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28 February 2007

And then there were three (GTFs)

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With the new Challenge series kick off only six weeks away, an eastrack Trackday at Oulton Park in Cheshire was always going to be popular. You see, Oulton Park is the setting for the first round of the 2007 series on March 31st, so any chance of grabbing a shake down here is a must for any pro who has his car ready.

I also happened to know that Steve Glynn’s GTF was going to have it maiden run here, so with Tim Hood’s Black GTF and Fred Tonge’s red one all in attendance, I felt it was only fair that we should make the effort and pop up to support them.

Now in my opinion, there’s not much that looks better than a GTF in full trim on the track. But if there is…it’s THREE GTF’s in full trim at one of the UK’s best tracks. The sight of all three of the current cars (another is in-build as I write this) in the pit lane and later on the track was simply stunning. The styling is obviously derived, with N.S.’s approval, from the Sagaris. But, where its road going function, and the need for type approvals compromised the Sagaris, the GTF is the pure form. Every curve has a purpose and only what is mandatory is there. A cross between a shark and Sonic the hedgehog on steroids, the car even looks fast standing still - menacing whilst dormant - aggressive but not brash. Everything that tvr should have built to go racing. So how did the day go?

Well, Fred was late. He does live an hour or so away you know. But Tim was there with his original black GTF and Steve’s brand new car out of the transporter and ready to please. 01, the black car, had no engine in as it is being prepared for the stonking Promaster/Chevy V8 driveline so it couldn’t go out, but 02 (Fred’s) and 03(Steve’s) were so comparisons and set ups were possible. Steve was clearly smitten with his new car, and who wouldn’t be. 03, the “We Know Vino” car looked stunning. Beautifully prepared, it ran well all day with only one stoppage for a sticky fuel pump. But hey, that’s what these days are for.

I must mention here the other Tuscans on test. Darren Smith’s beautifully turned out car 58 was there (it always is at Oulton!) and he’s really starting to get to grips with it. With only one “Challenge” round under his belt (where he got on the podium!) Darren is the first to knock his own talent, but the car is getting quicker and quicker and he has a third from one race! You can’t knock that! It now sports “” on its rear spoiler. Nice one mate. Not forgetting Darren Dowling who came along to try out his new “Aero package”. He has installed one of the GTF rear spoilers and a front splitter similar to the Topcats Sagaris GT. He seemed to think that it has helped quite a lot and is generating a lot of down force. He removed the splitter later on in the day, as his spring rates need to be increased to compensate, so you can expect to see Darren in amongst the GTFs this year.

It was good to see some of the racing fans there too. As usual, monsters “Ivanhoe” and “Kev63” were in attendance acting as the “unofficial Challenge Press” – Hi guys – and it was good to meet Mark aka “Uncle Bulgaria” with his Griff 500. Mark is coming with us to the Nurburgring in April along with his mate Shay who has an SRT 10 Viper. Cool! Thanks to all the guys - Tim, Terry, Steve, Fred, Darren & Darren – for making us all feel so welcome again. You know, you can all just pop along and say “Hello” you know. The guys love showing off their superb equipment (as it were) and provided you don’t mind “getting out of the bleedin’ way” every now and again when things get serious you too will always find a warm welcome.
Make sure you get out to atleast ONE round of this years Challenge. The full calendar is on the site and don’t forget…we will be competing in several rounds too.

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