Posted on Wednesday November 28, 2018
Reigning two-time British Touring Car Championship Independent Champions Speedworks Motorsport will join the series’ Manufacturer ranks in 2019 after gaining factory backing from Toyota GB and rebranding as Team Toyota GB with Speedworks Motorsport – and an all-out title assault is on the cards.
Having developed a reputation as the BTCC’s biggest giant-killer in recent seasons – tallying nine race wins with Tom Ingram, consecutive Independent Team and Driver Trophies in 2017 and 2018 and coming within just 12 points of clinching the outright Drivers’ laurels this year – Speedworks has now upped the ante in Britain’s premier motorsport series by officially joining forces with the UK arm of Toyota.
Ever since debuting in the BTCC in 2011, the Cheshire-based outfit has campaigned Toyota’s Avensis, but next year will herald a new dawn as the all-new, UK-built Corolla – due to take to Britain’s roads in 2019 – enters the fray.
Ingram – widely tipped as a future BTCC champion and one of the series’ undisputed rising stars – has competed for Speedworks since making his bow in 2014, and the 25-year-old Bucks ace will spearhead the Team Toyota GB with Speedworks Motorsport challenge as he bids to add the most coveted crown in national motorsport to his burgeoning career CV.
Both the Corolla – the best-selling car in history, achieving more than 45 million worldwide sales to-date – and Team Toyota GB have a proud heritage in the BTCC. Chris Hodgetts memorably claimed back-to-back championship titles in a Corolla GT Coupé in 1986/87, and Team Toyota GB remained a front-running force in the series through to the popular 1990s Super Touring era.
The 2019 BTCC season will begin at Brands Hatch (Indy) on 6/7 April, meaning Team Toyota GB with Speedworks Motorsport’s new contender will take to the track at the same time as the latest-generation road-going model arrives in British showrooms. The campaign will conclude on the legendary Kent circuit’s Grand Prix layout six months later.
Christian Dick, Team Principal, Team Toyota GB with Speedworks Motorsport, said: “We have been speaking to Toyota GB on-and-off for the past couple of years, establishing an ever-closer relationship and nurturing that bond through our common passion for motorsport, engineering excellence and, ultimately, success. To now have them officially on-board is fantastic news, and will enable us to take that final step to really push for the overall BTCC title. The intention is to develop the new Corolla in 2019 before building up to a two-car assault in 2020. We feel we have proved what we are capable of on the Independent scene and we are well aware that the BTCC Manufacturers’ battle is another level higher again, but as a team, we are ready to pitch ourselves against the very best in Britain and – with Toyota GB’s backing – we are confident of doing just that.”
Tom Ingram, Driver, Team Toyota GB with Speedworks Motorsport, said: “Having dreamt about racing in the BTCC since I was a little boy, the past five years have been something of a whirlwind for me, if I’m totally honest. What we have accomplished as a small Independent outfit – particularly over the last two seasons – has been nothing short of mind-blowing, and demonstrates just what this little team is made of. To attract the support of a major manufacturer is a phenomenal achievement and huge credit must go to Christian and Amy [Dick – Team Manager], who have worked their absolute socks off to pull this deal together. For Team Toyota GB with Speedworks Motorsport, 2019 starts now – and I cannot wait to see how it all unfolds!”
Andrew Cullis, Marketing Director, Toyota GB, said: “Bringing the Corolla name and Team Toyota GB back to the British Touring Car Championship in 2019 is a great way of helping us launch this important, all-new British-built car. Speedworks Motorsport and Tom Ingram have a winning track record and we look forward to working with them throughout the coming season.”
The post Proud to support the Speedworks Motorsport Team in 2019 BTCC with all-new Corolla!!! appeared first on Witham Blog.
Posted on Thursday November 22, 2018
Having a great couple of days at the busy Midlands Machinery Show 2018. Great to see so many customers visting the Witham Stand this year. We are showcasing all our new products such as our new Hand Cleaner Range, Anti-freeze and Coolants and new Barn Paint colours as well as displaying all the different types of lubricants and greases, paints and coatings that we supply. We love chatting to our customers old and new so please come and visit us if you are at the show this year. Delighted also to be awarded Highly Commended for our stand.
