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24 August 2007

Who's the Daddy?

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For the last couple of years or so, there have been tales of the ultimate tvr. A tvr built with no limits. A tvr built for the track. A tvr built to run all day against Mosler’s and Vette’s…and beat them. But it was pub talk, on Forums at the Club meets. Surely no one had the will, the technology…the budget! But it’s here. I saw it to day at Silverstone. The Speed 12 beater.


It has been built to run in the endurance series of Europe. Britcars, Belcars, Dutch Supercars and possibly even the British GTs. Richard Stanton - Ex tvr Le Mans Driver, tvr Tuscan Veteran and one of the fastest and most respected drivers in GTs - has been working with Dennis Leech at Racesports (Le Mans 2004/5 LM T400R Builder) to build the best car possible using the latest in race developments. Starting from scratch they have built the car based heavily on the Race proven tvr Tuscan Chassis (though I should stress it is completely bespoke) that borrows heavily from their combined tvr experience so everything looks familiar…but very little is the same.

Fortunately, having a few connections, I managed to “blag” an invite to the first shakedown today at Silverstone. This would be the first time the car had turned a wheel on the track so its performance was promising but unknown. Recent Rolling Road testing had shown stunning power from the bespoke 7L Chevy power plant over several hours, but this was the first time on the track.

The look on Richards face when he parked up after the first session said it all. The time and effort had been worthwhile. The car surpassed all hopes. Running faultlessly all afternoon, it was only minor set-up issues that were discussed. The data was perfect, the pace was spot on and nothing fell off. A very rare occurrence at any racecar shake down.

Richard told me that he was extremely pleased but the gearing was wrong and needed sorting for the “24 hour race” in a fortnight. He still reckoned he was hitting the rev-limiter at 165mph by the Gantry! For those who don’t know, the gantry is only one third of the way down the main straight, so to be flat out and pushing 165 by then is astonishing. I doubt that I would make 155 by the end of the straight in my humble Monster Griff!

With over 600 tractable and useable Bhp, a bespoke chassis, flat-floor, huge AP brakes (45mm thick – the biggest AP have ever produced), rear mounted sequential ‘box and diff, the car has all the gear and perfect balance. Weighing in at around 1100kgs wet with driver, it’s right up there with the best that the British GT’s have to offer and has been put together with the kind of attention to detail and Budget that we would all love to achieve.

The work’s not quite finished yet though. The temporary air intake will be replaced with a bespoke bonnet mounted snorkel. The wheels will be encased to prevent flying rubber getting into the panels and damaging lights/manifolds etc. The dash will now be completed, as the drivers are happy with the layout. It’s a lot of work, more than it sounds…but the car will be there.

If you can make it down to Silverstone on the 8-9th of September you’ll be in for a treat. This stunning car will be there racing all weekend in the 24hrs GT3 category, but that’s not all! The Jet Black Racing GTF Sagaris’ will be there too (that’s Tim, Steve and Fred) along with Andy Holden’s first outing in his Sagaris Tuscan! They are contesting the Dutch Super Cars with racing on Friday and Saturday prior to the big race. What a great weekend for tvr.

While we are at it, don’t forget our mates at Topcats Racing. Their also racing in the big 24hr, so give them some support too. They may not be running the Sag there, but they’re tvr through and through and they had a great result there last year. Blimey, was that last year!!!

The TVRCC has obtained a special rate for Members, which can be found here. so bring the Flags and the Barbeques and of course your tvrs. It’s going to be a great weekend. See you there!

Oh, by the way, did I mention that there’s another one on the way? But it’s already spoken for I am told…lucky guy!

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