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M100CUP - RB 182 Sprint and Hillclimb Car



GrahamV182

ClioSport Club Member
Chapter 1 – How on earth did I get to own a Clio?

pic 14.jpg



2016 will be etched in my memory for 3 main reasons -
  • Brexit referendum;
  • Trump being elected as the leader of the free world;
  • After 50 years of motoring I bought my first French car – a Racing Blue (RB) 182 for Hillclimbing and Sprinting (M100CUP).
Last week I posted few photos of my RB 182 on the 'All Racing Blue 182s on this Forum' thread and had some favourable comments … so I thought I would expand on how I arrived where I am today: yes, my claim to fame is that I'm probably the oldest bloke on this forum, thrashing an immaculate Clio up some very steep hills and around a mixture of race circuits ... just for fun.

It was quite a shock for me to find myself owning a Clio – I'd always liked the Nicole / Papa videos but I never, ever imagined I would own a little Clio! In this project write up I'm not going to focus on the technical build of the Clio for hillclimbing and sprinting – there are already some really excellent threads on this forum that provides masses of information on how to build a fast Clio for road or track . Instead I will try to explain how I developed a passion for this type of motorsport, some of the main learning points / mistakes along the way and life with the Clio.

I'm thinking of three 'big' posts to start with before I go into maintenance mode -

Chapter 1 - this post – explaining my background and 10 years of hillclimbing and sprinting in a Caterham Superlight 'R' and why I wanted a small 'hot hatch' instead of a 'red hot' Caterham;
Chapter 2 – looking at the build and delivery of M100CUP by K-Tec Racing. I know there have been some negative comments on K-Tec on this forum but hopefully I can paint a slightly brighter picture;
Chapter 3 – the first few competitions in M100CUP. What I like and what I find quite awful about M100CUP.​

So let the first chapter commence in earnest with a history lesson ….

I worked in Russia for about 10 or 11 years and my first Caterham was a 'bonus' to myself for enduring years of misery, working in the despair of Moscow. I counted up the entry stamps in my collection of Passports – 126 trips to Moscow, each one between 2 and 3 weeks. A lot of time out of the UK and a lot of time on Aeroflot.

When I suffered bouts of boredom / depression at work in Moscow I used to look on Pistonheads and think about what I should buy as my 'bonus'. I settled on a Caterham 7. My first Caterham was a beautiful British Racing Green Classic – with a 1600 Ford 'crossflow' engine and twin 40 webbers. What a noise - I was hooked on Caterhams.

It was a natural progression to then go for a faster Caterham (a Superlight 'R' – pic below - carbon body bits hence the name 'super light') and of course then to dip my toe in the competition water with the Lotus Seven Club. I loved it, so to cut a long story short I developed the Superlight 'R' into a really fast car for competitions that was still road legal – and really, really scary on the road.

caterham.jpg


The video below was taken in 2014 at Castle Hillclimb in Cornwall (turn the sound up so you get the full effect of the 'K' series engine singing at 8,300 rpm):


2014 was a good year for competition wins for me – I think it was 16 or 17 'First in Class' awards..... and well into the top 10 overall for the two championships I entered: Association of South West Motor Clubs (ASWMC) Speed Championship and the Wiscombe Hillclimb Championship.

The video below shows Wiscombe Hillclimb from inside the Caterham – my favourite venue. Its difficult to imagine the adrenaline rush you get driving as fast as you can up a single track road – the Caterham was over 90 mph up a narrow, single track, 1 in 4 hill, just feet away from the Rhododendrons on each side of the road !!


So two key learning points for me to pass on in Chapter 1:

1) If you are looking for a relatively cheap and safe entry into Motorsport then I strongly recommend Hillclimbing and Sprinting (collectively known as Speed events). This is competition against the clock … cars run singly, so there is no one else to take you off or to crash into. You only go as fast as you feel comfortable. There are a wide range of 'Road Going' classes that you can enter, its great fun and a Clio makes a great entry level machine (more of that later).

