Sports Racing and GT Challenge

If you're looking for a bit of variety on the track and some exciting racingthen you can't go far wrong with a trip to the Sports Racing and GT Challengethis year. It's almost worth going just to see the wonderful variety of carstaking part - many are absolute classics - but then they race too, adding to theexcitement!

Taking a brief look at the field we see both interesting characters andinteresting cars.

The man who won the series in 1998, 1999 and 2000 is Cobra specialist ChengLim who was born in Singapore and has spent his career in the component carindustry. He used to be a development engineer for LR Roadsters, makers of theRAM Cobras and D-Types sprinkled through the SR>C grid. Cheng now runsThunder Road Cars, specialising in a range of special projects includingfinishing Cobra projects for those without time to complete! Cheng's Cobra hasbeen timed at 13.8 seconds 0-100-0 by Autocar and currently runs a 6.6litresmall block Chevrolet engine.

Last season, after a few years break since winning the series in1996 and 1997 Gardner-Douglas returned with the highly experienced Nick Taylorat the wheel. GD encountered a few teething problems but Nick still managed towin every round in England. The series visited Pembrey in Wales twice in 2001and there Cheng prevailed, leaving Nick needing to win Class A at thepenultimate round at Oulton Park. A thrilling race and some 'light contact' leftCheng in the gravel and the title was won by Nick for Gardner-Douglas. Nick is along-standing driver in the Sports Racing and GT Challenge competing in carsranging from the D type Jag to Lola T70 Spyder. The Gardner Douglas Cobra runsan unpainted carbon fibre body shell and has to add almost 100kg of ballast toraise its weight to the class A 1075kg limit

Keep it in the Family

Father and son teams are not unusual in the SR>C with TeamTaylor carrying a  distinctive yellow livery. The team is led by fatherTrevor Taylor in his beautiful GT 40, whilst son Alex runs a 2 litre Alfa Romeoengined Lotus 23 - at most circuits the pair are very evenly matched and havesome great races - Alex commented, "Dad is always faster on thestraights but the Lotus handles very well and wherever it is tight he getsrather upset to see me right behind him or off in front. If I can qualify well,as happened at Brands this year, I generally beat him to it. 2001 wasn't ourbest year with mechanical gremlins and Dad's 160mph shunt at Snetterton but wewill see in 2002! "

Class B is dominated by Jaguars, mostly C, D and E types. HenryLawson started racing in 2000 and took the Class B title in 2001 after somememorable races. He explains "When the Jaguar Enthusiasts Club startedthe Powered by Jaguar series I thought it was too good to miss. I built the DType between 1990 and 1997, which sounds easy until you understand we lived inNew York for four of those years! My father bought an XJ6 in 1975 and when itfailed its MOT on rust I asked to keep the greasy bits. We shipped the Jaguarparts and kit to New York and built the car there. When we returned we got thecar on the road. The conversion to a racing car is extensive and in the firstyear I succeeded in blowing up two engines, but now my VSE engine returns 310bhpreliably and we have been able to get good results despite being heavy at1070kg."

Fighting his way through all the fine British machinery is MikeWalker. He's been racing Porsches for longer than he will admit and cancurrently be found in the SR>C series pitching his highly tuned 911against the mighty V8's. On shorter circuits and in the wet, Mike's experienceat controlling the Porsche pays dividends and he can finish very high in therunning.

In 2002 new driver Rob Downie will join in the festivities. A newcomer toracing, Rob has created a brand new RAM Cobra, built expressly for racing usinga Ford V8. Rob commented "After watching various formulae for manyyears, and having been a fan of Cobras since I was a boy, the cobras just put abig grin on my face which is half the speed and grunt and half the deep burblingnoise from those V8's. I decided now was it."

Knobbly

Having scooped the SR>C Class B win in 2001 in his RAM D-type, HenryLawson decided to launch a bid for Class A in 2002 but did not want to run aCobra, choosing instead to run a Knobbly Lister Chevrolet. As a trial, he ranthe car in 2001 and has substantially revised its specification over the winteradding 10% more power (which with these cars means an extra 60 horsepower!) aswell as revising the chassis and body aerodynamics. It promises to challenge thetypically Cobra dominated class A in SR>C

With a wealth of horsepower on the grid, cars new and old and all sorts ofshapes and sizes, you can be sure of an entertaining race as well as aparticularly jovial paddock at these events. Well worth a visit we reckon.

The Sports Racing and GT Challenge has been a steady part of the British club racing scene since 1988, with 600hp Cobras, GT40's, Porsches and nimble Lotus 23's battling it out in Class A, a field of beautiful C, D and E type Jaguars contesting Class B.

