These cars run a very special Honda F20 engine with reverse head setup. Honda apparently removed the ECU’s as soon as the cars were sold privately so they now run-on aftermarket items. The car is covered in carbon with no expense spared and the intake for the engine sits meaningfully in the engine bay. The massive tubbed arches make it obvious as to why the saloons were able to run so low on track, this car is raised for transport purposes at the moment.
Opening the doors for a gander inside and you are instantly greeted by a substantial roll cage, evidently there for both the integrity of the shell and the safety of the driver, as we all know Super Touring saw its fair share of accidents. It’s not the usual FIA cage diameter which is a little odd, but the spider web of pipework makes you feel pretty safe even sat in it at a standstill. Interestingly all the doors are steel, skinned on the inside with carbon door cards, I sort of expected fiberglass.
More awesome continues inside as you sit in the seat with a digi dash in front of you sat on a carbon dash pod whilst your feet are greeted by an OBP pedal box. The passenger side is taken up by a large carbon panel section that supports a perfectly placed shifter for the Hewland sequential gearbox. A rather larger switch panel sits below some very cool in car Arb adjustment knobs, in here you feel like a pilot not a driver.
The centre lock O.Z Prodrive forged wheels hide more intricate details such as the bespoke hubs and coilover setup. I didn’t get a pic but the rear ARB is so large that a hole is cut in the rear boot floor to allow for the ride height.
Interestingly I had thought this may well be the ex-Thompson due to its livery but according to the register for these cars its actually a 98-99 ex Paula Cook car. Paula ran in BTTC in the independents for DC Cook Motorsport and had planned to be the first women in BTCC history to complete a whole season. Sadly the team ran into financial difficulty after round 16 in 1999 and Paula did not reach her dream. Mind you two independent cup wins in a very competitive field Is a great achievement in itself.
We were fortunate enough to have this motorsport legend grace a number of our trackdays in 2021 as it awoke from its slumber and long term overhaul. It caused quite a stir in the paddock and on track with many of our customers. The team found a flat spot in the power band which was solved by some mapping on the dyno and it one session they did have wheel failure. According to a number of sources it was part of the super touring regs that a car must still move under its own power with just three wheels and so each car is balanced that way. Its quite odd to see.
CTRCC have created a series for Super Tourers in 2022 and there has been much talk about who wand what will be racing. This very car took part in the first round at Silverstone recently and it was great to see images on socials of this, the Primera, Volvo S40 and together ST's racing as they sued too.
Big thanks to Aston Motorsport for letting us in on covering one of our favourite tin tops and also Chris Presley for all the on event images at Castle Combe.