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09 May 2011

Too Fast Too Furious Mike and Danny are removed from the GT Cup Grid.

This all went on whilst I was away down under, but now I’m back and the dust has settled, I thought I’d grab a word with the guys and see what’s what.

Firstly Danny. On his first excursion in the new “Production” Sagaris (see our recent article) Danny was hoping that the new car would do OK after its recent shakedowns. A full rebuild and race conversion is a lot of work and there’s always a chance that something will go wrong as its just not possible to test for several hour at race pace.

Trouble showed straight away with Danny having gearbox issues. For the first time ever the elite box chipped a top gear that then ran through, forcing the gears apart and splitting the casing. This meant no testing or Qualy, but he was allowed to start from the back of the field after repairs.

When you start from the back, recovering your position is obviously impossible, as you’ve lost all your traffic time. Even so, a stellar drive MAY see you back at the sharp end and looking for points and Danny achieved just this. He managed to pull back to sixth (still with a leaking and very noisy gearbox) before having to retire a few laps from the finish.

Many were impressed, but others in the paddock were concerned. The new boy was showing up some very expensive metal and when it became known that he wasn’t running a datalogger as required…the clerk of the course excluded him from the day.

I asked Craig why they didn’t have one. The car and build will have been “muco spondulies”, so £500 for a datalogger is small potatoes and they’re not short of a few bob. He told me that GT Cup Technical told them not to bother. Several cars in your class haven’t got them so don’t worry about it. It seemed odd but with other matters pressing it was left on the “to do” list. However, there was a complaint after the race and the car was removed from the results.

Craig wanted me to mention that the drivers were great. All of them, Porker, Fezza all wanted the car out there. They are racers and they want cars to race and were all very complimentary about the car. I reckon that the problem and the complaint came from one of the Team bosses. If you are charging someone tens of thousands to prepare and support their challenge, and then someone like Danny comes up from the back and pisses past your car… you won’t be happy. You’ll want to make sure you have an excuse, or to have two races in the bag with Danny not scoring. It makes your title hopes ALOT stronger! Especially since Danny was nearly 100kg over weight!!! That’s more than I weight!

You can be sure that Danny’s car will be only money at Oulton. He has a point to prove now.

As for Mike (Saunders) and his yellow Cerb GT? If anything, it was even crueller.

After only two hot laps in Qualy to save his tyres, Mike found himself in Pole position with BOTH laps enough to take the front spot. He drove well; battling for the lead with the £200k Porsche with a very experienced Andy Ruhan at the wheel and in the end was clear by 6 seconds! A jubilant Mike was clearly surprised that the win had been so significant and when interviewed claimed pressure from behind throughout the race. The truth could be seen that he had it well under control from the halfway marker.
Again, fate was against the TVR boys. Post race scrutineering showed Mike’s Cerb was 5kg under weight. From there the writing was on the wall. Under weight is THE cardinal sin in racing and when the downloaded his data and found his logger wasn’t working fully…he too was excluded.

So, too fast too furious? A bit, but more poloticcy. As ever TVR is the little guy taking on the giant, David against Goliath, Monty Vs Rommel! The battle for Silverstone was lost, but the guys are on the case and will be back for Oulton Park on May 14th & 15th. I’d have to say, with Mike and Danny both showing fabulous pace there in the past…I wouldn’t bet against them.

The races can be seen through the summer on MotorsTV  Sky 413
Dannys site
Mikes site

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