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Porsche 991 for COTA & Dubai 24 Hours

 

 

track-club are heading to the USA for the inaugural Circuit of the Americas 24 Hour race – held just a few weeks after the US Grand Prix at the amazing GP facility in Austin, Texas the track-club team have prepared a freshly built Porsche 991 GT3 Cup into Endurance spec for the race.

 

The car started life as a standard 991 GT3 Cup in the famous Porsche Supercup series and was purchased from a  German team earlier this season.  After a couple of test days and track days to allow the drivers some familiarisation the car was stripped back to it’s shell and a full rebuild was undertaken.  The engine and gearbox have been rebuild by the factory and all other critical parts replaced or refreshed including the dampers, driveshafts and radiators.

Specialist watch supplier Chronext have sponsored the car (www.chronext.com) which has now been prepped for endurance racing with the additional of a light pack suitable for night driving, a driver drinks system and coolvest system to help them cope with the Texas heat and then the even hotter temperatures when the car heads to Dubai for another 24 hour race in January.  The Matt Reeves designed livery was then applied in house and the car heads to America from Southampton on 19th October

The Drivers office complete with coolest controls, driver ID transponder, multi function steering wheel, electronic drinks system, predictive lap timing, rear view camera and full colour OLED information screen!

A Racelogic Video VBox HD, Autotel pit to car radio, rear view camera system and Bosch M4 ABS have all been added with all the additional electronics controlled through a bespoke PDM – power distribution module to avoid any interference with the Porsche factory electricals.

Team Principal Stephen Docherty said that the the team firmly believes in creating as good an environment in the car as possible – “drivers are in the car for up to two hours at a time, the temperatures in the cockpit in Barcelona last year reached over 50 degrees C and a race car at 4am in the pitch black can be an intimidating environment so whilst our primary focus is reliability, very close to this is helping the ‘reliability’ of the driver”.

The tema have prepared many different spring and endurance cars but this will be the first time out racing with a Porsche however they hope to add another car during the 2018 season which will run alongside existing commitments to the British GT championship and Lotus Elise and Lotus Cup club series.

COTA will be the teams tenth 24 hour race having competed in previous Dubai races as well as Barcelona 24 Hours, Paul Ricard and twice at the Silverstone 24 Hour race.

If you are interested in getting into Endurance racing drop the team a note via info@track-group.com

 

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British GT4 – third place in Pro-Am Championship for track-club drivers

track-club McLaren 570S GT4

 

track-club drivers Adam Balon and Adam Mackay took a superb third place in the British GT Pro-Am GT4 Championship at the end of a somewhat trying season with the new McLaren 570S GT4.  The former Lotus Cup drivers were the only Pro-Am team to take two outright GT4 victories during the season including the Blue Ribband Silverstone 500 race and were it not for a car issue at Spa which repeated itself despite a factory recall at Donington the team would have been in the running for the overall and Pro-Am championship titles.

Mackay who won the 2016 Lotus Cup title with track-club and Balon who finished third in the same championship drover superbly all season after an opening round win that made the paddock sit up and notice the series newcomers.  This victory was proved no fluke at the Silverstone round where the three hour race saw the flawless execution of four driving stints and three tyre and refuelling pit stops by the team put them in position for the biggest victory of their careers.

Unfortunately an issue traced to the design of the 570S manifold put paid to what was looking like a promising weekend at Spa and despite a factory fix the problem re-occured at Donington robbing the two drivers of a second place finish in the race.

The team are now focusing on working with McLaren to help remedy the problem over the winter for another title attempt in 2018.

Donington Park Pit Stop
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New Winners & Championship Runners Up in 2015

Following multiple championship titles it was always going to be difficult to maintain the momentum but 2015 saw track-club drivers take the runner up slot in the Overall Lotus Cup UK Supersport Championship (Ken Savage), the Lotus Cup UK Exige Cup (Alex Reed) and the Lotus Cup UK Production Championship (Stuart Ratcliff & Anthony Dunn).

The final round at Snetterton wasn’t without success however as it brought one of the most popular victories in the history of the series when Seth Walpole took not only his first podium but a first overall victory holding up multiple race winner Craig Denman to take a stunning win in the second Elise Trophy race.

track-club drivers Seth Walpole (top step) and Craig Denman (2nd)
track-club drivers Seth Walpole (top step) and Craig Denman (2nd)

Seth’s win was long overdue and his results have steadily improved since switching to a later spec Lotus Elise 111R.  There was literally a queue of drivers and crew waiting to congratulate one of the most popular drivers in the paddock as he brought the car back into the parc ferme.

Seth and the track-club run Lotus Elise 111R
Seth and the track-club run Lotus Elise 111R
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track-powertrain Engine for World RallyCross

The FIA World Rallycross Championship (World RX) will add a new name and new manufacturer to the World Championship: former WRC driver Gigi Galli and Kia Rio.  Both Galli and the all-new Kia Rio Supercar will compete at the upcoming World RX of Italy (16-18 October).  track-groups engine division has provided the horsepower!!

