Events

Millbrook Proving Ground

millbrook_aerial

As part of the TVRCC 50th Anniversary the TVR Car Club hired out Millbrook Proving Ground, apparently the first owners club to hire out the venue.

A very rare opportunity to drive the private tracks at Millbrook in my own car was an opportunity not to be missed.

Tracks on offer were the Alpine handling circuit, 2 mile bowl and the 1 mile straight.

What a brilliant day it was; sunshine, TVRs and tracks to play on.

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 12.01.55MillbrookThanks to Colin Haycock for the 2 above photographs.

Millbrook

Alpine Circuit
Unfortunately my good friend Dave’s Griff expired on the 2m bowl, later transpires 3 slipped liners. I chucked him the keys to mine to have a go on the Alpine circuit, result was quite spectacular…

Even more spectacular when you put this side by side with footage from one of the Millbrook instructors on the same course in a Caterham…

 

1 Mile Straight

 

2Mile Bowl

 

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Goodwood Circuit Track Day

I attended the Hampshire TVRCC Goodwood track day earlier this month. £185 for a 105dB whole day at Goodwood circuit seemed like an opportunity too good to miss.

Goodwood Circuit

I love Goodwood, and it is a privilege to be able to drive the track. There was even a 2 seater Spitfire taking lucky people out, very surreal racing around the circuit with various aircraft taking off and landing over the track, very distracting when one of those aircraft is a Spitfire.

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There very not very many cars at the track day at all and only 2 other TVRs so I managed to get in many laps. When I added up the laps recorded on the two datalogging apps I had been testing it turned out that I had completed 93 laps, no wonder I got through 4 tanks of fuel!

Videos
I finally managed to get Harry’s Lap Timer and the GoPro working together and here is the result, I am very impressed with the telemetry overlay and picture in picture. The GPS does lag a bit using the smartphone’s internal GPS but short of a full blown data logger is works well:

Final Session

Instruction was free on the day so I took up the opportunity. The instructor was adamant that I could take Fordwater flat in 5th which eventually I plucked up the courage to do, I didn’t get it quite right and had a bit of a wobble at 120MPH, made worse be me lifting off. It didn’t come out too well on video but you can see the car lose stability.

Fordwater wobble at 120MPH

There was a stunning Porsche Carrera RS in attendance, I didn’t get a chance to chat with the owner which was a shame but I did get the opportunity to follow it on track, copying the drivers’s lines resulted in my fastest lap of the day, 01:37.32

Following a Porsche Carrera RS

Goodwood Circuit

Nice bit of lap analysis from Harry’s Lap Timer:

Goodwood Circuit

This was the second trackday with the Yoko AD08Rs tyres, I really pushed them and I can confirm they stick like shit to a blanket…. 120MPH pulling 1G.

Goodwood Circuit

Goodwood is a quite a fast circuit and with continued abuse the tyres did start to melt a bit, no where near as bad as the T1Rs should I add.

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Brands Hatch Indy Track Day

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Last track day of the year for me a cheap off peak weekday session at Brands Hatch. It is always a risk booking track time in winter and unfortunately luck was against me on the day as it rained heavily all day. The day was run by Javelin and as always the day was very well organised and the staff very helpful.

Fortunately I booked the day with the usual TVR crowd on PistonHeads so I had good company. The track was very greasy having recently been scrubbed due to a car leaking oil on a recent track day. No old rubber and wet weather resulted in a very slippery surface.

I only completed 21 laps in the end as the car was very difficult to control on the slippery surface and there had been many red flags that day with cars spinning off so I felt it would be best to quit while I was ahead rather than risk an expensive repair bill.

I did get a chance to try out a new iPhone app I have been playing with called Harry’s Lap Timer. The app uses the iPhone’s built in sensors to log G-force, location and speed and overlays the telemetry information onto recorded video footage. I must say I am very impressed with the app so far, the POI information is great where it displays the sector names and I like the minimum and maximum speed ticker.
http://www.gps-laptimer.de/Home.html

Here is the lap analysis from the iPhone datalogging app, the green is the G-Force and the speeds shown in red are the minimum speeds through the corners and in green are the maximum speeds on the straights:
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Here is some video footage of me driving very slowly around Brands Hatch:

North Weald Car Limits Activity Day

Another great day with the Car Limits team at North Weald Airfield. Still only £49 per car for a whole days hooning fun.

The weather was better than usual this time, this is the first time I have been to North Weald when it has not been freezing cold and wet.

Dave gave a great display in his Griff showboating around the course….

Me driving my Griff

External footage of my Griff

Bedford Autodrome Track Day

004 Bedford

After booking the Snetterton 300 track day last year and having had a number of upgrades fitted to the Griff  over winter (brakes, plenum & baffled sump) I find my itching to get back on the track. As luck would have it some fellow TVR owners on Pistonheads forums had organised a day at Bedford Autodrome and even better they had negotiated a 10% group discount. The track was configured as the full 3.8 mile GT circuit.

Bedford Autodrome is built on the northern section of the former site of the Royal Aerospace Establishment, Bedford airbase and has been specifically designed to be driven by high performance road cars. The circuit has larger than usual run off areas and does not have sections of Armco safety barriers which would potentially damage a car seriously if it left the track, ideal for novices like me!

