The CSCC, HSCC (and a few others) selective calendar is as follows - Green highlight means HSCC/FISC/Historic & Blue is a CSCC event we intend to do and bold means the day that we will be racing.
|2015 Race & other dates and results|
|#||Date||Venue / Event||
Club & Series
|Car||Result o/a||Class & result||Weather/comment||Best lap & results|
|20-22 Feb||NAC Stoneleigh, Warks||Race Retro Show||n/a||n/a|
|-||26 March||Snetterton 300||CSCC Test Day||TVR Tuscan||n/a||n/a||cold and wet; horrible||n/a & I was ill...|
|1||11 12 April||Snetterton 300||CSCC Swingers||TVR Tuscan||4th||G 2nd||Warm, dry and windy||2:16:212 Results|
|2||9 10 May||Silverstone National||CSCC Swingers||TVR Tuscan||DNS||DNS||Wheel bearing failure in practice|
|3||16 17 May||Silverstone GP International Trophy||HSCC Guards Trophy||TVR Grantura||30th||4th||Cool, sunny and dry|
|4||30 31 May||Brands Hatch Indy||CSCC Classic K||TVR Grantura||9th||E 2nd||Warm and sunny||1:00:751 Results|
|5||26 27 28 June||Spa Francorchamps Summer Classic||Roadbook / CSCC||TVR Tuscan||3rd & 4th||G 3rd 4th||Hot and sunny||2.57.240 Race 2|
|6||24 25 26 July||
|HSCC Guards Trophy||TVR Grantura||Miles back||don't know||Wet and horrible||who cares?|
|7||29 30 August||Oulton Park||HSCC Guards Trophy||TVR Grantura||13th||A, 3rd||Dry and warm||Results|
|8||5 Sept||Donington||CSCC Classic K||TVR Grantura||12th||E, 1st||Dry and warm||Results|
|9||26 Sept||Oulton Park||CSCC Classic K||TVR Grantura||E, 1st||Dry and sunny|
|10||1 Nov||Brands Hatch Indy||CSCC Swingers & CSCC Night Race||TVR Tuscan||3rd on grid||E, 2nd on grid||Warm, sunny and dry
Race abandoned - fog
CSCC Swinging Sixties Class structure for 2015
The first proper run out for the all new V8 engine and it was dry and warm unlike the test day two weeks earlier which had been very cold and very windy and very wet! In that test session I had managed to smack the Armco barrier on the Bentley straight at about 15mph after losing control on the straight when accelerating too hard in 4th gear in very greasy conditions. That had curtailed the test session because the right hand steering arm bent and I was in no mood to try to fix it at the circuit.
For race day we were nicely ensconced in a garage and managed to get Dave's Grantura in too which always makes for a better event. Practice was rather interesting because I'd not driven the car very much and was truly astonished at the improvements that we had been able to make over the winter. Compared to 2 years earlier (didn't race on this configuration in 2014) it was ultimately 7 seconds a lap quicker! There are still some nasty issues with the car that I need to address, one being the brakes are not really sharp enough. It does stop OK but I'd really like a bit more confidence that I can actually stop properly from nearly 150 mph!
I qualified in 12th place from about 40 cars which was a bit further down than I expected but was hopeful of a good getaway at lights out. I had a stonkingly good start (to see it on face-up-your-tube-pages click here) and was up to about 9th by the second corner; the grunt, even from a rolling start, is astonishing. I then just picked my way car-by-car through the field and up to 4th overall before coming in for my mandatory pit stop as soon as the time window opened. Stack and Dave did an excellent job turning the car round in under 30 seconds and I was back on the track in about 12th place but with very few cars having stopped. By being sensible keeping it on the track I was able to claw back up to a comfortable 4th place; quite a way behind 3rd but well clear of 5th and was delighted to come home in that position which was also 2nd in class.
Later measurement showed the car was hitting 147 mph just before to 300 metre board on the Bentley Straight each lap...cool! Better improve those brakes
Rolling start and and first few laps of CSCC Swinging Sixties Snetterton in the Tuscan click here
Not much to report I'm afraid; the TVR Tuscan's front left wheel bearing failed after just 4 laps of practice and we just could not get the bearing track out of the hub (even if we had been able to get a spare wheel bearing). I was 8th on the grid after just 3 laps...annoying really but that's racing for you!
