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Project Unicorn - 172 Cup Hillclimb / Sprint Car



jp_lcr

ClioSport Club Member
  172 Cup
Hi,

This is my first project thread on here. I wanted to start a thread to document my attempts to get into racing, my development as a driver and my cars development...

My Background

In from Sheffield, been obsessed with cars since I was a kid, went to University to study Automotive Engineering, built a single Formula Student race car with CBR600 engine but this was back in 1998 so it was more like Scrapheap Challenge (hubs off 1988 Nissan Sunny!) than the advanced composites stuff they do now. I couldn't get a break in Motorsport or wider Automotive industries (in hindsight should have tried harder) but ended up happy in Software Development / Data Engineering, still fun building and breaking stuff in its own way.

I've had all sorts of hot hatches, 1st car was Saxo VTS, Leon Cupra, Leon Curpra R, Golf GTI Mk5, Fiesta ST, Golf GTI Edition 30 which have all been modified in some way, then marriage and kids plus some sensible cars in between the above. I've always wanted to go racing and one day my wife said "why don't you stop talking about it and do it", under the rule that budget needs to stay below what I sell my current car for? So green light, green light, go go go.

I sold my Ed30, split budget in half, one for daily for family duties, other for race car, equipment and prep.

The Car

It's taken a long time to find. I'm a tight Yorkshire man so thought the best option was get something already prepared to race but not as easy as sounds. I wanted to start racing against the clock so I chose Hillclimbing and Sprinting (while I find my feet rather than to be wheel to wheel on track). So need a car meeting MSA specs and they are not easy to find. I viewed a few very nice track cars on here but fully stripped would be in Modified Production category up against some dedicated race cars which deep pockets and me knowing I need seat time to build my skills first. Even rarer to find something that fits straight into Road Going so based on much advice here and on www.uphillracers.co.uk I decided Standard Production SC class up to 2000cc NA is my best bet and a Clio 172 Cup is made for this class, only FIA safety gear and brake pads allowed to change otherwise car must be stock.

I found a Clio 172 Cup on Facebook of all places, 95k miles, but only 1 owner from new, not 1 previous but 1 nice guy called Ash owned this car from new, he got a bit bombarded on Facebook but I'd asked for first refusal as local to him and he kept his word 6 weeks later went to view shook hands deal done. Its not mint but decent condition a very honest car and owner, FSH, every receipt from new, belts done twice. Its even got the emergency / accident kit with disposable camera in its still. The project unicorn name came from the rarity of being a 1 owner and my daughter obsessed with them suggesting it!

A few photos here when arrived home, I sorted garage out too, as will be its new home bar weekend fun.

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Race ready?

I've done lots of research prior to purchasing anything so knew the car was correct for SC class, all standard apart from Mintex 1144 pads which work from cold, and Yokohama S01 tyres which while not first choice are MSA list 1a as needed for Curbourough where want to race as only an hour away, lots of cars in the class and track not as narrow as places like Harewood for getting started.

Other mandatory items are tow points marked front and back so ordered Pure Motorsport front tow point, rear one on 172 Cup is below bumper so just needs a sticker. Then a sticker for the ignition OFF direction and negative terminal wire on battery wrapped yellow so that's all MSA requirements covered. Non mandatory Cliosport forum sticker to go on too :)

Final thing I need is to make up a timing strut, then the other bits I want to do are part cosmetic part preventative maintenance.

As I type the car is now in the workshop with Revoution Rides with Mark for stage one correction, interior and engine bay, wheels refurbished and headlights restored. I've watched his work over last 7 years and excited to collect car end of the week. He sent me a preview of the headlight . Took time to talk to me and seemed to think my car was cool even if he works on supercar on other days. He shared ideas for wraps if next year move up classes and want it to look more race car that goes on road, than road car that races which it is now. I've got new original b pilllar stickers to go on, number plates and a Fabia Splitter too.

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Also booked in early May with Mick at Diamond Motors for all belts, dephaser, full service and clutch I figured I want to spend up front and not hold back racing and these are all things I need regardless of future class.

On the safety front I have FIA approved helmet, overalls, still need to buy gloves. I pciked them up in a flash sale at Oreca store in France 80% off!

I have my National B non race licence need for my class and will join club when cars ready. So by mid May I'll be ready to go racing!!!

