It’s safe to say 2020 hasn’t got off the best start. And as the weeks fly by, with more time available, it appears to be changing life as we know it. The world has ground to a halt and us car owners are left with nowhere to go.
We’ve had to cancel our 2020 calendar until we have a full picture on what’s happening next. Stay tuned for updates.
Rallycross and more recently, World Rallycross have for a long time, been a big part of my life. I started my mechanical career in Rallycross back in 2005, working for the former rally driver and current BRX driver, Steve Hill. It was my first job in motorsport and aged just 19, I was super keen and eager to get out there and experience my dreams in reality.
If you’re not familiar with Rallycross or RX as it’s become known, the formula is pretty simple. The ‘supercars’ are based on a production car chassis but with almost all standard items removed, except maybe the front manufacturers badge and the driver’s side door. Other than that, the car is built from the ground up using specialist rallycross components from a variety of different manufacturers and suppliers.
Using an engine by Julian Godfrey Engineering, a transmission by Sadev, suspension by Reiger, huge brakes from Alcon and electronics from Cosworth or Motec. The cars themselves cost up to half a million euros to build. Seems like a lot of money for a VW Polo, right? It does until you learn that this Polo or 208 will accelerate faster than an F1 car to 60 and can handle just about any terrain you throw at it. Not to mention the 1,000s of man hours which go into the preparation of these cars before the season starts.
In the autumn of 2009 I started work for Pat Doran on his BRX campaign, running the Mk6 Fiesta, using a Julian Godfrey YB cossie engine. This relationship continued thru 2010 and 2011, at which point I went full time with the Doran family which included Pat’s son Liam.
2012 was an outstanding year for me both personally and professionally. Liam campaigned Euro RX, British RX, X-Games in Los Angeles and select rounds of the now defunct GRC in the USA. It was a busy time, I got to travel all over the world, meet a lot of new people and gain some valuable life experience. But this was just the start.
As 2012 drew to a close, the Dorans opened up their own facility at their home in Devon. The natural step was to join them in their new venture to prepare two cars for the 2013 season. These were to be driven by Andreas Bakkarud and Liam, backed by Monster Energy. To start from absolute scratch in an empty workshop was a tall order and we arrived at the first event of 2013 with the car still not finished, following a week with virtually no sleep.
We raced but we didn’t get very far. With 2x DNFs we loaded the cars up and headed home to brush ourselves off and get some rest.
What a day! The weather stayed clear, albeit a little windy and we managed to near enough fill the Akeman car park. I arrived just before 9am to be greeted by Adam, who had already made a start on getting everyone parked neatly and in order by marque. I was a little reserved about doing this before now, as I like the organic feel and mixture of cars that attend. Well, my reservations were soon gone once I saw just how good, 15+ Evo’s and half a dozen GTR’s looked all lined up. There were many new faces and some returnees that made up the some 50 cars present today. From Peugeot 205 GTi to Audi RS5 and a pair of Lamborghini Gallardo’s, we had it all.
So now we’re looking forward to next month, we’re going to be back, bigger and better and keep an eye out for the recap video which should be available in the next seven days!
Our new year special meet was met with rain and wind but that didn’t stop all the committed members from turning up in their cars and virtually filling the entire car park of the Akeman Inn. A new format for this meet, due to increased numbers the drive outs have been reserved for separate occasions. So static it was, Cars, Coffee and breakfast. All thanks to the Akeman Inn.
The aim was to perform detailing product demos and shoot some videos but the weather had other plans and as such, these will be pushed back to the February meet. Thanks to all who attended and see you next month, where we might need a bigger car park!