Colerne 22nd Apr

A great airfield this one, nice and fast and a relatively good surface but sadly the venue was doomed before the day started and no motorsports events will ever take place there again. Shame... this is becoming all too common. With the outlandish attempts & illogical tactics of the government to further reduce the road death toll, regulations on track driving should if anything be getting more relaxed. But it seems whether we drive down country roads or within the safety and control of a marshalled curcuit, we get branded as dangerous hooligans. Haven't people got anything better to do than listen afar through kitchen windows all day long with their hands cupped behind their ears ?

The day was my first track outing in the SLR. I'll leave the hyperbole to my pages on my SLR but in a word.."WOW". The car was so secure, so quick, so balanced and so very very communicative especially during the "brown trouser" moments ! Colerne was a great way to introduce myself to the limits of the SLR and to be honest it was pretty hard to break traction and oversteer the thing or launch it into a spin. Did manage a spin or two though and plenty of power oversteer in some of the tighter bends. One of the trickiest bends (the last long right hander seen in the movie below) was dealt with very impressively in the Caterham. A late apex corner with very unsettling surface changes near the inside edge, providing i got the entry line right I was able to carry loads of speed up to the apex and securely power on through at maximum throttle without so much as a whiff of understeer - very impressive.

A great bunch of people were there and it was good to meet up with other caterfield suspects like Mark Collins, Tony Grigg etc. Also, went out in Ian's MY2001 M3 (Droid from the MLR board)... beautiful car, amazing engine which sounds quiet but with a gorgeous high redlining note. For a heavy car it was pretty solid round the bends too and got to speeds above 120mph in no time at all.

The movie (click to download) is a 2mb wmv taken from inside Tony Bennet's 195bhp mustard S1 elise. If you are an elise fan then have a look at Tony's site here , a very nice k series spec on his engine with all the right bits. The movie gives you some idea of not only the brutal acceleration of the SLR but the sheer grip through and out of the bends.

The Jackals Racetrack 1998 Richard Morris