Church corner work at Thruxton
The British Automobile Racing Club has started work on Church Corner – often referred to as the fastest corner in British motor racing – at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire, after accidents that occurred there in the past.
Thruxton bosses initiated an investigation shortly after three crashes during a BTCC meeting in 2014 where Ollie Jackson and Simon Belcher both hit trees, while Nick Foster also crashed at the corner.
It is understood that the corner itself will remain unchanged; the work is being done to fill a dip in the ground in the run-off. Further planning permission is being sought to extend the runoff by 20 metres, with the work scheduled to take place in the 2017/18 offseason.
Thruxton’s early season activities have been affected, with the traditional pre-season test moved back until April 20/21.
“We made it very clear when initial discussions took place that nobody had any desire to alter the corner or dilute the challenge of Church,” said Thruxton Group managing director Bill Coombs.
“But at the same time, it was evident that we needed to do some work on the run-off area and barriers at the critical point where those three drivers went off [in 2014].”
New Zealand this weekend, has been invited to race a chassis he used in 1978 by its current owner, Uk-based Kiwi James Lovett.
Reynard raced the SF78-049 to fifth in the BARC British Air Ferries Championship and eighth in the MCD/BRSCC Lord’s Taverners series in ’78 before his ’79 success.
The car has been restored by Neil Fowler Motorsport in its Raceparts UK livery, reflecting period backing from Peter Bloore’s concern.
“I expected it to have been tested [previously], so was a bit surprised to find it was essentially brand new,” said Reynard. “After stiffening the [anti-roll] bars and doing a few other bits I really got a charge from it.
“I’m sure FF2000S have a lot more grip now than we had on the Dunlops. Those Avons are amazing; I was getting on the power earlier and earlier.
“By the end James told me I was down to front row times. I’m not really into learning new tracks but look forward to seeing what rounds I could fit in.”
Lovett added: “Adrian flew in from the States to test the Reynard on its shakedown at Silverstone in October and loved it. I did one session for a taste of slicks and wings then left him to it. He was enjoying it so much that I thought it would be best if he raced it.”