Posted on Monday November 19, 2018
Delighted to see our amazing barn paint range covered in this month’s Equestrian Business magazine and on their facebook page. This product available in 7 colours is flying off the shelves helping protect and renovate barns, sheds, stables and outbuildings, fencing, gates, featherboard cladding and much much more. Which colour do you like best? Available from our online shop – For more information on our online wood treatments visit, https://www.withamgroup.co.uk/shop/barn-paint-creocote/
The post Our popular Barn Paint range covered in this month’s Equestrian Business magazine appeared first on Witham Blog.
Posted on Monday November 19, 2018
We are super proud here at Witham Group this week as we have scored a double honour of awards….Firstly, our very own Ian Wright based at Lincoln Head Office has won Young Employee of the Year Award 2018 from the United Kingdom Lubricant Association. Ian was awarded this coveted title at the industry’s annual dinner in London.
The UKLA – Young Employee of the Year Award recognises outstanding talent in our sector and is chosen from across the UK Lubricant Industry.
Joining Witham as a school leaver, Ian started working in the factory and since then has continuously shown that through his own hard work and enthusiasm he has developed the ability to think wider than just his day to day duties. Studying hard to gain the lubricant technical qualifications, and solving many problems, this award confirms his commitment to both our company, the team within it and of course our customers.
“Well done to Ian”, this is a very much deserved award”.
Secondly, our MD NIgel Bottom was also very surprised to receive the special Presidents Award for services to the lubricant industry both in the UK and in Europe. Nigel is passionate about the quality of lubricants, competition and fairness to customers, transparency of labelling and ensuring the blenders and manufacturers conform to the highest standards and latest environmental requirements. We are thrilled for Nigel and this is a great recognition of his hard work and commitment to the industry.
Well done both – we are super proud of all our Witham Team!
Posted on Wednesday November 14, 2018
Jamie Jukes mastered atrociously wet and slippery conditions on the Isle of Man to win the 2018 PokerStars Rally in the Spencer Sport R5 specification Mitsubishi Mirage.
Co-driven by James Morgan, the Penrhiwllan-based driver made a cautious start in the worst of the weather conditions on Friday night. Having survived heavy rain and flooded roads, Jamie held a strong second position at the overnight halt and was sportingly full of praise and admiration for Kevin Davies/Dylan Jenkins, who led the event by 11 seconds in their Escort Mk2 at that stage in the rally.
Despite the rain easing, Saturday’s stages continued to be extremely slippery. Jamie used the four-wheel drive and rallycross-inspired set-up of the Mitsubishi Mirage to great effect and upped his pace, taking the lead of the Manx Auto Sport-organised event on SS7, the opening stage of the day. From then on, he consistently increased his advantage and adopted an ‘unfamiliar measured push to the finish’ to win the event by 1 minute 42 seconds.
Winning a rally on the Isle of Man has been a goal for Jamie for some time and it was extra special as victory came just over a year after he and co-driver Dave Williams were hospitalised after an accident on the Island. Jamie had no hesitation in dedicating his win to his friend Mark James, who crashed his Escort Mk2 on Saturday morning’s SS8. Having been removed from the car by event emergency teams and the fire service, before initially being treated at Nobles Hospital on the island (where Jamie was so well looked after following his crash), Mark is now receiving treatment at Aintree Hospital in Liverpool.
Having finished second overall on a shakedown event at the Welsh Motorsports Centre at Pembrey, Oli Hopkins was back driving his brother’s Hopkins Specialist Race Trailers-backed Mirage. Co-driven by Ian Taylor, the Bristol-based driver was challenging for a top 10 position when the car skidded off the road and into a ditch. Oli continued, but having lost around eight minutes went on to finish 10th in class and 44th overall.
John Indri had given his bright yellow Mirage its competition debut on the Manx National Rally earlier in the year, during which he encountered monsoon-like conditions. The weather was even worse this time, as the Colchester driver battled through the Friday night deluge. Co-driven by Mathew Smalley, the Adrian Flux Insurance/Steve Harkness Tyres-backed driver’s good run came to a premature end due to a transmission issue.
On their first event on the Isle of Man and only their second event in their recently finished, Spencer Sport supported Proton Satria S1400, Ieuan Evans and Will Rogers were running as high as second in class at one point. Having been seeded at 71, their excellent run came to an unlucky end with gearbox problems.
