…is harder than you think.
I was hoping todo quite well on last weekends Dunlop TVR Challenge at Donington Park, but in the end I only managed 5th and a good couple of seconds off 4th placed Christian Douglas.
So what happened. Well I’m not completely sure. It was a mixture of being very weary of driving someone else’s very nice GpA car, 13 years of driving Rover V8s and finally getting spooked at Turn 3 by a very quick pair of Rover GpB cars that were being driven properly!
So, someone else’s car. The cars owner – Mark Crajka – has spent a lot of money on the car and its not all been plain sailing. Having got it sorted and not being able to drive it himself he very kindly offered me the drive. I really didn’t want to bent it or blow it up!
13 years in Rover V8s? Why is that relevant? Well I have had many rover engines in my cars, different capacities different inductions, but they’ve all run out of puff by around 6000 rpm. Some have revved to 8000rpm but they don’t go any faster…they just wear out quicker, so my style and ear (which I drive by) wants me to shift gear at 6500rpm which I did. Trouble is, as many of you will know, that’s when the AJP gets quick. So I was only using around 360 of the available 440 ponies!
Finally – my last racing excuse- getting spooked! After a not to bad start I only had Dave Stewarts Griff between me and the front pack. No problem I thought, this car will breeze past him on the back straight. I now refer you back to the last paragraph “13 years of Rovers” ie I wouldn’t breeze past him! Anyway, while I was thinking “right this is OK I’m out of danger, settle down” a very Racey Dave Chant and Neil Garner did me on the brakes into the old hairpin! This lovely GpA car was going to end up on the gravel by the tied turn! This kind of did me for the race. Safely shifting watching the dials I drove an exceptional GpB race in a GpA car for the reasons given above.
The thing about Tuscans is that you have to drive them hard. You have to be on the limit all the time. The edge of grip and the edge of engine detonation. If you aren’t prepared to screw the hell out of it at all times, top guys like Dean Cook and Tim Davis will punish you on every lap.
Still, I bought the home all OK and had my first GpA race at the home of Tuscans with the sun shining and my friends around me so what’s not to like.
Here’s to next year when we hope to have our Super A car out!
Living the dream!
How did I EVER beat these cars in my little Rover Tuscan? I’ve driven AJP Tuscans on track days…as a track day monkey … But this car now, in slightly more experienced Andy hands is a real monster!
Eager, punchy and aggressive ( in a fuck you kind of way) THIS Tuscan is some sort of Exocet missile. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s a pleasure to drive, but unlike my old (milder) Tuscan you really need to pay attention.
It’s not snappy, or nasty it’s just a bit more. Like going Large. A full fat Tuscan where mine was a skinny latte. A Vindaloo not a Korma. But with a slightly meaner feel. It’s got more power…but no more grip.
Lets say It’s not the friendly Staffy ambling by its owners side with a happy smile and its tongue hanging out of its mouth. Mean looking but not about to kill you. Its more the one bouncing around having loads of fun leaping at passers by, sniffing lamp posts and diving here and there, keeping its owner slightly wrong footed and just abit off balance but not pulling them over completely. I mean you want to pet it… It’s looks so much fun, jumping around playfully, but somewhere on the back of your mind you’re thinking “its going to rip my arm off and spit it at me with a Mutley style snigger”.
So, lets see which one we get tomorrow?
Friendly Staffy or Shark on a leash!
Thanks to owner Mark Crajka, and to big Col at TVRSSW. Off to bed now,
Big day tomorrow! 🙂
Now prepared by Col at TVRSSW she’s loaded and ready to roll.
Col’s sorted the few niggles that Mark ( Mark Crajka – the cars owner) was having and is now happy with the car.
It really is a cracking Tuscan and it’ll be great fun getting to grips with it at Donington Park this weekend in the Dunlop TVR Challenge
…and this is what I’ll be driving.
Here is the car on the DTC stand at RaceRetro ahead of the 2012 season.
The car runs a full race AJP 4.5 mated to an Elite sequential box so it should still be very competitive in GpA.
The current owner – Mark Czajka – cannot make the last race of the year at Donington Park and was kind enough to offer me the drive. Of course I jumped at the chance to get out in this fully restored GpA Tuscan; so the car has been taken to TVRSSW where it is being prepared for me by Big Col.
Looking forward to a fun weekend!
…but this time it’s in the biggest sports car race of the year. The Spa 6 hour Classic. Top top it off were doing it in a TVR!!!
Everyone who’s been there will tell you that Spa is the best, even the F1 drivers agree, so to drive a TVR there is a dream. To race a TVR there is the ultimate as a TVR nut and I was fortunate enough to race my own Tuscan Challenge car last year in the Race at Spa sports car race. This is me On the front row and leading the race until scuppered by the safety car!
So how can I top that? Well the 6 hour is Spa’s biggest sports car race of the year. You have to be in a boda fide pre 65 classic or know a nice man that has one. There’s only 5 TVRs that enter so I consider myself very lucky to be driving a 1964 Grantura MkIII.
Up against over 100 classic race cars, including GT40s Cobras and E Types (all originals) we can’t win outright, but we’ll be going for Class against MGs 911s and Marcos’s and the like so it’ll be fun.
I’ll blog it as I go so you can follow if you want !
Test 19th (Thurs)
Qually 20th 18:15-1945 cet
Race 21st 15:55-21:55 cet
Owner Owen O’Neill at La Source” 2011