2) Running a Caterham or similar doesn't have to be expensive... in fact I think it was remarkably cheap: my Superlight 'R' inclusive of trailer cost me £16,500 in late 2005 .... major expense in 2013 when I had a £3,000 engine / gearbox refresh and £1000 upgrade for a fantastic set of Nitron dampers. So my total investment was less than £21,000 over the life of the car. I ran the car in competitions and on the road for 8 years and sold it for a fiver short of £20,000. Total cost for 8 years ownership - £1,000. Yes, there were new tyres, oil changes, pads, tax, MOTs, etc but most of the servicing was run of the mill stuff which I could do myself. So for 8+ years I had a very cheap, very fast, competitive car that I used all over the country...... great fun and a lot of good friends made.

(Thinks - perhaps the second learning point applies to many unusual / exotic cars... if you buy well and look after it then it should retain its value?)

At the end of 2015 there were a number of factors that caused me to rethink what car I wanted to run in Hillclimbing and Sprinting -
  • Retirement fast approaching;
  • Loss of garage space to safely store the car;
  • The Caterham was becoming an effort to climb into through the full cage;
  • I was fed up with getting the car off and on the trailer;
  • Time to reduce my investment in cars, free up some money - and get something cheaper!
  • I sold the Caterham in September 2015 (advertised it on the Tuesday, sold by the Thursday).
So I think that is the end of Chapter 1 – the next instalment will cover how I decided to got for a hot hatch Hillclimb / Sprint car, the options I looked at and how I came across M100CUP.

Chapter 2 to follow ….. bit of a teaser photo :)
IMG_0236.JPG
 
Last edited:

GrahamV182

ClioSport Club Member
Post up the times for Castle :smile: in the Caterham v Clio v a nice Audi TT!!
Hi Nathan - hope you are well? How the Rally build going?

Just looked at one set of results for Castle - http://www.swtimekeeping.co.uk/Documents/SwtResultsFor150802.pdf
On that day I think 28.16 was my fastest time up Castle in my non-turbo, non 4 wheel drive Caterham - I think you did a 29.86 that day ? Were you running in 2 wheel drive mode? or was the turbo switched off? :)
The Clio is still 'work in progress' ... LOL. My best result in the Clio last year was 3rd in Class (out of 13) at Manor Farm. First and second were turbo'ed, 4 wheel drive so I was very chuffed to get 3rd.

I can remember sitting in the start queue at Castle Hillclimb in the Clio ... listening to the cricket on the Alpine stereo with 6 speakers. Now that is CLASS !
 

a17vts

ClioSport Club Member
  2005 RB 182 Cup
Great opening post.

I look forward to reading about the events moving forward.

Tom
 

green

ClioSport Club Member
  Hi comp phase 1
Great post.. will be following your progress. Look forward to your next instalment.
Good luck.
 

GrahamV182

ClioSport Club Member
Chapter 2 – I put my trust in K-Tec Racing.

Having moved on from the Caterham in Chapter 1, I wanted a car that was more 'sensible' than the adrenaline fuelled Caterham – one that I could drive to and from events without using a trailer. So a move from 'Specialist Production class' to 'Series Production class' seemed ideal (i.e. Caterham class to the Hot Hatch class).

The most subscribed class in the ASWMC Championship with the largest range of interesting cars is probably Class A3 – roadgoing series production up to 2.6 litre engines. The front runners in this class all seem to be turbo'ed with 4 wheel drive – yes, if I target that class I would be up against 330+ bhp, 4 wheel drive machines. A Clio 182 would not be a front runner.

So when looking for a car to buy… do I try to be up at the front of class A3? Or do I lower my ambitions? I had a lot of success in the Caterham and from experience I think winning is very overrated …. its much more fun (and cheaper!) to have a car that is competitive 'in the pack' where 10ths of a second can make the difference between say 6th and 10th place. This is after all just grass roots motorsport where the emphasis is on enjoyment.

So where to start? Looking at the Pistonheads averts there were four contenders that I liked the look of -
  • Clio 197
  • Corsa VXR
  • Impreza STI (discounted as it was a higher class than my target A3)
  • EVO VI (discounted as it was a higher class than my target A3)
Of the Clio and Corsa, the latter probably had the greatest potential for pure BHP output but then you are looking at forged engines, uprated turbos, massive intercoolers, etc – did I really want to start going down that route? Reliability was a key factor for me so I didn't want to over stress the engine.

