It doesn’t look that cold in the pictures, does it? It was bloody freezing. Gavin and Joe who turned up in Hotrods were evidently much ‘arder than me, their machines not even having a heater. They joined a surprisingly good and diverse turn out at the first sprint event of 2015 run by the good chaps of SprintAndTrackday in the cold at Curborough.

motorpunk sprint series at curborough (24)
At the risk of prattling on like a weathergirl the conditions do need further mention; It didn’t rain and the previous day’s snow had cleared so the track was damp but in good shape. This is important. Under the rules of the championship a ‘benchmark’ time is to be set. The person who sets the biggest improvement over their benchmark time over the 2015 season, per class, gets an invitation to the end of season shootout where there are some trophies and rather good prizes (courtesy of Caterham Cars and Morgan Motors) to be won. Setting a benchmark time early in the season makes sense because damp=slow. Dan on the stopwatch reckoned that the weather meant laptimes were 5-6 seconds slower than usual.

motorpunk sprint series at curborough (26)

So, what did we have? A special mention must go to Karen and Ben, amongst the first to sign up for the series, their XR2 went pop the night before the event so they hit ‘buy it now’ on a ropey 106 and surprised everyone with 1’40.9 and 1’40.0 times respectively. I think we’ll see their Ford next month though. Putting times into perspective; Ben G did 1’37.7 in a Megane R26R, which looked great in grey. Ben Senior did a 1.42.3 in his MK2 MX-5 proving that RWD isn’t always an advantage when the weather is crap – Trev did 1’41.5 in a Ka. I had intended to take my own MK1 MX-5 but sticking calipers (they all do that, Sir) meant I took my 968 Sport instead which was similarly sideways, my mate Paul dropping it’s arse on the grass coming out of the molehill. Time for new tyres I think. Or a new mate. Nigel Pugh was there in his Caterham R500, his best time being 1’21.8 albeit on a much drier day than this one, I can’t imagine getting anywhere near that time in class ‘E’ (specialist production cars).

motorpunk sprint series at curborough (28) - obligatory mx5

Mark and James of PPC Mag were there in a rare manual S type Jaguar,  they’re both qualified racing drivers but were behaving more like Torville and Dean on the day. The beauty of dedicated sprint circuits like this is the huge amount of runoff. There’s little or nothing crunchy to run into and only having one car on track at a time means you’re not fretting about getting in anyone’s way. In addition to the prizes mentioned above a further one has now been added, courtesy of PPC Magazine, which is quite simply for ‘the best result of the season for a £999 car’. We look forward to the next event (February 19th), the full calendar and details of how to enter are online here or call Dan on 07402 728337. The weather should be a bit less ‘slow with sudden outbreaks of sideways’ next month. Care to join us?

motorpunk sprint series at curborough (5)

Thanks to Dan and Rich for organising a great event, despite forgetting my pineapple ring and chips at lunchtime. Next month we’ll publish all the times of the season so far and start to look at the spec of some of the cars competing in detail.

About The Author

Rich Duisberg

Rich's drivel regularly appears in Practical Performance Car and GT Porsche magazines. He has also written for Classic & Sportscar, MogMag, Classic Performance and Retro, Banzai, Evo, and Modern Mini. He also did a book no-one bought. His hungover fizzog also often appears on CBS’s Carfection channel enthusing about historic motoring. Le Mans winner Derek Bell once refused to get in Rich's Morgan Three Wheeler with him at the wheel. Currently amongst the detritus in his garage is a 1972 Fiat 500 Abarth, a fat BMW and a Lotus Elise. Previous machinery includes a Porsche 968, an Alfa GTV V6 and a dreadful Sinclair C5. He also owns a vintage Royal Enfield pushbike.

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