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LIFE WITH CARS

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Goodwood FOS › Fun Cup › Shows & Track days


IMAGES: WWW.RICHARDSEYMOUR.CO.UK WORDS: PHIL ROYLE

Festival of speed


With an innovative ‘moving motorshow,’ celebration of Alfa Romeo’s century as a car maunfacturer, more race aces than you can wave a chequred flag at and all the usual hill climb delights, it’s the oh-so-English Goodwood Festival of Speed 2010


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he annual Festival of Speed at Goodwood House attracted a record 176,000 automotive fans this year, as the epic show goes from strength to strength: It’s now one of the largest public events of any description in the UK and Europe, not to mention one of the most entertaining and ecclectic. Hoorah! This year’s show had an added attraction – the Moving Motorshow, giving an innovative platform for manufacturers to show off their new vehicles, in motion. Organisers said: “This inaugural event met with an extremely positive response from the vehicle manufac-

turers and visiting public alike.” During the day, there as an unfortunate incident when a manufacturer’s driver was taken ill at the wheel, resulting in four people being treated for minor injuries at Goodwood’s on-site First Aid Centre, but that did not cast a shadow on what was another brilliant FOS idea. As ever, test drives on the short, but technical Goodwood Hill were at the forefront of the show, once again bathed in Summer sunshine. And there were some big names - past and present - taking part, including both Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, who got to drive Alain Prost’s

1986 championship-winning McLaren MP4/2C, with reigning F1 World Champion, Button saying “this has been the best day of my life” after his drive. Wow! Other current F1 drivers in the hill-climbing action included Mark Webber, Nico Rosberg, Jarno Trulli, Heikki Kovalainen, Bruno Senna and Karun Chandock, who said that he was looking forward to the Festival so much if Lord March hadn’t invited him to drive, he would have bought a ticket as a spectator anyway! And, as well as current F1 teams and drivers, past stars and cars were in action to help celebrate 60 roadmagazine.co.uk


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years of the F1 championship, including Sir Stirling Moss, Sir Jackie Stewart, John Surtees, Damon Hill, Mika Hakkinen and Emmerson Fittipaldi. Hundreds of great cars, motorcycles, drivers and riders took to the 1.16-mile Goodwood hillclimb (and rally stage) during the Festival weekend. Highlights included Sir Jackie Stewart driving the famous Indy 500-winning Lotus 38/1, roadmagazine.co.uk

which hadn’t turned a wheel in 45 years since Jim Clark drove it to an historic victory in 1965, as well as Mike Skinner doing an impressive burn-out for the entire length of the Hill in his NASCAR Toyota Camry. Meanwhile, at the sharp end on Sunday, Roger Wills took fastest time of the weekend at the wheel of a Williams-Cosworth FW05, with strong competition coming from Anthony Reid

in a Lola T163 and rally hand, Johnny Milner in his Toyota Celica. Throw in the Red Arrows and Vulcan bomber being mad in the air, Dougie Lampkin and Mattie Griffin being bad on two wheels, the jaw-dropping car auctions, the mouth-watering supercar display and runs up the hill and, once again, you see why so many flock to Goodwood, year on year. It really is very special.


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WORDS & PICTURES: PHIL ROYLE

FUN. FUN. FUN CUP

ROAD racer and Travis drummer, Neil Primrose takes part in the Fun Cup, in a TDi, space-framed single seater, as part of the thrilling, good value BRSCC race meet, up a MSV Snetterton, in deepest, darkest Norfolk. We tag along for the ride, and soak up the


at e fun

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eil Primrose has laid his drumsticks to one side for most of 2010 and is on a bit of a mission to be a decent racer, and is, well, well on his way. Regular readers may recall Neil taking part in the exciting, uber-busy VLN race series at the epic Nürburgring Nordschleife, in an old shape Honda Civic in the last issue. He loved it, and got some solid ‘Green Hell’ race craft under his belt. Neil’s also had a brilliant podium finish at Paul Ricard earlier this season, in a downforce-special Lola, in the CER Championship (see a video at www.islaracing. co.uk), against some serious machinery. Result! His other recent racing adventure has been in the under-rated and brilliantlyconceived ‘Fun Cup.’ Neil got a taste for this, with an epic 25-hour race at one of his favourite circuits, SpaFrancorchamps, a year ago. roadmagazine.co.uk


‘Our’ ROAD-racer and drummer supremo, Neil enjoys life in the active pit lane of Snetts, on another aptly-named Fun Cup endurance race in his Track Torque Racing Ltd oil-burning beastie. Speedy, slick, efficient driver changes and fuel stops are crucial to success, as in any endurance race. And the Fun Cup is every bit as exciting and dramatic as something like the Nürburgring 24-Hr in this respect, even if the cars aren’t quite as expensive, or quick. Neil said: “The racing is so close, you really need to plan those overtakes perfectly. The cars are set-up lively, so do slide about a fair bit, especially when the rubber is going off. It’s a balance of setting consistent lap times, without shredding the tyres and pushing to get up a few places. There’s always a few dramas and it really is a lot of fun.” roadmagazine.co.uk


