29, Aug, 2017
Crash, Bang, Wallop!
I must admit we’ve had better days than Saturday 12 August. We were just two laps into qualifying for the Meteor Suspension Open Series race at the Classic and Sports Car Club’s Castle Coombe meeting when the engine of my Caterham C400 went bang.
As I came off the throttle for Tower, the internal components made a bid for freedom and then on the very next lap a Renault Clio dropped coolant on the track causing the session to be red-flagged. So that, short of a five-hour round trip back to Longfield for another car, which I really didn’t fancy, brought my week-end’s racing to a premature end. Even so, Colin Watson was credited with sixth fastest lap in the C400 we built for Spa, and Peter Hargroves, 30th. For what it was worth, my time was good enough for 14th on the grid.
The abbreviated session meant that the cars were jumbled up on the grid which may well have led to what happened soon after the lights at the start. Almost immediately, a Caterham C400 and a BMW M3 collided with an impact hard enough to slice the rear end from the Caterham and hospitalise the driver. The race was red-flagged and not re-started. Game over, Colin and I completing two laps in the whole day.
It could only get better. That said, qualifying for Sunday’s Gold Arts Magnificent Sevens race was fairly fraught. With just five minutes of the session remaining another competitor spun just as Tim Davis (C400) was passing him. Tim’s front end was knocked off in the ensuing crash. He’d still done enough to secure 4th on the grid. This became 3rd when the rapid Gary Bate was penalised for being too successful in previous races and sent down the grid. Jonathan Pittard lined up on pole in his Superlight R and Colin Watson 2nd. Peter Hargroves started 12th. Meanwhile, we had some repair work to do. Out came the welding gear and part of the vanload of spares we always take with us. In fact, we probably carry the equivalent of a complete Caterham in boxes! In addition to the welding work, Tim’s car needed a new steering column, two new wishbones and an upright. The car was looking a bit second-hand but at least Tim could take his place on the grid.
At the start Gary Bate had a miraculous start and shot up to second, while Jonny and Tim went backwards, dropping back to 4th and 6th respectively. As dust settled Colin led while Bate was coming under increasing pressure from Jonny and Tim which allowed Jonathan Mitchell to join in what was now a five car battle for the lead. However Colin held his nerve and led… until the pitstops.
The pit entry at Castle Combe is tortuous and Gary Bate attacked it in a fashion that Sebastian Loeb would have been proud of and this combined with other cars dawdling and holding up some of the Boss boys meant that Bate emerged form the pit stop period with a twelve second lead.
Tim drove his socks off to finish second to the inevitable Bate. But Colin was less fortunate. He was up to 2nd place and lapping another car for the second time that clearly didn’t see him and moved over. The resulting wallop took Colin out of the race. Peter Hargroves, though, was delighted with his 11th place, his best result yet.
The Boss Racing / Team Leos rivalry continues at the Brands Hatch Lotus Festival on 2nd September where Jonny’s brother Christian will be back with his CSR and the team will be looking for success on home turf.
As well as preparation and supporting our customers at race meetings, Boss Racing has also been busy setting up cars. Recently we’ve done a couple of Minis and a pair of Clios. We’ve also worked on Dean Halsey’s lovely Datsun 240Z and John Hilbery’s attractive Lenham GT. We also re-built the Lenham’s engine. Both these cars are running in the CSCC’s Swinging Sixties series and both are shared with Wil Arif, who has declared himself delighted with the results of our work.
We’ve also been setting up some other cars. As I write this, Paul Adams’ rapid Ford Focus is sharing our workshop with Rod Birley’s familiar black Escort Cosworth WRC.
Mention of Rod reminds me that at the BARC’s championship meeting on 29/30 July he very kindly paid tribute to Boss Racing’s efforts with the Peter Bevan-owned Honda Integra R. My dad, Dave Singleton, had rebuilt the Integra’s engine at the start of the season.
After coming second (and first in class) in the first of the two Cannons Motorspares Tin Top rounds, Rod said in his post-race podium interview that the car was “brilliant.” He added: “hats off to the team” and included Boss Racing in this team, which had helped him to the class win that represented his 613th victory. Thanks, Rod.
Boss Racing client Chris Whiteman then won the second Tin Top blast after a demon start from the second row. Three cars went up Hailwood Hill and into Druids side-by side. Chris emerged in the lead where he stayed, just ahead of Rod. It was a great drive.
