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Castle Coombe track day (TR Register)

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Track day today at Castle Coombe circuit.  

Organised by Kev Bryant of the TR Register who does a great job, as do the CC team. Efficient but light-touch and very good value.

Sideways was represented by Clive, Pete and myself.

For Pete this was a first, and no doubt he was a little anxious, not helped by a distinctly damp first session and a mild case of grass-cutting.  Didn’t deter him though and he soon got the hang of it.

I was frankly astonished how well his near-standard mk 3 goes and handles.  I could reel him in, but I had to bloody work at it!

He had issues with an oil leak, apparently from the pressure switch/ gauge taken off adapter. This was resistant to repair, probably because we are now pretty sure the oil was being driven out of the fuel pump tell-tale hole by crankcase pressure…..


Fair to say his tyres looked a bit less new by the close….. as did mine (now on 5th track day)


The Vitesse behaved apart from scary oil temps (125C being the high point caused by chasing Pete!) and some rather low hot-idle oil pressures - even with the Wynns I dumped in this morning. Also some panting and slobbering to tell me it needs more breather.  Plenty of oil mist escaping via the dipstick area 


Clives Zetec Spit seemed happy enough and too fast for me…

Couple of slightly sobering mishaps suffered by our fellows….. engine fire on track on very tidy TR3, now a bit less tidy but completely save-able. Check your fuel lines chaps, there is some rubbish out there….. Also a nasty surprise for the owner/driver of a nicely prepared racing Sprint when his gearbox blew up and caused a high speed spin, encounter with kerb (bent wheel), encounter with tyre stack (well bent drivers door) lots of smoke and a bit of a “brown moment” for me who he’d just overtaken…..

Believe there may also have been a TR6 mechanical incident that red flagged the last session and oiled the track giving Pete a bit more “harmless experience”.

A grand day out in good company :smile:

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42 minutes ago, Escadrille Ecosse said:

Need to go wind or solar electricity, apparently it's not only completely free but will also save the planet :blink:


that means you are sailing boats and that just makes you sick :sick:

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Think I copied the link from the wrong image, there are a few before the linked image if you scroll back. Poor TR, but could have been a lot worse.

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Posted (edited)

To echo Nick's comments, a thoroughly enjoyable and well-organised day by Kev for the TR Register. For the amount of track time over the day it seemed like very good value (unless your car caught fire, I suppose). A great test for the Spitfire which it passed with flying colours. Didn't show it much mercy and its only complaint was a bit of oil blowing out round the fuel pump and slightly smokey brake pads. 

My first track day and was glad to have sage advice from @Nick Jones and @zetecspit throughout. Typically enough it was dry for weeks beforehand but decided to rain that morning. Dried out by about 11am but I managed to spin off during our first session, in front of everyone of course. Ho hum, no harm done. Then survived the rest of the day without incident until the final session, when a tired-looking TR6 entered the fray and deposited coolant on the Quarry corner after the home straight. I haplessly followed him and suddenly found myself facing the wrong way, with a TR8 and Dolly Sprint bearing down. The TR8 took evasive action and also span but luckily we all avoided each other and soon set off again round to the pits under a red flag. The TR6 was licking its wounds behind some tyres somewhere further up and had to be rescued. 

I tried videoing a couple of sessions with my phone - results aren't too bad if you don't mind shaky low-resolution with wind noise, and the sound of a screw rolling around in the ashtray. It captures about 5% of the intensity felt in real life... Here's the bit featuring the Sideways crew:

(Whole video here: https://youtu.be/l0RLvxR249E)

And a few photos:




















Edited by PeteStupps
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Thanks Nick, shame you were so far in the distance all the time! Video came out better than my low expectations, it usually shakes about but the track is slightly smoother than the average country road. 

It was clipped upright in this cheapo holder from Halfords, but also wedged between dash and windscreen which is why it didn't shake much. Not ideal as it came out in portrait format which I cropped to display better on Youtube. Hence the wacky aspect ratio. 

Yeah that other Spit has a Dolly 1300 engine but with twin carbs and 4-2-1 exhaust like mine. So it demonstrated the difference between the two camshafts nicely. He did mostly have the additional weight of a passenger, although I still went past when his dad wasn't in the car. 

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