August 23rd Weekend was the biggest weekend the Team has ever faced, with 11 Area Motorsport ran cars spread across two Race Circuits.
Club Enduro 100 Minute Race saw the following Customer Cars:
Class A – Rob Baker/Carl Swift – Leon TCR
Class A – Simon Wallis/Matt Wallis – Leon TCR
Class B –Freeman/Munday – Civic EP3 K24
Class B – Luke Handley – Golf MK7 GTI
Class B – Will Beech – Golf MK6 GTI
Class C – Andy Baylie – Civic EP3 Trophy Spec
Roadsports 45 Minute Race Saw the following Customer Cars:
Class A – David Vincent – Civic EP3 2.2
Class B – Freeman/Munday – Civic EP3 K24
Class B – Paul Bancroft – Civic EP3 Cup Spec
Class C – Andy Baylie – Civic EP3 Trophy Spec
Class B – Paul Bancroft – Civic EP3 Cup Spec
Alistair Camp – Civic EP3
Bruce Winfield – Civic EP3
Ryan Bensley – Civic EP3
George Alp Williams – Civic EP3
Who was racing where?
For the 750 MC Weekend where we had cars racing in Club Enduro, Roadsports and Hot Hatch and at Thruxton we had 4 Civic Cup Cars out for Round 2 of the Championship.
Testing began Friday Morning at both circuits with many drivers finding their feet at Civic Cup with Thruxton being a new circuit to the championship that not many had tested at.
While at Silverstone most the drivers testing had been around there before, but with most in cars new to them this year there were a number of changes performed to get the best out of the cars. Club Enduro Is slightly different in the usual setting up of a car to be the fastest it can be. This is mainly due to the cars needing to be kind to tyres rather than running maximum camber for performance, optimising the cars performance over the complete race distance is crucial to endurance success. We can use both a pyrometer and the data from the car to determine changes that need to be made for longevity whilst sacrificing as little performance as possible. After a successful day of testing at both circuits reprep of the cars commenced before the Team at Thruxton headed up to Silverstone to help with the cars out on circuit Saturday racing in Roadsports and Hot Hatch.
Saturday – Silverstone
Qualifying began at 10am for the Roadsports race and after 25 Minutes of trying to find space on the 48 Car Grid David Vincent lined up P6 Overall after a quick 3 minute drive shaft change by the team mid session after a serious vibration from a CV Joint issue, Chris Freeman and John Munday lined up P1 in Class B and P10 Overall, Paul Bancroft P4 in Class B and P15 Overall and Andy Baylie P2 in Class C and 23rd Overall. Solid Results all round considering there are 12-15 cars per class, not 10 classes and 3 or 4 cars like you see in many other championships.
The race quickly came around, all cars got away well with everyone moving up positions in the early laps, Chris Freeman maintained P1 in Class B along with opening up a gap to P2 in the early stages whilst Paul Bancroft maintained position in P4 for the time being. David Vincent surrounded by GT4 and TCR machinery in his Civic would stick with the lead pack for the first 15 – 20 minutes with the top 5 on the grid separated by no more than 5 seconds throughout the opening stages of the race. Andy Baylie in his Class C Civic entered into a early battle for P1 in Class C also.
with nearly half race distance completed the Safety Car was called out and pitlane mayhem ensued with everyone wanting to pit under the safety car which would ultimately be a free pit stop. David Vincent, Paul Bancroft and Andy Baylie were all called in by the team under the safety car and got back out behind the train perfectly all gaining positions from doing so in the process. Unfortunately around the 25 minute mark the Freeman/Munday Class B Civic started to suffer with a TPS issue that eventually gave up around 5 minutes from the end, not all was lost however as they set and New Lap Class B Record by nearly 6 tenths of a second in the time when they were out on circuit. With the race resuming David Vincent entered into a Race long battle with Bradley Philpott in his Lotus Exige, the pair would come home P1 and P2 overall with David just 9 Tenths behind the Lotus over the line. Paul Bancroft finished the Race in P5 in Class in his car that is still Civic Cup Spec so quite underpowered for the 240Bhp per Tonne Class Regulations. Andy Baylie would come home P1 in his Trophy Spec EP3 Civic in Class C. Paul Bancroft also took a P5 and P4 in the highly competitive Hot Hatch series which he also entered on the Saturday.
A positive start to the race weekend with a P1 from Andy Baylie and P2 from David Vincent for the Team with Solid Results from Paul Bancroft in both Roadsports and Hot Hatch in the Top 5 in all races he entered.
With the cars repreped into Saturday evening it was time for everyone to begin focussing on what lied ahead for Sunday. Club Enduro 100 Min Race 48 Car Grid at Silverstone and Civic Cup Round 2 Thruxton.
Club Enduro Sunday Silverstone
Sunday Morning saw Qualifying at 10am on the Silverstone International Circuit with our Team of 6 Cars, 2 in Class A, 3 in Class B and 1 in Class C. In Dry Conditions the cars took to the circuit for the first Club Enduro Qualifying of 2020 with lots of new cars in all classes it was quite unknown as to the competition we’d face. With the chequered flag waved at the end of the session we we’re extremely pleased to see our cars take Pole in Class A,B and C which is certainly a massive achievement considering the 48 car grid and only 3 classes within this Championship.
P1 Rob Baker TCR 1:12,8
P10 Matt Wallis TCR 1:15,1
P1 Chris Freeman K24 Civic 1:15,7
P2 Will Beech Golf Cup MK6 1:16,1
P5 Luke Handley Golf GTI MK7 1:16,9
P1 Andy Baylie Civic EP3 Trophy Spec 1:18,7
An extremely positive qualifying all round ready for the race to begin at 3pm, We constantly overlay Data to see car improvements and setup change improvements after most sessions.