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.
1, Jun, 2017
If we didn’t know it before the Bank Holiday weekend the penny certainly dropped during the Classic Sports Car Club’s Silverstone meeting.
Of course, the Boss Racing team was there to support customers and ensure they got the most from their racing and, judging from the amount of silverware they took home, we succeeded.
But we were also there to help them enjoy themselves. We’re in the fun business, folks.
In addition to our usual runners in the Gold Arts Magnificent Sevens race, Christian and Jonny Pittard, Tim Davis, Richard Carter, Hugh Coulter and Peter Hargroves, there was Alex Harbour with a Boss Racing-built engine in his Supersport 1600 and Peter French with a sequential gearbox supplied by us in his Superlight 1800.
The Friday test day proved particularly useful. Christian broke a gearbox mounting, while Jonny cracked a suspension mounting. Both had taken trips over the kerbs but it wasn’t until our check of Jonny’s Caterham Superlight R that we discovered the crack in his chassis. We were able to bronze weld this up ourselves with the aid of some gas bottles but the repair of Christian’s car required a specialist Mig welder.
The Pittard pair, in the order Christian and Jonny, locked out the front row of the grid for Saturday’s Meteor Suspension all-comers’ race. Christian, though, didn’t start due to a family commitment which caused him to head for home the previous evening. So it was left to Jonny to achieve a lights to flag victory. It wasn’t quite that easy, though.
Jonny and Connaire Finn (Ginetta G50 Cup) fought a protracted duel, although the Ginetta’s tyres eventually went off, allowing Jonny to open up a gap. At the flag he was more than 14.5 seconds ahead.
In qualifying, Christian rewarded us by putting his Caterham CSR on pole for the Mag Sevens 40-minute enduro. Jonny was third (and first in class), Richard sixth, Tim seventh and Hugh eighth. Peter Hargroves was 14th, Alex 26th and Peter French 29th.
But Christian’s pole position earned him nothing more than the satisfaction of being the fastest starter. Due to his victory in the previous event, at Thruxton, he was obliged to start from the pit lane and fight his way through the field.
Which is just what he did. And while his progress was spell-binding there was plenty of action to watch elsewhere: I lost count of the number of times Tim and Jonny swapped places.
After their pitstops the pair, plus Christian, re-joined together. A battle royal ensued but entertaining as this was it meant they were losing time to the leaders. As a result, Christian and Jonny were third and fourth at the flag. But as Dave, my father, observed: “They were having fun.”
They certainly were. Richard finished ahead of them with Tim sixth having incurred a 15-second penalty for exceeding track limits. He might otherwise have been fourth. Hugh was tenth and Alex improved to 19th but the two Peters, Hargroves and French, weren’t classified. Christian, Jonny, Hugh and Alex all recorded fastest laps in their class.
Another Boss-supported runner at Silverstone that weekend was Keith Vaughn Williams. He qualified his 4-litre TVR Chimaera 24th (and sixth in class) for the Modern Classics event. But his engine blew up on the 21st of 30 laps and he wasn’t classified.
We might not have had a physical presence at Brands Hatch on Bank Holiday Monday but we were certainly there in spirit. The Cannons Motorspares Tin Tops race was extended to 30 minutes with a mandatory pit stop. At the end, the Honda Integra R shared by Rod Birley and Jonathan Bevan, son of the car’s owner, was second after a close and exciting race. For the record, the pair’s class victory represented Rod’s 609th win.
Afterwards an elated Bevan, competing in his first race for some years, thanked all who’d helped make the Integra a competitive runner. The Bevans and Birley had endured a frustrating 2016 as they tried to track down an elusive misfire which took the edge off the car. Since then much work has been done including an engine re-build by my father, although he wasn’t there to hear Jonathan’s podium acknowledgment to “Dave at Boss Racing.”
It was a generous and well-earned tribute to his engine-building skills. Other recent re-builds from his bench at Longfield have included the supercharged Mini of Cannons competitor Alfie Brooker and a new 5.1 litre V8 for Keith Vaughn Williams as a substitute for the one ruined at Silverstone. My next job, meanwhile, is to replace the clutch on the racy-looking supercharged Aerial Atom that’s just come into the workshop.
