- Jul 24th. 2014
- By CourtenaySport
Mark Watts’ Astra H VXRs Trackday and Road Duo, from Total Vauxhall magazine November 2013 issue.
Mark Watts’ Astra H VXRs Trackday and Road Duo, from Total Vauxhall magazine November 2013 issue.
We are pleased to confirm that we are now testing Evans Waterless Coolant. Evan’s Power Cool 180 High Performance Waterless Coolant for performance & track cars is designed for high performance engines fabricated from a mixture of cast iron, copper, steel and aluminium components. It has a number of advantages over conventional coolant, which are listed below.
Conversion to Waterless Coolant is fairly straightforward, with using Evans Prep Fluid is formulated to hygroscopically absorb water whilst flushing loose dirt and scale from the cooling system prior to filling with Evans Waterless Coolant. The job can be completed in just a few hours by either a professional workshop or competent enthusiast.
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|Power Cool 180°Download Product Brochures 2 Page Data Sheet|
We recently had the Courtenay Sport backked DCE Motorsport run Time Attack Astra VXR back for set-up check, after a spot of bad luck at the previous round at Donington Park. Some gravel ingress into the cambelt area caused severe damage to the engine, resulting in a last minute engine swap for the car, to ensure it was up and running for the final round at Brands Hatch on Sunday 29th September.
So with a borrowed ‘spare’ engine, Will and his pit crew worked tirelessly over the weekend and once the engine swap had been completed and all the ancillaries, turbo, manifolds and such like had been refitted the car came to us for a mapping session just to check and alter the parameters, due to the fact this engine was running slightly different compression than previously.
After a few hours set up, all is now well again and we’re looking forward to Brands Hatch. Good Luck to Will and the whole team.
Time Attack Promotional Video, filmed during the Oulton Park round and featuring the Courtenay Sport backed Astra VXR driven by Will Watson.
Some pictures from UK Time Attack at Snetterton, Sunday 9th June, 2013.
In somewhat ‘chilly’ but dry conditions, (the word Baltic was heard mentioned on more than one occasion) Will improved his times throughout the day, bettering them on every single occasion out on track.
In the end after posting the fastest time in the practice session at 1:47.733, Will bettered this time in the qualifying session with a time of 1.47.116 putting him second in the class and earning 40 championship points. In the Final Will went faster again posting a 1.45.357 to finish second in the Club Class adding a further 90 points to his total.
All in all the mechanics were untroubled during the day with little more to do than than routine checks to tyre pressures and brakes. The car, and driver both performed faultlessly. A massive congratulations to everyone concerned for a fantastic opener.
The Club Class Results can be seen below (Click to Enlarge):
Pictures: Time Attack Image Gallery
Full Class Results: Time Attack Website
Monday April 1st sees the start of the 2013 Time Attack Championship at Cadwell Park in Lincolnshire.
For 2013 Courtenay Sport Racing are backing and sponsoring the DCE Motorsport entry into the Time Attack Series. The car is an Astra H VXR which is driven by existing customer and owner Will Watson and has been entered into the Club Challenge Class FWD. The car features a number of our components, including our high flow inlet manifold and full exhaust system and the engine ecu has been bespoke remapped and a full set up carried out on our rolling road.
The great thing with this car is that the parts fitted and used on it are available for your everyday road and trackday car.
For those unfamiliar with this series Time Attack events take place across one day. Competitors drive hard against the clock to set the quickest lap time around each circuit. After the formalities of scrutineering and drivers’ briefings have taken place, the on-track element of a Time Attack event consists of four sessions:
Warm Up – 15 minutes
Practice – 20 minutes
Qualifying – 20 minutes
Final – 15 minutes.
If you would like to keep updated with our progress and the series you can get all the latest news and find information from a number of sources online:
|Our Dedicated Time Attack Webpage||The Courtenay Sport Blog||The DCE Motorsport Website|
Via Facebook and Twitter:
|Courtenay Sport on Facebook||DCE Motorsport on Facebook||Time Attack Website|
|Courtenay Sport on Twitter||DCE Motorsport on Twitter||Time Attack on Twitter|
We wish Will and the whole team the best of luck for the opening round on Monday.