“From humble beginnings, the series has taken off massively” Now he’s hooked on the quirky series that first ran out 13 years ago in Europe, and nine years ago here in the UK. From humble beginnings, the series has taken off massively, and is popular with racers and spectators alike. More than 160 cars took part in the last 25-hour at Spa, and there are 35 teams here at Snetterton for this round; a four-hour spectacular. The cars are race-designed from the classic VW Beetle shape, but that’s here the comparisons end. These cars are single-seaters, with a bionic spaceframe, lightweight chassis and come with either the 1800cc, 130bhp VW/Audi petrol engine or (as in Neil’s case and introduced in 2009 to the Fun Cup), the 170bhp, 1900cc TDi VW oil-burner, complete with tank-like torque levels and a sealed five-speed gearbox. Teams range from two to six drivers and all races are endurance, making speedy

pit stops an essential part of the racing. Neil was part of a threeman crew in one of two cars run by the experienced Track Torque Racing Limited team (www.tracktorque. co.uk), from South Yorkshire who’ve had some great results in the series, as well as building and racing cars in the Chevron GR8 GT Championship. Neil and his co-drivers qualified ninth on the grid, with a best lap of 1:25.599 (pole was 1:24.453, to show how close the racing is), but got unlucky with the random grid draw, and had to start mid-order. They soon worked their way through the field though, thanks to some great driving, wicked overtaking and speedy pit stops, finishing, after four wonderfully exhilarating hours, in a very credible ninth place, with the other TTR TDi in 10th place. Want an exciting, super close, affordable race series to enter? You just found it. roadmagazine.co.uk


IMAGES: NEIL DENHAM WORDS: PHIL ROYLE


Clean dream

Neste Oil has launched the world’s first unblended renewable diesel in 100% pure form, uniquely, working in your regular diesel engine, without modifications. ROAD snapper, Neil Denham went to Helsinki to find out more


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he world is changing, fast, and, so is our climate. And the motor industry is under more pressure than ever to come up solutions to reduce our dependance on oil, improve the security of supply and combat climate change. Thankfully, companies like Finland’s Neste Oil are acting fast on petrol, or should I say diesel head’s

behalves. Neste has just launched a pilot project for NExBTL 100 - the first ever unblended renewable diesel in 100% pure form. ROAD snapper, Neil Denham went along to meet the team behind the innovative project, interview the test drivers using the new fuel in a regular diesel Volvo and visited a fuel station currently supplying NExBTL,

and also took a trip to the Porvoo refinery (pictured), to see the NExBTL units. Neste Oil say: “NExBTL, is the cleanest fuel available on the market today, cutting GHGs by 40-60% over the whole life cycle. The company’s unique hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO) technology allows for the use of a very wide range of vegetal and animal feedstocks. Uniquely this diesel can be used in existing engines, with no need to change your car. The diesel has also demonstrated huge tailpipe emission reduction as evidence by a pilot of Helsinki city buses using this fuel. The aim of this project is to develop cleaner public transport for cities.” Neste is currently investing €550 million in building the world’s largest renewable diesel plant in Singapore, and were the first energy company to join the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. They are undeniably at the cutting edge of modern renewable fuels, and the yin to our petrol head yang. We should thank them. Our fuel future lies in their clean dream hands. roadmagazine.co.uk


WORDS & PICTURES: RICHARD BARNETT

pomeroy trophy A soaking Silverstone in early Spring isn’t the most inviting venue to indulge in motor sport, but for diehard Vintage Sports Car Club members it marks the start of the clubs’s events...

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elcome to the Pomeroy Trophy, an event that combines a series of tests designed to find the best all-round touring car. The day-long event was created by Laurence Pomeroy Jr, son of the Vauxhall engineer who was responsible for the Prince Henry model that’s often regarded as Britain’s first sports car. Pomeroy Jr was President of the VSCC, and his legacy is the series of tests that pit modern cars against vintage forebears. After all, where else will you see a gaggle of pre-war Frazer-Nash modroadmagazine.co.uk

els in the same event as a late-‘80s Volvo 740 estate, a brace of early notchback Mustangs, a Ford Galaxy, (people carrier, not thundering US saloon) a DB7 and a Rover P4? Only in England of course, and only in such freezing conditions. With a slalom test and a handicap time trial challenging competitors, the Pom’s quasi-serious raison d’etre can’t fail to give you a warm feeling – one that guarantees this eccentric English event is also a bloody good laugh. But that undermines the

importance of an event put on by one of the most active car clubs in the UK – and one that celebrated its 75th anniversary last year.