And there’s plenty more going on at Boss Racing. We’ve recently been joined on a full-time basis by former Caterham Cars colleague Gary May. He devised the Freestyle suspension system with in-board dampers amongst other things. So, we and our customers will soon be benefitting from the application of Gary’s specialist knowledge and skill.
That’s it for now but there’ll be more news from the track next time. We’re back at Brands on 4 June, then again on the 11th. And on the 26th we’ll be at Spa, the legendary Belgian track.
7, Jul, 2016
It was billed as America’s 51st state for the week-end and even mixed weather with heavy rain showers couldn’t dampen spirits at the American SpeedFest at Brands Hatch on 11/12 June.Yet it probably did influence the outcome of some of the 15 races run over the Indy circuit. And that certainly includes the three Bernie’s V8 events which featured the TVRs of Boss Racing hotshoes Dean Cook and Tim Davis.
The weather was distinctly iffy on Saturday afternoon when the cars arrived in the assembly area for the first race. Dean Cook had qualified his slinky red Sagaris third with Tim Davis right behind him. But his red Tuscan retained the dry settings it had worn for the preceding Allcomers’ race and there was no time to do more than change the tyres to wets when the heavens opened. The two TVRs were on treaded road tyres which meant they were at a disadvantage compared to the winning Ford Mustang of Steven Wood. Even so, Tim finished fourth and Dean fifth.
The second race was also wet but Dean was on particularly fine form. He finished second just behind the winning Mustang and set fastest lap. Tim was fifth in a car which he’d just sold and was now driving with appropriate circumspection. Conditions were dry for the third and final race when Tim seemed to have put aside his earlier reservations. Either that or he was intent on showing the car’s new owner that he’d made a good choice. From fifth position on the grid he burst through to take the lead on the fourth lap, holding it until the sixth when Dean took over.
He led until lap 12 when the inevitable happened and the Mustang assumed a lead it wasn’t to lose. But it was close at the flag with Dean just over a second adrift. Tim was eight seconds further back. Dean again set fastest lap. Under the circumstances both drivers had done very well but I couldn’t help thinking that if Dean had been using slicks he’d have been two seconds quicker and lapping around the 49-second mark.
Tim and his Tuscan were having a particularly active week-end. Besides the three V8 thrashes they also lined up for the two Allcomers’ races. Also taking part was the ever-improving Rob Grant with his Caterham C400. He qualified seventh, with Tim eighth, and finished fourth with Tim sixth.
We gambled on the third race being run in dry conditions but by the time the cars were on their warm-up lap the rain had started. We called Tim in for more suitable rubber but changeable conditions meant further stops were required and by the time the flag fell Tim had managed only eight laps and wasn’t therefore classified as a finisher. I’ll have to admit it: weather forecasting probably isn’t my thing!Rob Grant, on the other hand, was able to put in a solid performance to net another fourth place in which Caterhams and Radicals shared the track with saloons and road-going sports cars.
Our next event is the Classic Sports Car Club’s meeting at the Spa circuit in Belgium. So we’re busy preparing the two TVRs and four Caterhams we’ll be taking to this wonderful classic circuit. Can’t wait! See you when we return.
26, Apr, 2016
It’s been a long winter for us at Boss Racing but spring is here, the daffs are out and so are we! And already we’ve had three successful outings this season, at Brands Hatch, Snetterton and Silverstone.
Since the end of the last season we’ve been flat out – as usual – at our Longfield base near Brands Hatch, preparing for 2016. Lots of customer race cars have been in to be prepared for the new season and we’ve added a new car, a Caterham SV with wider cockpit, to the track-day hire side of the business.
But before going on to talk about the way we started 2016 I’d like to thank those of you who voted for us to receive the MotorsportDays.com team trophy. You’ll forgive me, I hope, if I repeat a few of your kind words: “Well organised, friendly, high quality work” and “Excellent preparation, friendly towards other competitors, and support for many different cars and series.” The website itself noted: “Without doubt, this team leads by example.”
We also won the British Automobile Racing Club South East’s Twosome’s team trophy. It was a great honour to receive these prestigious awards on behalf of the team at the BARC awards evening in February. It was also very humbling because I’m only too well aware that it couldn’t have happened without the hard work of the whole team. Thanks guys, for making Boss Racing such a successful team in 2015.