Martin removing the TVR's front left wheel assembly prior to realising we couldn't fix it...
Back in the workshop, the TVR Tuscan wheel bearing outer track being ground out with a windy grinder.
On a more positive note Dave did a great job in the one hour Classic K race and came 3rd in class in his '63 Grantura after starting in very difficult conditions with lots of rain just before the start of the race.
Attending the annual HSCC International meeting at Silverstone has become a regular thing for us. Normally I take the Falcon but with it being for sale it's currently not being used and given we need more Grantura time Dave entered us as a two driver team in the 40 minute Guards Trophy race. The car is unfortunately in absolutely tip top condition at the moment because it has a standard (and tired) 3 synchro gearbox due to the race 'box being hors de combat at Angouleme back in September. It basically works but has the wrong ratios and is rather graunchy at high revs although we have significantly improved it by making a cranked gear stick.
The Guards Trophy is contested by some really mighty cars and we didn't do too well in qually. Dave had done about 5 laps when I called him in for the pit stop where I took over. I managed 2 laps before the session was red flagged due to an MGB walloping pit wall at the new F1 start/finish line. We were in 46th slot on the grid.
For the race Dave took the start and had a reasonable battle with some of the cars in our class while the Chevrons, Cobras and TVR Griffiths stonked off into the distance. I took over at 23 minutes and set to catching a few folk. With cars falling by the wayside too we made up several places and finished 30th overall and 4th in class. A good result given the car and the competition and the car ran well with no problems other than the alternator bracket broke during practice and we had to make one from a C spanner...
Dinner on the Saturday evening in the BRDC club house...jolly nice.
A great trip out for Dave's Grantura and a pleasant drive down mid-day on the Friday. Not a huge amount to say about the meeting; we qualified 13th overall and (2nd in class) finished the race in 9th overall (again 2nd in class). The car was not as quick as we had been expecting and we since found a slight problem with the suspension setup which will certainly have been causing come of the problem. A few changes for Spa but nothing massive.
On the up side Dave was quicker than me in qually and in the race which is great as it means he's getting on it earlier on and the radiator which was repaired by a local specialist is now not leaking at all. The new gearbox is a delight compared to the spare that had been in use since Angouleme in 2014.
We were very fortunate with the weather as the Sunday was torrential rain all day...which we would not have enjoyed at all.
Mixing it up mid race
Spa is the finest race weekend if the year. The summer classic has some oddities such as quite a lot of the races seem to be for the same types of cars but that aside it's a great weekend.
The few days before we crossed the channel had been plagued by industrial action in the port of Calais which had escalated into problems in the tunnel with strikers and illegal migrants invading parts of the track. As we approached Folkestone on the Wednesday morning we were diverted off the M20 for operation stack to take place. This added just 20 minutes or so to the journey time and we actually managed to get on the train we had booked onto. The only concern was that the RV was feeling particularly gutless which was a symptom that seemed to be getting worse over the past few months.
Migrants, migrants everywhere as we drove out of Calais and not a police officer or Gendarme in sight...you'd think the French wanted them on those trucks heading for Blighty...hmm.
We had a most excellent trip to the circuit but painfully slow up the hills into the Ardennes with massive trucks passing us with ease but still we made it by mid afternoon and once the paddock was clear of the Blancpain Sportscars we were into prime position in the paddock. Going a day early was ace and contributed greatly to our enjoyment especially after last year where we were camped next to a thoroughly offensive and loud crowd. Lunch in the town square in Stavelot, courtesy of Dave, on the Thursday was most agreeable.
Stavelot 2015 with Dave Thompson, Martin Stackpoole and Richard King
Practice Slight trepidation given the awful experience at Silverstone the previous time out in the car when one of the the wheel bearings failed. The car held together however and my target of being under 3 minutes was achieved. This is by far the quickest I had ever been round the circuit and new engine was certainly playing its part. The brakes were great but I am still getting a long pedal at times caused by something called pad knock-off; that needs to be sorted once and for all From a 60 car race I qualified 5th overall (4th in class G) with a best lap of 2.57.549 and that's about 5 seconds a lap faster than the year before; quite an improvement. Dave qualified 27th overall but, significantly, 3rd in the Classic K gang and 1st place in his class. Steve Adams managed to hit the Armco just on the left of the track after the (unnamed but was once known as Copenhague) left hand corner after Bruxelles. The car was a mess and we spent all Friday afternoon bending/taping/riveting/gluing it back into shape for the races. A success however, and the car actually didn't look too bad.
