom was out, the track was dry and friends new and old convened at the Curborough circuit for our April sprint event.

As always, there were some surprises in the paddock. I never realised quite how good a stripped out Saxo could be in the hands of a sprint regular. Peter, Sam, Alan and Michael brought VTR and VTSs (8v or 16v) along and got down around the 1’34 mark. Compare that with Andy in class H who did a 1’29.6 in his beautiful and punchy remapped Golf R. Welcome to the championship Andy, by the way! It was great to see Mark’s Exige back again too.

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I loved the almandine red Mercedes 190 in the carpark, a third of a million miles on it and still looking tough. I didn’t see it on track, sadly. PPC reader Stu was up from Kent again with the yellow Fiesta, putting in a 1’35.8, his car running with a 1.8 zetec engine, LSD, quaife ‘box and bike carbs, a great set up and bound to get quicker over the season in class D. The GT86s went well, 1’37.9 and 1’34.9 for Faith and Mike respectively. I’ve not been a huge fan of the piped engine sound in the cabin of this car but they sounded great as they went past. Parked in the paddock I thought there were 3, actually, then realised that the green GT86 was actually Steve’s Hyundai Coupe (my excuse: it has been a long day). This is a standard car, entered in class J, with a 2 litre engine. There’s a dedicated race series for these (for those with deeper pockets than us) and I can see why, for a FWD car it beat a couple of the MX-5 regulars with a 1’40.6 on the day.

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MX-5s are a regular sight on these days and it’s easy to see why. They’re robust, fun and quite tidy around Curborough’s tight turns. Mike D’s black car was almost as rusty as my own MX-5 (currently festering in the MotorPunk lock-up) but still great fun on a budget. Another popular car of choice here is the Clio, Alex doing a 1’33.5 (!) on the day, over 6 seconds quicker than Stuart’s Skyline, although with a longer straight I’m sure those figures wouldn’t be so far apart. Nige was back with his Caterham and did a 1’22.2 (still covered in cack from this trip to France the previous weekend) but the quickest of the day was Paul in his Westfield 1’20.7. I hope Grant fixes the manifold on his EK4 Civic, Stephan’s EP3 Civic was blistering with a 1’28.9. Nice to see Minis here too, there’s always an interesting mix.

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Photographer and friend of MotorPunk, Robert Grounds, had brought along his BMW Isetta, and had an idea. Let’s take the quickest driver (Paul) and do a lap in the slowest car to ever lap Curborough, this Isetta. Robert has driven the circuit since it’s creation and was game for a laugh so we loaded him into the Isetta, with Paul, and Robert’s grandson Dylan in the footwell for a lap. Whoah! I couldn’t take snaps for laughing! I think the batteries went on the stopwatch before they returned but their time was something like 2’30. A lovely end to another day of fun.

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If I missed any times or names, please drop me a line. Big thanks, as always, to those who came along and participated, and in particular to Dan and Rich for running such a tight ship. See you next month!

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5 Responses

  1. Robert Grounds

    What a great day out it was, sun shining and a terrific variety of cars. It was great to finally meet up with Rich after so many emails back and forth.

    I went in my Isetta with grandson Dylan[age6] took we around 1300 photo’s between us. These photo’s are FREE and very high resolution, all you need to do is make contact and I’ll send them to you. I even purchased a brand new Canon 5D Mk3 camera for the event to ensure high quality. So make contact for your free pix.

    I also took a load of photo’s in March if you were there, please ask for copies.
    Only a very small number [3] of people have asked for photo’s. Please ask me for them or I’ll not come in May.

    Contact me at this email address – rallypixflickr [add the @ symbol] aol.com –
    and you can have your photos.

    If you google ‘Rally pix on Flickr’ you can see my website. Only a few pix are on-line so contact me direct for your free copies.
    Robert Grounds

    Reply
    • Robert Grounds

      This is a list of the cars that I photographed.

      Austin Mini Cooper S
      Caterham
      Citroen Saxo
      Ford Fiesta ST
      Ford Fiesta Twin Cam
      Ford Fiesta Zetec S
      Honda Civic
      Hyundai
      Lotus Exige
      Mazda MX-5
      Mini Cooper S
      Nissan GTR
      Renault Clio 172 Cup
      Single Seater
      Toyota
      VW Golf
      Westfield

      Reply
  2. Filmidget

    Some more pics (though not as good as those of Mr Grounds) in a thread over on Retro Rides.

    Really fired up about getting a car sorted for May…

    Also I may be able to get hold a speed (radar) gun – any interest in some unofficial end-of-straight speeds?

    Reply
  3. Robert Grounds

    It’s good to hear from some of you. This is the list of the cars that I photographed.

    Austin Mini Cooper S
    Caterham
    Citroen Saxo
    Ford Fiesta ST
    Ford Fiesta Twin Cam
    Ford Fiesta Zetec S
    Honda Civic
    Hyundai
    Lotus Exige
    Mazda MX-5
    Mini Cooper S
    Nissan GTR
    Renault Clio 172 Cup
    Single Seater
    Toyota
    VW Golf
    Westfield

    Reply
    • Grant Elwell

      Had a fantastic day in my EK4 Civic, would love to see some photos if you have some Robert.
      Mine was the Red Civic with the white stripe
      Cheers

      Reply

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