Race Report: Mallory Park 28th August


Image copyright 2006 Derren Phillips. Further images can be found here:
Mallory Images

A 5.30am start meant Karen and her entourage arrived at Mallory Park at about 7.30am, and in time to get one of the ever decreasing amount of parking spaces within the paddock. There was time for a quick natter with some of the other competitors whilst dodging rain showers, before signing on at Race Control and presenting the car for Scrutineering. With the formalities complete, it was time for Karen to get changed and make her way to the assembly area for the first qualifying session.

Qualifying 1 saw the cars out on a damp but rapidly drying circuit. Karen immediately bagged some impressive times as far as we were concerned, but lots of others went faster. In the end, Karen qualified for Race 1 in 17th position.

Qualifying 2 was a rather different matter. As the cars trundled toward the assembly area, the black clouds hanging above could contain themselves no longer. Karen sat in the pit lane in a heavy downpour. As the cars went out (Karen first!) there was standing and running water on the track. I swear some puddles had decent waves on them! Karen had been instructed simply to survive the session and bring herself and the car back in one piece. She kept what seemed a steady pace without a problem and we were all delighted to discover she'd outpaced many other faster cars/drivers to qualify in 12th position for Race 2.

Race 1 started well, with Karen running alongside the car in front driven by Robert Howes. Robert had other ideas and drifted across to give Karen the choice of slowing up or ending up on the grass. Sanity prevailed and she slipped back to chase hard. Most of Karen's race was spent in a duel with Chris Stewart in a MK2 car. At one point she passed him, only to be re-overtaken on the run to the hairpin where the superior brakes of the MK2 helped him. Karen proceeded to keep up and every so often would be very close. As the two race leaders (Patrick Mortell and David Litchfield) approached to lap them, Karen decided to try and go through as they went past. Unfortunately this all happened at the hairpin and as Karen began to move alongside Chris he shut the door with a loud bang! Karen was concerned the damage was bad, but as it turned out it was only a slight cosmetic ding on the passenger wing. Their status quo remained until the end of the race and thus Karen finished 17th.

Race 2 had a very confused start! Robert Howes jumped the lights and others began to follow. Karen started when the lights went out, but unfortunately Neil Glynn in front of her had jumped his start and decided to reverse into position! Karen had to go grass cutting to overtake him on the outside, but once done she seemed to be fairly well up the field into Gerard's. The race was going really well for her and thanks to a poor start by Sarah Wherry, she was the leading woman at the beginning of the race. However, the superior power of Sarah's car saw her overtake Karen down the back straight later on. The worst problem for Karen was when Kevin Poole's car began dropping gearbox oil in front of her and covering the entire front of her car!! Karen managed to stay on track despite the very slippy conditions, but this prevented her from overtaking Kevin and thus she had to slow her pace dramatically for at least 3 laps. Despite this, she finished 13th which equals her best ever finish so far.

Congratulations to Karen on a fantastic performance. It was an especially sweet performance, having taken place in front of her friends and family. It appears she has more than enough skill to make an impact on the series if only she had a car with more pace. That's a job for her spanner monkeys to sort out...

Time Flies When You're Having Fun...


Image copyright 2006 Neil Sutton, reproduced with his kind permission.
Sunday 20th August was an early start for Karen and Richard, and some of their friends to see them arrive at Silverstone in time for Richard to sign-on at Race Control. Once the formalities of signing on and scrutineering were out of the way, it was down to the business of applying all the sponsor decals on the car ready for the fun ahead.
The circuit was extemely wet, and unfortunately some vintage Bentley's had been out on it the previous day and had layed a generous amount of oil everywhere! Thus in the first practice session conditions were treacherous. On his first time through Copse, Richard span through 360 degress plus to end up more or less pointing in the desired direction but marooned in the middle of the track with a car that was reluctant to restart. Once away again, the rest of the session was spent wrestling the car through understeer and oversteer. Luckily, both car and driver survived and it turned out weren't last in the timings taken.
By the second session, the track was pretty much completely dry. This time there were no spins and only the slightest amounts of understeer or oversteer to worry about. Richard's main concern was allowing much faster cars past where possible. Now and again though things got a bit lairy, and in one incident his rear view mirror was full of a bright orange R32 GTR Skyline in a four wheel drift toward him at a rapid rate of knots! Times for the sessions showed that the speed differential had increased dramatically and sure enough he was now last.
The Time Attack itself was next... This consisted of an out lap, a timed flying lap, and a cool down lap. Richard used the out lap to try and gauge his lines and braking points as beast as he could given that previously faster cars had forced him off-line. During his Time Attack lap, he locked up under braking momentarily in Maggots but figured it didn't really cost him much. With the Time Attack lap completed, he still had to drive pretty hard to avoid baulking a following competitor who may have been much faster.
There was elation at completing the event and more good news when it was discovered his time had improved from the previous practice session. Karen was even more delighted, as her car had survived intact!
The final result had Richard finishing last. Full results of the day can be found here:
Time Attack Results

Time Attack!


On Sunday 20th August, Karen's husband Richard will be borrowing her MR2C race car and using it at the Time Attack event at Silverstone.

Starting off in Japan, Time Attack, Super Lap and Tuner Battles were organised by the media as a proving ground to see the difference between street tuned cars, produced by the tuning industries most respected tuners.

Held at various circuits although mainly Tsukuba, Time Attack rose in popularity as the stakes began to rise and the tuners had to keep on developing new and improved machines with which to conquer their competition on track with. Since the early days things have moved on and there are now different levels of vehicles entering the competitions, from road cars to full-on specifically engineered Time Attack cars made mostly of carbon fibre as the sport has evolved. Its drivers normally consist of the racing industries finest, drafted-in by tuners to pilot these unlimited machines in the bid to become the quickest.

Richard will be driving amongst a field of very high powered Subaru Imprezas, Mitsubishi Evos, Nissan Skylines, a tuned Dodge Viper, Porsche 911 GT3, etc. Hopefully, the sight of a Mk1 MR2 will raise a smile and may generate some interest for the MR2C.

Keep your fingers crossed for a decent result and that the car survives intact ready for Karen's next races at Mallory Park on 28th August.

For further details on the Time Attack, click here:
Time Attack

Wear It With Pride!


Support Karen by wearing one of these new especially designed teamwear garments. There are currently several different styles and colours to choose from. If anyone is interested in ordering other styles or colours then please leave a comment on this post and we'll see what we can do.

Please click here: Karen Phillips Racing Clothing Store

I'm off to order mine now...

About Karen Phillips

  • Karen races her Impreza WRX in the Classic and Sports Car Club (CSCC) Modern Classics series, with her husband Richard as a 2nd Driver. The races are mini-endurance events involving a driver-swap. Karen has previously raced in the Nippon Challenge, a race series for Japanese and Asian cars. Karen has been racing since 2006, having started in the MR2 Challenge.
  • Please check this site regularly for updates on Karen's progress through the season and developments with her race car.

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