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Rockingham :: :: September 1st and 2nd
Caudle, Wallbank and Churchill share the wins to keep the pressure on Championship leader Duckman.
There were three different winners at Rockingham. While Luke Caudle’s Seat took the opener to keep the pressure on championship leader Gary Duckman, former Champions Martin Wallbank and Adrian Churchill, in the Courtenay Sport backed Focus RS, both made winning returns to the championship.
Courtenay Sport Focus RS
The Production Touring Car Trophy championship held at Rockingham Motor Speedway over the weekend of September 1st and 2nd saw the race debut of the Courtenay Sport backed Focus RS, driven by 2010 and 2011 champion Adrian Churchill.
Built to a high standard by Mardi Gras Motorsport, the car features fully adjustable KW suspension, Alcon brakes and a bespoke race exhaust system from Milltek Sport, with final prep work and pre-season mapping carried out by Courtenay Sport.
After getting the car competitive during summer testing, but with no race data to draw upon, the Courtenay Sport backed car qualified in fourth place for its first race, in a highly competitive field. The race results for the weekend were a respectable fourth place in the first race, a non finish after contact from a competitor caused suspension damage and the car had to retire in the second race, and in the third and final race starting from the back of the grid (due to the non finish in race two) Adrian battled hard and came through the field to take the car to its maiden win.
Additional testing and development will be carried out over the coming months, with focus particularly on the chassis and set up.
A fantastic weekend all round and massive congratulations to the whole team, Adrian and to the team backers and sponsors.
With Joe Girling taking a mid season break from racing, the Courtenay Sport Astra VXR that we ran for Joe was in the hands of Jake Giddings for the Snetterton, Thruxton and Rockingham rounds.
On his debut at Snetterton, Clio Cup racer Giddings, placed with three third place podium finishes over the weekend. A fantastic start in this series.
Two weeks later, Thruxton saw Giddings take another third place and his maiden win in the championship in the final race of the weekend. Sadly the first race was a non finish due to a driveshaft failure.
Rockingham also saw a third and a fourth place over the weekend, and another non finish due to a coming together with another car.
Brands Hatch :: :: May 12th and 13th
Luke Caudle took his first win of the season in his Excelr8 Motorsport Seat Leon, but a clutch problem robbed him of his second success of the weekend. Joe Girling’s Courtenay Sport Astra picked up the pieces and made it a double win in the third and final race.
Girling’s Astra edged out the Excelr8 Seat’s of Duckman and Caudle to secure pole for Saturday’s race, with Caudle heading the second row, from Maurice Hayden’s Renault Megane. Hayden having lost part of the session due to a wiring problem.
Antony Williams’ Megane had Steve Johnson’s Astra sharing row three and Sarah Franklin’s Abarth was solo on row four initially, after Keith Issatt withdrew his Volvo C30. “It wasn’t worth racing it until we have sorted a few problems out,” he said.
Stewart Calder had qualified his Astra out of session, but joined the back of the grid too.
RACE ONE ::
Girling had the lead from the start as Duckman and Caudle started an early duel for second, leaving Hayden in fourth relatively solo by the end of the first lap.
Johnson soon started to consolidate fifth too, which left Williams chasing Calder for sixth, followed by unopposed class B runner Franklin.
“I could see that Luke was all over Gary, which did me a favour of course,” said Girling. But on lap eight Caudle finally broke the deadlock, “I had a bad start and was fourth, I got Maurice at Druids on the first lap and then did the same with Gary around the outside,” Caudle explained. A lap later an indentical move gave him the lead and left Girling trying to defend second. “That was three overtakes, all indentical,” he said proudly.
“I knew once Luke got past Gary I would be in trouble and I was,” admitted Girling. He managed to keep Duckman at bay for one lap before running wide at Graham Hill Bend.”I had been in the worst position, wanting to attack Joe but defend from Luke,” Duckman replied.
Caudle continued to increase his lead over the remaining distance and took his first win in the championship by over three seconds, with Duckman taking second by a similar margin from Girling.
Fourth place remained in Hayden’s hands from the opening lap, “I could see them in front and I could see them behind, but couldn’t close the gap,” he said. Johnson had been fairly lonely in fifth until the closing laps when Calder closed in. “I had stayed with Maurice for a while, but my lack of circuit knowledge and cooking the tyres allowed Stewart to catch me. He tried a few moves at Paddock, but I held the inside,” he said.
Calder’s challenge faltered on the final laps when his car was overheating severely, which lost him sixth to Williams on the last lap. “I had the original diff in still, but it felt good and we are getting as much as we can out of the car,” said the Excelr8 chief. Franklin also survived, albeit two laps down.
Result: 1 Luke Caudle (Seat Leon) 23 laps in 20m 34.437s (81.02mph); 2 Gary Duckman (Seat Leon) +3.371s; 3 Joe Girling (Vauxhall Astra VXR) +4.180s; 4 Maurice Hayden (Renault Megane); 5 Steve Johnson (Vauxhall Astra VXR); 6 Antony Williams (Renault Megane); 7 Stewart Calder (Vauxhall Astra VXR); 8 Sarah Franklin (Fiat Abarth); no other starters. Fastest Lap: Caudle 52.777s (82.39mph).
RACE TWO ::
With Caudle taking up pole, he had the early advantage into Paddock and was able to maximise his position when Duckman spun on the exit. “I have to admit when I saw Gary spin, I thought brilliant,” Caudle admitted. “I had to spin or hit Luke, so I came off the throttle as I would have understeered into him. Then I was forced to pit as I had buckled a wheel,” Duckman explained.
Hayden was second, from Girling, Johnson, Calder, Williams and Franklin, but as they crossed the line to finish lap two, Girling nosed ahead of Hayden as they both tried to stay in touch with Caudle.
For a while Hayden stayed close in third, but then a wrong gear at Graham Hill Bend allowed to Johnson to pass. “I was in fourth,” Hayden admitted. “I thought that had happened as it seemed far too easy,” added Johnson.
Back at the front Girling had started to mount a challenge for the lead, but Caudle responded by increasing his advantage. “I still couldn’t catch him, although I was good in the corners,” said Girling.
But on the 19th of what became a 23 lap race, Caudle suddenly peeled off at Graham Hill Bend, “the clutch had gone,” he said. A pipe had come off and caused the breakage of the clutch spring, but it put him out of the race and handed victory to Girling. “It was shame for Luke, I would have rather beaten him properly,” said Girling.
On the same lap as Caudle’s demise, Johnson lost out to an aggressive attack from Hayden into Paddock, which damaged the Astra’s rear wheel and took the mirror off. “He caught me again when my tyres started to go off, so it’s a battle scarred third now,” said Johnson. “Brilliant start, I was in the wrong gear when Steve got me so when I had the chance to get him back I had to go for it,” Hayden replied.
Williams came home a fairly solitary fourth, the brake pedal went after eight laps and I had to let them come back, but learned a lot,” he said. With Calder having retired early, Franklin was fifth, which secured her pole for the finale, and Duckman sixth. “We had worked six hours on the car, a new headgasket and it lasted four laps, before the red light was on and coolant was on the rear tyres,” Calder concluded.
Result: 1 Girling 23 laps in 20m 37.412s (80.82mph); 2 Hayden +19.330s; 3 Johnson; 4 Williams; 5 Franklin; 6 Duckman; no other finishers. Fastest Lap: Girling 52.944s (82.12mph).
RACE THREE ::
The reverse grid didn’t last long, but it gave Williams and Hayden their moments of glory. Williams led the way until Surtees on the second lap, when Hayden took charge, with Girling, Duckman and Caudle all following him through before the exit of Clark Curve.
Hayden held his lead as Girling had his hands full with Duckman and Caudle, but by the end of lap four it was a four car train for the lead. Caudle had nosed ahead of Duckman through Clearways, but Duckman responded immediately and went back in front on the inside of Paddock.
