Last weekend saw the rather epic Britcar Endurance Race hit Silverstone for 24 hours of racing, reliability issues and rain.
I’ve covered Britcar events before but as this was my first 24 hour race, I armed myself with a sleeping bag and lots of spare camera batteries.
The team LNT Ginetta G55 took pole and led the race early on, only to be hit by lighting issues, a tyre blowout and terminal oil pressure problems. Other Class 1 teams suffered too with Neil Garner’s Mosler having a rear wheel fuse onto the hub. Hammers, chisels, drills and even an angle grinder were needed to cut it lose, costing the team a full 2 hours.
For an event only in its second year and despite not exactly rolling off the tongue, The Forge Motorsport Performance Action Day (FMPAD), at the Castle Combe Circuit in Wiltshire, already feels like a well established show.
Part track day, part club meet, FMPAD bombards you with cars from all disciplines of motorsport, most of which make it out on track at some point during the day.
Rob Austin’s BTCC Audi A4 put in a few blisteringly hot laps of the 1.85 mile circuit amongst Time Attack teams and road going daily drives.
While the Porsche 918 Spyder super sports coupe is being tested and developed, the good people down at Porsche have decided to give it a nice vintage set of clothes to wear. All too often you see development cars at the ‘Ring wearing disguises to break up the lines of the car and make them look both ugly and difficult to photograph. Not in the case of the 918 Spyder though which has been proudly wearing the famous Martini livery of the past.
We at Motor Vision have recently been discussing iconic racing stripes (yes, it’s just endless fun down at MV HQ) and there were three ‘stripe types’ that we kept ending up back at. The three were: the Gulf racing stripes, the Ford twin-stripes, and of course the Martini stripes. When you consider how many striped cars there have been in racing history, the fact that we all seemed to boil it down to just those three was nothing short of remarkable. The Rothmans Porsche was also mentioned as were the non-stripe based livery of the Marlboro McLaren and the JPS Lotus but in terms of striped cars we agreed that Martini was certainly in the top 3.
With the Formula 1 season hotting up and the British Grand Prix this coming weekend what better time to release news of a hypothetical London Grand Prix. Yes, you heard me correctly, a London Grand Prix in which the F1 grid of 24 cars would race around the streets of London.
The 3.2 mile planned circuit, starting on the Mall, would whisk the drivers around many famous land marks in London including a 200mph straight towards Buckingham Palace, some rather ambitious corners to get from Trafalgar Square to Admiralty Arch and a pit lane based in St James Park.
It certainly would be an incredible sight to behold. The average speed of cars around London is currently approximately 7mph so it’d be a novelty to see anything travelling around London’s streets faster than that. Anything that wasn’t a bicycle or a horse that is.
I worked for Nissan sometime ago amidst the era of Micra’s, Almera’s, Tino’s, Primera’s, and not a lot else. Skyline’s could of course be imported but no Nissan GTR’s or 350Z’s yet existed in the UK range and in terms of exciting cars there simply wasn’t any. Excitement was something that other manufacturers did. On one of the product testing days I went on, the fastest and most powerful car driven that day was actually a commercial van. Since leaving Nissan several years ago they’ve very much turned around as a company and are now quite different to the firm I remember.
This year’s Le Mans line-up is surely a testament to the fact that Nissan are now an undeniable force in motor sport. Out of the 23 LMP2 Le Mans runners, 14 of them are powered by Nissan engines. Nissan clearly are no longer just a manufacturer supplying old ladies with sensible underpowered cars to do the shopping in. They are racing.
To top it all off Nissan also have what I consider to be the most exciting car to touch the hallowed tarmac of Le Mans for years, the Nissan Batmobile. I mean, the Nissan DeltaWing. Okay, just to get the Batman references out the way there is no denying that this car does very much mirror the famous super hero’s car. Please insert your own joke here regarding adding laser beams or machine guns. Moving beyond the obvious Batman jokes though, is this a serious race car? Or just some useful publicity for Nissan?
The answer is that it would currently seem likely to be both of those things.