So on to 2016. And it looks like being another great season. Our first meeting, over the Easter weekend, was at our local track, courtesy of BARC SE. We had cars running in several championships at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit, including the Intermarque and Quaife Motorsport News saloons.
First on track, though, were the Cannons Tin Tops. Up to that point it had been dry despite an overcast sky but shortly after the green flag dropped to start the opening qualifying session the rain came down. As ever, Rod Birley, now in the Peter Bevan Honda Integra which had been set-up by Boss Racing, was one of the first out.
The track was still dry when, on his fourth lap, Birley stopped the clocks at 1:00.834 to secure pole by over two seconds. Chris Whiteman could only manage 1:03.58 with his refreshed Honda Civic Type R to secure fourth spot.
The two Hondas weren’t the only cars on the grid to benefit from set-up work by Boss Racing. Ken Angell was 20th and third in class with his BMW 328i, while Kelly Dann emerged from her first-ever qualifying session 27th overall and 12th in class in her VW Golf 2000.
Both Rod and Chris made great starts in the first race, completing the opening lap at the head of the field. But on the third lap the positions were reversed. Chris held the lead to the flag, using his oval track racing experience to thread his way through the backmarkers and open a gap to Rod who finished second. Ken Angell was ninth and second in class, while Kelly Dann also advanced to finish her first race 24th and 10th in class.
Battle was joined again in Race 2. Chris and Rod charged over the line to end the first lap first and second again but this time Chris succumbed to pressure from the hard-charging Birley. He spun off on lap three, re-joining 10th just as the yellow flags were being waved following an incident. Five laps later, the green flags provided the signal for Chris to set about chasing Rod.
Birley kept his cool, though, and held the lead until the end. Despite setting the fastest lap of the race in 54.55 seconds, Chris could only manage third, 1.5 seconds behind Rod. But a nine-second penalty for a yellow flag infringement dropped him to fifth. Ken was eighth and second in class, but Kelly suffered engine problems and dropped out of her second race.
Paul Adams was driving his Mercedes SLK look-alike in the first of the two Scapco Intermarque races. Although the rain had stopped, the track was wet, leaving the team uncertain about which tyres to use. Paul opted to start the qualifying session on wets but on his third lap changed to slicks. The pressure was now on Paul to make his slick-shod laps count in the 15-minute session and he did well to secure 12th slot on the grid.
But his first race didn’t go to plan. On the fifth lap several cars, including Paul’s, spun at Paddock on coolant dropped by another competitor. This brought the safety car out but Paul had stalled his engine and wasn’t able to carry on.
As a result he had to start Race 2 from the back of the grid. But as the cars gathered in the collecting area the havens opened and there was no time to change to wets. Consequently, it was a slower race than usual with many other cars spinning off. Paul kept his head and came home in 14th place.
By Sunday afternoon when the Motorsport News saloons went out to qualify the weather was more stable. Rod Birley was able to take advantage of a dry track and put his familiar black and blue Ford Escort Cosworth second on the grid. And on Easter Monday the West Kingsdown man duly converted his front-row position into two more victories, proving that the Boss Racing-applied set-up was working well.
Snetterton’s 300 Circuit was the venue for our second meeting of the season on 10 April.
At this Classic and Sports Car Club event, Boss Racing was supporting Tim Davis in his TVR Tuscan and Hugh Coulter who was driving our number 93 Seven in the Magnificent Sevens series at Snetterton.
In his first outing in the car Hugh managed to qualify ninth and first in class E, while Graham Charman was outstanding to lead class D in fifth spot. In the race, run on a dry track late in the afternoon, Hugh pitted for his mandatory stop on lap nine from 10th place, with Graham coming in a lap later from sixth. By the end of the stops, Hugh was ninth, while Graham was now sixth. At the flag Hugh had moved up to eighth and head of the class, but fuel surge problems dropped Graham down to seventh and second in class.
Tim was out in his 4.5 litre Rover-powered TVR This car had proved troublesome last season with an intermittent misfire but over the winter it was treated to a new wiring loom, switches and fuel pumps. But after positive tests at Brands we were confident we’d got the mighty TVR running to its full potential.
