27, Jul, 2017
Two meetings, three wins and two seconds: not bad for a month’s work.
The bare statistics tell the story in a nutshell but can’t hope to convey the full nail-biting drama of our racing in June and the background to it.
You can read more elsewhere about the American SpeedFest at Brands Hatch and the preparations for our annual outing to Spa. So I’ll pick up the story at the start of the 30-minute qualifying session at the super-fast Belgian track.
Over this week-end of 23-25 June we were running in the two Gold Arts Magnificent Seven races at the Classic and Sports Car Club’s Spa Summer Classic. We had taken five cars, the newly-acquired C400 of Tim Davis, the Superlights of Graham Charman and Peter French and Richard Carter’s C400. Colin Watson and I were sharing the newly rebuilt and upgraded Boss Racing C400 that was still being completed on the morning of our departure from Longfield two days earlier.
Testing Thursday morning brought out the vast array of competitors from near and far. We were sharing the track with 60-odd cars ranging from Caterham Sevens and BMW M3s to MG Midgets and Sprites – lap times varied by more than half a minute!
Qualifying Friday and Tim put up the third fastest time with Graham fourth, Richard 16th and Peter 47th. Colin and I were 7th, our car showing no signs of the oil leak which had affected it the day before and which we had burned the midnight, um, oil working to cure.
Saturday, by now the fourth day of our trip and we were racing at last. Colin took the first stint and from seventh on the grid he was soon battling for the lead. By the end of the first lap he was second and in front the next time around. Then Tim took the lead only to lose it to Colin on the fourth. Along with arch rival Gary Bate the racing was epic.
By the time of the driver change on lap 6 we decided that as we had a genuine chance of winning Colin should stay in the car. I was disappointed but realised that we couldn’t spare the time it would take me to play myself in.
We finished second on the road but Gary Bate who took the flag first – as he so often does – was disqualified for passing another competitor under a yellow flag. So we won! And we set fastest lap.
Tim was second, just three-tenths adrift, Richard was 21st but Peter wasn’t classified and Graham was forced out on the seventh lap after a collision with another car holed his radiator.
That evening in true Boss Racing fashion, we prepared the cars for Sunday’s race. And went down the pub. For a while….
Sunday dawned and Colin started the second race from pole, while from second spot, Tim went wide on Turn 1 on the opening lap and lost a lot of time. Then, in his attempts to improve his position he tagged the back of Dean Cook’s car. Dean, an old TVR sparring partner of Tim’s, is also running a Caterham Seven but Tim now had a damaged radiator to contend with. He was classified 20th.
This was to be another race in which I didn’t get to drive. On the ninth lap, while fighting for the lead once again, Colin came on the radio to report an ominous vibration. We soon found out the cause, a broken drive shaft. So we were out, leaving the field clear for Gary Bate. All was far from lost, though. Graham finished fourth and set the fastest lap with his recently upgraded Boss Racing K-series engine! Who says the K-series is dead?
As I write this, our cars are in the workshop in various stages of disassembly being prepared for our next outing, five days at Croft racing over the weekend of 22-23rd July. As someone said, “a mini Spa!” but more about that next time…
27, Jul, 2017
Or, to put it another way, they did quite well at the American Speedfest.
In fact, Boss Racing came away from Brands Hatch on Sunday 11 June with two wins and a second from the three races contested.
And, on top of that the team enjoyed a public tribute to its services from the hero of the week-end’s trio of Bernie’s V8s races. Once again, Tim Davis had blitzed the opposition, this time at the well-attended annual stars and stripes bonanza held this year under a clear blue sky at the popular Kent venue.
And his success was achieved with a brand-new car. In place of the familiar grey TVR Tuscan was a new Boss Racing-built white and red car which proved fast and reliable all week-end.
He planted it firmly on the front row of the grid for the first race in a huge thirty eight car field and, from the rolling start, was well-placed to snatch the lead from pole man Bill Smallridge in his be-winged Sunbeam Tiger.
A spin by Smallridge made it easier for Tim and at the flag he was 10 seconds ahead of the agricultural-looking but highly effective Allard J2 of John and James Plant. In his post-race podium interview Tim said: “Thanks to Boss Racing. They always do it for me.”
On Sunday Tim started the second race from pole. He again took an early lead but was harried by the burgundy Tiger. It ran out the winner of the 15-minute race after a stumble at Druids which Tim later attributed to his tyres. But for this, as Autosport remarked, he might have achieved a hat-trick.
For the final 25-minute race the finishing order of the first ten in the second race was reversed and Tim started from ninth on the grid. Undaunted, he was up to second by the second lap and in the lead by the third. This was despite contact between the Tuscan’s rear and the Allard’s front at Clearways which lifted the TVR’s inside back wheel bodily off the ground.
But Tim continued at undiminished speed. And although Smallridge closed the gap the Sunbeam seemed to suffer a problem which slowed it drastically. Despite a safety car interlude, the TVR crossed the line over 17 seconds to the good.