At the finish, Jamie said: “We were dutifully cautious and got through Friday night without problems, other than a small electrical gremlin at the beginning of stage two. That left us in second and in a decent position for Saturday, which then required a measured push to the finish – not familiar territory for me I have to admit! Without question, it has already gone down in history as the wettest rally ever. We knew it was going to be bad and the team used some of the experience gained from the British Rallycross campaign to massage the car into something that could better cope with what was coming.
“It’s been quite some journey this one and I’m very pleased to have got the job done and won the Manx Autosport PokerStars Rally! I’ve so many people to thank: Dave Williams, my great friend and accomplice in all the highs and very lows that the Isle of Man has granted us; James Morgan for bringing his influence and talent into this absolutely fabulous little car; Charlie Jukes for taking the flack whilst doing his best for me – his little brother – and to everyone that make the wonderful Spencer ECA and Spencer Sport teams what they are. They’re very special and I could not be more proud of us.
“I also have to pay tribute to our Manx ‘friends for life’ that have looked after us since our big one that Dave and I had at Rally Isle of Man just over a year ago. Also, to event organisers Manx Auto Sport on delivering another great and well organised rally no matter what Mother Nature or anyone else throws at them. A big thank you to all you marshals, set-up crews and radio crews – you have our absolute respect and gratitude.
“The downer to all this is the uncertain situation with the driver of car 36, my personal friend and Spencer ECA’s totally reliable heavy haulage contractor Mark James. A nicer man you will not find, and from the bottom of my heart I hope it’s all okay in time. I dedicate this result to you pal.”
Charlie Jukes, Spencer Sport team manager, said: “Jamie has been rallying on the Isle of Man for several years, so this victory has been a while in the making and richly deserved. The conditions were horrendous, yet Jamie drove exceptionally well and the car ran almost faultlessly, which was extraordinary in the severe wet weather conditions. I’m really proud of the entire Spencer Sport team that ran four cars effortlessly on this challenging event.
“Oli Hopkins/Ian Taylor had a great run in their Mirage, with only an off in very tricky conditions denying them a good result. John Indri/Mathew Smalley suffered a rare transmission problem in their Mirage, and it was great to see Ieuan Evans/Will Rogers having such a great run on their Isle of Man debut, getting as high as second in class before retiring their Proton.”
Spencer Sport would to thank its partners for their supp ort: Spencer ECA, Oil 4 Wales, Nicky Grist Motorsports, PIAA UK, Speedline Corse UK, Atech Racing, Motul, Hopkins Specialist Race Trailers, Sea & Slate Holiday Cottages and Rallycover insurance.
The post Jamie Jukes hits the PokerStars Rally jackpot with victory in Spencer Sport Mitsubishi Mirage appeared first on Witham Blog.
Posted on Tuesday November 06, 2018
Spencer Sport has secured the runners-up spot at its first attempt at the Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship, after a superb debut season with its impressive Mitsubishi Mirage RX Supercar driven by five-times champion Julian Godfrey. The team finshed second in the ninth and final round of the series at Silverstone on Sunday (4 November) to complete a highly successful campaign, which saw them lead the championship after the first two rounds.
However, a huge high-speed accident in round three at Croft meant the Penrhiwllan-based team had to completely rebuild the car in just seven weeks, enabling it to continue its title challenge at its home track Pembrey, without missing a race! From then on Spencer Sport maintained an excellent 100% finishing record, giving Godfrey the chance of winning his sixth British Rallycross title at the weeknd’s exciting season finale.
Having finished a strong second in both the opening heats, contact in the third caused the master switch to cut the engine on the final lap. But Godfrey recovered brilliantly to finish second in the semi-final, taking his Joker lap halfway through the six-lap race to finish between title rivals Mark Higgins and Ollie O’Donovan.
What had started as a slippery, damp track was now completely dry for the final, when Godfrey made a great start from the outside of the front row and took his Joker lap early on lap two. He went on to set a series of impressive lap times in his pursuit of leader Higgins.
Even after a truly determined drive, Higgins held on to take race victory and in doing so became 2018 MSA British Rallycross Champion. Godfrey finished a close second to take sliver and O’Donovan – who had led the drivers’ standings coming into the final round – was classified third.
At the finish, Julian Godfrey said: “It’s been a great year, even with the ups and downs that typically go with the British Rallycross Championship. It’s been fantastic to work with such a professional team like Spencer Sport and together we have made a lot of progress in developing the Mitsubishi Mirage RX Supercar.
