Nippon Challenge Track Day at Silverstone

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Silverstone saw the official launch of the Nippon Challenge at a track day held on a very wet and blustry Sunday. The track was covered in areas of standing water and everyone was nervous about the prospect of going out for the first time. Richard pumped up the pressure in Karen's tyres to try and ensure the modest grooves dispelled some water at least!

Image copyright Sarah Wherry, used with kind permission

Karen pronounced the car very twitchy, which was hardly surprising. The other MR2 drivers were trying out the new Toyo R888 tyres for their racing and were having the same trouble. At one point Karen had to go off what might laughably be called the drier line to avoid an MX5 and ended up spinning at Copse.

Image copyright Sarah Wherry, used with kind permission

It seems the Yokohama A048R tyres on Karen's car are high maintenance, needing a careful eye on their pressure to ensure heat and grip in changing conditions. The original high pressures meant less grip as the track dried even slightly. Reducing the pressure improved things marginally.

Image copyright Sarah Wherry, used with kind permission

At the very end of the day, Richard took the car out for a spin and was lucky to enjoy the track as dry as it had been all day with a very definite dry line and more heat in the tyres produced great grip. He shared the track with a monster ex-Japanese Touring Car R32 Skyline GTR. See the video below:

Despite the conditions, incidents were very low in number and everyone seemed to have a good time. A big thank you to Steve Vince for organising the day for the Nippon Challenge and MR2 Racing groups, and providing a lovely hot lunch as well!

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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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