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Round 6: Birkett Relay







TEAM ASHGOOD PORSCHE SPECIALISTS WITH CAP

 

From the start of the year, the Birkett was firmly highlighted on our calendar. A few weeks prior to the Birkett , our red cars took a beating at Spa, while the silver Boxster suffered a dropped valve in the lead-up to the Birkett.

 

After a high speed spin on oil at Pouhn, which ended up with 72 in the barrier,this not only jeopardized our weekend but also put the car on the brink of being written off, we swiftly booked it into a metal fabricator in Oldham for rescue.

 

Huge gratitude to Ian Tate (Tatey) in Oldham. Not only did he promptly take in the car, but he assured us it would be Birkett-ready. We received photos of the car on the jig at 11 pm that night. He not only delivered on his promise, but the quality of his work was so so good. We can't recommend him highly enough. He came highly recommended by the team we shared a garage with at SPA on the day of the crash, really good CALM guys helping out again !

 

SPA had more in store for us. Our other car in the team brushed the tyre wall at Eau Rouge on the final lap after 61 minutes of racing. This meant Dave Watling and his team at Copse had their work cut out to prepare all three cars for the 6-hour race in just a few weeks. Without their invaluable help, Silverstone would've been out of the question.

 

Mechanically, our cars have been stellar this year, and the Birkett was no exception. Given the demanding life they lead, it's a true testament to the work the guys at Copse Automotive do for us.

 

With 3 cars and 5 drivers, we embarked on the race. William Curtler, a 20-year-old university student started for us. He put in an impressive stint, clawing up positions in the scratch results. The rest of the team took their turns, each clocking in about an hour, except for AD (Andrew Duce) in the Silver Boxster, who put in two stints in his newly acquired car. An hour straight at the wheel was uncharted territory for us, no doubt a gruelling effort, but also undeniably exhilarating.

 

Our race unfolded seamlessly, with no major hiccups. The only hiccup? Fuel. The on-site station ran dry, and the local garages unhappy at filling containers.

 

I asked our drivers about the highs and lows. Highs included completing the race, the weather holding up at 95% dry, the camaraderie, and the invaluable experience for a relatively green team of drivers. The cars performed flawlessly. Extracting a low point from the drivers was a tough task, but if we had to name one, it was packing up in the pouring rain at the race's end—even then everyone was smiling.

 

Massive thanks to everyone who made our race a reality. CALM / Philipo, 750MC, Copse Automotive, Tatey the fabricator, Adam the paint maestro, the team at Ashgood who went above and beyond, and of course, our drivers, friends, and family who came out in full force to support us on race day. Days after the Birkett, the messages and whatapps keep coming through from everyone involved, all echoing what a fantastic time they had.

 

The new 2024 CALM calendar even came out whilst everyone was still on a Birkett high.

 

Our first Birkett and we loved it. Will we be back next year - Oh yes…..


CAP IT ALL – Team 36

Birkett 2023 Highs and Lows

 

Highs

 

·Being a part of a world famous end of season race.


·Working as a team that brought together a selection of CAP drivers and supporters who normally compete against each other in the CALM All Porsche Trophy (CAP), but this weekend were focused on a common cause. The camaraderie experienced within the team was outstanding and a real highlight of the weekend.


- Andy Baker in his beautifully prepared Boxster.


- Fernando Getino and Gary Martin in their shared Boxster, which was benefitting from a much needed suspension and running gear refresh after the rigours of SuperSpa.


- Warren Allen returning in his rapid Cayman after his recent CAP debut at Snetterton where he dominated proceedings.


- Supported by 924 drivers Andy Whiting and Hugh Peart manning the pit wall signalling for the 2 Boxsters, alongside Vince Boyle in his regular role of signaller for Warren. Plus a selection of very welcome friends and family supporters.


·After a remarkably trouble free pre-race build up, the start from the 17th row of the grid was taken by Andy Baker who managed the frantic first hour, consistently lapping around his defined target pace while avoiding incidents and penalties – exactly what was required. The team were in 43rd position overall, but more importantly a handy 20th (of 70) in the all-important handicap.


·The second hour was the responsibility of Warren who rose to the challenge magnificently, showing great pace and consistency in the Cayman as he scythed his way through the mid field runners. After Warren’s stint the team was an excellent 20th overall despite being slowed by the Safety Car – and a mightily encouraging 2nd in the handicap.

·The 3rd car out was Fern Getino in his Boxster, and like the others, he lapped quickly and consistently around his target time. An incident-free stint saw the team in the lead of the handicap race at the 3 hour mark – an amazing achievement for a team who got together for the first time on Friday afternoon.


·This high water mark couldn’t be maintained through the second half of the race, although the drivers fulfilled all that was asked of them. Andy Baker repeated his consistent and penalty free hour, followed by Warren. He had a limit to the number of laps allowed by the organisers, which was 16 for his second time on track. He reeled these off quickly and efficiently before handing over to Gary for the final 75 minutes.


·Gary went out for his extended session as rain threatened and darkness fell. His session was interrupted by Safety Car and yellow flag incidents, but he coped well with the conditions, maintaining his pace and even setting his fastest lap when the conditions were at the most treacherous.


·As the race concluded, Team 36 crossed the line in a commendable 31st overall and a highly respectable 12th in the handicap. The team was 3rd CAP finisher, and also finished the race with 3 unmarked cars – an excellent achievement after 6 hours of frenetic action, rewarded as Andy won the prize for best turned out CAP car.


Lows

·None – we all had a great time!

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