Eurofest castle



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Description: In terms of track action, Castle Combe rarely disappoints, so having Eurofest as the closer to this year’s show season was just perfect! It’s the first year the event has run,

In terms of track action, Castle Combe rarely disappoints, so having Eurofest as the closer to this year’s show season was just perfect!

It’s the first year the event has run, focusing on european manufacturers. There were four Vauxhall clubs present on the day, the Droop Snoot Group, Vauxhall Owners Network, MIG Performance Vauxhalls and the Performance Vauxhall Group. Each one of the clubs had several cars out on track throughout the day, doing themselves, and the Vauxhall brand proud. We reckon that pound for pound, the Vauxhalls were by far the quickest round Combe’s sweeping, fast circuit.

I got into Combe at 8am and had the car noise tested immedaitely only to be met with the news I had feared: the car was too loud – just over the 100db limit at 101.8! This meant a quick dash over to Merlin Motorsport who sold my a muffler I could fit to the exhaust. It cost £52 but it was either that or not go out on the track at all! Circuit Manager Rodney Gooch helped out by pointing me in the direction of the Combe maintenance team Mike Rawlings and Dave Johnson who were able to supply me with a drill and self tapping screw. Once it was all fitted the car was down to 96db and I was allowed out!

Unfortunately by the time I’d even got near the track, owner of our August 2005 cover car Lee Hearsey had come unstuck at the second chicane resulting in some worrying front end damage. Lee’s a circuit veteran and his Nova is just about the ultimate trackday weapon – it’s one of the inherent risks of driving close to the limit. Lee seemed in good spirits though and was condfident he’d get the car sorted out without too much difficulty. Shame about the £120 + bill to get it towed home though.

Out on track the 130 was flying, which I was delighted about after all the work that’s gone into it over the summer. The Toyo Proxes tyres held up well and I managed five flat out sessions before I decided enough was enough and changed over to some Uniroyal Rain Sports – great tyres on the road but really not designed for track action. With £35 of Tesco 99 in the tank the old valver was pulling like a train and I was well impressed with the way it sat round the corners. The tyres screamed, the back end stepped and it was generally quite a handful to drive but it never felt at any point like it was going to get out of control.

Barton and the Omega were doing the usual crowd pleasing antics, but on this occasion the circuit had decided on a ‘no drift’ policy, which of course meant that he went and did it anyway and got a couple of tellings off. Dan took the car out for a session just after lunch too. The Omegas pretty decent at the monment but just wait until next year if he can get that underpowered V6 lump supercharged.

Elsewhere on the track the PVG guys were flying and in one session were even sitting on the back bumper of a Noble! Ha ha!

Although the day was, in general, excellent there were some truly dreadful drivers out there. We know everyone has to start somewhere and there are always a few people doing their first ever track session – that’s cool. The problem seemed to lie with drivers being downright obstructive – there were a couple of right idiots in German/French hot-hatches who were hugely unpredicable in their cornering and who made it difficult to get past them. The main culprits though were those in so called prestige or classic machinery who seems to have a major problem with the fact that some old FWD Vauxhalls were quite considerably faster than they were. An old TVR held up myself, a Mk3 Fiesta 2.0 Zetec and a Mk3 Astra Sport for an entire session thanks to his QE2-esque cornering capabilities. The same goes for an old Talbot Sunbeam which caused all manner of problems. There were others too, if you were there you’ll know what I’m on about. If there’s a faster car, just pull in and let them past – these sessions don’t last long and it really is the height of ignorance to hold people back on a trackday. It’s a minor gripe about what was otherwise a genuinely superb day.

Thanks to everyone from the Vauxhall clubs who came along and made it such a great day out, to everyone who took pics and videos* and also to Rodney Gooch and everyone at Castle Combe. We’ll definately be back next year and we’d love to see some more Vauxhalls. If you’re local to the areas this is one event you HAVE to make space for next year!






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