NEWS - 2012
TRACKDAY FROLICS AND 2012 PLANS
Vanessa accepts some repairs, tyres, and a passenger seat.
This is a handy place to put coffee cups between sips.
Other than a couple of stickers and a spanner check, she was ready to go.
Last weekend saw the annual trip to Brands for the JEC February trackday.
Kutuka fielded the reworked V12 Eleanor in interim form, and after a little modification to allow grown-up-sized seats to be fitted, the 6-pot hire car Vanessa.
Lyddall’s new winged monstrosity turned a few heads, and as is traditional for this team by now the crash-test Northerner was installed in the seat to try the car out for the first time with her wild modifications.
Sadly the front splitter lasted all of two laps at half-speed, the aero package proving itself to actually work, so effectively that the front bumper broke and tried to fall off the car. Hasty removal allowed a lengthy rear wing test for the remainder of the day. It works...
Vanessa re-introduced the Bear to a racing car, his first outing in a year to knock some rust off, and both cars were quickly pressed into day-long service, pounding round Brands with a seemingly-limitless number of passengers and drivers as Kutuka introduced no fewer than five potential drivers to the world of Jaguar racing.
With both cars in non-stop action for the day we were not only amongst the first on track, but about the last out there as the tinge of early evening dusk fell and Lyddall and Harrison went for a rather one-sided duel.
The bewinged V12 shorn of ballast now weighs considerably less than an E class car, and when pitched against a stock-block E class car it was rather like a big kid holding a smaller one at arm’s length. The howl of frustration emitting from the 6-pot machine was enough to wake sleeping dogs as far afield as Luton. Harrisons don’t like being beaten by Lyddalls, no matter what physics has to say about it. Eleanor has gained a great deal of speed.
With both cars beaten round mercilessly all damned day long, and hundreds of litres of fuel turned into smoke, the question has to be really just how long can a pair of engines torn out of scrap cars and never so much as looked at can possibly keep going like this? The V12 just keeps slogging on, the 6 pot refuses to show signs of age, and once again we have to conclude that there is a great deal to be said for leaving that noisy lump up front exactly as intended. There are some folk who might take note.
Another year, another set of terrified and thrilled “Hot Lap” punters squidge home in their damp underwear with their adrenaline spiked and nerves dancing. We like that.
After careful thought, and with deep regret, the Kutuka drivers have elected not to contest the 2012 season with the JEC series.
Rather than adapt our cars to the regulations, we are moving the cars to a set of regulations that they fit. Bear and I nay be playing with a few rounds of the Future Classics in Christine, but really the plan is rather more ambitious. We have deliberately chosen a series in which we will be hopelessly uncompetitive, because fighting insurmountable odds makes you better.
Stewert and Eleanor will be fighting it out in Classic Thunder with a reworked machine. The rebuilt Helen will be taking me out with the pre-93 Touring Cars at specific rounds to remember what it is like to be lapped. Vanessa will be out and about as we see fit and we’ll drop all four cars into other rounds and series that entertain us as the year progresses.
The concept is to free ourselves of our traditional obsession with championships and points, and not therefore to be restricted to the places that we are so often taken, but to go to those tracks we want to go to, to put some of the fun and unpredictability back into our racing. Naturally, we will all be racing at Cadwell at some point.
Now all we have to do is all get much faster, become better drivers, and work out how to make slicks work on Eleanor without breaking anything... It might be something of a challenge.
Kutuka are next in action on 25th March at Cadwell, for a real man-sized shakedown to kick the year off.
The rebuilt "Helen" will be in action to shake the squeaks and rattles out of the new car, and to try these funny tyres with no real grooves in them. Mini Nurburgring they call it, but then many people are idiots.
Anyone who can be bothered to show up can come along if they want, someone needs to check the passenger seat works.
Arriving at Brands, we were met by Eleanor's new look...
It's a little bit, well, aggressive, isn't it?
It did make us giggle like children.
Eleanor bursts into action
Vanessa tries Brands out for the first time with all the shocks bolted on and 4 tyres with actual tread.
The splitter, erm, split.
Thus proving that it actually works.
Vanessa and Eleanor drag race for the McLaren apex.
The V12 might have won....
There was a young lady from Somerset,
Who wanted to get her knickers wet.
She came for a hoon, at the hands of a loon
And I don't write limericks.
A Hot Lap customer prepares to experience velocity, the Lyddall way.
Laugh if you want, but we actually think that wing looks rather good.
Late afternoon, and Vanessa gets kidnapped by a host of ex-racing drivers of all shapes and sizes.
Stuffing his face with chips, sat on the concrete floor. His motorhome is ten feet away.
Slicky Von Richthofen.
Aston Martin GT4 rubber awaits a trial.