Llightweight Lotus 11's, Ginettas and Davrians often spring surprises in Class C - indeed in 2001, Ken Culverwell in a Lotus 11 walked off with the overall win in the Challenge!

The rather open Class D allows cars not fitting the other classes to get out and race as well - look out in 2002 for some rather exotic mid-engined machinery in Class D. T

Ongoing information about the series can be found at www.srgtc.org.uk

The schedule for 2002 is:

March - Silverstone
Apr 27 - Brands Hatch
May 19 - Cadwell Park
Jun 15 & 16 - Pembrey
Jul 27 - Silverstone
Aug 11 - Snetterton
Sept 1 - Cadwell Park
Sept 14 & 15 - Snetterton
Oct 5 - Oulton Park
Oct 20 - Donnington

Comments (47) Join the discussion on the forum

  • miniman 21 Nov 2014

    mjb1 said:
    This discussion reminds me of the song 'Cats in the cradle'...
    In a spectacular piece of coincidence, this has just played in the office.

  • mjb1 21 Nov 2014

    miniman said:
    STW2010 said:
    el stovey said:
    Henry Fiddleton said:
    I leave the house at 7am, and am usually home 7:15pm.

    I class this as normal, and its Mon-Fri.

    How on earth is that normal? Look at how much time you spend at work. You spend almost no time with your family at all.
    This is what I do too and I consider it to be normal- that does include the commute. I often work in the evenings and during the weekend (this I don't consider normal though)
    I've done this pretty much for years, particularly the evenings and weekends. I suppose it comes down to whether you prioritise providing the material things for your family, or giving them your time. My kids have huge amounts of Lego, but I never have much time to build it with them. I've always felt responsible for providing them with a home, warmth, food, possessions. I probably won't ever ask them in the future, what would you have preferred - stuff or time? I'm probably afraid of what the answer would be!
    My dad was like that too, usually getting home around 7pm or later. Just in time to bath us and put us to bed when we were younger. I remember the occasional Saturday when he needed to 'pop into work', and he'd leave us in the works car park with the security guys keeping an eye on us from the gate house! It felt like hours at a time as bored kids.

    He was lucky enough to have a good job that he enjoyed, although with hindsight I can see his main motivator was to provide the best he could for us. If anything, I'm the complete opposite - forfeiting a 'professional', well paid career for a lower, self employed one. But I work from home and spend much more time with the kids. My missus still complains that I put work before family, even though I plan everything around them.

    This discussion reminds me of the song 'Cats in the cradle'...

  • 5potTurbo 21 Nov 2014

    Work was extremely busy for me when I had a young family at home (2 under 2 y.o). I'd just been promoted at work, pre-credit crisis, and, fortunately, I managed to make some good money whilst times were good so we're better off now the children are in their teens.

    I also missed a recent week's trip back to the UK during their Autumn half-term as I had to go to the U.S for work, but my wife and daughters returned to the UK for that week and had a great time anyway.

    I now start work early (07:30) and try to be home by 19:30, which isn't as bad as 06:00-21:30 as it used to be!


    ETA: I work, my wife's at home full-time, so it's not as if my children go home to an empty house, as I did at their age.

    Edited by 5potTurbo on Friday 21st November 13:56

  • STW2010 21 Nov 2014

    miniman said:
    I've done this pretty much for years, particularly the evenings and weekends. I suppose it comes down to whether you prioritise providing the material things for your family, or giving them your time. My kids have huge amounts of Lego, but I never have much time to build it with them. I've always felt responsible for providing them with a home, warmth, food, possessions. I probably won't ever ask them in the future, what would you have preferred - stuff or time? I'm probably afraid of what the answer would be!
    My dad did similar (without the evening and weekend working) and I remember spending loads of time with him (until the parents split and he moved out). I spend a lot of time with my daughter and try to keep the out-of-hours working to when she's asleep or has other arrangements with my wife (i.e. dance class).

    I travel a lot too but normally only spend 2-3 days away at a time but always speak to my daughter every night via Skype. She is undoubtedly the most important but I also need to put in serious effort to get ahead in my sector (I have progressed rapidly so far, but the next couple of steps are harder).

    I get a lot of annual leave, which is hard to find time through work to actually take it. But when I do I try to take time off when my wife is at work so that I can spend the whole day just with my daughter- I know that she loves this!

  • SLCZ3 21 Nov 2014

    Nezquick said:
    As someone once said:

    "Work to live, don't live to work!"
    And if you want to live well, then do what the necessary!!

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