Giles Dawson’s Donington write-up

Donington 7th November 2015 I had heard about James' plans for 2016 UKV8S early this year and followed Rob Hedley's progress this year to see how the toe in the water would work out... Having spent a summer rebuilding a pair of V8 Falcons imported from Australia for the very first Britcar 24 hour some ten years ago, ever since I have been in love with these beasts. Then I read what Gary Simms and Martyn Byford had to say following their Britcar Trophy outings at Thruxton and made my mind up about a play at Donington, my first time in a race car in over a year, seemed perfect for a bit of fun! Until now I have only raced Ginetta's, G20's, G50's and G55's plus some one-off outings in some front wheel drive stuff, and only managed one-off outings a year since 2010. Jumping into one of these in the wet... What could possibly go wrong?! Actually nothing. Sharing with young Ginetta ace Louise Richardson I felt that I had a good benchmark, first things first could the 5'2" athlete share with the 5'11" beer monster... Yes! The car retains all the right bits, adjustable steering column set and a decent seat insert and we were set. Louise went out to warm the car up, handing it over with a huge grin and a simple "that is mega"... From the first lap I could see what she meant, the car was so easy to drive yet so much fun! The sequential box inspired confidence and once the brake bias was set the stopping power was awesome! Mark Lemmer got the better of me in the 24 hour winning BMW M3 in the braking zone into the final chicane as we were actually able to get the thing stopped quicker than the full aero shod M3 in the wet! Nearly a new front bumper from Mr Tucker!
Stevie Borowik
Photo by - Stevie Borowik
We managed to out qualify a few of the Britcar establishment despite this being the first time we had even seen the car, that included the Holden Racing V8. In the wet the thing was every bit as quick as the GT3 runners down the Craners, living with them all the way through to the exit of Coppice. The chassis is one of a seriously sorted race car with just enough aero for any am driver to enjoy it without heaps of seat time. Two races followed as did some overall Britcar Trophy silverware. Both races were 45 minutes of great fun, getting the car on to slicks for the final race gave us the best of all conditions to see what the car could do. On slicks be car is every bit as capable as in the wet, confidence inspiring but great fun on the limit. Ten of these things going door to door down the Craners... Yes please. Fast enough to have great fun but bullet proof at the same time. Really does seem like a great recipe for people stepping into endurance racing or people like me with no time to spend away from the family or spannering themselves every evening between races. After two years in single-seater it seems as though Louise had remembered why GT's are so much more fun! Appears she wants another go! Shouldn't be over a second quicker than the boss then!!! Giles Dawson - Managing Director of ATL Ltd. Photos courtesy of Stevie Borowik Photography.