Club Enduro Race
The cars headed out behind the Safety car for the rolling start with the weather some what overcast but dry, it would be Carl Swift to take the Area TCR from Pole at the Start. With the lights out everyone made a good get away and all Class B and C cars in the team maintaining or improving their positions as did the Wallis Brothers in their Leon TCR. The Area TCR Would momentarily drop back to 4th position before regaining the lead overall on lap 2 just before the Safety Car was called out due to a car hitting the pitwall.
With the safety Car out, it was the perfect time to pit cars that aren’t fuel limited. Basically meaning cars that won’t require fuel in this 100 minute race could stop and effectively get a near free pit stop by only losing one lap instead of 3 laps under normal race conditions. The team called Andy Baylie’s Class C Civic in to take his 1 mandatory stop. After some calculations and although it was somewhat risky, the team also called in Luke Handley’s Class B Golf MK7 in to take his Mandatory stop. Both cars re-joined the race behind the Safety Car whilst right at the back of the train, but importantly only one lap off the lead lap. All other cars that were Fuel Limited maintained position in the train with Area TCR P1, Freeman K24 Civic P1 in Class B with Will Beech P2 also in Class B.
The next 50-60 minutes of the race would pass by with many battles out on circuit particularly in Class B with 3 Cars battling for P1 and the Area TCR being pushed hard by the Hinde/Fitzgerald M3 and the EDF Motorsport TCR driven by Martin Byford all separated by 3-4 Seconds throughout. There was also cause for concern for Class A Victory from two Geoff Steel M3’s that had also both took their stop under Safety Car early on and we’re lapping well. Andy Baylie was maintaining great pace in his Class C Civic and was set to take the lead of Class C after all others had took their mandatory stop. It was at this moment of the race 60 minutes in Will Beech sadly had an issue with his DSG Gearbox suspected to be the Mechatronics as it kept dropping into Neutral with only a full reset bringing it back to life. The decision was taken to retire the Beech Golf Cup Car not wanting to do any further damage to the car.
With 35 minutes remaining it was race on in all Classes, Wallis TCR had moved up to 7th in Class A and overall and took their stop to hand over to brother Simon Wallis to take it to the end of the race, Simon would get out in some traffic but maintain great pace to move the car up to P6 relatively quickly. The Freeman K24 that was leading Class B finally took their mandatory stop which dropped them down to P3 behind the early stopping Handley Golf GTI and a E36 M3 also in Class B. The Swift driven Area TCR kept lapping in hope for a Safety Car, the threat was high from the early pitting M3’s who were lapping slower, but had managed the pit under safety car early on giving them a big advantage and also from both the Byford TCR and Hinde M3 only 1-2 Seconds behind on track. By this point all Class C Cars had took their stop leaving Andy Baylie in his Class C Civic 3 Laps ahead of his nearest rival! It wasn’t just the quick thinking of the team that got this lead for Andy, but also his fantastic consistent pace that helped him to maintain the huge lead he’d gained.
20 Minutes to go Hinde and Fitzgerald in the E36 M3 took their stop along with the Byford TCR to hand over to Woodman. With the race drawing to a close we also took our stop to hand over to Rob Baker for the final stint in the Area TCR after it was clear a Safety Car was becoming more and more unlikely. Rolling down the pitlane it was clear it was going to be tight with both the early stopping M3’s and the Hinde Fitzgerald M3… and that It was… The gap just as it had been all race was 5 seconds with 15 minutes remaining, the two Geoff Steel M3’s that had pitted early both ran into issues causing them to lose time and no longer be a threat for the outright win. Sadly the Byford driven TCR received a stop go for a pitlane infringement knocking them back a lap also leaving it a 2 horse race for overall victory. As the final laps closed in and the chequered flag was raised it was the Swift/Baker TCR that took P1 in Class A and overall by just 6 seconds from the P2 M3. Class B would see a E36 M3 take victory from Luke Handley in his Golf GTI in P2 his best ever result in Club Enduro after great consistent pace and a great call from the team early on. The Freeman/Munday K24 Civic came home in P3 whilst also setting a new Class B Lap Record. Simon Wallis in the latter stages moved the Area Ran TCR up to P5, a solid result after starting the race P11 in Class. Andy Baylie would take the win in Class C by 3 laps after a great stop by the team and a fantastic drive throughout from Andy.
So that completes our Silverstone Weekend write up. We really can’t thank our brilliant team members enough who ran 11 cars across two circuits which would be a tall feet for any team. They made many changes on cars for all drivers across the weekend particularly on both TCR cars and the Handley Golf which netted big gains in lap times and prepared the cars brilliantly throughout to complete the 100 minute race without issue.
Finishing results from the Race Weekend, a very nearly clean sweep for the team in all classes on this bumper 48 car grid.
Class A – Swift/Baker TCR P1 , Wallis TCR P5
Class B – Handley Golf P2 , Freeman/Munday Civic P3
Class C – Baylie Civic P1
More information to follow on our Team at Thruxton as it comes through but from a results point of view A win for Bruce Winfield, P2 and P3 for Alistair Camp and another P2 for Winfield see’s him take a 13 point lead over Alistair Camp in Championship. George Alp Williams also moved forward having his best Civic Cup Race Weekend to date including setting fastest lap in Race 2 which was a really positive start with the team. Ryan Bensley had a great race 1 in his first ever Civic Cup Race but Electrical issues before Race 2 failed to see him take the grid.
So overall not only the busiest weekend we’ve ever had, it’s also been the best in terms of performance and results with nearly a Clean Sweep of P1 finishes in Club Enduro in all 3 classes, Podiums and a win on Saturday in Roadsports on a huge grid and Wins at Civic Cup with 3 other podiums too!
Photo Credits: Gary Walton Photography