But, guess what? After one lap of the Snetterton 300 circuit the misfire was back and as bad as ever. Yet Tim managed to put it into to sixth spot on the grid and second in class but the return of the elusive misfire left Tim depressed about his chances for the race.
Again the team went to work on the car and after an hour or so we found a filter dislodged inside the fuel swirl pot. Although Tim was still not confident as he took his place on the grid, a couple of laps we were getting an emphatic thumbs-up from the TVR’s cockpit as it growled past the pits. Tim moved up the field to be third by the time of his mandatory pit stop. But the gremlins struck again as the car left the pits. The red TVR slowed to a halt at the exit from the pits with no drive to the rear wheels: the gearbox was jammed. Massively frustrating but Tim was ecstatic that we seemed to have banished the misfire!
I had my first race of the year at the BARC SE meeting on 23rd April at the Silverstone International circuit. We set out with Peter Hargroves, Rob Grant and the number 93 hire car, and as none of the drivers had experience of the International circuit, we all opted to take advantage of the Friday test day. All three cars performed well and by the time qualifying started we all reckoned we knew which way the circuit went.
Which was just as well for, with the Sevenesque cars sharing the track with the Scrapco Intermarque machines, it was going to be busy. All three of us made it to the front of the queue in the hope of some clear laps. After 15 minutes I managed to be eighth fastest overall and second for the Sevenesque race, while Peter was 14th and 4th Sevenesque and Rob Grant was 19th and 7th Sevenesque.
The two races were to be run concurrently with a split grid enabling the Intermarques to start first and the Sevenesques 10 seconds later. Ian Conibear and myself shared the front row of the Sevenesque grid but Ian had the better start and led in to Turn 1. With a good run through the last two corners, I passed Ian on the second lap. But my lead was short lived. Ian’s Class 1 car had too much power on the long straight for my Class 3 car.
On lap seven, the Class 1 Seven of Gary Bate breezed past me on the straight but two laps later I got a run on him through Turns 1 and 2 just as Gary was trying to pass Ian. Gary re-joined the racing line at Turn 3 but that un-sighted me. I took to the grass and swung into a 360-degree spin. So with just two laps left I had to settle for third. Rob Grant made it to fourth and Peter was sixth.
It was a top seven reverse grid for Race 2, which put me fifth for the start. Peter was on the front row in second and Rob was fourth. I made a great start but Gary’s was even better. By Turn 2 he was leading with me second. We changed places several times until, on lap 10, I managed to put a back-marker between us and break his tow on the back straight. That left me clear to win. Peter was fifth but Rob was classified as a DNF due to a misunderstanding with a flag.
I learned later that I was voted driver of the day. Great stuff!
14, Mar, 2016
In the Caterham department we obviously have our own familiar white and red cars to prepare to get back out on tack, and this year Hugh Coulter will be driving one too! The Caterhams that we run for out customers are also being worked on, with Christian Pittard getting a nice new orange metallic one and his brother Johnny’s black one is also being prepped. Another one we have in the garage at the moment Peter Hargroves Caterham which races in the BARC sevenesque series and his car is recovering from a crash at Brands Hatch at the last meeting so it will be in great shape for the new season.
We have two tintops in the garage at the moment which is a welcomed change. One is of a long term customer and friend, Chris Whiteman. His Honda is in being prepared for the CSCC season ahead. The other one belongs to a new customer, Andy Banham who races his Subaru Impreza in the BARC Quaife Motorsport News Saloon Car Championship. He is a successful driver having been Class runner up in both 2014 and 2015, so here’s hoping 2016 is his year!
And that’s just the race cars in the garage! We also offer full garage services for road cars, and below is a Caterham that we have just fitted freestyle suspension to.
5, Mar, 2016
So this does seem quite late to be doing a round up for 2105 but it feels like this is the first chance we have had to catch our breath and reflect before the whirlwind of the new 2016 season starts! We want to start by saying a huge thank you to those that supported us and all our customer last year and we look forwards to working with you all again this year!
2015 was another successful year for Boss Racing, as we added more silverware to our collection and we have been very fortunate to be recognised by so many people as being good at what we do! Once again we were recognised for our Racing with the CSCC which is always great. Graham Charmer won his class, Colin Watson was second in his class, and Tim Davis won the overall TVR trophy. Also we have been racing in the Sevenesque Series with the BARC South East and Colin Watson and Rob Singleton won the Twosomes Trophy, Best Team Effort for their race with them at Brands Hatch which was very close between the tow of them but with Rob ultimately winning!
