Saturday, 19 April 2014

Awesome Easter Revival at Thruxton

Another year, another no-show at Castle Combe for the season opener. Sorry guys, but a few MGs, Minis and the local races for £20 (including program and paddock) just isn't for me. Thruxton however is winning with the second year of its Easter Revival event. After an early start with my brother we dropped off the A303 and into the empty carpark and paid our £12 for the day (£3 for a program and a free paddock) Heading round to the paddock area and a bacon bap I was set for some great racing and cool cars. Last years small grid for Super Tourers was much bigger with some big names and cars out. Along with the Hondas and Nissans from last year there were BMWs, a Vectra and 406. The last two driven by their period drivers from the 1990s, Mr Watts and Mr Cleland.

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Also on the bill was F2 and F5000 racing for big single seaters. Vast slicks and wings the order of the day.

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Leaving the garages and heading deeper into the paddock we were on the hunt for the Peugeot of Watts. On route we came across various historic saloons, GTs and single seaters. We found the car, complete with matching team jackets

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With Super Touring qualifying fast approaching we headed for the Chicane to watch, passing Parc Ferme, the cars were lining up already.

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The series is much improved over last years limited action. The old guns were 2nd and 5th on the grid for the first race. Back into the paddock we went to see the cars post qualifying. In a few weeks we'll be back for the BTCC proper, access is very limited, but today we were in and out of the garages and even ventured into the pitlane (keeping close to the doors). I even managed to grab a few words with John after failing to nab an autograph from him in 1995 when I last saw him race!

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We ventured back out to the paddock again to see the rest of the cars before the lunch break and racing started. And to get a Mr Watts scribble as well.

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Back at the Chicane it was the GTs qualifying followed by the Formula Fords, Tiff Needell again campaigning his Autosport prize from the 70s.

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We walked the long way round to the Complex, grabbing lunch as we waited the afternoon races, beginning with the 70s Roadsports. A long tussle between a Ferrari and Lotus was resolved with a puncture and spin for the Italian.

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Next up the Formula Juniors provided wheel to wheel single seater action.

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Then it was the Super Tourers turn. After a couple of warm up laps they did a rolling start and the pack thundered into view. For 20 minutes it was the late 1990s again. After Honda problems the Vectra or Cleland finished first followed by Watts Peugeot.

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With a brilliant race we headed back round the track for the 40 minute GTs. Some start finish line viewing before some pitlane pitstop watching.

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The last race for us was the F2/F5000 revival. big slicks and wings at the Chicane.

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The last job of the day was to pop back to the 406 and get some contact details for Mr Watts for a friend. A quick chat about his race and a flick through my photos lead to a cheeky request for a sit in the car. A perfect end to the day. The Revival is on my list for next year as well now.

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The rest of the photos can be found here.