Mallory Park 2003
I took up John Hazards' open invite to come along to the Aston Martin Owners Club Track Day at Mallory Park. John brought along his 4-cylinder Esprit Racer and was joined by Mark in his Dodge Viper. I took my Esprit along, but it saw no track time, I think I'll wait until the brakes are a little better.
The weather couldn't have been much worse, with constant rain! But there were still plenty of cars out on the track. The session were broken up into 3 different categories. Race Prepared, Road & pre 1960's Race and Passenger. The Esprit was passed for all three, so it saw plenty of action, with both John & daughter Liz pushing it in the wet! I won't mention that John spun and bashed up the bumper a bit, whereas Liz caused no damage to the Esprit.
John's Esprit is an SE, which has been stripped out. Engine modifications included Race chip, Suspension, Brakes, Chargecooler and a Sport Turbo 300. It also has a roll-cage, extinguisher and bucket seats for safety. John has made loads of modifications to make it race ready and reliable.
You can see the Sport 300 Turbo above, along with the exhaust and air systems that have been moved into the rear boot. John reckons it's running around 300bhp. Added to the huge amount of weight that's been lost, makes it a very quick track tool (as a few race prepared Exiges found out).
As you can see, Lotus Esprit World had full access to a very wet paddock. Mallory's Paddock is in the middle of the circuit, so got to blag my Esprit around the hairpin and down the straight, before going into the pits.
Mark's Viper, with it's 8 litre, V10 engine was always going to be a handful in the wet. Mark missed the wettest sessions! He took me out for a passenger session in the afternoon when the track had dried out a bit.
The Viper's power is awesome. Esprit like, but just never ending. A bit of a whale around the corners, but not nearly as bad as you'd think. An impressive car, not my taste, but I can see why others love them!
A nice bit of kit. Marks had bigger wheels, brakes and exhaust put on. I was very glad of the brakes, as we were heading into the hairpin a nearly 100mph.
Liz got plenty of track time in the Esprit (A Girl! in an Esprit! On the TRACK!). Lucky she's an experience driver with many years behind her (WHAT!, she's only 18!). I give up. She'd probably be faster than me on the track as well!
The Esprit going in and out of the hairpin. Handles nicely through the tight corner. John was throwing it in (just trying to make me brown my pants I think!).
The Esprit out of the Hairpin and the Viper coming down the finishing straight. The Viper managed 110mph down the home straight and 105mph down the back straight. The Esprit match the straight line speed, but mainly due to coming out of the corners a little faster.
Liz down the straight! kato gets a nice picture of her rear end as she goes passed (don't tell John!)
Liz leads a Ferrari 355 spider out of the hairpin! How much fun can an 18-year-old girl have when her fathers around?
Others Stuff on the Track
Had a great view of an Historic Aston coming off at the hairpin. I'd walk down to get some of the above pictures at the hairpin. As I was just about to walk back, a very old Aston Martin came into the hairpin with two wheels on the grass. It did a little skip sideways before flipping. It was an open top car, and I saw the driver coming out of the car just as it landed upside down.
Thinking the worst, I ran over to see if I could help (always the hero!) and was second on the scene. The Marshall had already made contact with an (unbelievable) unhurt driver. Once one of the doors was pull open, he came out and was taken to the MED CENTRE. The car was removed quickly and the session restarted. A luck escape if you ask me!
This was an old (old) Aston Martin. An old race car, this was actually driven out on a wet Mallory Park! Not sure what it's worth, but by the look of the Trailer/Mobile home that came with it, I'd say around £250,000!
The Helicopter didn't make it out onto the track, but some very rich Aston owner turned up in it! How the other half live. Other cars breaking the Aston mould included 2 911's and a 928. The 928 was owned by a friend of John's. It's another road legal racer (as the Esprit is).
Mark was getting some laps in in the Viper, still don't know how it got around the hairpin! A couple of old V8 Astons in front. Plenty of those around the paddock.
The Viper again! Not really a bit fan of them, but they are awesome. The red Aston was unbelievably quick. Owned by a guy who sells those expensive cars you see in Autotrader, you know the ads. £90,000 for this one, £120,000 for that one! The light blue car above is a Lambourgini 350GT. I've been told it's very rare and worth around £80,000. It was in great condition and (as you'd expect) didn't part-take in the action.
Don't ask, cause I don't know! Some stuff hanging around in the paddock! Might be Aston's!
Plenty of other Lotus' about, with a few Elise/Exige teams doing some testing. The paddock wasn't packed as you can see, but that's not a bad thing!
Thanks to John, Liz and Mark for a very wet, I mean, enjoyable day. You'll be hearing more from Mr Hazzard on Lotus Esprit World. His Esprit V8 Racer (with G50 gearbox) should be ready soon, and I'll be doing a piece on his business. Maybe he could be working on your Esprit soon!