With Girling again given respite as the Seats fought among themselves, he was able to concentrate on his own lead challenge. It was side by side through Graham Hill Bend on lap eight, but Hayden held it on the exit, as Duckman and Caudle took McLaren side by side but still held station on the exit too. “I had been at 90 degrees through Paddock on the first lap and held them off as long as I could, just keeping it tight and making them find their own way by,” said Hayden.
Girling finally made it by as they past the pits to complete lap 10, with Duckman following at Paddock lap later, and Caudle third into Surtees. “I just drove it into the ground. It was win or break it, but I was cautious at Paddock, as I remembered my crash there last year,” said Girling.
Although Duckman closed in for the lead he finally made his move on the last lap, but went wide at Graham Hill Bend. “It was a good race but I could do nothing more. Joe was very defensive, but excellent,” said Duckman.
So Girling made it win number two for the weekend with 0.781secs in hand over Duckman, with Caudle a distant third. “I just hadn’t got the front end grip, we altered the rear but I think we did it too much and it was hard to get the power down,” Caudle explained.
Once he had been forced to give way, Hayden ran solo to fourth and Johnson held fifth from lap 12, after taking Williams through Surtees. Franklin once again completed the finishers. “I think Antony and I stuck with them as long as we could see them, but the tyres went again and I understeered through Clearways,” Johnson explained. “It had been good to lead and see nothing in front, maybe I should have stayed on it more,” Williams added.
Result: 1 Girling 23 laps in 20m38.210s (80.77mph); 2 Duckman +0.781s; 3 Caudle +0.350s; 4 Hayden; 5 Johnson; 6 Williams; 7 Franklin; no other starters. Fastest Lap: Duckman 52.879s (82.23mph).
Published by Peter Scherer for BARC Dunlop Production Touring Car Trophy, May 13, 2012.
Doington Park :: :: April 21st and 22nd
Having missed out on the top step of the podium in the opening rounds at Oulton Park, Gary Duckman made it a winning treble at Donington Park in his Excel r8 Motorsport run Seat Leon at the latest rounds of the Dunlop Production Touring car Trophy over the weekend.
Although Joe Girling qualified his Vauxhall Astra VXR on pole for the first race, he was later put to the back of the grid for a couple of technical infringements.
Duckman therefore claimed pole with team mate Luke Caudle alongside in his Seat. Stewart Calder’s Astra headed the second row, from Excelr8 boss Antony Williams’ Renault Megane, and Maurice Hayden’s Megane headed row three on his seasonal debut.
Keith Issatt was alongside debuting the new Volvo C30, while John Robins lined up for his delayed debut with the EJM Seat Leon. He had Dan Malone alongside for a one off return in one of EJM’s trackday cars, an underpowered BMW 330. Sarah Franklin’s Fiat Abarth and Steve Johnson’s Astra completed the line up, with reigning champion Adrian Churchill’s new Ford Focus still not ready for action.
RACE ONE ::
The track was greasy in parts for the first race, which some drivers soon found out. Both Caudle and Williams spun at McLeans, “it all went wrong, I just went in too hard and was lucky to get out of the gravel,” Caudle admitted.
Duckman, Calder, Hayden and Girling from the back row made an immediate break on the first lap. “It’s lucky I saw the spins. If I had started at the front I would probably have spun too,” Girling admitted.
Issatt led the second group from Robins and Johnson, with Caudle rejoining in eighth, ahead of Malone and Franklin. The Volvo tried to close on the lead bunch, but Caudle was reeling him in after taking Robins and Johnson on the second lap.
Girling had already seen off Hayden and wasted no time in reeling in Calder too. But Calder then spun off at the Old Hairpin, which took a front tyre off the rim.
It was all too easy for Duckman who cruised in over four seconds clear of Girling. “It was hard in the conditions, I had a huge slide at McLeans on the first lap too, but Luke’s spin gave me a gap and I maintained it,” he said. “It was a good start for me, but I could smell gear oil later in the race so I just settled for a finish,” Girling added.
Caudle managed to claw his way back to third, after taking Hayden into Goddards on lap eight. “I had a few problems, but pushed hard and we are getting there,” said Caudle.
Hayden was then forced to pit with a vibration problem, “I was having a good run and the wheelnuts came loose. I thought I was going to lose a wheel and we had gearbox problems too,” he explained.
