21, Nov, 2017
What a difference a day makes: on Friday we were messing about with bits of cardboard but on Saturday we were taking home the silver.
Let me explain. To enable our cars meet the noise requirements at Oulton Park we found ourselves, along with many of the most powerful cars, making airboxes from carboard and tape to deaden the engines’ induction roar. We’d never encountered such problems before and I can’t explain why we did on this occasion but we were fortunate on two counts: we’d arrived at the circuit a day early and we had plenty of cardboard available!
It was all worth it, though. Tim Davis took a win and a second, while Colin had a pole position and a third. We were at the Classic and Sports Car Club’s Sunset meeting on 7th October to support no less than six Caterham 7s: Colin Watson (C400 2400), Tim Davis (C400 2000), Richard Carter (R300 2400), Hugh Coulter (C400 2000), Peter Hargroves (Superlight R 2000) and Peter French (Superlight 1800).
There were more noise issues on the pre-race test day when we had to cut open Richard Carter’s silencer and re-pack it. But that was to be the least of his troubles – and ours too. Later in the session his clutch exploded and cracked the bell-housing, so we spent the evening removing his engine and gearbox to replace it.
Qualifying for the Gold Arts Mag Sevens race the next day ended with our driver coach, Darren Burke, two seconds faster than anybody else which was fine except that he wasn’t in one of our cars! The changeable weather made tyre choice something of a lottery but in the end Colin lined up fifth, Tim Sixth, Richard ninth, Hugh 10th, Peter H. 13th and Peter F. 20th.
There was little doubt about the weather for the race itself. It started wet and got wetter. Colin was having a good run in sixth place but as the rain intensified he aquaplaned off and hit that wall hard. Several other runners did the same and the race was red flagged after 17 laps. Tim finished second after a close race with the redoutable Gary Bate. The pair had a few grassy moments but Tim forced Bate to settle for third. Richard was seventh, Peter H 14th and Peter F 17th. Tim won his class, as did, Peter French, although he was the sole runner.
The changeable weather had made qualifying for the Meteor Suspension Open Series seem watching like an F1 session with successive drivers putting up the fastest time. As the chequered flag dropped arch rivals Gary Bate and Simon Smith were P1 and P2 and looking secure. However the Boss drivers were still on their final flying laps and timing their runs to perfection as first Tim, then Colin jumped to the top of the time sheets to lock out the front row. Colin was the last to go and ended up on pole, nearly a second ahead of the pack and the only driver to get below 1min 50 secs. Tim was second, Richard ninth and Hugh 19th but his gearbox let go and as we had no spare he was a non-starter.
The Boss team had little more than an hour between races to repair Colin’s damaged car. And there was quite a lot to do. He needed a new nose cone as well as the upper and lower wishbones but we got him to the grid in time.
From the start, though, Colin and Tim seemed to be going in different directions. When the lights went out Colin got bogged down with wheelspin, while Tim headed for the front. The race was shortened by poor visibility but not before Tim and Jonathan Mitchell had spent most of the race swapping the lead. Tim was no doubt pleased by the organisers’ decision to show the chequer after just ten laps but Colin, heading for third, could probably have done with a longer race. Richard Carter, handicapped by his tyre choice, was seventh. Hugh Coulter was a non-starter.
As the season winds down both our next two outings will be at our local track, Brands Hatch. Meanwhile the workshop continues to be full of cars, but we do have some cool new toys to play with!
We’ve recently had installed a Maha car lift installed which, while being a fantastic piece of kit also levels itself at whatever height it is set to. This means that ‘flat floors’ are easier and more accurate and it works in conjunction with our Hofmann computerised wheel aligner. We can measure a car six feet in the air while walking underneath to adjust it – luxury!
Finally, anyone who is involved in motorsport knows you always need a little bracket to hold something on or a widget to do this and that. So we decided to buy a 3d printer for those odd parts that are tricky to make. The reality is that it has been running round the clock recently as we push what it is capable of. Some of these parts – dive planes, mirror mounts, brake ducts – will become available over the winter as they are tested and signed off, watch this space!
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.
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.
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!
14, Jun, 2015
It may have started all grey and damp, but for Team Boss the last day of May ended with a nice drop of sunshine – and it wasn’t entirely to do with the brightening weather.
