Current Challenge Standings...

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Here are the current challenge standings after the Pembrey double header. This is only for the class that Karen is competing in, which is Class A for production spec MR2 MK1's.

Pos. Name Points
1 MAHER-L 147
2 GLYNN 110
3 POOLE 87
4 MORTON 84
5 STIMPSON 80
6 WHERRY 80
7 GRIMES 73
8 MAILER 70
9 CHAMBERLAIN 68
10 TAYLOR 60
11 O'NEILL 57
12 BLIGHTON 56
13 HOWES 56
14 O'TOOLE 40
15 PEARSON 35
16 PHILLIPS 31
17 CARTLEDGE 30
18 GATT B 29
19 GATT D 25
20 BARBER 21
21 ALMAN 20
22 DUNNETT 19
23 WOOLFE 12
24 COYLE 0


Race Report: Pembrey 15th & 16th July

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It had been decided that a day's practice would be useful for Karen. So we trundled down to Pembrey on the Thursday night, ready for a full day's practice on Friday 14th July. The practice sessions saw the MR2C cars lobbed in with the 750MC Bikesport cars which are kit-cars powered by motorbike engines. Poor Karen felt a little overwhelmed by these things buzzing past her on both sides and found it difficult to string together any decent laps.

However, it was good experience and her lap times improved. It also gave us a chance to bed in some new brake pads and to experiment with tyre pressures. Karen did actually spin twice, but that's not bad for a whole day and in very hot conditions. That's also the first time she's ever spun the car on track. Luckilly, that didn't re-occurr during the races!

Qualification on Saturday morning saw Karen's lap times improve dramatically again. This was due to a combination of both a clearer track and the proximity of other MR2C cars which she could either chase, or who more or less pushed her from behind. This resulted in Karen qualifying 16th out of 19 for Race 1, and 18th out of 19 for Race 2.

Race 1 was held up for a while by the clear-up from the preceeding race. This meant the drivers were held in their cars in all their gear for 35 minutes in the baking heat! Having overcome that hurdle, the next was their race start and run down to the Hatchett Hairpin. Luckilly there was no real damage done and all cars made it through. Most of Karen's race was spent trying to pass Clive Morphett's MK2 car. Clive was quicker on the straights, but was harried by Karen in many of the corners. Whilst this was going on, David Oldroyd the race leader was beginning to lap slower cars. As he drove through their group, Karen used the opportunity to nip into his wake and overtook Clive! Unfortunately, Clive later had to retire before the end of the race due to overheating.

Karen finished ahead of Daniel Gatt and they both had a light-hearted natter afterwards about the racing, and how things may be different in Race 2 on Sunday.

Race 2 was held on Sunday afternoon, on another scorching hot day. Once again all cars made it through the hairpin at the start and this time Karen was fighting Daniel hard. We watched in amazement as for about 5 laps Karen would be ahead of Daniel through most of the lap until the drag into Hatchett Hairpin when Daniel would nip inside Karen to take the racing line. Karen would proceed to drive around Daniel and beat him out of the corner to be ahead! Eventually though, Daniel's seeming greater straight line speed ensured she couldn't get past. In the meantime, Daniel's brother Brian had spun out several times and finished behind them. Poor Clive had to retire before the finish again.

So Karen had great battles during her races and had a thoroughly good time. It was great to meet Clive Morphett (previously racing in karts) and Tim Cartledge from Kingston University. It was Tim's first full motor race (Other than his karting) and he had fantastic results, placing 10th in Race 1 and 15th in Race 2. Brake fade seemed to be Tim's only problem and when that's overcome he's going to be a force to be reckoned with.

It look's like we won't be going to the Brands Hatch meet on August 11th, so good luck to everyone and hope to see you at Mallory Park on August 28th.


"Let's Off Road!"

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There's a bit of a dual meaning to the title of this post...

First of all, we've bought a Subaru Forester S-Turbo to be used as our own tow-car rather than having to keep relying on the goodwill of my dad who very kindly lends us his Ford Ranger. This will mean we have more freedom to tow the MR2 and gives us a practical vehicle the rest of the time. However, it's not just practical, but pretty rapid for a 4x4 and great fun to drive.

Secondly, having our own car and using the insurance policy from the MR2 means that the race car can now be taken totally off the road and we can hopefully make performance improvements because of this. At least we won't have to keep applying tape over the racing numbers and fitting the number plates back on after each race!

Now we just need to organise our grounds to accomodate a trailer and we can buy our own rather than having to rent one for each event. That'll save us money in the long run and save having to take extra days off work to pick it up and return it each time.

All I've got to do is resist the temptation to spend money modifying the Forester... Yeah, Right.


About Karen Phillips

  • Karen races her Impreza WRX in the Nippon Challenge, a race series for Japanese and Asian cars. Karen has now 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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