A new award that we received this year, and one that we are really proud of, is the Motorsport Days Team of the Year award 2016!
This one is really special for us as motorsport Days readers and fans have voted for it, and it recognises all our work off track, including the garage services and track day car hire.
This award takes into consideration teams of all sizes, and the winner has surpassed expectations on all aspects of race preparation, servicing, on-circuit, transportation, facilities and hospitality. The voters’ comments speak volumes: “Well organised, friendly, high quality work”; “They provide support not only at the track but from the build of your race car, race tuition through to on track support; and “Excellent preparation, friendly towards other competitors, and support for many different cars and series.” Without doubt, this team leads by example.
8, Nov, 2015
According to my dad I didn’t like carrots when I was a lad! But it wasn’t so much seeing in the dark that caused me trouble during the night race at Brands Hatch on Halloween night, in fact there was too much light and most of it was coming from my main competitor. As we threaded our way past the other 30 or so cars sharing the one-mile Indy circuit Pascal Green’s lights were dazzling me so much that it was hard to see the entry point for the corners. Druids was the most difficult. Even opting to take the mandatory pit stop early in the 40-minute race didn’t help.
When I saw that the Classic Sports Car Club was organising a night race at its Halloween meeting I was really excited. I was also a little apprehensive because it wasn’t something I’d ever done before. When I discussed it with Colin Watson and Tim Davis I found they agreed it was something we couldn’t miss. The other races on the programme set the scene for us. In the Gold Arts Magnificent Sevens 40-minute thrash I was first reserve but the organisers said I wouldn’t be able to start the night race if I didn’t compete during the afternoon. So I shared the drive with Colin in the Caterham R300/C400. We finished fifth overall and second in Class G. Graham Charman was eighth and first in Class D, Hugh Coulter came twelfth and third in class D.
It was Tim Davis’ chance to shine in the New Millennium and Dunlop Puma Cup 40-minuter. He, though, had to pay the price of success. CSCC rules say race winners have to carry a 60-sec pit-stop penalty: Tim had to pause for a minute. Overcoming such a penalty was a big ask but Tim very nearly pulled it off. He’d qualified on the inside of row three but soon bustled the silver TVR into the lead. The race’s second half was really tense as the big Tuscan rumbled around, chopping into the lead of Dan Wylie’s M3. But the race wasn’t long enough and Tim had to be content with a brave second place just 22 seconds in arrears.
In the interval before the night race we fitted the three cars – Colin’s R300, Tim’s Tuscan and my C400 – with LED lights and anti-dazzle covers for the rear-view mirrors. Tim qualified fourth, Colin eighth and I was 12th. In free practice, though, I found myself quickest with Tim and Colin just behind. I looked like being a good race. I got a good start Pascal Green in his C400 started from 5th on the grid. We’d worked our way to the front by the fourth lap and I reckoned I was the faster but when I got past I found Pascal’s lights dazzling me so much I was having trouble placing the car. I decided the best thing to do was to come in for my pit stop as soon as possible. But as I turned into the pit lane entry I clipped the front of a Lotus Elise I was lapping with my back tyre. I apologised to the driver after the race. When I stopped I got the guys to check the tyre but it was OK. What I hadn’t expected was that Pascal had also decided to make his stop at the same time. I left the pit lane with him right behind. And we went at it again. At one point we were three abreast with an Alfa GTV: Pascal on one side and me on the other. Fortunately, the Alfa driver kept it straight! Then I managed to put a lapped competitor between us and that gave me the break I needed.
By the end I was near 10 seconds ahead. My biggest problem, as it turned out, was that the race officials wanted to bring me in to check my lights. As Pascal’s were causing me so much trouble I thought I’d return the favour by distracting him when he was ahead. Operating the switch under the dashboard was a bit of a fumble so there was a bit more flashing than I’d intended. When the officials told my crew to bring me in the guys insisted I was flashing deliberately. Fortunately, the officials accepted that and allowed me to continue.
It was a great race, really exciting. I don’t think I’ve come down yet! Colin was third and Tim fifth so it was another great result for Team Boss. Pass the carrots!
Click here to ride on board with me!