Two class wins and a memorable fastest lap wasn’t a bad day’s work and being at our home track, Brands Hatch, just added to the pleasure.
We were there with seven assorted Caterhams and a brace of TVRs to contest three events at the Classic Sports Car Club’s third meeting of 2015 and it’s first of two visits to the Indy circuit.
In the Gold Arts Magnificent Sevens Group 2 we had six cars running in three classes in a 40-minute race which also involved a mandatory pit stop. It rained during qualifying but our runners certainly didn’t disgrace themselves.
Christian Pittard had the best of it with sixth spot on the grid. Graham Charman started two places further back with Jonathan Pittard another two places behind him.
And it was Jonathan who did best in the race itself. He took seventh overall with his 1998cc Superlight R and first in class E for cars with up to 220bhp. Graham was 16th with his Superlight 400 and third in class D, while Colin Watson was 11th overall and third in class H with his R300. C400-mounted Mark Simmons also took a class third – in class E – on his way to 14th overall, while Hugh Coulter in his R300 was fourth in a class D.
By the time the group 1 cars came out to play the track was beginning to dry but it was still slippery as I was to discover. It was my first time in our number 90 Superlight and my first time out since I’d stuffed number 92 nose-first into the bank at Mallory Park a week earlier.
Nineteenth on the grid wasn’t much to shout about so I felt I should be able to improve on that in the race. The pit stop went OK – thanks, guys – but at one point during the race I made contact with another competitor while trying to pass. The result was a 360-degree spin plus a stalled engine. That cost me some time plus a wing.
Despite that I had a great time. I finished eighth and first in class A for the lowest power cars. At one point I thought I’d inadvertently held up the winning Roadsport shared by Wil Arif and Stephen Mansell. But after the race Wil – in his first ever Caterham race – was kind enough to say he hadn’t noticed. “We all have to drive our own races,” said the veteran Brands instructor.
In between the two Caterham races came the fast and furious New Millenium and Dunlop Puma Cup race. Another 40-minuter with mandatory pit stop, this event attracted a very mixed bag of quick cars including our two TVRs, the grey Tuscan of Tim Davis and the red Sagaris of Dean Cook.
Qualifying had been wet but Tim took fourth spot on the grid with Dean, a little unhappy with the conditions, down in 23rd. Indeed, the damp track didn’t suit the powerful V8s but Tim kept his well in contention until his pit-stop.
Thanks to his success at Silverstone earlier in the month Tim had a 30-second winner’s penalty added to his time in the pits. Once that had been counted down he rocketed back a lap down on the race-leading Porsche Boxter of James and Alan Broad. As the track surface dried, though, Tim’s race came alive.
You didn’t need a stop watch to tell he was the fastest out there. As the race wound down Tim had the big Tuscan well wound up as it rumbled round visibly quicker than anything else on the circuit. Tim not only got back on to the lead lap but hauled himself up to fifth by the flag – not bad for someone with a 30 secs handicap to overcome. Tim’s best lap was 57.463 sec: only he and the winning Porsche went round inside a minute.
Dean, meanwhile, was out soon after the pit stop window opened. The car trickled down the pit lane in a manner which, according to race commentator Mark Werrell, didn’t suggest “the body language of a car heading for a mandatory pit stop.” He wasn’t wrong: the wicked looking coupe with the bulge in the roof to accommodate its driver was suffering from fuel pressure problems.
But even that couldn’t dampen our spirits. And as we were packing up to go home the sun broke through the clouds. Next week-end we’re back at Brands for one of its landmark meetings of the year, the American Speedfest. See you there.
Tags: Boss Racing, Brands Hatch, caterham, Caterham C400, Caterham K Series, Christian Pittard, Classic Sports Car Club, colin watson, CSCC, Hugh Coulter, Jonny Pittard, Mag 7 Series, Mark Simmons, Racing, Robert Singleton, TVR, Winning
22, Apr, 2015
Phew! It was certainly an active week-end for Boss Racing and its customers.
It started the week before with five Caterhams and two TVRs to prepare for the Classic Sports Car Club’s season opener at the Snetterton 300 circuit. Meanwhile, our old mate and neighbour, Rod Birley, was bringing his famous Escort in for set-up checks before racing at our local track.
