October 2015 Update

Please click on the bold links to view the pictures.

It’s been a busy Summer at Blyton Park and when it eventually arrived, we have enjoyed long dry spells and warm sunny days. The wheat which was green back in April, has now been harvested and the fields in the middle of the track are now being ploughed ready for the 2016 crop of Linseed Rape.

On track, it’s been the usual blur of events: busy track days, busy driving experience days, some excellent club weekends and of course sprints in many different guises. In the week, the track has been used for the testing and evaluation of virtually every sort of four-wheeled vehicle… as well as the ever popular British Superbike School and bike track days with “Bikedays” the two-wheeled arm of Javelin.

On May 17th, I fulfilled one of my ambitions by competing in a round of our sprint championship in a single seater. I would like to thank Simon Baldry of SWB Motorsport for patiently coaching me and Peter Bromwich for letting me win the class!

Track days in 2015 have been busier than ever and the variety of vehicles has been a joy. Here are a few of my favourites: a Lotus Excel, a V12 E-Type Coupé, a lot of Porsches, a Vauxhall Carlton, a Hillman Imp, a Jensen Interceptor FF and a Triumph Vitesse.

Thanks to Porsche Club GB Region 4, MotorPunk, Javelin Track Days, MOT Track Days and Lotus on Track for making these days such a success. Remember that Javelin, who are our official track day partner, will run days right through the Winter and already have a full programme booked for 2016.

Our sprints have also attracted bumper entries and at our last meeting of this year on September 13th, we welcomed the British Sprint Championship for their only round not run on a full-blown race track. It was a lovely sunny day and the competition was intense at the front with the two fearsome goulds of Colin Calder and John Graham fighting over fractions of a second for overall honour. In the end Colin set a new outright course record of 54.77 seconds with John doing a 55.13. The record for this course at the first ever sprint in 2012 was 63.71 so that is certainly progress (1, 2, 3).

Down amongst the road-going ranks a certain Richard Usher entered a McLaren 650S achieving a 69.45 second lap in an absolutely standard car which is a testament to the car and not the driver! More on the McLaren in a bit…

Other cars sighted in the paddock which have caught my eye include this lovely Datsun 240Z, a bevy of Loti, this mad Reliant Kitten and this lovely Mini Sprint.

Test days have been another source of joy: Cliff Dempsey was enjoying running Jordan Kane, HHC continued to test even when they were winning (which was much of the time in 2015). Mazda brought us a very famous RX7 and Rick and Rob Hall delighted us on many occasions

(1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

On the media front, we have enjoyed looking after our friends from Auto Express now including Steve Sutcliffe on their team, as well as EVO, Autocar, Classic and Sports Car and Car Magazine. The Classic and Sports Car feature on the XJR9 and Andy Wallace has just hit the newsstands and Martin Brundle driving the McLaren P1 GTR for Car was particularly memorable.

We are indebted to our partners for the success of 2015: Skoda for the supply of the excellent Superb, Fuchs for supply of lubricants and chemicals and finally McLaren who have generously lent me the 650S in return for some consultancy work. Not since I sold my Diablo back in 2010, has driving a road car given me such pleasure: the 650S is an epic machine built in Britain by a British company. I was fortunate to drive the 675LT recently which is even more astonishing and I look forward to trying the 570S very soon.

Finally, I would like to thank the team here: today we are doing EVO Magazine’s Track Car of the Year and Russell has returned from leave due to the safe arrival of Oliver Thompson three weeks ago. Oliver has already visited Blyton Park and was a spectator at yesterday’s autograss racing.

Very finally, thank you for reading this and for visiting Blyton Park. Track days and testing will continue through the Winter so call 01427 628922 or e-mail if you need to get on track.


Advanced Driving Academy with Mark Hales