Dave tried on this plastic "bat-cape" but the tailor persuaded him that it was a bit too broad across the shoulders.
Race 1, Saturday The weather was very kind to us all weekend with just some rain at night so the track was in perfect condition for Saturday afternoon's race. Our regular supporters team of Penny and Frank had joined us and spurred on by their cheering we pressed on. Dave's racing hero is Jim Clark and mine is Jean Girard (look him up!) and in that style we finished in style. An added bonus was that we recorded the fastest pit stop of the race which got me well in front of Simon Lane's Chevrolet Camaro so I finished 3rd overall and 3rd in Class.
Race 2, Sunday A truly tremendous race with Simon Lane again and this time I finished 4th overall just behind him after the pit stop strategy didn't work out for us. I pitted after just 10 minutes but then as Simon came in for his stop the safety car came out and I lost all the advantage that we made up through our super-quick pit stops. That left me right behind Simon for the last 10 minutes of the race which can bee seen on YouTube here.
So in summary Dave finished with two Classic K class wins and a two podiums which was really great especially given his previous traumatic weekends at this circuit. I managed a class 3rd in the first race with a podium excursion and just missed out in the second race. A superb weekend however.
Oddly one of the highlights of the weekend was that we didn't really do much to either car while we were there. We both fitted bungee cords to the seat belt straps to make pit stops easier and Dave had a minor problem with the clutch mechanism on the Grantura but that was all.
The lowlight of the meeting was that Richard King lost his favourite ski poles.
On the way home we had appalling power in the RV with no turbo boost at all. The downy bits were OK but the uppy stuff was a disaster and we were overtaken by a 50cc moped on the hill between the M20 and the M2. Later investigation showed that the turbo wastegate was jammed open and now that it's fixed it should be back to it's normal self of being marginally faster than it was!
A dynamic pit crew; Stack and Richard just can't wait to get to the pit lane for the Spa races in 2015
As ever a truly tremendous weekend but terrible weather on Friday for practice and on Sunday for the race. Saturday was fine weather but cool and Status Quo in the evening were great; 90 minutes of Quo's greatest hits of course.
The practice was behind the safety car and the race was in torrential rain, rubbish basically but I did get my picture in Octane magazine so that was good. I had a good, stint-long dice with a Porsche 911 which was good fun and I did actually thoroughly enjoy the race although Dave pretty much hated every minute he was on the track. Not much else to say really.
Dave and I "thoroughly enjoyed" the fabulous weather while watching the Friday qualifying sessions
A highlight for me was seeing a Wall of Death for the first time...really impressive and also the night-time flying display with two LED lit-up aircraft launching fireworks; really good too.
A long and terribly frustrating drive up to Oulton Park on a bank holiday Friday afternoon is never fun, however we arrived in good time to unload then make our way (two-up on the mighty 49cc Honda scooter) to the nearby Alvaney Arms for dinner which was most pleasant although the traffic noise sent us inside rather than eating al fresco.
The Gold Cup as an event has a long and illustrious history of contemporary racing but more latterly has become one of the HSCC's premier meetings with testing and qualifying action on Saturday and the racing held on Sunday and Monday. This is exceptionally rare because Oulton Park is normally a Saturday-racing-only venue due to the proximity of the village of Little Budworth which as actually closer to the paddock than is the Shell hairpin! The noise of the cars is really very audible in the village.
Practice was just 25 minutes and given that Dave had a pretty poor run out at the Silverstone Classic I was hoping he'd get good weather and a clear run; he did and all was fine. he cam in at about 14 minutes and I just about managed to go marginally quicker setting us into 16th place with a 2:13.585 lap which was OK but not as quick as we had hoped. 3rd in class however with 4th way behind and 2nd way ahead! It was a split grid so no sports racers so the TVR Griffiths were the dominating force in this event with 4 of them taking the lion's share of the top 5 on the grid. Occasional, fellow CSCC racer Robert Bremner's Cobra was nicely slotted into 2nd place. Unusually, after practice was a Parc Ferme where all the GT cars were inspected against their FIA papers. We realised that we really had to keep the car on the track and circulate reasonably quickly to do acceptably well.