At Snett we had the new number 91 Boss Racing Caterham R300 to be driven by Colin Watson from Barnehurst, Kent. The 56 year-old paint sprayer normally shares the driving with me but the plan for this weekend was for Colin to do the 40-minute race single handed. As it was, our own car was the last to be prepped so problems with the dash display, flat shift and ECU meant it wasn’t ready until late on Thursday night.
Hugh Coulter from Esher was having his first race in his new R300, number 10, while Jersey-based Christian Pittard was in the number 45 car he’s campaigned for the past four seasons. Somerset’s Jonny Pittard, in number 81, has also been racing for four years. Our own number 93 car was again hired out to Mark Rider who was successful in a number of events last year.
Tim Davis from Orpington had his well-known silver number 22 TVR Tuscan. He was still on a high from his earlier win at Donnington Park, while Dean Cook was our second TVR runner with his red number 20 Segaris.
Just three before the start of the season, Dean brought the car into our workshop for a pre-season check when we discovered that one of the V8’s cylinder heads was cracked. But with some late night working – of course! – We managed to get the TVR running on Thursday afternoon. It meant that Dean missed the booking-in deadline and had to miss out on Snetterton.
The Friday test day saw Hugh, Christian and Colin out on the circuit with Fulvio Mussi on hand to provide driver tuition. Hugh’s car ran faultless all day and made steady lap time gains in each session. Christian’s car suffered a misfire at high RPM but once this was sorted his lap times were impressive. Colin’s car, though, was plagued with an electrical problem which side-lined it for the rest of the week-end.
Saturday was race day for Tim, Jonny and Mark. Tim was competing in the new Millennium series but in qualifying on a very wet track the best he could manage was seventh out of 13 runners. Pole position went to the rapid Randall/Randaccio Lotus Europa, of which more later.
The track had dried up by start-time. It looked like normal service was resumed as Tim stormed into the lead on the first lap. He stayed there until his pit stop on the seventh of this 19-lap 41-minute race which Tim had elected to drive solo.
Meanwhile, the Europa, which had stopped two laps earlier to change drivers, had established itself at the head of the field. Randaccio was lapping 10 seconds faster than Randall and five seconds better than Tim. By the time the field had sorted itself out after the stops Randaccio and Tim were first and second. Tim drove as hard as he usually does but was still 51 seconds behind Randaccio at the flag. But he won class A.
Jonny and Colin were competing in the Sports V Saloons 15-lapper. There was a mixed grid of 24 cars ranging from Caterhams to Jaguars and including the very fast pole-sitting Randall/Randaccio Europa.
Qualifying was wet and Jonny Pittard was a little rusty and struggling to get some grip from the CR500 tyres. Consequently, he could manage only 19th and last of the 11 Caterham runners. Colin, now in the 93 car, had a much better run to qualify seventh overall and fifth Caterham.
After a good start Colin moved up to fourth, which he held until lap four. He made his pit stop on lap seven of the 15-lap event and emerged tenth. By the time everything had settled down Colin was running sixth, but on lap 11 Colin come into the pits for a second time after a mix-up with a black flag which wasn’t for him. At the finish he was seventh and second in class. Jonny, meanwhile, had also made a good start. He pitted on lap nine and moved up to 14th and third in class.
Hugh Coulter, Christian Pittard, Jonny Pittard and Mark Rider were out for Sunday qualifying on a dry circuit. Christian’s was the fastest of the Boss cars and posted a lap in 2:02sec, just 0.238sec off the pole time of Danny Winstanley. Still, it was a time that put him third on the grid and third in class H. Mark posted 2:05.368 for ninth and second in class E.
Jonny did 2:07.609 to place 12th and third in class E, while Hugh recorded 2:08.626 to be 14th and second in class D. Other Caterham runners using Boss engines were Graham Charman (11th and first in class D), Richard Carter (13th and third in class G) and Paul Browes (16th and fifth in class E).
After a rolling start there was plenty of action at the first corner so much so that the safety car had to sort things out. Fincham and Oreilly failed to complete the lap. Christian’s right front wheel had made contact with something solid, knocking the tracking out and pushing him down to fifth. Mark slowed down for the safety car boards and waved yellow flags coming round Hamilton (the bend, not the driver) but in the excitement six drivers failed to see the yellows and overtook Mark, pushing him down to 15th.