The successful rally driver from Livigno, who competed in last year’s World RX of Italy, has decided to take one step further in 2015 and compete in a new car.  Galli – who narrowly missed out on a spot in last year’s Italy RX final – has created his own RX team starting the project with a brand new Kia Rio Supercar, the first of its kind in RX.

gigi_rx_1track-group have built the bespoke engine for the car and provided technical and engine support for the project through their track-powertrain division which builds competition engines for a wide range of motorsport competitors worldwide.

Despite a relatively short lead time the team at track-powertrain designed and commissioned bespoke engine parts and assembled the engine to meet the teams tight schedule.

Less than 12 months after his first World RX experience, Galli is now ready for his new adventure thanks to the support of his Italian partners.  Giovanni Bernacchini, Galli’s co-driver from his rallying days, will join Galli as a key member of his new team.

“I am delighted to be back in World RX,” explained Galli, who competed in a total of 66 WRC events and scored two podiums. “My supporters have been pushing for this to happen and my endless passion for racing has made this happen.  I am especially excited about creating a brand new team and car plus I am excited to also have Giovanni [Bernacchini] by my side.  We will introduce ourselves at the Italian World RX round at Franciacorta next month.  Our aim is not to win, it would be foolish to think we could do that straightaway – we simply want to demonstrate how hard we have worked so far.”

                                     

 

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Alex Reed Wins at Silverstone – heads a track-club 1-2-3

Alex Reed took victory in the 7th round of Lotus Cup UK on the Silverstone GP Circuit on Saturday 12th September.  He converted his third consecutive pole position in the track-club run Lotus Exige V6 Cup R to a dominant victory surviving a first corner drama all around him and taking fastest lap along the way.

Left to right - runner up Adam Knight, winner Alex Reed and third place Marcus Jewell - track-club 1-2-3
Left to right – runner up Adam Knight, winner Alex Reed and third place Marcus Jewell – track-club 1-2-3

Reed won from Adam Knight also in an Exige V6 and Marcus Jewell in the Lotus 2-Eleven completing a track-club 1-2-3.

Championship leader Ken Savage was 4th surviving initial contact with Adam Gore and Adam Knight and doing a solid job with a compromised car suffering side panel damage and restricted air flow.

Reed who is hoping to graduate to GT racing in 2016 dominated the weekend timing his pole run in changing conditions perfectly and managing a tyre issue towards the end of the race.  He was delighted with his result.  track-club’s Stephen Docherty commented “Alex seems to be driving better every time he gets in a car at the moment.  He’s very focused, takes his driving seriously and is probably now the quickest driver on the grid.  This is his first season full seasons racing and there’s a lot more to come from him”.

The series now moves on to the final round at Snetterton in October where the championship title will be decided.

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track-group Lead 2015 Lotus Cup UK Championships

 

Ken Savage runs a track-club built & run Lotus 2-Eleven and currently leads the Lotus Cup UK Championship.
Ken Savage runs a track-club built & run Lotus 2-Eleven and currently leads the Lotus Cup UK Championship.

track-club drivers are currently leading both the Lotus Cup UK Supersport Championship and Lotus Cup UK Production Championship in a strong year for the team.   track-club drivers have won the overall title twice with Steve Train in 2012 and Adam Knight in 2014 – the team aren’t taking anything for granted however and whilst they lead the championship in 2015 there are three races remaining and every championship to date has gone down to the last race – often the last few laps of the last race!!

After a stunning 1-2-3-4 at Spa Francorchamps headed by a race win for the 2014 Champion Adam Knight the championship lead remains with Ken Savage in the newly built for 2015 Lotus 2-eleven.  Knights victory is thesecond overall win for track-club drivers this year following the Donington victory for championship rival Alex Reed.

Adam Knights Lotus Exige V6 Cup R - the 2014 Champion
Adam Knights Lotus Exige V6 Cup R – the 2014 Champion

In the Production Championship track-clubs Stuart Ratcliff in his third season with the team leads along with co-driver Anthony Dunn in their Lotus Elise 111R.

Ratcliff & Dunn have had to fight hard for their points with a start from the pit lane enforced at Oulton Park and a fight through the field after contact early on at Spa where they were also compromised by the timing of the safety car.

Elise 111R of Stuart Ratcliff and Anthony Dunn
Elise 111R of Stuart Ratcliff and Anthony Dunn

With three 60 minute races remaining and a dropped score to be taken into account both championships are very tight.  The next round is at Brands Hatch on the Grand Prix circuit as part of the Lotus Festival on the 15th & 16th July.  Given that there is a British GT4 test for the Supersport Winner and a Lotus Cup Supersport Test for the Production winner all the competitors are highly motivated to maintain reliability and results.