Issatt therefore picked up fourth, with Johnson the last unlapped runner in fifth. “I was closing on Keith and the tyres seemed to go off,” said Johnson. Robins rounded off the top six, “I was cautious after seeing the others spinning. I wanted to finish,” he said. Hayden rejoined to take seventh, with Franklin and the multi spinning Malone completing the finishers.”I hadn’t done doughnuts before this,” said Malone.
Result: 1 Gary Duckman (Seat Leon) 15 laps in 20m 19.090s (87.66mph); 2 Joe Girling (Vauxhall Astra VXR) +4.180s; 3 Luke Caudle (Seat Leon); 4 Keith Issatt (Volvo C30); 5 Steve Johnson (Vauxhall Astra VXR); 6 John Robins (Seat Leon); 7 Maurice Hayden (Renault Megane); 8 Sarah Franklin (Fiat Abarth); 9 Dan Malone (BMW 330) No other finishers. Fastest lap: Duckman 1m18.024s (91.31mph).
RACE TWO ::
With Girling starting from the front row of the grid, it was side by side with Duckman into Redgate at the start of the second race. Girling just held on to lead onto the Craner Curves, with Caudle and Hayden making it an early four car break, as Robins and Issatt disputed fifth.
But Issatt slowed into Goddards which moved Calder up to sixth, before taking Robins a lap later and consolidating a solitary fifth. Johnson also began to close on Robins, but had Williams and Issatt edging closer too.
Although Girling tried to build a lead, Duckman started making inroads into his advantage, but it took until lap 10 for the lead to change as they headed into Redgate. But rather than rechallenge, Girling pulled into the pits, “the alternator belt came off and I was losing ABS and power steering,” he explained.
Duckman was out on his own to claim his second win of the weekend, “I was confident of catching Joe, but he was very brave early on and got away. Then he started to brake early and I reeled him in,” said Duckman.
Although Caudle was a clear second again, he had his own problems. “Terrible, massive turbo issues from the start,” he explained. Hayden too had more problems, despite coming in third. “The clutch went in the closing laps,” he confirmed. Calder held onto to fourth just, “we were low on fuel and I had to back off,” he said.
The highlight of the race however was over fifth, which finally went to Robins, from Johnson, Williams and Issatt after numerous exchanges. “It was so good being around the others and so close. I learned a lot about lines and just thought I would have a go,” said Robins.
Johnson found it hard to retaliate once Robins had got by on lap 11. “The clutch went at the start and I had to pump it. I thought I had escaped but they got me again,” he said.
Williams settled in seventh, “just wanted to make the finish,” he said. Despite his earlier promise having ebbed, Issatt was still delighted with his new charge taking eighth. “I was losing power inconsistently, but it’s got so much potential,” he said. Malone’s fun day out netted him ninth, from Franklin and the ailing Girling.
Result: 1 Duckman 16 laps in 20m59.268s (90.52mph); 2 Caudle +11.220s; 3 Hayden; 4 Stewart Calder (Vauxhall Astra VXR); 5 Robins; 6 Johnson; 7 Williams; 8 Issatt; 9 Malone; 10 Franklin; 11 Girling. Fastest lap: Duckman 1m16.764s (92.81mph).
RACE THREE ::
With the top six reversed for the final race of the weekend. Johnson and Calder found themselves on the front row of the grid, while Duckman shared the third with Caudle.
With a new clutch hastily fitted, Johnson had his moment of glory and held back the barrage until the McLeans on the second lap. Calder took the inside line and emerged with a marginal lead. “Steve made the Astra very wide, but at least I got to lead too,” said Calder.
The new leader was immediately under attack from the Excelr8 Seat’s of Caudle and Duckman, both surging past into Goddards. “It was like a team manoeuvre I couldn’t turn in,” said Calder after dropping to third.
It was nose to tail, at the front as they pulled well clear of the rest. But Caudle only managed to hold the reins until lap four when Duckman shot ahead into Goddards, but hit a kerb hard on the exit. “If I hadn’t backed off I think Gary would have come through the side door,” said Caudle.