Clio 197s seemed relatively good value so I started looking around at Clio 197s. One caught my attention at K-Tec Carsales – the car sales division of K-Tec Racing. It was a pretty Clio 197 with a Brembo big brake upgrade and uprated Bilstein suspension. It was not cheap at £7000 but it looked very smart and had an impeccable service history (belts etc just done by K-Tec). I phone K-Tec to enquire about it and when I said I was thinking of hillclimbing / sprinting it I was put through to Sean Martin – the guru of all things Renault performance at K-Tec.

Sean invited me over for a chat to talk about what I was looking for and what options are available. He asked me what my 'basic requirements' were. My list included -

  • Budget of £7,000 to £8,000
  • Reliability (as I was driving to and from competitions);
  • Competitive (against non-turbo, non 4 wheel drive cars);
  • Something that wasn't too stupid or harsh for the road;
  • Something that made me smile when I drove it.

Sean at K-Tec gave me two main options -

  1. 1) The very nice 197 with the suspension / brake upgrades (very sensible for the road, but I thought it would become a bit boring) ...
    2) For the same money they could build me a much more competition focused 182 based on a 'wreck' they had around the back - this was M100CUP.
I use the term 'wreck' very lightly – it was a non runner that had been stood around for about a year but the car had only covered 48,000 miles since new. It was a non runner because the engine had been turbo'ed but had let go in a big way. It needed a lot of TLC but I could see the potential.

One of the main things that attracted me to a 182 was the reduced weight when compared to a 197 – the 182 has a standard kerb weight of 1070 kg where the 197 was a bit of a fat boy at 1240 kg. In competition its important to reduce the weight as far as the regulations allow (the Caterham was only 470 kg) and the 197 is nearly 200 kg heavier.

The shell / interior of M100CUP fitted the bill. It already had -
  • Wilwood brakes;
  • Gaz coilovers;
  • Quaife ATB diff;
  • Upgraded / mappable ECU;
  • Very smart interior with carbon seats;
  • Sports CAT;
  • KTR Exhaust;
  • Loads … I mean loads … of carbon fibre trim.
The bad points were -
  • It was covered in a inch of dust and grime;
  • It was a non runner ( I couldn't test drive it!);
  • It needed a new engine (but at least I didn't need to worry about the belts... lol);
  • It was on 17 inch team dynamics – too big for competition;
  • The suspension geometry looked fairly standard;
  • It had been stood for about a year so would need some real TLC to get it up to scratch.
Pic of M100CUP under a layer of grime -

M100Cup (2).jpg




Sean at K-Tec was very good – he listened to what I wanted, suggested options and prices. He put all of this into a 4 page e-mail for me to consider over the weekend. No sales pressure – just sound advice and options to think about.

I did some research into the background of M100Cup – it looks like it was a bit of a soft boy show car:
  • It was mentioned in cliosport.net for being exhibited at the French Car Show;
  • It was a cover queen in Redline magazine (Pic below)
M100CUP 010.png



So I had some decisions to make. I talked it over with my financial advisor (i.e. the wife) and she said 'yes, go for the pretty blue one. You only retire once so make it a good one'.

The major extras I included in my wish list to K-Tec were -
  • Brand new Renault engine – not recon, or used – brand spanking new.
  • Helix paddle clutch;
  • New bonnet required (old one had cut outs for the turbo cooling which failed to match hillclimb regulations);
  • Aero catches;
  • Jenvey throttle bodies (plus conversion to cable throttle);
  • 197 cams (more flexible than Cat Cams across the rev range with Jenveys?);
  • Speedline 2118s with Toyo R888Rs;
  • Mintex M1144 brake pads;
  • It needed new harnesses;
  • Suspension Geo set up required – lots of negative camber for quick turn-in :)
  • The body needed some tweeking to match the 'Series Production' regulations e.g. it needed a back seat :)
  • And of course it would all need remapping to get the most out the upgrades.
My choice of brake pads might be interesting - I found that the cold performance of the M1144s in the Caterham was superb. In hillclimbing you never get chance to warm your brakes so you always arrive at the first corner with cold brakes.... hence the need for instant response from your pads when cold. Brake fade through heat is not an issue in hillclimbing.