Dave and the Granny getting ready for the HSCC Guards Trophy for GT Cars at Oulton Park in 2015
Following practice on Saturday evening we strolled out of the circuit and down to the Egerton Arms for a couple of pints and watched some rather good (by which I mean entertaining) village cricket. Some poor bowler had 28 runs smacked off one over and then another 20 from the next over...oops. He was soon taken off...to be replaced by an equally hapless chap who suffered a similar fate. Cricket aside the pub, as well as being in very easy walking distance, had a truly magnificent selection of beers and can be recommended to anyone passing.
The race Dave took the start (as usual) and was away well. We had a couple of Italian Porsches (a 911 and a 356) next to us in the paddock as well as next to us in the race and they were beginning their slide to a double-dnf with a commensurate amount of Italianesque verbiage taking place in the pit stops! Dave did a great job of keeping us out of trouble and did pretty much likewise except for one minor grassy incident at Druids Corner where I missed the entry to the corner while watch a TVR Griffith approach at high speed from behind. For both of us it was a pretty lonely race although I did manage to take a place from the Harris/Harris Austin Healey 3000 on the last lap. We were pretty happy with 3rd in class and 13th overall.
Fabulous and genuine; the Jaguar Heritage owned XKSS. These were made by Jaguar in the 1950s by converting unsold D-Type race cars that they couldn't sell!
Overall results for the meeting: https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/mstworld-motorsport/Results/2015/15210hsc.pdf
Another really good event for us with a great class win and a very exciting drive for both of us despite the head gasket failing in practice which required us the fit a new one over the lunch break. Fortunately it's not terribly complicated on this engine so only took an hour or so. There were lots of cars and lots of close racing despite the end of the race being somewhat ruined by one of the leading cars dumping a huge amount of oil on the track right at the end. Having overtaken a number of cars, I went off on it on the last corner of the last lap and lost us an overall place but kept the class leading position nicely. The chap who spilled the oil was rewarded with an endorsement on his licence and a race disqualification for not pulling off the track on realising there was something wrong.
Also (annoyingly) Derek Drinkwater's Ford Galaxie was protested by another competitor because he had the wrong type of tyres...he was is last place anyway so we don't really get it; so rather than being last he was excluded from the results. Seems a bit mean to me to do that.
The last outing in 2015 for the Grantura and the final round for the CSCC Classic K series. Not much in the way of class competition but we love the place so always a nice place to be and especially so with very pleasant weather. It was a bit strange given we had not been to Oulton for quite some time and then suddenly there twice in the space of just a couple of months. Not quite as eventful as the HSCC meeting and we didn't even make it out of the circuit although we did make the effort to go and watch the Future Classics practice because Simon Hadfield was driving Martyn Adams' TR7V8...very quickly. It was good.
There's not a lot to say about the practice and race really except that Dave pulled out an awesome qually lap which was about 1.5 seconds quicker than any other lap we did in the practice session so we started 9th on the grid. The car was fine throughout practice with no sign of the head gasket problems we had experienced at Donington earlier in the month and was basically running well.
Dave had a good start but was passed by a couple of cars (not ones in our class) by the time the pitstop came and a I was unable to catch them; partly because I had a bit of a spin on my second lap which dropped me too far behind them to have any realistic hope of catching them. We finished first in class and to be honest glad we had won again as that should help our overall series position for the year.
One more event for 2015 and that the CSCC meeting on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit at the end of October.
Not so much a double race day as a single test session; the whole event was cancelled mid afternoon because of fog. However we did manage to get the Tuscan up to 3rd overall on the grid with a pretty decent 55.589 seconds in nice bright sunshine on a dry track. The practice session was good except Dave experienced a long brake pedal which I think was caused by a defective n/s rear caliper seal. The calipers were pretty old and tired and were purchased as the test mules for the rear disc brake kit I now sell. Duly I have now decided to fit newly reconditioned calipers to each side. For some reason when I took over the car the brakes were fine but I did put on rather more front brake bias because that's how I prefer it.
We also had to change one of the front suspension rod end bearings which was clunking slightly and is the first of many to wear. I suspect it might be too close to the hugely hot exhaust manifolds so may need to fit heat and dust shields.
Ultimately the whole meeting was called off at about 16:20 and the awards were handed out based of grid positions! So Dave and I now each have a very nice 3rd overall trophy for a race we didn't actually do.
That's it for 2015, just the annual dinner at the end of November to complete the season.