Girling had also picked his way past Johnson, before taking third from Calder into Redgate and started to close on the duelling pair ahead. Although Caudle pressed extremely hard, he had to settle for second, 0.350s secs behind. “I had to work for that, but the car was ballistic down the Craner Curves, so I have to thank Excelr8 and Hatfield Seat. Joe pushed me hard but I had him in the tight bits too,” said Caudle.
“I had a long brake pedal and didn’t feel comfortable, thought I might have broken something too when I hit the kerb hard,” added Duckman after completing his hattrick.
Girling ran Caudle close too, “I was hanging onto fourth longer on the straights and had a stronger first half of the circuit. But they had me from Coppice,” he explained.
Hayden had closed on Calder quite early on, but the gap opened again before the ex Stock Hatch Champion snatched fourth with a lap to go. “I had gearbox issues but it was better than the earlier race,” Hayden explained. “Vibration slowed me down, it went brrrrrr and the steering started to go,” Calder added.
Robins and Williams finished nose to tail in sixth. “I made an appalling start at the front, then went a bit mad but struggled for grip and then the back end was twitching,” said Robins. “I need to learn more racecraft. But there is more to come with the car,” Williams added.
Johnson had a few problems after a hefty whack from Issatt at Goddards almost ground him to a halt. The Volvo secured eighth with Johnson, Malone and Franklin completed the finishers.
Result: 1 Duckman 16 laps in 21m06.114s (90.03mph); 2 Caudle +0.350s; 3 Girling; 4 Hayden; 5 Calder; 6 Robins; 7 Williams; 8 Issatt; 9 Johnson; 10 Malone. Fastest lap: Duckman 1m17.365s (92.09mph).
Published by Peter Scherer for BARC Dunlop Production Touring Car Trophy, April 23, 2012.
Oulton Park :: :: March 24th……
The Dunlop Production Touring Car Trophy blasted into life for the 2012 season on a gloriously sunny day at Oulton Park. The Courtenay Sport Racing team took victories in each race courtesy of Joe Girling and Martin Johnson, but it was a day of mixed fortunes for the squad, because reigning champion Adrian Churchill was not able to give a competitive debut to his new Ford Focus.
After a test day shunt for John Robins (EJM Preparation Seat Leon), nine cars remained to take on the qualifying session and two 20-minute races. A feature of the day did prove to be a certain level of unreliability, with many competitors having teething difficulties with cars that had been built over the winter and were still in the development phase.
Yorkshire driver Girling put his Courtenay Sport Vauxhall Astra on pole position by almost eight tenths of a second, despite only putting in a handful of laps during the session. “It was good in testing yesterday, and the circuit suits the car,” he said. “I was hoping to be somewhere up there, and pole position is a bonus.”
2011 race winner Gary Duckman (Excelr8 Motorsport Seat Leon) did enough to join him on the front row of the grid. Churchill (Courtenay Sport Racing Ford Focus) circulated throughout the session, ending up 1.2s off the pole position time. “We’re having a few teething troubles, it’s a bit down on power and we have a brake issue,” he explained. “We have done an afternoon at Silverstone and one session yesterday morning, but we had a driveshaft problem.”
Ex-MINI racer Luke Caudle’s debut session was brought to an end by a poly bush failure on his Excelr8 Motorsport Seat Leon, but nevertheless he qualified fourth fastest. Martin Johnson was fifth in the second Courtenay Sport Racing Astra.
Excelr8 boss Antony Williams was next up in the Renault Megane, despite an indiscretion. “I’ve slightly reshaped the car – I just ran out of talent and caught the barrier on the inside at Cascades, but the damage is barely cosmetic,” he explained.
Stewart Calder, in the Outpace Racing Vauxhall Astra, was seventh, ahead of Steve Johnson’s version, which consumed all of its oil. The sole Class B runner, Sarah Franklin, rounded out the field in her Fiat Abarth.
RACE ONE ::
There was drama even before the start of the opening race, which was to be played out in front of a large and enthusiastic Oulton Park crowd. There were two notable absentees from the grid, in Adrian Churchill and Martin Johnson.