“What started off as a one-off drive for the opening round turned into a very successful and enjoyable full season together. To arrive at the final round with a chance of the drivers’ title was an incredible team achievement.”
Charlie Jukes, Spencer Sport Team Manager, said: “I’m incredibly proud of the professionalism of the entire Spencer Sport team who arrived on the scene of a major championship for the very first time with a brand new car and, against top quality and established Rallycross teams, we finished second at our first attempt.
“It’s been a rollercoaster of a season, with race wins and podiums and of course, our massive accident at Croft. The way we rebuilt the car in super-quick time and returned to the series without missing a race is testament to the skills and commitment of our team. Julian drove exceptionally well all season and his engineering skills and technical feedback have accelerated the development of the Mitsubishi Mirage RX Supercar to the point where it is now one of the best cars on the grid.
“The disappointment of just missing out on the title is far outweighed by all the great things that we have achieved together as a team. We now can’t wait until next year when we can put all our new-found British Rallycross Championship experience to very good use!”
Support for Spencer Sport’s Rallycross campaign comes from Spencer ECA, Oil 4 Wales, Speedline Corse, Hopkins Specialist Race Trailers, Julian Godfrey Engineering, Motul, Sea & Slate Holiday Cottages, Nicky Grist Motorsports, UNIC Transmissions and Rallycover Insurance.
The post Silver for Spencer Sport after superb British Rallycross Championship appeared first on Witham Blog.
Posted on Thursday November 01, 2018
We’ve just announced the lucky October winner for two Goodwood Revival 2019 tickets!!
Don’t panic there’s still 2 VIP tickets up for grabs!!!
Simply visit: www.withamgroup.co.uk/qualube/ to enter this fantastic opportunity. Good Luck!!
Posted on Monday October 29, 2018
It’s time to cast our minds back to Friday 5th October; the beginning of the end of the 2018 CRMC season. For the final meeting of the year, the CRMC hold their normal 2-race program on the Saturday and hold a longer “one-off” Race of the Year on the Sunday, no Championship points are awarded but the races have their own trophy and presentation.
Friday saw Davin Williams, Gavin Heggs, Paul Kirkby and Symon Woodward find their way to Cadwell Park circuit to set up camp for the weekend. The day had been reasonably warm (for October), however the afternoon’s sky quickly darkened. As Williams and Heggs set off on an evening walk of the circuit, the cloud dropped, signalling the incoming weather we were all expecting for Saturday.
Post Classic 350 GP
Cadwell was only my third meeting of the year so despite it being my local circuit whilst I was racing in the early 90s, I felt very race rusty. With heavy rain forecast for the Saturday I left Scotland on Friday morning and headed south. Thankfully the sun was out by the time I arrived which allowed us to set up in the dry at least. The weather didn’t disappoint and we awoke to wet and misty weather on Saturday morning. Fortunately I had set my suspension for the wet weather before leaving home to save time. Having not ridden the bike here in the wet before, setting up the gearing wasn’t quite so easy and I was only just sorted in time for practice. Once we were finally allowed out on the track, and with only 10 minutes of practice allocated, I made sure that I was near the front to prevent being held up by anyone. Slowly I picked up my pace as quick as I dare and despite feeling like I was tip-toeing round the track I managed to qualify 4th fastest out of 30.
Despite starting near the front of the grid I got off to a terrible start after taking two attempts to slip the clutch and get the bike up to speed. The problems that I had at Donington were back to haunt me and I quickly slipped to the middle of the pack. Thankfully by the end of lap 1 I was back up to 6th place and despite pushing as hard as I dared for the rest of the race, I could only make a small amount of inroads to the 5th place man. A P6 finish and I was happy enough.
Races 2 & 3
Race 2 was held in the dry on Sunday morning having been postponed from Saturday afternoon. With the bike suspension now set up for dry conditions I was at a loss as to what the clutch problem could be and decided to see how it pulled off the start line on the warm up lap. ‘Dreadful’ was the answer and bikes were soon whizzing past me on either side. Disappointed and scared in equal measures, I pulled in after the warm up lap on the grounds of safety. After the disappointment of race 2 and the ACU Post Classic race, I decided to give the final race of my weekend, race 3, a miss.