Also thinking about the tyres – If I was looking purely at fast road / track day then no way would I use Toyo R888Rs. My tyre of choice for road / track / wet / dry would be the Kumho Ecsta V70A.... but this is no longer legal for road going classes under MSA regulations so went for a boring option of Toyos. These are wearing pretty thin now so I will probably go for the Extreme VR2 later this year (pic below).

So I put my faith in Sean and K-Tec Racing – I'd never even driven a Clio 182 and I was paying over a £1000 deposit for them to build me a car based on a non runner covered in grime. Some people might think me crazy – but I had a feeling this could be quite special and what price do you put on the enjoyment you get from a hobby?

So the rebuild of M100CUP started in about May 2015. Each following Friday I would get an e-mail from Sean explaining the progress they had made and asking questions about options that I might like to consider. The photos below show the build and were part of the build documentation from K-Tec (provided by K-Tec on a memory stick at the end of the build – nice touch).

The old engine comes out -

Vingoe_Cup 003.jpg

The big hole left when the blown engine was removed ...

IMG_0173.JPG


The new engine .... :)

IMG_0136.JPG


The goodies ready to go on .....
Vingoe_Cup 001.jpg


The new engine, clutch and gearbox back in place ....

IMG_0189.JPG


Throttle bodies and throttle cable fitted ....
IMG_0233.JPG


Air filter / trim fitted ....

IMG_0257.JPG


Damn ... I cant upload any more photos (limit of 10) so I will have to continue Chapter 2 in a later post .....
 

Attachments

GrahamV182

ClioSport Club Member
Chapter 2 Continued - I pick up the car:

What does it look like? - Incredible!
What does it drive like? - Incredible!

In Chapter 3 I will explain more about driving M100CUP and my first competitions in the Clio. Just to finish Chapter 2 off are the following photos of what the car looks like after the rebuild by K-Tec Racing:

one.JPG


The interior with carbon seats, new harnesses and rear seat fitted -


IMG_0356.JPG


Rear seat fitted (required by hillclimb regulations) - needed pruning to accommodate the rollbar and harnesses -

IMG_0414.JPG


After a quick polish -
four.JPG


Chapter 3 - teaser - using it in anger .....
pic 14.jpg


So that's the main part of the build completed ... In the next instalment I will look at the driving experience, what I love and what I hate about the Clio. Thanks for reading this far :)
 

bashracing

ClioSport Club Member
  1993 micra
That looks very well sorted,
I would consider looking into lighter wheels and some AST suspension.
You may also come up against some opposition from other competitors regarding the front slam panel being missing when you start winning
 

GrahamV182

ClioSport Club Member
What happend to the 17"s I'm looking at the old Clio Maxis that ran 17"s on tarmac rallies so need to try some!!
Hi Nathan, the 17 inch wheels and tyres were part exchanged against the Speedline and Toyos. So I didn't have to pay the full price for upgrades..... K-Tec quoted me upgrade prices rather than purchase prices.
I think 17 inch may be good for your rally car but not so good for hillclimbs.
G
 

Davyy

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 172
Wow, that looks great. Background is cool too.

What power is it?
 

Brushwood69

ClioSport Club Member
Good to know you need a backseat for hill climbing
For specialist road going you have to keep all the trim but are allowed to remove the carpets and replace the seats and steering wheel and can run semi racing tyres from the MSA 1b list. The new production class is even stricter and you have to leave the car basically as it came from the factory and run on road tyre (MSA 1a) (with some others rules as well for both classes)
 
  197 Cup
For specialist road going you have to keep all the trim but are allowed to remove the carpets and replace the seats and steering wheel and can run semi racing tyres from the MSA 1b list. The new production class is even stricter and you have to leave the car basically as it came from the factory and run on road tyre (MSA 1a) (with some others rules as well for both classes)
Thanks,

What about a cage? I see graham has a rear cage. So I take it's a safety element?
 

Brushwood69

ClioSport Club Member
A cage is an msa recommendation but is not mandatory. All you need is a car with yellow tape around the battery earth, a sticker showing the on/off for ignition, FIA race suit, helmet and gloves and a metal strut on front of car to break beam oh and msa non race licence which requires no test ARDS or bars.

Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
 

GrahamV182

ClioSport Club Member
Chapter 3 – was it worth it?

