2018 Season – still a few more races if you want to exercise your C1
Well that’s our official 2018 season over, although there are still a couple of chances to get your C1 out, most notably the simply wonderful Race of Remembrance run by Mission Motorsport at Anglesey on Remembrance Sunday, at which we will be running our somewhat battle-scarred car No 303 (reshell coming over the winter…). If you think you will be able to pass the breathalyser test, you may also want to consider Ben Atkinson’s “Plum Pudding” event on Boxing Day.
If you think you may build a car – Let us know now!!!
It is already clear from the various chat forums that a number of people are considering building a car. If you are planning to do so, you should order the club kit and cage no later than the end of November. The main issue is the cage, the lead time for which is already 12 weeks. So if you were to order a cage today, you wouldn’t get it until mid-January. This is Safety Devices’ busiest time of year, we have no influence over their lead times and we do not carry spare stock. If you are building, or thinking of building a car, especially for Silverstone, we would encourage you to get an order to us as soon as possible.
2019 season opener will be Silverstone!
We’re going to start with the fabulous Silverstone GP 24-hour. We’ve tested at Silverstone, in the damp, and it was utterly fabulous. And, well, its Silverstone. Its what you asked for in the survey, so we took a brave pill or two and signed a big contract. We’re just working out the support races at the moment.
The rest of the calendar is currently being nailed down. We will announce it as soon as we can. Entries will follow the same procedure as last year, with the race entries opening on the website with plenty of notice. Again, reflecting what you asked for in the survey, there are going to be a couple of sprint days and four or so enduros, hopefully with the season being rounded off with Spa again.
Spa 24 hour – well done to MacAttack for a fast and clean race
Spa was fabulous, wasn’t it? Many congratulations to MacAttack who have had quite a season and rounded it up with a class win at Spa. It was a very well measured and confident drive after a spectacular qualifying lap from Simon Walker-Hansell, who managed to get a tow both up the Kemmel straight; and from Stavelot to Blanchimont. The MacAttack car also still sports the same bodywork that it started the season with; so it is possible!
We all arrived at Spa in blazing sunshine, well except for Nick, who didn’t get in until nearly midnight. Having come from a decidedly chilly UK, it was lovely to feel the heat of the sun again. They have a slightly different approach at Spa, so its always a bit of a voyage of discovery as to what’s going to happen; and sure enough, the welcome packages weren’t as expected, but they were in a very large orange bag. We could learn things from them, we thought.
Scrutineering proved to be a whole lot easier than last year, mostly because we had organized for an MSA scrutineer to be over in Spa with us, who was marvellous. Keith, thank you. So we all got stuck into practice. Well, two sessions of practice, unless you wanted to go and play with some very quick and awesome-sounding DGMC (a German category) series cars. That Mustang must rate as one of the angriest-sounding race cars in history. It went pretty well and looked stunning as well. Somehow, over the day, we managed to get all the cars weighed and scrutineered (or thereabouts).
You really should attend the Spa driver’s briefing. It could only happen at Spa. Of course it started late; and of course it was in French. But we had Steve Sykes translating, which was just brilliant. The Clerk would speak loudly and enthusiastically for some time. Steve would then translate briefly and drily something like: “Respect the marshals, they’re there to keep you alive”. It was also the shortest drivers’ briefing in history; and failed to cover any of the material things that it would have been nice to know about, like full-course yellows or two safety cars. Not that any of us asked any questions of course.
It is an FIA requirement for every driver to complete three laps of night qualifying in order to be able to drive in a 24-hour race. Not in Belgium, its not. Quali was one and a half hours, which is mighty tight when you have 6 drivers, and daylight only. Its even tighter if you forget (despite half a dozen text reminders) to have your car weighed. And its underweight. And the seat is out of date. You had to admire our American friends style of walking over to the reassuringly expensive shop and just buying another seat, though. We managed to get them out in quali. Just, with their car sporting some lead that was somehow (and somewhat worryingly) procured from a nuclear power station. Most of the rest of Saturday passed in a cacophony of noise from the BGDC, the standouts being that Mustang, a Mondeo which sounded like it had much the same engine and, of course, a brace of 911s. It would best be described as an eclectic bunch.
The race proper started at 4.30pm… well, it should have done. More like 4.45pm and it took a while for the timing system to catch up. Obviously, the drivers’ briefing hadn’t covered the start procedure, so we had no idea what was going on, but it all worked in the end and off we all went! Atomic Racing turned a mistake into misfortune, somehow getting caught up in the wrong group and starting from the pitlane. They enjoyed leading the class for the first 5 laps until a safety car bunched things up again. There’s nothing like rain to shake things up at Spa; and boy did we get rain. Those lucky enough to be in the cars at the time could watch the thunderstorm coming up the valley towards the circuit until the deluge hit. At times, visibility was down to 25m or so. The rain stayed with us until the closing stages of the race, but dried out eventually.
Stand out heroes? There’s a deep bench to chose from here, but mentions have to go to Hurricane, for giving their car to another team after an accident concussed one of their drivers – that is proper sporting behaviour and we love you for it chaps. To 416, our American friends who had never seen a C1 before; arriving at the circuit with six drivers and mostly-finished car. It even had a stick shift, but at least it was left hand drive. They beat all odds and finished the race. Gents, and lady, well done, and we look forward to having you back over here again soon. To Mission Motorsport, who brought two cars and fifteen injured veterans over, one of which finished, the other of which had an accident; and to all the team crews who repaired broken drive shafts (we ran out), body work, suspension arms and kept everyone on the road.
Wheelgate… Citroen are investigating
We had some more wheels fail at Spa. All bar one of the failed wheels have now been given to Citroen to analyse, so we will come back with their report as and when we have it. The only additional news we have is that each wheel that failed appeared to have come from a different batch; and that most had clear kerb or accident damage to them. Safety comes first of course, so although we do have some options for different wheels that we could use, at this stage we don’t know whether they would be stronger, and they are a multiple of the cost of the current steel wheels. Our advice remains that if a rim is damaged – dispose of it.
We are meeting shortly to agree what changes there will be, but we hope that you will be reassured to know that they are likely to be minimal and aimed at safety and keeping costs down. One will be the requirements will be to have an operating forward-facing video camera. This is a low-cost way of ensuring that the Clerk of the Course will have the evidence to investigate any contact; and support a continued improvement in driving standards.
We’re going to be there again on the BARC stand for all four days. Come and see us for a catch up, to ask questions and look at cars. We will have a car on the stand for the children (young and old) to play with. Look forward to seeing you there.
Charity Day on behalf of the Stroke Association at Castle Combe
On Saturday 27th October, the Stroke Association is running its long-standing day at Castle Combe to raise money for itself. This dates back over 25 years and has a simple formula: owners of interesting and exotic cars bring them along and provide 5-lap passenger rides to the public in exchange for a solid donation. There is no cost to the owners; and every penny goes direct to the charity. We’ve been invited along, so if you would like to take your C1 along (you’ll have to have a passenger seat, obviously), please get in touch with Richard Jones, who is the volunteer organiser on 07961 565970 or by email at email@example.com
This has been an amazing first full season for us; so we would like to thank each and every one of you for making this possible. We hope that you’ve enjoyed it as much as we have, we feel somewhat humbled by what we’ve created, and of course if you’re receiving this newsletter you are part of that success, whether you are a driver, mechanic, car builder or interested reader! As always if you have any ideas on how we can improve things, drop us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re already excited about next year and look forward to racing with you all next season.
The C1 Racing Team
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