ACU Post Classic
For this timed session, following on from the 350, all that I changed was the gearing by adding one tooth to the rear sprocket to ensure that I could make it through the Mountain section in second gear. Again with my dad’s wise words ringing in my ear I went out near the front of the group. Despite continued atrocious conditions I managed to knock another 1.7 seconds off my lap times and finish 6th out of 28 in a class consisting of other TZ350s as well as big GSXRs, P&M Kawasakis and GPZs.
After it turned out that the inner clutch plate on my dry clutch (as had been recommended) was the problem, I replaced it and headed down for the open class race. Despite managing to get the bike off the start a lot better the larger bikes were soon whizzing past me and I quickly slipped back again. I also soon found out that the gearing I had fitted last minute was totally inadequate and I was flat out before even reaching the dip on the back straight. I continued round for about half of the race distance, whilst holding 15th place before pulling in to the pits and calling it a day/year.
Post Classic 500 air cooled
For my latest attempt to try and keep the wheels in contact with the tarmac throughout the race, I had fitted a borrowed Rear Shock from Andy’s “well-stocked” shed. Practice (timed) was in torrential rain and after half a lap my throttle stuck half open, I retired without a qualifying lap time so started at the back of the grid for race 1. The weather did not improve for the first race, but at least the reduced speeds meant that the bike did not handle too badly. With a not very inspiring ride, I managed to make my way up to 6th.
Although the weather was a lot better, the second race was still a wet race and despite starting further up the grid, I was out-ridden by the blokes at the front and finished fourth. This was disappointing as I arrived at the meeting with a good chance of finishing second in the Championship, but it was not to be as I finished third. Just need to make up for it by winning the “Race of the Year” on the Sunday, (I thought).
For the Race of the Year, you start in your Saturday’s qualifying position, so yet again I was at the back of the grid. I was not too concerned as I knew I could get good starts and the extra laps would give me a chance to make it to the front. Unfortunately it was not to be, the bike continued to buck and bounce around the fast corners and the riders at the front were riding well. This meant that I failed to finish on the podium, but at least it encouraged my motivation to get the bike to handle as well as it should. A different set of forks have already been sourced from the States and they will be having some magic worked on them over the winter.
600 Junior Production
Back to a very wet qualifying on Saturday. First Post Classic 750. I made a concerted effort to get out at the front of the pack and do my own thing. I felt good straight away resulting in my first front-row qualification of the year. Unfortunately, the monsoon conditions eased a bit before race 1 but I still managed an 8th amongst much more powerful machinery, some of which had sets of wheels more valuable than my entire bike (£10). By Sunday the track was dry and I got humped by the faster stuff. But it was still great racing and good preparation for the main event with the Junior Production pack.
I’d qualified in 5th for the first Junior Production race but failed to capitalise on the good grid position as the fast-in-the-dry guys started to feel more confident in the track conditions. 12th was the best I could manage. The second proddy race was on Sunday morning and I finally got a decent start, chasing the front runners for a lap or so before losing the tow, by which time the riders behind didn’t have time to catch up – result 10th! The final race was the last race of the season in class and for the CRMC. The light was just starting to go and the temperature dropping. The paddock was either packing up or had already left. To my surprise the last race was an epic 7 laps of battling with riders I’ve competed against all year. Overtaking, getting re-taken and then re-paying the compliment. It was, as advertised, Race of the Year for the Production riders and although the result wasn’t important to me I came 13th with a stupid grin on my face.
Post Classic 750 SUPERSTOCK
For this meeting, the VFR was out after the RD250 so I always had an idea of what to expect before I got on the bigger of my two machines.
Practice on the VFR was damp and my Pirelli Supercorsas did nothing to inspire my riding. I put in an awful time, unwilling to join the growing number of other riders replacing levers and patching bodywork after pushing their bikes that little bit too far.
As a result of practice I started my first race on the Viffer close to the back of the grid. I was however heartened to see a few familiar faces with me who had clearly the same idea as me. The circuit was pretty tractable in many places now, allowing me to stretch the legs on the VFR a little, but regular yellow flags with accompanied tumbling motorcycle-rider combos kept my enthusiasm well in check. As such I finished safely having made back 3 places by the chequered flag.
The next two races were carried out on a dry and mostly sunny Sunday. Race 21 saw me starting in 29th on the grid for my efforts in the wet the day before. The circuit had a clear dry line by now with the only really bad area being in the woods. I had not long been out on the RD so chatted with Mike Gilson about where the wet bits were in the paddock before we headed out.
