Is Spring around the corner (hopefully not Curva Grande)?

In my last update before Christmas, I described the weather as cold but dry. Since then, even up here in Lincolnshire, we have had huge volumes of rain and the fields beside the circuit look as if growing rice could be the best option !! Any of you reading this from one of the real flood zones has our deepest sympathy as even here, the constantly damp feet, the problems of trying to do groundworks and just the depressing nature of the rain and gale force winds are enough to make you long for summer.
On a more positive note, we have been busy right from the start of the year and have also managed to get most of our new gravel traps built and the associated landscaping for the new circuit layout. Consequently I am hopeful that the Eastern Circuit, as it will be called, will be operational in March and I am reliably informed by Colin Jebson that Javelin will be running the first ever track day on it !!!! I have to say that this new layout is a real challenge: It is a lap of two halves with the first half of the lap featuring five new corners, before you can let rip through a familiar couple of bends and really pick up the speed. Here is an overhead view of it.

To talk you through it: from the start anti-clockwise, you accelerate hard down a familiar straight, but at the bottom you need to brake harder to turn through “Chapmans “ (I am a Lotus owner!!) “ K7” is tight and will need 2nd gear before accelerating hard through “Trubshaws” in third. I think “Curva Grande” is a real challenge as the car gets very loaded up and the corner is a tightening radius without any very obvious reference points. Just when you think you may be in the right place, “The Wiggler” is upon you and with the car heading to the right, you need to turn sharp left. At last, you get a bit of a rest on the familiar drag up to “Bishops” followed by the delights of “Bunga-Bunga”. But then the familiarity stops as you stay on the power through “Port Vite” with a very hefty shove on the anchors required for “Ushers 2”. It’s almost a relief that “Twickers” is the same ……but you are now on another lap and “Curva Grande” is only half a mile away.
Since I last updated this page, we have been involved with two exciting bits of film production . Firstly in late November: Simon Dolan and Team Jota landed en masse with a film crew to make part of the trailer for what is hoped will be a feature film called “Journey to Le Mans”. Making our back straight look like Mulsanne was a bit of a challenge but with floodlights, a water bowser and fortunately a dry and sunny day / cold evening, it’s amazing what you can do !! Simon was very brave driving down the straight at high speed and making a transition from dry to wet in the dark …and the result is available by watching the video below.

It was a privilege to be involved and our thanks go to Director – Charlotte Fantelli for including us in the show.

I was also approached by CBS and their X-car channel who wanted to make a short documentary about “building a circuit”. If you can bear to hear me droning on a bit, you can watch this below:

Again, huge thanks to Adrian Larkin without whom it would not have happened…and apologies for wiping out a Go –Pro on the sign at Bishops. The camera was mounted on a tripod on the side of the Lotus …and I got too close to the aforementioned sign !!!

The final bit of big news for 2014 is that we have lengthened our karting area and bought a small fleet of Karts. The track is fun and quite tricky so remember to bring a few extra quid when you next visit as I am sure you will want to have a go !!!

Track days are now happening pretty regularly with Javelin and Lotus-on-Track having already run and Mazda-on-Track here for a post –Valentine’s Day affair (does that sound right?). It would appear that Apex Track Days have ceased to trade so if you would like to drive the track in your own car the above three companies are our Track Day Organisers for 2014 and details are available on our calendar and their websites. If you see a Black Lotus Exige ‘S’ in your mirrors on any of these days , it could be me as JCT 600 delivered my new one on February 1st. I would like to thank Dan and Byron from JCT600 and I really do recommend this Leeds dealership for both service and enthusiasm.