“We just decided that the car wasn’t good enough to go out and risk any damage, so we thought we would do a bit of testing and have another go at Donington,” said Churchill. “As a driver I’m competitive, so I won’t go out to do something that I know cannot be done.”
Johnson, meanwhile, was ruled out with the recurrence of a leaking brake calliper that dogged his Astra in qualifying. “About half an hour before the race we noticed it was leaking again, so we had a rush to change the calliper and we couldn’t do it in time,” he rued. Nevertheless, he was able to join the race several laps late to confirm the car was running well.
Girling and Duckman had an even start, with Caudle elevated into third position by Churchill’s absence. The top three quickly pulled away from the rest, with Steve Johnson up to fourth from eighth on the grid by the end of the opening lap. Alas, the story did not have a happy ending. “It was exactly the same as in qualifying. For two laps we managed to hold it together but then the same symptoms came along, and the team put the board out,” said the frustrated Derby man, who was having his first race at the circuit since 1995.
Williams was thus promoted into fourth position as the race petered out slightly. For a few moments only five cars were on track, as Calder headed back to the pit lane. “I had a problem with the brakes and had a big moment at Cascades and went onto the grass. I came into the pits, then went back out and just drove around for points,” explained the ex-Euro Saloons man. Franklin, therefore, finished in fifth position.
Girling held on to take the victory, but it was not all plain sailing. “Five laps before the end the clutch gave up and I was stuck in fourth gear and the times dropped right down, but I had managed to get enough of a lead to overcome that,” he said.
“I couldn’t do anything about Joe,” countered Duckman. “It looked like he was having brake problems, I could see him braking early for Island Hairpin, but the gap stayed about the same.”
“We pushed so hard on the first couple of laps we overheated everything, so it is just about learning,” said fellow podium finisher Caudle.
Result: 1 Joe Girling 13 laps in 20m 45.025s (83.67mph); 2 Gary Duckman (Seat Leon) +6.302s; 3 Luke Caudle (Seat Leon); 4 Antony Williams (Renault Megane); 5 Sarah Franklin (Fiat Abarth); 6 Stewart Calder (Vauxhall Astra). Fastest Lap: Girling 1m 34.293s (84.98mph).
RACE TWO ::
There was another blow to the field when two of the first race starters couldn’t make the second contest. Steve Johnson was understandably ruled out, but so was race one winner Girling after his earlier gearbox issues. “The spare gearbox we have got was not the correct one,” he revealed. Fortunately Martin Johnson did make it out, albeit at the back of the grid.
Duckman and Caudle led away, with Johnson quickly finding his way through to third position before pouncing when the second of the Seat drivers made a mistake at Island hairpin. “I left it too late into Island, it was a question of either going into the boot of Gary or onto the grass, so I decided to go on the grass,” said Caudle.
Johnson then set about pursuing Duckman for a victory that would herald a remarkable turnaround in fortunes. After Duckman was briefly delayed by the slower Franklin, Johnson passed him on the run down from Hill Top two laps later. The Leon remained in touching distance of the Astra until the end of the race, but Johnson remained unbeaten.
“I could tell his brakes were going off, mine were as well. I made a lunge and it worked,” said Johnson. “There’s been every emotion in the garage today, a great race for Joe in the first race and for me in the second.”
Duckman was thankful for the reliability that gave him the early championship lead. “My car ran well last year so it has come out of the box as it was, whereas a lot of people have been developing cars and they are having teething issues,” he explained.
Caudle, Williams, Calder and Class B winner Franklin completed the field.
Result: 1 Martin Johnson (Vauxhall Astra) 13 laps in 20m 54.531s (83.04mph); 2 Duckman +0.274s; 3 Caudle; 4 Williams; 5 Calder; 6 Franklin. Fastest Lap: Johnson 1m34.993s (84.35mph).
Published by Peter Scherer for BARC Dunlop Production Touring Car Trophy, March 26 2012. Report by Ian Sowman
2012 Production Touring Car Results Round by Round……
A roller coaster of a ride for Courtenay Sport Racing at the opening round of the 2012 Production Touring Car Trophy at Oulton Park.
