Face Off... And on again.


Serious facial surgery was required on Karen's car. Our friend and race mechanic Mike Herbert was called in to help sort out the mangled radiator support. The old item was carefully cut off and one was supplied by a donor car. This was carefully welded in place after a few trial fits of the new radiator.

Luckily, new Impreza radiators aren't that expensive these days! The new radiator and intercooler kit had only taken a couple of days to arrive and were ready and waiting for the welding to be completed. Once that was done, Richard got working on fully fitting the radiator. this was quickly followed by a replacement bumper bar and the new intercooler core and piping. In addition, the car received new headlights and a new driver's side front wing.

The next task was to modify another bumper to fit over the intercooler and to repair the front splitter. These jobs were very straightforward and so after a few hours of careful cutting and painting the front of the car was looking like normal again...

With various parts of the car having been painted and waiting to dry, Richard took the opportunity to make some other improvements to the car. The Corbeau Revolution seat was fitted which only took some minimal modifications to the frame and it still allows the seat position to be adjusted easily. Thicker anti-roll bars were also fitted, which were originally on the TenguDo Motorsport #29 car. These should help sharpen up the handling.

It was a good job that the Easter Bank Holidays gave Richard and friends time to work on the car and it's now ready for Castle Combe. Here's hoping it's an incident free meeting!

Race Report – Rockingham 5th April


A slick surface, new tyres and a good deal more power meant it was tricky for Karen in qualifying on the twisty Rockingham International Circuit configuration. Karen was disappointed with her efforts but that soon changed when she learnt that she had qualified 5th overall and 1st in the GT300 class. That's Karen's best ever qualifying performance in the Nippon Challenge!

Karen's Race 1 start was good, briefly taking 3rd position before Nick Holden's 5 litre V8 powered GT86-F powered past her. She had a slide at the first hairpin on cold tyres and lost a couple of places. Then another place was lost to Dave Hemingway's MR2. Karen fought back through the race to re-claim the position from Dave and Nick's GT86-F had dropped back due to electrical issues. This meant that Karen finished 5th overall and 1st in the GT300 class. Her best result yet, of which she was justifiably proud.

Karen's crew believed that she could make a better start in Race 2 and maximise the four wheel drive advantage of the Impreza WRX. It was hoped that Karen might make a couple of places at the start which she could defend through the rest of the race...

Karen tried the start procedure in Race 2, but there was a problem and the car virtually stalled! Karen was lucky everyone else managed to avoid her as they streamed past and she got going again just as the last car passed her! From dead last she fought back lap by lap, overtaking a total of eleven cars until she understeered through the hairpin and had a semi-spin on the grass. Karen slewed broadside across the track and there was a collision with Tony Collins' Celica, just swiping the nose of Karen's car. The radiator was holed and Karen was forced to retire.

Richard has a lot of work to do before the next outing at Castle Combe on 5th May. Parts required include a new intercooler and piping, radiator, slam panel parts, bumper bar, bumper, splitter, headlight, wing, bonnet, etc.

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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