As we set off on our parade lap I was on the green flag quickly and made up a few places to get with the faster riders. Unfortunately a GSXR decided to swerve to his left as I went to pass him and we collided, a common danger on busy grids such as this. We continued unbothered and re-gridded ready for the start a short while later.
The start was okay, clawing a few places, but I was then let down a little by the bike not holding second gear, allowing that few riders back past me including Gilson who had clearly had a very good start. I followed Gilson on his very similar VFR750 as we plowed forward, passing a number of riders till the pack started to thin out.
I had managed to pass Gilson on lap one but he had the pace on me out of Barn corner and my VFR continued to not want to hold in gear allowing Gilson to get back in front. I spent the next few laps harassing Gilson wherever I had the opportunity to, but failed to get more than along-side him. On the last lap, as I really wound the pressure on, I was passed by Gary Varman on a GSXR750 who had caught us up as we scrapped. We were entering the chicane and I knew I was now in the weaker half of the circuit for me. I was going to struggle to pass either rider now but as I readied myself to brake into the hairpin before the mountain, Gilson’s front end washed out sending him and his bright red VFR into the grass on their sides. Verman and I made it round the incident safely and onto the finish line where Verman, predictably, managed to keep a safe distance in front of me finishing 16th.
By the time my last race of the season had come along it was late and I was ready to go home, much less ride a longer finale to the season. I did however head out, hoping Gilson had fixed his VFR for another go at trying to beat me. Unfortunately he did not materialise and after an average start I followed an FZR for a while before getting passed on the straight by Paul Holiday on his big BMW rocket ship. I was able to close him in the corners from Coppice to the gooseneck but never got close enough to bother him much. As the last lap flag was passed, some of the superbikes came to lap us whom I tried to stay out of the way of and in doing so let James Vigurs sneak past, the git.
Post Classic 250 air cooled
I qualified poorly due to an unwillingness to bin my bike on the last meet of the season and was gridded accordingly towards the back. By the time we came to race, the rain had backed off which made things a bit more comfortable even if the surface was no more grippy. Some set off with more enthusiasm that I and many of them paid for it. I still made 4 places however and more importantly finished upright.
Qualifying was tricky, but I was happy to be starting fifth. On Pole was Fast John, (I don’t think anybody told him it was raining), and in Second was Graeme Acott. John had an unassailable lead but depending on today’s results, Graeme could push me down into third in the Championship. By the second lap, John had broken away and Graeme was really going for it in second. I would like to say that I let Graeme go as I did not need to beat him, just finish near him, but in truth, he was too quick in the wet. On the 3rd or 4th lap I came over the brow of the hill into Park Corner to see both Graeme and his Suzuki sliding across the track and grass. All I needed now was to stay on, (easy eh???). The trouble was every time I came to a slow corner I could hear the “thud, thud, thud” of Richard Cheetham’s far less powerful Honda, and I was determined to keep him behind me. That was until the penultimate lap when going into the Hairpin in the Woodlands part of the circuit, the front wheel locked and tucked in. Luckily I managed to stay on, (not sure how) but took a detour through the grass. Although it is a relatively slow corner, the tyre wall is not far away and I only just managed to get the bike turned on the wet grass before reaching the tyres. By the time I returned to the tarmac Richard and another rider had passed me, so I just settled down to finish the race and confirm my second place in the Championship.
Sunday morning was chilly but the sun was out and the track was fast drying. By the time we got out, there was a clear dry line with only the start finish line and Barn corner where you might have to contend with a soggy bit.
I started extremely well, passing some poor hapless chap as he wheelied and shed parts in a Mick Rudd inspired display on the start line. As I entered Coppice I had stuck myself in front of Andy Guy and was closing on Chris Wallace. Andy went round the outside of me into Chris’s (just as he said he would) allowing me to enjoy the tow past Chris Wallace and onto the tail of Graeme Acott. Now I had two riders who I would benefit strongly in following and this I did as I followed Acott for a couple of laps before the TD2 of Jason Burrill dropped between us and started to drag Acott out of my reach. I couldn’t find the pace in the wooded sections to stay with them and before long I was alone racing myself. Regardless of my lonely finish I had managed to make 13 places on the grid and finished 4th.