@Davyy asked about the power output – this is the video taken by K-Tec of the power run ( I always get nervous when I see this – just in case it goes 'pop')
Link to Face book video below -
And below is the actual Power Chart printout. I was a little bit disappointed as I was hoping for just over 210 BHP but it made 208 bhp on a new, tight engine .
Power Chart -
power .jpg



I picked the car up from K-Tec 4 days before my first event – Castle Hillclimb at Lostwithiel, Cornwall.

I packed the car up on the Friday morning with a little bit of apprehension – the furthest I'd driven the car was 10 miles and now I was driving it down into the wildest depths of Cornwall. I had the road works on the A30 to look forward to.... but it would be good to meet up with all the ASWMC crowd again (probably the friendliest championship in the UK? A lot of people with funny Cornish accents but nobodies perfect … lol). We normally have a nice meal on the Saturday night at the Globe Hotel, in Lostwithiel – instead of the 'Lager Louts' we are the 'Saga Louts'.

I didn't have to worry – the car performed beautifully all weekend. The trip down was busy – lots of holiday traffic on the M5 and A30 but the Clio was brilliant and plenty fast enough for pleasant and relaxed cruising. My results at the hillclimb were not brilliant - @Brushwood69 was miles faster than me in his superb Audi TT. I managed mid table as you can see below – so I was very happy for my first time out in the car.

Castle Hillclimb Results -
castle .jpg



My next adventure was one day at Wiscombe Park – a venue I love in the dry and hate in the wet. It was dry for the two practice runs and I was in the top 5. Then it started hammering down and I lost interest – Toyo R888Rs are not my tyre of choice on a wet slippy hill.

For my first competition time of the afternoon I had loaded everything into the back of the car – drove to the top of the hill and kept going …. through the spectators car park and drove home. I did stop to take my competition numbers off :)

Manor Farm was my next event– damp and slippy but my best result in the Clio. 3rd in class out of 13 class entries!!! I have to say I think I got more fun out of that result than getting a class win in the Caterham. Perhaps I was now getting used to front wheel drive?

Great selection of cars in my class – including a very well prepared Vauxhall Firenza. Remember them?

Manor Farm results -
manor farm.jpg



My final outing of 2016 was a late entry into Mamhead Hillclimb in Devon. Not good – some gear selection problems – more of that later but the photos were good.

Mamhead photos -

pic 11.jpg


print 19.jpg


So after a few events what do I like about the Clio:

  • Its civilised – comfy seats, carpets, stereo, heater, windscreen wipers, etc;
  • Its plenty fast enough;
  • Brakes are brilliant;
  • The intake and exhaust noise is intoxicating;
  • It just makes me smile when I drive it – what more could I ask?
What I don't like about the Clio:

  • The huge gap between first and second gear. A good friend gave me a spreadsheet that listed all the different gear ratios, different wheel / tyre combinations and how the revs equated to speed. When you accelerate off the start line my rev limit of 7,200 soon comes up – I change into second and the revs drop off to just above 4,000. The gap between first and second seems huge ….
  • The Helix paddle clutch is great for competition but its either 'on' or 'off' … it takes a bit of getting used to. The trick is to keep the revs up on the road …. you soon get used to it.
  • 'Short Shift' thingy – what a pain in the arse! When you are strapped back in your seat you can't really reach first gear and the selection seems a bit hit or miss. The gear knob is a shiny metal ball which is brilliant if you have bare hands to grip it ..... but absolutely useless when you have slippy FIA Race gloves on.
So thats it for 2016. The car has been back to K-Tec to trace an intermittent tickover problem.... traced to a dicky fuel pump and a failing coil pack (replaced FOC by K-Tec). They also fitted a new starter motor as that was playing up whilst it was with them – again free of change (thanks guys).

What's next? April 2nd is my first event of 2017 at the Clay Pigeon Kart Circuit, near Dorchester. Yes – the kart circuit! Its really good fun – two laps of the kart circuit against the clock. Its not fast - second gear all the way. My best ever time in the Caterham was 79 seconds – if I can get an 86 or an 87 second run then I will be very chuffed. I have also bought a new cam mount for the Clio so I will start recording the action :)

Thanks again for reading the ramblings of an old guy.
 
