Curborough sprint track - 10th August 2005
Curborough is a course frequently used by various Sprint championships. Unlike a trackday, the sprint course has a defined 'start' and 'finish' with cars driving the course one at a time.
A quick description of a run, as I drove it (I'm sure the 'pros' would do it differently...):
Pull away from the line, shift to second, turn into the fast left hander, shift to third, back off around the middle of the corner before braking to turn into the tighter left hander, clip the apex and get back on the power around the open right hander. Brake before next right hand turn and shift to second, continue braking around the apex, then turn left to clip the apex at the 'Molehill', get back on the power around the opening right hander and then hard on the brakes (with the shift light begging you to shift to third...) for the 180 degree corner at the top end of the loop. Have fun squirming around this turn and then get the power down for the straight. Hit about 80mph before braking hard to turn sharp right in second to drive around the loop again. Having had yet more fun around that final 180 degree corner, lunge for the line, crossing it at about 95mph at the redline in third! Then back off and trundle back around to the start line, and join the back of the queue for the next run...
This modified version of the previous picture will hopefully give you a better idea:
The day was organised by Rugby Motor Club, so there was a good mix of cars, including one other kit car (a tidy Pinto-powered Westfield), Impreza's, a few hot hatches (including some stripped out Rally specials), a Hillman Imp, a mk1 and a mk2 MR2 and a Scamp! I had great fun, and had lots of people showing interest in the Mojo. I gave 5 passenger rides to those that were brave enough. For those that are more used to driving a hatchback, the Mojo was a taste of something rather different!
Later in the day I started to build confidence, after initially being rather put off by the lack of run off areas and proximity of unforgiving bushes, trees and fences. I never really drove through the first turn at any where near the Mojo's potential (this was by far the fastest corner), but from then on I felt I could slide the Mojo around (a little) in relative safety. The 180 degree corner before the straight, and the tight right hander at the end of the straight both had plenty of run off, so were the places to 'play' most freely, and coincidentally are therefore the places where I had my two spins of the day!
This was the first track outing for the Yoko A539s, and I came away impressed with their performance. They were obviously working quite hard, the left hand tyres in particular were generating little beads of rubber around the edges of the tread blocks, although there was no noticeable reduction in tread depth.
Although no 'official' timing is supposed to take place on non-competitive days, stopwatches were inevitably being used. In the morning session I was reliably informed that I was the quickest out there, doing approx 69s on most runs. The Impreza's were 2 or 3 seconds down on that, and the mk1 MR2 was doing in the region of 76-77s. I felt as though I was getting quicker in the afternoon, but didn't get any times for that session. To put these times into perspective, the record in the over 1700cc kit car class is currently 60.28s. Bear in mind though that our timings were probably somewhat subject to error...
Here are a selection of pictures from the day: