"Mind the Doors!"


Following the damage at the Silverstone race meeting there was a fair list of items required to repair Rexy: Four doors, a driver's front wing, driver's sidelight and driver's side indicator and repeater indicator, and some side skirting. On top of this, some repairs were required to the driver's side rear arch. Unfortunately this meant missing the next event at Cadwell whilst the repairs were completed.

Karen's sponsors XSpec Motorsport secured some second hand parts and Richard collected these and set about the repairs. The doors were fitted without any real drama other than the need for some wiring in the driver's door that needed sorting to correctly run in line with the alarm system and lock the doors without setting it off! It had been decided to save money by leaving the doors and door mirrors in the silver of the donor car. This made Karen's car easier to recognise at a distance on track.

Richard then painted the front wing in a matching blue and finished it with some lacquer. It was then fitted without any trouble.

Darren's pit helper Scott was drafted in to do the repairs on the rear arch, given that his trade is panel beater. He made a fantastic job of it which Richard then painted and lacquered.

All that remained was the application of the racing decals and Rexy was fighting fit again ready for Snetterton.

The more eagle-eyed of you may spot the side skirts are missing. Richard decided they just weren't worth replacing and so he tidied up each sill and plugged the holes used for attaching the skirts with small rubber grommets.

Race Report - Silverstone 6th June


When Silverstone gets wet, its surface gets very slippery and unfortunately it was very wet for race day! Conditions were awful and Karen had more than one moment of drama during the qualifying session.

Images copyright Lance Wittenberg, used with kind permission.

All the Subaru Cup runners use the Silverstone FTZ Type RR tyre which is essentially a dry weather tyre and very slick. All of them experienced a near total lack of grip and terrible trouble with large bodies of standing water. Despite this, Karen qualified in 16th position, less than a second behind fellow Subaru Cup racer Martin White and halfway up a field of 32 cars.

Silverstone offered to cut extra grooves in the tyres to try and improve grip. Karen’s spare tyres were duly cut in this fashion and Richard braved the elements and swapped them onto the car. Tyre pressure was also reduced in an effort to find more compliance in the tyre which might help retain control.

Conditions for Race 1 were still treacherous. So much so, that Karen’s recollections of the race were very hazy due to so much happening. The most memorable moment however, was having got in front of Martin she led him into Luffield when he unintentionaly nudged the rear inside of the back of her car and spent them both spinning out. Normally it wouldn't have been a problem but due to the low grip conditions it caught them out. Martin recovered more quickly and got ahead. Karen finished in 17th position. Sam Maher-Loughnan, Alix Thompson and Martin took the Subaru Cup podium positions. Karen was next, ahead of Darren who was having terrible trouble with his windscreen misting up.

Images copyright Lance Wittenberg, used with kind permission.

The rain had stopped before Race 2, but there was still an awful lot of water on the circuit. As the leaders headed into Copse things started to go awry! Karen arrived there to find cars at all angles across the circuit and as she tried to avoid the Honda Accord of Andre Severs, he reversed into her. This knocked her into the path of Andy McLennan’s Swift which battered the other side of her Impreza!

Images copyright Lance Wittenberg, used with kind permission.

Karen continued on, and tried to get a bead on the disturbed handling of her car. The damage had bent the front wing down onto the driver’s front wheel causing her problems. This was partly responsible for a spin when she reached Luffield. She was now more or less last and had to chase after the GT150 MR2’s. As she began to get through them she spotted Adrian Howells going AWOL on the grass by the inside of Maggotts. Karen was now catching up to Darren who went wide through Brooklands and managed to keep the car going through the gravel to reappear going into Luffield. Karen wanted to chase him hard down the straight but was baulked by an un-gentlemanly move by Dallas Jackson’s GT200 MR2. Karen quickly resolved this and was soon hot on Darren’s heels again. They were close through Brooklands and Luffield but as they went through Copse Karen tried to sneak through on the inside as Darren had taken a wider line. He tightened his line slightly and Karen lifted off. Thanks to the conditions and being on the painted kerbing, the back end broke away and she span out into the pit exit lane. Cars streamed past and she was back behind the GT150’s again! This time her recovery was much quicker and it wasn’t long before she was once again dealing with the enigma that is Dallas Jackson. The front runners were now lapping as Karen got past Dallas and as she entered Brooklands she was forced to stand on the brakes as the race leader had spun to a halt in front if her. With cars around her she had nowhere to go and prayed she would stop in time! Luckily this was the case, but now she had to recover lost places all over again, including overtaking Dallas. This she managed to do and despite all the drama and running with a slightly hobbled car she finished in 15th position overall. Unfortunately, she was totally out of contention for the Subaru Cup podium spots.

Images copyright Lance Wittenberg, used with kind permission.

When Karen returned to the paddock, she was very surprised to find a good chunk of Andre’s pink rear bumper sticking out of the side of her car and also of the damage to the passenger side of the car. That damage was also an unwelcome revelation to Richard who’d been spectating from the inside of the circuit!

Nippon Challenge Silverstone 06/06/09 Race 2 from Richard Senter on Vimeo.

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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