I went to the CSMA Track Day at Castle Combe yesterday - the weather held off, and it was a bloomin' fantastic day. My mate has a few pics at his Fickr site
. Official pics come out on Thursday, and I've grabbed a few myself that I'll add to my gallery tonight.
My mate and his brother brought along a Mazda MX5 1.8 each. Said mate's brother pushed a touch too hard and 180'd it
. My mate pushed a touch too hard in other respects and took his pads down to the metal! (see Flickr pics link above)
Surprise of the day was that I only had to get out of the way for one car - an MG ZS 180. I had a passenger, he was alone, and I guess that makes it a close match - but his driving really made the difference.
The Evo was going great on the straights, but seemed really cautious before and during the bends - maybe a new owner and didn't want to push it too much. A couple of times I had to back off behind it at the end of the straights. He didn't pull over.
A Saab 2.0 turbo seemed a little tooooo quick...and later I saw him putting semi-slick Avons on the rear, so maybe it was tweaked under the bonnet too.
The Atom just kicked track-ass...it was the supercharged, 340bhp version.
All in all, taking the GTV on a track has made me fall in love with it further - people said it had the best sounding engine out there (I'd put the BMC CDA kit on a few days before). Staying between 4-7k revs throughout meant it was simply roaring all the way round...beautiful.
I was a touch wary of the chicanes, but it held its own. Definitely nose-heavy, but didn't wash out as I expected. The pics show this perfectly - compressed suspension on the outside, slight lean, but absolutely gripping and going forwards!
From the pics it looks like other cars on the same bend were leaning quite a bit more than the GTV (Evo, BMW 525, Porsche). Didn't expect that!
It didn't miss a beat, and the only thing that didn't shine were the brakes - by the end of 5 sessions (about 25-30 laps) they were spongy and the ABS was kicking in. Once they'd cooled they were fine, so I'm guessing hot brake hoses were the culprit.
I'm still smiling....