Although he’d made a good start, moving up to ninth, Jonny was one of the errant drivers, as was Hugh who’d made it up to 12th. After the safety car pulled in at the start of the third lap Christian discovered driving a Caterham with the front wheels pointing in different directions isn’t that easy yet moved up to ninth by lap five.
Hugh, meanwhile, had overtaken Graham Charman at the restart to lead class D. The pit stops started on lap five and had been completed by lap nine with Christian in sixth, Mark seventh, Hugh 10th, Graham 12th and Richard Carter 14th. Christian
move up to fifth on lap16 and stayed there to the flag. Mark had an epic battle with Green for the last seven laps, the pair trading places every lap for class E honours and seventh overall. But Mark lost out on the last lap and had to settle for 8the, while Jonny was ninth – and third in class – just 5-sec behind the Green-Rider duel.
Hugh was holding the class lead until lap 11 when his car slowed and Graham passed him. In the pit lane it was discovered that Hugh’s alternator mounting had failed and, with loss of drive to the coolant pump the resulting overheating had prompted the ECU to go into safe mode and cut power. This left Graham Charman to take the class win.
Meanwhile there was plenty of action at Brands Hatch. In preparation for his outings in the two rounds of the Motorsport News Saloon Car Championship, Rod Birley had brought his all-concerning number 44 Ford Escort WRC into the workshop for four-wheel alignment and set-up.
It obviously paid off. In qualifying Rod took pole despite the wet conditions. Glen Rossiter’s number 7 Clio Cup car also made good use of set-up work in our shop to grab fifth and first in class D. Daniel Palmer, racing his number 8 Mitsubishi Evo for the first time, missed qualifying but Bernie Baxter put his number 39 Audi S3 on 15th slot and fourth in class C.
In the first race Rod had a turbo pipe problem, forcing him to settle for the runner-up spot with Ian Butler taking the win in his rapid Ford Focus. Glen crashed heavily on the opening lap and took no further part in the proceedings, while Bernie Baxter moved up to 12th overall and third in class. Although he started from the back of the grid in his first-ever race, Daniel Palmer took eighth overall and third in class.
The second race saw things back to normal with Rod pulling away from Butler to win. Despite a first lap spin, Daniel fought back to take sixth overall and class second, while Bernie’s Audi managed 13th and fifth in class.
So it was quite a weekend and I’d like to thank everyone who make it such a success. To them I say: there’s too many of you to list but you know who you are. Thanks for all the hard work, boys.
Boss racing results summary for the weekend
New Millennium Series: Tim Davis, 2nd overall and 1st class A
Sports V Saloons: Colin Watson, 7th overall and 2nd class H; Jonny Pittard, 14th overall and 3rd class H
Magnificent Sevens Group 2: Christian Pittard, 5th and 4th class H; Mark Rider, 8th and 2nd class E; Jonny Pittard, 9th and 3rd class E, Graham Charman, 11th and 1st class D, Richard Carter, 14th and 4th class G
Motorsport News Saloon Car Championship Race 1: Rod Birley 2nd overall; Daniel Palmer, 8th overall and 3rd in class; Bernie Baxter, 12th overall and 3rd in class
Race 2 Rod Birley, 1st overall; Daniel Palmer 6th overall and 2nd in class; Bernie Baxter, 13th overall and 5th in class.
Tags: caterham, Caterham C400, Christian Pittard, Classic Sports Car Club, colin watson, CSCC, Dean Cook, Fulvio Mussi, Hugh Coulter, Jonny Pittard, Mag 7 Series, Magnificent Sevens, Mark Rider, new millennium, Rod Birley, Snetterton, snetterton 300, Tim Davis, TVR
16, Apr, 2015
The arrival of the Easter week-end means the racing season has slipped into high gear. It also signals the start of a hectic time for us at Boss Racing. This week-end we were in Norfolk and Hampshire for two very different forms of motor racing.
On Saturday we were supporting Caterham Seven racer Peter Hargroves. Hampshire-based Peter owns a string of cycle shops as well running a very successful cyclo-cross team, all of which keeps him very busy. But when he wants a taste of something a little quicker he runs a 2-litre Duratec-powered Caterham.