With John Warick failing to make it to the start line my main competitor was Graeme, but on the drying track I managed to break away at the start and take the win.
I was disappointed to find out our start positions for the Race of the Year would not be taken from the results of the previous race, so my previous efforts wouldn’t help me here. We all sat warming our motorcycles in the holding area, whilst I watching leaves fall through the smokey haze and reflected on the season so far. I was brought back to the world by Woodward shouting into my helmet: something difficult to hear or understand, but I got the gist of it as being something to do with the possibility of a double RAF podium to finish the season. I thought that would be nice if I could manage to keep with and better still beat Acott but then I saw John Warwick roll into the holding area and the numbers suddenly didn’t look very good.
As it happened I made another really good start and caught the front group by the exit of Coppice. They had started strong too however and this made it difficult for me to stay with them. Then Warwick, who had started from the back of the grid, passed me into Hall bends. I was very surprised when he didn’t immediately pull away and I had sudden flashbacks to following Rudd in a similar manner last year and that did not end well at all. I was relieved to exit the old hairpin on my wheels but began to lose Warwick out of Barn where he had pulled a good lead on the start finish straight. I held this gap up into Coppice but in keeping the same pace I entered the right hander too tight and very nearly lost the front end, which by the time I had recovered it and got my gearing sorted, had left Warwick a speck on the horizon. I powered down the back straight to try and keep with those in front of me but the bike wasn’t feeling as eager as usual and they quickly pulled out of sight.
Not long after, Burrill caught and passed me on his TD2. I managed to keep with him through the woods, which was reassuring, but as I wound on the power onto the start finish straight it became very apparent something was not right. The bike bogged down and a glance at my TTO and EGT gauges told me that all of my temperatures were low. A pair of bikes blew past me as I messed with the throttle and changed gear to see if it would clear when the EGT gauge shot back up again and I was back on power. I closed the two bikes that had just passed me and contemplated where I should pass them when the power dropped out again briefly. I decided to stay put and keep an eye on my gauges. The bike wasn’t running right but the power was still there all be it a bit lumpy and hesitant. I didn’t pull in that lap and immediately regretted it when the bike bogged up the mountain allowing another machine passed. I made it round, allowing people past whenever the bike lost power and retired at the end of the lap. This was a disappointing end to the season for the little RD but at least I could have another go on the VFR.
Whilst waiting in the holding area for my last race of the season to start I was thinking what a shame it was that all of the fast bike/rider combinations were not out there. In the class there are at least 10 race-winning riders, including our own Andy Green (and I have to admit it, Dave Bond had the potential), but due to circumstances, mainly injury, today’s race would come down to myself, John and Graeme. When fast John failed to make it to the start line for the sighting lap, numbers where looking even thinner.
After a good start I got my head down and broke away at the front, after a few laps I was in my own company and thinking how stupid I would look if I fell off now. What I did not realise was that John had started the race, all being at the back of the grid, and was riding like a man possessed to catch me up. With about 2 ½ laps to go a shadow appeared next to me on Chris’s Curve and then a green streak swooped around the outside going into the Gooseneck. I gave chase for about a lap but he gradually pulled away. I could not lap as quick as John, but if I knew he had been catching me, I could have perhaps gone fast enough for him not to make all of the ground up in the time. In the end I finished second to the faster rider on the day, can’t complain about that.
At the end of 2017 if someone had said to me that despite only completing three meetings in 2018 I would manage two top 6 places in one of the most competitive classes in the Classic Racing Motorcycle Club then I wouldn’t have believed them. This success in part goes to the lads and lasses that help to make the RAF Classic Racing Team work. Thanks also to the team sponsors for all of their help. Roll on 2019!
Finishing 4th in the Post Classic 250 air-cooled class in my second year of racing has been a huge achievement for me. I know that; to an extent it was a case of turning up and finishing that got me there but I do believe I have made some good progress this year. The VFR has come together nicely and has taught me a lot, as well as introducing me to another group of great riders. I am now looking forward to a winter spent tinkering and titivating the bikes ready for next year.
I will be lucky to get to compete in every event next year like I did this year, but I can certainly hope so, as this was a very enjoyable season. I shall keep my thanks brief as I hope to publish a journal entry for that specific purpose soon, but for now I would like to thank the CRMC, our amazing support and sponsors for helping us enjoy the sport we love.