After Friday testing a gloriously sunny Saturday greeted racers and visitors to Oulton Park. An eventful qualifying session saw the teams cars in 1st, 3rd and 5th for the first race.
Joe Girling put his Courtenay Sport Racing Astra VXR on Pole, Adrian Churchill’s new Ford Focus RS placed 3rd and Martin Johnson put the sister Astra VXR in 5th place.
Mixed fortunes were to be had come Race One on Saturday afternoon. Joe took the grid in Pole, however sadly the Focus was unable to make its race debut and due to a leak from a brake caliper his Astra didn’t make the grid but went out 10 minutes into the race, at least proving all was well with the replacement. With a strong chassis underneath him making for a very fast car through the corners (aided by the fact Joe has been coached by BTCC driver Matt Neal) Joe took the race win (his first in the PTCT) and fastest lap as well, despite a clutch/gearbox issue keeping the car in 4th towards the latter stages of the race.
The second race of the afternoon was a non starter for Joe as the fix for his earlier race issue was not completed in time, leaving the sister Astra VXR to start from the back of the grid. The brakes were holding up well during the early stages and Martin immediately climbed to 3rd. Then after an error caused 2nd place man Caudle to run onto the grass he was chasing down Duckman’s Seat Leon. Both cars were starting to suffer from brake fatigue and a late brake dive up the inside put Martin in the lead on lap 8 which despite a hard pressing Duckman, he held onto and crossed the finish line bagging fastest lap as well.
So 2 wins for the team, one from each of the Astras and 2 fastest laps. An eventful race day and an great effort all round from the whole team.
Next Round :: Donington Park – Saturday and Sunday April 21st/22nd
After the relative quiet of the closed season, and by quiet we mean preparing two new race cars and carrying out a pre-season overhaul of the other two!, the 2012 Production Touring Car Trophy starts next weekend and Courtenay Sport Racing will be running four cars this season, so there will be plenty going on!
Our first outing is a one day meet at the fabulous Oulton Park circuit in Cheshire on Saturday 24th March, consisting of the first two rounds of the championship.
The Qualifying Session takes place at 10:50, with the two races taking place in the afternoon at 14:50 and 17:35 respectively.* A full timetable* of events can be found >>> here <<<
All support is welcome as always. We are looking forward to the new season and seeing as many people as possible.
The dates for the 2012 Production Touring Car Trophy have been announced as follows:
|24th March||Oulton Park||1 & 2|
|21st/22nd April||Donington Park||3, 4 & 5|
|12th/13th May||Brands Hatch||6, 7 & 8|
|14th/15th July||Snetterton||9, 10 & 11|
|28th/29th July||Thruxton||12, 13 & 14|
|1st/2nd September||Rockingham||15, 16 & 17|
|29th/30th September||Croft||18, 19 & 20|
The Championship returns to Oulton Park to start the year with a hectic one-day meeting at the picturesque Cheshire circuit where two rounds will be run. The second event is at Donington and runs alongside the Britcar Championships before moving on to Brands Hatch on the Indy circuit. The Snetterton event runs alongside CIK British Kart Grand-Prix and at Thruxton there are races scheduled for the British Truck Racing Championship. The season finishes with races at Rockingham and Croft, which always provide exciting racing and it is hoped that the title will go down to the last event as it did last year.
Courtenay Sport are exhibiting at the 2012 Autosport International Show, held at the NEC, Birmingham between Thursday 12th – Sunday 15th January 2012. (Public Admission Saturday and Sunday)
This is a must for any motorsport enthusiast. If you like cars and any kind of Motorsport then this is the perfect day out for you. From Karting up to Formula One and from supercars to iconic cars, AUTOSPORT INTERNATIONAL is the best place to start your season!
We have drives available in the 2012 Production Touring Car Trophy in our Astra VXR’s, so this will be an ideal opportunity for anyone interested in competing in the 2012 championship to come along and discuss your requirements with the back to back 2010 and 2011 champions.
We will be on stand 7540 in Hall 7. Whether you’re a competitor or enthusiast, why not come and visit us?
For more details or to book tickets visit www.autosportinternational.com
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