He’s also having a BMW built so he can compete in a tin top championship. We’re looking forward to maintaining it for him. Peter runs the Caterham himself and we look after maintenance.
For the start of the season we changed the diff ratio in its final drive together with LSD loadings. We also overhauled the steering rack and, using our four-wheel alignment equipment, set it all up to optimise the diff and steering work. Finally, we fitted some aero parts, a race half-door and tonneau. Both were painted to a high standard in gloss black.
At Snetterton Peter had entered his Caterham for a couple of all-comers’ events. The first featured an 18-car grid. Talk about a mixed bag: seven Caterhams, a two BMWs and a couple of Crossle sports cars plus single examples of Jade, Nemesis, Westfield, Atom, Lotus Elise, Toyota MR2 and MGF VVS.
Not unexpectedly Martin James put his Atom on pole. Peter wasn’t able to get a really good qualifying run and started 12th and fourth fastest Caterham. As it happened, there were two starts for the first race as Merrick Linnett (also in a Boss-prepared Caterham) hit the pit straight wall. Malcolm Shaw was also having problems with his BMW and both failed to make the second start.
Tom Eden in his new Caterham CSR took the chequered flag with James second in the Atom and John Gray third in the Jade. After 15 minutes of racing on a drying track Peter came home sixth and third in the “Caterham Class.” After a good start he was eighth on the first lap, having made up several places. On lap seven he passed Mark Drain’s Caterham and a lap later, Stephen Pearson’s BMW.
By the time the second race started the track was drying. Peter made up two places from the start to finish fourth just behind Richard Green’s Caterham. James was the winner with Gray runner-up.
On Sunday another of our runners, Slade Green-based stockbroker and 2 litre hot rod driver Mark Crome, was busy at Aldershot. This is one of the hot rod classes I used to race in and I still have a passion for it.
I love the cars, which have a space-frame chassis. Bodywork is a mix of steel panels from a two-door hatchback – Corsas, Novas, Fiestas and Saxos are typical – with doors, boot lids, bonnets and bumpers of Kevlar. The cars have rear-wheel drive with power from a 2-litre Ford Pinto engine mated to a three-speed gearbox.
Circuits are usually quarter-mile Tarmac ovals and although most feature Armco crash barriers, wood and wire fencing is not uncommon. Race format comprises two 15-lap heats with results decided by a 30-lap final. Grids of up to 38 cars are not unknown but the norm is 20 to 25.
At the wheel of his Saxo look-alike with Boss Racing-prepared engine Mark had quite a good day. He was third in his first heat and won the second but he failed to finish the final.
I still can’t get over our amazing four-wheel alignment equipment. We used it on both Peter’s and Mark’s cars. Operating on such different cars certainly keeps us on our toes and our intention now is to try some different set-up disciplines.
Meanwhile, we’ll be racing again next week-end so there’ll be a lot more to report. It’s all happening now!
5, Apr, 2015
The start of the racing season is a busy time for any garage, but here at Boss Racing it is manic! We have a range of road cars and race cars at the moment, and they’re not just Caterhams, we have TVRs as well! This is also a chance for us to showcase all of the garage services we offer.
Caterham wise we have three of our own cars to get ready this season, the familiar nose cones of Numbers 92 and 93 will be out on track, but also the debut of the newest addition to the team, Number 91, who should be making an appearance at Snetterton. This is alongside the three Caterhams that we run for our racing customers, Christian and Jonny Pittard, and Hugh Coulter. Christians car from last season, and the one he will be starting the 2015 season in is to the left in the picture, the grey number 45, his new CSR is on the first floor, painted but not completely built yet. Jonnys car is almost hidden from view behind his brothers, and Hughs is the white with blue stripe Caterham behind the front yellow one.
As ou may know we don’t just run Caterhams, we also have TVR customers. You can see one of Tim Davis’ TVRs to the right of the picture, his grey Tuscan which he drove to victory at Donington Park last weekend. At the back to the left, under the cover is Deans bright red Sagaris.
And that’s just the race cars in the garage! We also offer full garage services for road Caterhams, and the purple one under the ramp is just one of those we have at the moment.
And there’s plenty more cars that you can’t see in the picture, at least another 5! After counting we are sure we have 15 full cars, at least 3 in a state of repair and goodness knows how many spare parts dotted around the shop!