011 Bedford

Upon arriving at the track I was directed to the noise testing area. The noise limit was 101dB, I had passed the test at Snetterton last year at 105dB without the need for the ACT bolt on silencers to be fitted. I thought I would be cheeky and try here without but with a result of 112.4 dB was massively over. I fitted the ACT cans and went for a re-test which was measured at 101.8dB, after a lot of pleading they very kindly passed the car but advised me if I triggered any of the drive-by meters I would receive a warning and then any further triggers would result in the car not being able to go back on track. Having then spoken to the other TVR owners the general consensus was that the static noise meter must have been reading over that day as many cars which had not been required to run with additional silencers normally at Bedford had been forced to do so. The drive by limit was set at 87dB which fortunately none of us exceeded.

I then had a bit of breakfast, the canteen was fantastic and I had a very tasty bacon and egg roll. I attended the breifing and picked up my hired track helmet. Next were the familiarisation laps which were useful but where the circuit was so long I had forgotten most of it by the time I have got back to the pits. Once the track had opened me and another TVR went out on track for a few slow laps to familiarise ourselves, the track was still wet from the earlier rain as was very slippery in places. Shortly afterwards I had a 30 minute tuition session booked, I always book these at track days as I always find them very useful.

008 Bedford

 

The tuition session was given by Peugeot racing driver Bradley Philpot. I have had various tuition sessions in the past at various events and this was by far the best, Bradley managed to in the space of 30 minutes managed to teach me the circuit, the correct lines in the corners and massively improved by driving style. Most instructors I have been haven’t ever really got me to push the car and my abilities particularly hard, but Bradley really pushed me hard, so much so that I actually spun off in one corner, he probably didn’t realise how much of a ham fisted oaf I am but fortunately he didn’t seem to mind. I really learnt a lot from Bradley and it gave me much more confidence in the car and my own ability.

Bedford is a very fast circuit and I was able to get up an indicated 145MPH down the back straight before braking hard for the chicane. The new Alcon brake setup is absolutely superb did not fade even slightly lap after lap. The ACT twin throttle carbon fibre plenum was unbelievable on track, the instant throttle response enabled me to get straight back on the power quickly out of the corners. The new baffled sump was also doing a fantastic job, I noticed after 20minutes of hard cornering at Snetterton the lifters where clattering a bit. I am not sure whether this was a genuine issue or whether I was being paranoid. I was advised that a baffled sump may solve this by keeping the old near the pickup during cornering.

As usual I had my GoPro Hero HD2 running throughout the day to capture some of the action. Track day organisers are clamping down on cameras succoured with suction cups so I have just invested in a new mount which securely connects to the headrest so I was able to test it out on track for the first time.

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http://www.headrestmount.co.uk

Footage of the final session where I benefited from a pretty much empty track

 

 

Snetterton Track Day

2013-11-16 Snetterton (1)

Every year I promise myself I will book a track day, then before I know it the year is almost over and yet another year goes past not having done a track day.

With the nights drawing in this year was looking to be condemned to the same fate as the previous years. Mid October I find myself perusing PistonHeads TVR forum and I spot a post for an Autumn track day at Snetterton. A number of fellow TVR owners had already booked up so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to make good on the promise of a track day.

Snetterton is famous for hosting the British Touring Car Championship and is currently the UK’s newest circuit having recently undergone a multi-million pound redevelopment. The circuit for the track day was the full 3mile ‘300’ circuit which includes 2 fast straights and a number of more technical areas.

snetterton-300-circuit

The noise limit for the day was 105dB static. I purchased a couple of track day bolt on silencers from ACT as I know mine is louder having measured it at North Weald a couple of weeks previously. The ACT silencers arrived the day after I ordered them, thanks Tim. The silencers fit over the 2.5″ exhaust pipes and are held in place by U bolt clamps. A clever design and the usual good quality product I have come to expect from ACT.

ACT Track Day

Upon arriving at the track I attended the briefing and then went to have the Griff noise tested. I thought I would give the test a go without the silencers. I was expecting to be laughed at and told I was far too noisy but much to my surprise the gentleman told me I was right on the limit and told me the car had passed (just).  I wasn’t expecting that but I wasn’t going to argue!

Onto the track for the compulsory sighting laps, which seemed to be quite fast on what was a damp track.

Once the track was open everyone piled on and the track was quite busy. I gave it 30 minutes to allow the track to dry out and for the initial rush to settle down. I went out on track for a few laps taking it very easy to familairse myself with the track and the pace. The etiquette on track was very good and despite there being a wide range of machinery on track, some very serious everyone for abided  by the rules of no overtaking on corners and keeping to the right on the straights to let the faster cars through.

When I booked the track day I also booked the optional tuition, it turns out that the instructor was also a TVR Griffith owner. The instruction was very worthwhile and gave me a lot more confidence in the car and how to carry more speed through the corners by taking the right lines. By the afternoon I was actually overtaking other cars!

2013-11-16 Snetterton

Snetterton is a fast circuit and I was reaching an indicated 125MPH on Bentley staight and 115MPH on Senna straight. Unfortunately my standard brakes were not fairing too well and were overheating after about 5 or so laps, not that this spoilt my enjoyment as I enjoyed a nice blend of driving my own car and also having passenger rides in others. If I decide I want to do a number of track days a year I may need to consider at changing the pads or perhaps a full brake upgrade.

The track day is one of the best events I have done in the Griff and I really should have got the on the track years ago.  Being able to share the experience with some of my TVR friends really made the day, also a great opportunity to meet a few new faces who I have spoken to on forums but never actually met face to face.

Anyone who is considering getting their Tiv out on track but has not made it yet, I thoroughly recommend it.