Church cor­ner work at Thrux­ton

Motor Sport News - - Racing News -

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.”

Rey­nard has been re­united with SF78 he drove to suc­cess

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