June 2014 Update
Please click on the bold links to view the pictures.
I am rather behind with this update which is a measure of how busy we have been in the first half of the year. Blyton Park continues to be used by a massive variety of mainly four wheeled machinery from contemporary road cars to priceless historic racing machinery. Early visitors in the former camp this year have included the new Alfa 8C, the mighty Mercedes SLS Black Edition and more recently the stunning McLaren 650S.
I was privileged to drive the latter which is a technical tour de force which in my opinion now looks like a true Supercar in a way that its predecessor never truly managed. We have also seen some lovely Porsches including the new GT3 and the wonderful Anniversary 911 built to commemorate 50 years of this iconic car. Porsche made a limited run of 1963 of these cars (1963 being the significant date) which have a wonderful retro interior and are all individually numbered. In these days of saving the planet, we have also had our first electric car here in the form of the futuristic Renault Zoe and I must admit it was one of the more amusing laps of the track that I have done this year: staggering torque and no noise at all.
On the racing car front, things have been just as varied and no less interesting with our good friends at Ginetta and their customers appearing regularly and a mouth watering array of historic cars with Hall and Hall and others. A particular highlight despite the weather was the BRM Association Day on April 25th when a dozen of Bourne’s finest and literally hundreds of supporters braved a wet and cool day to honour the pride of Lincolnshire. Other important Grand Prix cars to visit include a 1970 De Tomaso, a Shadow, Tyrrell, Matra and Ferrari. Less aged F1 machinery has included a more recent Tyrrell, an Arrows and a Minardi.
On the sporting front, the sprint season is in full swing and Rallycross made a welcome return on a lovely Spring Sunday on March 9th. It was odd to see groups of cars actually racing around the circuit but the event was a great success and I look forward to more in November. The Caterham Academy returned to us in May and a thoroughly good day was had by all with nearly 50 Caterhams fighting it out for overall honour.
Track days and club events continue to be well supported with Javelin’s Mini Day on May 4th being a particularly interesting one. The Eastern Circuit has been well used and Curva Grande is providing the anticipated challenge. Darin Frow’s Mitsubishi Lancer Register ran their usual slick sprint on the Eastern Circuit two weeks ago and a great leveller it proved to be.
My 2014 bravest man award goes to Richard Dodkins who brought his amazing Can Am March to the track for a photo shoot. Powered by 8.8 litres of Chevrolet’s finest, not only the earth but everything attached to it, moved when this mighty beast fired up. Richard found the back straight a bit bumpy but as the car weighs in at around 850 kilos, I think he might have been airborne at the time !! We also wish our customers from the Peak District Bon Chance at Bonneville when they take to the Salt Flats in their Chevy powered MGA which has been testing here on a number of occasions.
As I round off this report on June 8th, we have just had a colossal thunder storm accompanied by hail and torrential rain. The track is underwater at Bishops, The Wiggler and Ushers.
My final thankyou this month goes to Jo Davis and the team at Skoda who are our new vehicle partners. Our Skoda Octavia VRS is proving to be an invaluable course car and is working hard today as Auto Express ‘s tracking car, doing a sterling job in the monsoon conditions. If you haven’t driven one of the new generation of Skodas, you really should as they are a far cry from the brave but flawed efforts of the 1970’s and 80’s.