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a17vts

ClioSport Club Member
  2005 RB 182 Cup
As stated before a great read and I look forward to future up-dates.
 

bashracing

ClioSport Club Member
  1993 micra
The gearing is pretty shocking for hillclimbing, I ended up going down the plate diff and 5.25 final drive route, this gave me a second gear that acted as a long first and the rest of the gears were nice and close together, this is the box with a standard engine fitted

Another person that hillclimbs down your neck of the woods is Nick from pure motorsport, a very handy bloke to know and always willing to give advice gained through experience
http://www.pure-motorsport.co.uk/clio_shop.php?model=6
 

Pauleds

ClioSport Club Member
  172 Cup Rally Car
That looks very well sorted,
I would consider looking into lighter wheels and some AST suspension.
You may also come up against some opposition from other competitors regarding the front slam panel being missing when you start winning
I thought that about the slam panel when I saw it too.
Lovely looking car though.
 

shiftspark

ClioSport Club Member
  FiST3 and172 Cup
A great read, as Bash has said a gripper diff and higher final drive will make a big difference , more so than big power imho.
Another guy who may have already helped you is George Koopman, he ran a Trophy a few years back and we shared lots of info,well more him than me lol
The slam panel is tricky as you have Jenveys that sweep upwards so is pretty impossible to cover up. I used AT direct to head bodies but with short ram pipes made very little torque so ended up selling them.
 

marc1330

ClioSport Club Member
  Hill lover
Good read Graham, and seeing and hearing the car in the flesh, it's a nice piece of kit.
I don't know if remember me I have bumped into you at a few events and had a chat, I run a blue ITB'd clio cup in the DEWS class.

Looking forward to this year, my first event is the April wiscombe event, but i will be at clay spectating!!
 

Brushwood69

ClioSport Club Member
George is a very clever man having worked for Williams f1 in the good old days and also xtrac I think. He has just got a pdk Cayman to give him a challenge! We all went to Llandow last year and privately hired the track which is a great blast with only 10 cars!

Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
 

GrahamV182

ClioSport Club Member
George is a very clever man having worked for Williams f1 in the good old days and also xtrac I think. He has just got a pdk Cayman to give him a challenge! We all went to Llandow last year and privately hired the track which is a great blast with only 10 cars!
Yes, I'd second all that. It was George K that gave me the spreadsheet with all the different gear ratios, speed, wheel tyre sizes for Clio 182s....

Re the comments on the 'slam panel' having a wedge cut out to miss the throttle bodies - Looking at the 2017 Blue Book I don't think its a problem in the Series Production category for Sprints and Hillclimbs as I have not altered the 'silhouette'. I think 11.4.1 covers it:

Blue Book .jpg


The comments on the gripper diff and lower final drive are spot on - if I knew then what I know now.

@marc1330 please say hello at Clay Pigeon - I'm also booked in to the April bash at Wiscombe - fingers crossed for dry weather :)
 
Chapter 2 Continued - I pick up the car:

What does it look like? - Incredible!
What does it drive like? - Incredible!

In Chapter 3 I will explain more about driving M100CUP and my first competitions in the Clio. Just to finish Chapter 2 off are the following photos of what the car looks like after the rebuild by K-Tec Racing:

View attachment 180138

The interior with carbon seats, new harnesses and rear seat fitted -


View attachment 180136

Rear seat fitted (required by hillclimb regulations) - needed pruning to accommodate the rollbar and harnesses -

View attachment 180137

After a quick polish -
View attachment 180139

Chapter 3 - teaser - using it in anger .....
View attachment 180140

So that's the main part of the build completed ... In the next instalment I will look at the driving experience, what I love and what I hate about the Clio. Thanks for reading this far :)
should get some 'cup' back seats .... they weigh almost nothing ..... those look like trophy seats ???
 
Chapter 3 – was it worth it?

@Davyy asked about the power output – this is the video taken by K-Tec of the power run ( I always get nervous when I see this – just in case it goes 'pop')
Link to Face book video below -
And below is the actual Power Chart printout. I was a little bit disappointed as I was hoping for just over 210 BHP but it made 208 bhp on a new, tight engine .
Power Chart -
View attachment 180157


I picked the car up from K-Tec 4 days before my first event – Castle Hillclimb at Lostwithiel, Cornwall.