And while the Pom’ (as its known by hardcore fans) has a serious reason (and in the past one of its winners has been a Mark Three Cortina), it’s summed up by the fact that fun can come so early in the year. Who needs to wait ‘til Summer? West Wales to Silverstone and back…. So you want to get to Silverstone with the minimum of hassle? That’ll be the M4 then. But the return journey needn’t be so dull – and cutting cross country from the ‘Stone down towards Gloucester before picking up the M5 takes little extra time, shaves a good few miles off the trip, and gets you on some more exciting roads: Diving off the A43 before hitting Junction 10 of the M40, take the B4031 through Aynho and Deddington down to the A361 to Chipping Norton – where the VSCC’s offices are. There’s a short, duller blast westwards on the A44 before branching left on to the A436 to Stow-on-the–Wold, which is a delight, apart from the potholes and severe wear in the middle, which can catch you out: low-profile tyre friendly this road definitely ain’t. Along the way there are plenty of decent pubs offering food, vital after the cold of Silverstone – and who needs motorway services when you can get decent grub plus a pint for appreciably less? You’re then on the A429, parts of which are a cracking drive, before picking up the A40 and then the M5. Of course you could stick on the A40 back to Carmarthen, which is an increasingly appealing offering, especially now the M4 suffers from ludicrously-lengthy roadworks and average speed cameras… roadmagazine.co.uk


WORDS & PICTURES: RICHARD BARNETT

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race retro

When it began a few years back as the Historic Motor Sport Show, the jury was out over its future. That wasn’t surprising, because perhaps this was a classic car show that had gone a step too far niche.

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hankfully, that’s all in the past, and this year’s Race Retro served up a feast of fine historic motor sport covering the earliest days of competition through to youngtimer cars of the 1980s. This year’s theme was 100 years of Alfa Romeo, and even those enthusiasts who blank anything pre-war just couldn’t fail to impressed by the 1920s and 1930s products. Rather like certain actresses you might care to mention, these Italian beauties were enough to set the pulses of any

red-blooded enthusiast coursing. And it wasn’t just cars, because once again the event, held in the delightful setting of the Royal Agricultural Showground at Stoneleigh, played host to more classic competition bikes than you could wave a VSCC shooting stick at. Race Retro celebrated 60 years of the Featherbed frame. Top the fine displays off with some superb trade displays and Race Retro is a bloody fine start to the classic year. Long may it continue...

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SCRIBBLES & SNAPS: PHIL ROYLE

SPEEDY SNETTS Track day ace, Graham Clarke and his outstanding RMA Paddock Club band of boys and their trick toys have a wonderful blast around speedy Snetterton, bathed in glorious Norfolk sunshine


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he world’s longest established and most respected track day organiser - RMA Track Days - formed in 1990, has been responsible for organising and running over 1,000 track day events, in 17 different countries across the globe, at some of the very best circuits - from the Nürburgring Nordschleife, Le Mans and Spa-Francorchamps to Dijon Prenois and even the distant, but epic Hungaroring. RMA boss, Graham Clarke says: “Our events range from low key track days at some of the smaller circuits to major corporate events for manufacturers such as

Porsche, Lotus, Michelin, Renault, Caterham, Bentley, Lamborghini and Jaguar. Track day venues include all the principal UK circuits and we always like to throw in legendary overseas destinations too.” Graham runs ‘Circuit Club’ days, open to the public, including airfield days - ideal for beginners - at RAF Odiham, from just £145, with cars limited to just 100. And he also operates a special membership-andinvitation-only, ‘Paddock Club,’ where numbers are strictly limited to only 50... meaning you get more track time and space than you could possibly know what roadmagazine.co.uk


to do with. Perfection! The Paddock Club attracts some of Graham’s more affluent clientele, and, as such, some of the best cars you will see on circuit anywhere in the world - with a simply mesmerising display of race aces (past and present), supercars, hypercars and hardcore track day tools; all with a lot of track driving experience. RMA Paddock Club days are always open pit lane, and - with no need to sign on or be briefed - it’s maximum track time and maximum fun; mixing it up with some of the best cars imaginable. These are, quite simply, the best track days you could imagine... as proved by this magnificent day at the speedy MSV Norfolk roadmagazine.co.uk

circuit, Snetterton. There’s always track day tuition on hand, from some of the best names in the business (who have included F1 pilot Mark Webber, Champcar superstar Dario Franchetti, the late World Rally Champion, Richard Burns, BTCC champions

Tim Harvey and Jason Plato, BBC’s Top Gear’s original “Stig” - Perry McCarthy and RMA Track Days Honorary Chairman, double World Champion and five times winner of the 24 hours Le Mans race Derek Bell MBE!). Graham’s race ace son, Leyton Clarke also


imparts his expertise, as a BRDC ‘Rising Star.’ RMA have a number of Circuit and Paddock Club days left this year, in the UK and at Europe’s finest tracks, including ace twoday events. Visit www.rmatrackdays.com, and enjoy this fine hobby at its best. roadmagazine.co.uk


ROAD 5: OUT & ABOUT  

Goodwood Festival of Speed report Travis Neil Primrose in the Fun Cup The future of fuel Show and track day reports

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