As they say in Motorcycle Racing, another season, another overdraft. Time to regroup and rebuild over the winter. It has been a shame that due to a collection of reasons, the amount of air-cooled 250s in the Team has dropped from its high of 9. On the bright side, we are getting a broader spread of machines, with TZs, K4s, VFRs, FZs and XJRs, just a pity they are not 2-strokes bar the TZ. Saying that, despite its many flaws, I really enjoyed racing the FZ this year and actually do have a track VFR and ZXR in my garage. Perhaps I am getting old, next thing you know I will be playing Golf.
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Posted on Friday October 05, 2018
Mr Peter Ingall of Rand, Nr Wragby is already in the Christmas spirit. He’s manufactured and painted this lovely sleigh using Woco Supercote RAL 3006 Ruby Red & Woco Supercote RAL 6002 Leaf Green.
Do you have any projects where you’ve used our Qualube lubricants?, or painted with our Woco paint range? Please send us before and after shots of your recent projects.
Posted on Tuesday October 02, 2018
The Spencer Sport team is aiming to bring the Toyo Tires MSA British Rallycross Championship title back to Wales, after Julian Godfrey scored an emphatic victory at the penultimate round of the series at the Welsh Motorsports Centre this weekend, driving the team’s Mitsubishi Mirage RX Supercar.
It was Godfrey’s third win of the season and puts the Heathfield-based driver in with a chance of taking his sixth British Rallycross title, with only the final race meeting at Silverstone on Sunday 4th November remaining. Godfrey won Round 1 at Silverstone earlier this year and will need to repeat that victory, with championship rival Ollie O’Donovan (Ford Fiesta RX) finishing third or lower, to be assured of the title.
The qualifying heats around the challenging Pembrey track once again proved to be a bruising affair, with a number of incidents taking place at the first corner. Godfrey finished second in all three heats, despite contact Mark Higgins (Peugeot 208 RX) in Heat 2.
The Spencer Sport driver started the final from the middle of the first row, with pole-sitter Higgins to his left and O’Donovan to his right. A strong wind had helped to dry the track and Godfrey made the all-important good start to be clear of all the bumping and barging at turn one. This allowed him to pull ahead and delay taking his Joker lap until lap four, when he knew he was far enough ahead to come back out in the lead of the race.
Cosnequently, Godfrey took the chequered flag a comfortable 3.3 seconds ahead of second-placed O’Donovan, with Higgins a further 2.8 seconds further back in third.
“It was a great race day at Pembrey and everything went according to plan,” said Godfrey. “We finished second in all three qualifying heats, but it’s the final that counts and all our focus was making sure that we had a good start, keep out of trouble and have a good run to the chequered flag – and that’s exactly what happened. We made a brilliant start, the launch worked perfectly and really hooked up well, so we were ahead of the chasing pack by the first corner.
“The car ran faultlessly and the Mirage RX’s handling really is superb, especially with the latest upgrades from the Spencer Sport team. So with no mistakes and after three closely fought heats, we were able to win the final quite comfortably. This has been a tremendous team effort and now puts us in with a chance of winning the title at the final round at Silverstone in November.”
Following the event, Spencer Sport Team Manager Charlie Jukes said: “We needed to win at Pembrey to keep our British Rallycross Championship title hopes alive and we did. It’s fantastic for the team and everyone is delighted,” said
“The Mitsubishi Mirage RX ran perfectly again and Julian was able to make the most of the car’s superior traction to put the it on the front row of the grid for the final. The track had dried a lot during the day and after all the rain it was even a little dusty for the final. We had a clear plan for the start and a strategy for each lap of the race that went like clockwork and allowed us to win the final by over three seconds, which in rallycross terms is a big margin.
“The dropped scores now come into play and we’re very much in with a chance of becoming British Rallycross Champions at the final round at Silverstone. It’s a track that suits the Mirage RX very well, as we won at there earlier in the year, so we’ll go to season finale in November with the aim of bringing the title back to Wales.”
Support for Spencer Sport’s rallycross campaign comes from Spencer ECA, Oil 4 Wales, Speedline Corse, Hopkins Specialist Race Trailers, Julian Godfrey Engineering, Motul and Sea & Slate Holiday Cottages, Nicky Grist Motorsport, UNIC Transmissions and Rallycover Insurance.