I packed the car up on the Friday morning with a little bit of apprehension – the furthest I'd driven the car was 10 miles and now I was driving it down into the wildest depths of Cornwall. I had the road works on the A30 to look forward to.... but it would be good to meet up with all the ASWMC crowd again (probably the friendliest championship in the UK? A lot of people with funny Cornish accents but nobodies perfect … lol). We normally have a nice meal on the Saturday night at the Globe Hotel, in Lostwithiel – instead of the 'Lager Louts' we are the 'Saga Louts'.

I didn't have to worry – the car performed beautifully all weekend. The trip down was busy – lots of holiday traffic on the M5 and A30 but the Clio was brilliant and plenty fast enough for pleasant and relaxed cruising. My results at the hillclimb were not brilliant - @Brushwood69 was miles faster than me in his superb Audi TT. I managed mid table as you can see below – so I was very happy for my first time out in the car.
A general question on hill climbing ...... how do you keep the traction (not wheel spin) on the tight corners ??? i.e. 2nd and even 1st gears ????


Castle Hillclimb Results -
View attachment 180158


My next adventure was one day at Wiscombe Park – a venue I love in the dry and hate in the wet. It was dry for the two practice runs and I was in the top 5. Then it started hammering down and I lost interest – Toyo R888Rs are not my tyre of choice on a wet slippy hill.

For my first competition time of the afternoon I had loaded everything into the back of the car – drove to the top of the hill and kept going …. through the spectators car park and drove home. I did stop to take my competition numbers off :)

Manor Farm was my next event– damp and slippy but my best result in the Clio. 3rd in class out of 13 class entries!!! I have to say I think I got more fun out of that result than getting a class win in the Caterham. Perhaps I was now getting used to front wheel drive?

Great selection of cars in my class – including a very well prepared Vauxhall Firenza. Remember them?

Manor Farm results -
View attachment 180159


My final outing of 2016 was a late entry into Mamhead Hillclimb in Devon. Not good – some gear selection problems – more of that later but the photos were good.

Mamhead photos -

View attachment 180160

View attachment 180161

So after a few events what do I like about the Clio:

  • Its civilised – comfy seats, carpets, stereo, heater, windscreen wipers, etc;
  • Its plenty fast enough;
  • Brakes are brilliant;
  • The intake and exhaust noise is intoxicating;
  • It just makes me smile when I drive it – what more could I ask?
What I don't like about the Clio:

  • The huge gap between first and second gear. A good friend gave me a spreadsheet that listed all the different gear ratios, different wheel / tyre combinations and how the revs equated to speed. When you accelerate off the start line my rev limit of 7,200 soon comes up – I change into second and the revs drop off to just above 4,000. The gap between first and second seems huge ….
  • The Helix paddle clutch is great for competition but its either 'on' or 'off' … it takes a bit of getting used to. The trick is to keep the revs up on the road …. you soon get used to it.
  • 'Short Shift' thingy – what a pain in the arse! When you are strapped back in your seat you can't really reach first gear and the selection seems a bit hit or miss. The gear knob is a shiny metal ball which is brilliant if you have bare hands to grip it ..... but absolutely useless when you have slippy FIA Race gloves on.
So thats it for 2016. The car has been back to K-Tec to trace an intermittent tickover problem.... traced to a dicky fuel pump and a failing coil pack (replaced FOC by K-Tec). They also fitted a new starter motor as that was playing up whilst it was with them – again free of change (thanks guys).

What's next? April 2nd is my first event of 2017 at the Clay Pigeon Kart Circuit, near Dorchester. Yes – the kart circuit! Its really good fun – two laps of the kart circuit against the clock. Its not fast - second gear all the way. My best ever time in the Caterham was 79 seconds – if I can get an 86 or an 87 second run then I will be very chuffed. I have also bought a new cam mount for the Clio so I will start recording the action :)

Thanks again for reading the ramblings of an old guy.
 

eon172

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 172 (CUP)
should get some 'cup' back seats .... they weigh almost nothing ..... those look like trophy seats ???
I agree they are very light, plus I just strapped the back part down on to the base as to miss the cage and save hacking it up. I also run in production series in the SE...for now at least.

Great read!
 


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