CSCC Modern Classics Class Trophy Winners 2015


At the recent CSCC End of Season Dinner Dance, Karen and Richard were delighted to be awarded the Overall Class Winner trophy for Class C of the Modern Classics series. An excellent evening was had by all with a fantastic meal and following the prize giving there was a chance to strut their stuff on the dance floor.

The awards were presented by guest speaker Paul O'Neill, the ex-BTCC driver and current BTCC presenter and commentator on ITV4. Karen had a good chat with Paul before the dinner about some of his latest racing antics. Paul's after dinner speech contained some enlightening tales about the Spice Girls! (Paul's sister is Melanie C from the group).

Race Report - Donington Park 6th September


Karen and Richard's final race of the season was at Donington Park. This particular race saw a combined grid of the Modern Classics and the New Millennium series. Cars in the New Millennium series are allowed aero modifications and sequential gearboxes, etc. meaning the pair were even more outgunned than usual!
Karen certainly had an interesting time during qualification which saw the bonnet scoop get torn off at high speed. When it came time to hand over to Richard in the pits, it was also discovered that steam was rising through the gaping hole left by the exit of the scoop. This was ignored in favour of Richard going out and attempting his qualification. 
Thankfully the car survived, but when parked up there was a growing pool of coolant underneath. Whilst Phil, Darren and Richard tried to figure out where the coolant leak was springing from, Karen went to find out if the marshals could recover the bonnet scoop. Unfortunately, it had disappeared without a trace... The pair had qualified 25th out of 36 runners.
The leak was traced down to a split pipe under the inlet manifold. A suitable replacement was found courtesy of fellow racer Rob Baker. Richard stripped all the induction equipment out of the way and Phil and Darren replaced the pipe. Everything was then quickly reassembled and the coolant levels were checked. The car was ready to race.

Image copyright Caroline Wilson, used with kind permission.

Due to the number of cars in the combined grid the race began with a rolling start. Within a short period of time Richard found himself in a battle with Jamie Sturges Renault Megane 225 and Kyle Ward's rapid Toyota Starlet. It was a hard fought tussle but well behaved by all the drivers. Richard was happy to hand over to Karen knowing they were doing well.

Image copyright Caroline Wilson, used with kind permission.

The light and powerful Starlet and Karen's Impreza were obviously well matched and before the end of the race Karen found herself in a titanic battle with Kyle. An excellent race was had by all in the warmth of an Autumn sun. Karen and Richard finished 22nd overall and 1st in class.

The race has been immortalised in video using various angles from Kyle's Starlet. It's a stunning film edited together to produce a very exciting record of the race, especially against Karen's Impreza:

Race Report – Mallory Park 1st August


Image copyright Ian Lockley, used with kind permission.
Conditions at Mallory were good and Karen and Richard qualified 8th out of 18 runners, only one position ahead of Richard Hayes' Celica GT4.

Richard took the race start and managed to gain several places by the first corner. Within a couple of laps the Subaru was in 4th place. Richard was fighting hard with Andy Napier's Lotus Elise when he noticed a whistling noise and a slight drop in power. This worsened and power dropped off forcing Richard to retire.

Image copyright Ian Lockley, used with kind permission.
It's a great shame that Karen didn't get her stint to drive and capitalise on their result. Their friend Darren had tried his best to fix the boost leak in the pits but it was to no avail. Plans were put in place to resolve this situation in the future...

Race Report – Rockingham 12th July


A dry but overcast qualifying session saw Karen and Richard qualify a creditable 8th out of 22 runners, directly behind a Porsche 993 RSR. They were 2.5 seconds per lap faster than their class competition in the Celica GT4 who qualified in 12th position.

Before the race there was a deluge of heavy rain which luckily stopped for the race itself. Rockingham has a reputation for a slick surface and this was amplified by the wet conditions. Several cars span off during the first lap causing a safety car. This allowed the Celica GT4 to make up places and was running behind Richard. At the restart Richard tried to make distance on the Celica but half-spun the car at the chicane on brand new tyres and was forced to wait for the field to pass before re-joining in last place!

A decent comeback drive from Richard and then a stunning drive from Karen against Andy Napier's Elise and Gary Jones' Porsche 944 saw the pair finish in 12th overall and 2nd in class.

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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