Teesside International Circuit – May Bank Holiday

Firstly, apologies for the lack of thorough blog posts recently. I’ve been determined to get more seat time as of late which means most of my free time is spent spannering, while all of my time at the track is taken up by either driving or fixing the car. Moving cities recently also hasn’t helped but, so long as you’ll forgive the inclusion of photos taken on a phone as opposed to ones taken solely a proper camera (as well as the odd one or two from other photographers), I’d like to try and rejuvenate the blog a bit.

The weekend just gone saw me take part in a practice day at Teesside Autodrome but, unlike most Teesside days, they would be running the full International circuit (a layout I’ve wanted to drive for years). The car was in a bad way but there was no way I was going to miss this, so on Sunday morning I headed up to Manchester to do some work on the car at Owen Autobodies with Sam, Charlie and Chidley.

Charlie’s CA18 powered S13 that I’ve previously featured.

Chidley’s SR20DE powered S13.

After getting my car back on the ground (replacement handbrake cables had been the order of the day) I couldn’t help but test fit some of Charlie’s front canards – what do you think, yay or nay?

Jan (Dan) joined us later on in his just-finished PS13 and we set off further up North to Teesside with beers, burgers and a BBQ (minus any coal, major oversight) in tow.

Jamie and Terry met us at the track and it was time to spend another night sleeping in my standard S14 passenger seat for the second weekend in a row.

Come Sunday morning and I got to drive the International layout for the first time. Having driven the National and West layouts before neither were anything new, but linking the two together was great fun.

However, the entry into the first corner of the West track was now a third gear affair and an awful lot faster than normal – my over-excuberant kicks and flicks got the better of me on a number of occasions, twice clipping the tyres lining the edge of the course with my rear bumper and exhaust, smashing them both.

An overly-wide line into the first hairpin while being chased by Gaz Moose also caused me to clip the tyres, doing this to my already mangled quarter. Good thing I’ve got overfenders just waiting to be fitted.

I eventually got the hang of it in the end though and put in a couple of half-decent laps, although looking back there are still areas to work on. This is why I like using the GoPro, so I can look back and see what really happened and where I can improve. Here’s some on-board footage from one of the laps:

Alex also showed up in the afternoon to grab some passenger rides and dish out pointers.

By the end of the day the car wasn’t half looking beat up and it certainly got some stares on the three hour drive home (the lack of any sort of exhaust didn’t exactly help matters) but oh well, I was happy that I’d enjoyed another drift day without any massive catastrophes, had a BBQ with mates and also got some good practice in. Now to get the car back to full working order and (hopefully) painted one colour in time for Finalboss Matsuri next month.

Thanks to Peter Bartle for the opening photo.

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