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Thanks

The last thing I wanted to mention was a thank you to everyone who posts on here, in particular @GrahamV182 @shiftspark @donnylad @JohnnyE @Sonic Boom for the hillclimb advice, its a brilliant place to read up on what people have done to there cars, what works and doesn't and also comedy banter.

Any thoughts / advice / tips much appreciated cheers!
 

JohnnyE

ClioSport Club Member
  ITB'd Clio
Hi mate where did you get your door stickers and tow stickers ?

Also cars looking great
 

JohnnyE

ClioSport Club Member
  ITB'd Clio
Also don’t forget your yellow tape on the negative on battery and on off sticker on ignition if you haven’t done it yet...
 

jp_lcr

ClioSport Club Member
  172 Cup
Thanks mate, the original b pillars stickers ordered from Kam Racing and the tow stickers I'd originally ordered an MSA set from Demon Tweeks £3 which arrived but looked massive so Mark said he'd just make some up in white that suit/fit the bumpers better which is what you can see in pictures, have still used the ignition barrel one that came in the pack.

Will do yellow on negative when get the car back. Stayed with silver for Turini refurb as think looks great original (they were a mess before!)
 

a17vts

ClioSport Club Member
  2005 RB 182 Cup
Good luck with the sprinting/hill climbing. You’ll learn loads in your first year, I did.

?
 
  Clio 172 phase 1
Welcome to the clio hillclimbing/ sprinting club..great fun and very addictive ..which championship are you doing ?? HSA is the best imo , with varied events and a very competitive S1 class ..
 

jp_lcr

ClioSport Club Member
  172 Cup
Cheers I'm wondering whether to just do a few races at Curborough maybr elsewhere from mid May onwards and some racing school days plus track days at Donnington most local track for testing and seat time.

Then join a championship next year or just sign up now for Curborourgh championship accepting not be able to make them all, probably be slowest out at start and see it as a development year but a fun year?
 
  Clio 172 phase 1
You'll be near shelsley walsh and prescott then ?? ..those events are a different league, in respect of cars and prestige ..well worth giving a go ..Loton park too ( imo the best of the lot) .
 

jp_lcr

ClioSport Club Member
  172 Cup
Think they are all 2 hours away so not too far, 1 hour to Curborough, Harwood Hill and Blyton. So would you recommend doing a few races a few different places this year before picking a championship next year?
 

jp_lcr

ClioSport Club Member
  172 Cup
I've just sorted my daily too pick up Saturday morning a BMW X3 never had a 4x4 before but only done 50k FBMWSH lot of car for 5k will be great for family duties, keep Clio off road for winter and would work as future tow car if I get into racing and move through classes.

And randomly it's got a Ferrari battery too ? probably the one Ferrari OEM thing I will ever own as the owners son is mechanic at Ferrari main dealer.
 

Attachments

  Clio 172 phase 1
Yes..I would do a few different ones..I'm at harewood on Sunday..in my class ( I've been put into modified class) there are 45 cars ...massive class there ..one of the fastest iirc is a clio phase 1 ..think the lad might be on here ..
 
  Clio 172 phase 1
Will Roberts is the lad ..black phase 1 iirc..well worth chatting to him and seeing what's involved in modifying it and being competitive..
 

donnylad

ClioSport Club Member
if it was me id do the shenstone and district curborough championship.

I believe its 35 quid to enter the championship, and there are 9 events over the year, so if you made 4 of them its well worth it. I guess you dont even need to enter the championship, but for 35 quid I dont see why not.

https://www.curborough.co.uk/curborough-championship/

their is a sprint in two weeks if your ready, and wouldn't worry about being the slowest (you wont anyway) as it doesn't really matter, IMO you compete with yourself and try to improve on your times.

I have only done one practice event and am hoping to keep knocking time off with every event this year.
 

jp_lcr

ClioSport Club Member
  172 Cup
For that price I might as well sign up as well as try a few other tracks.

On a different note have sorted insurance with Reis good price and breakdown includes recovery or fixing from track/paddock even mid event which was one of my worries gone, if I damage car and cant get home.
 
  Clio 172 phase 1
Midland speed championship is 45 pounds to register .. would be a shame not to use all those hills near you..hope to see you/ compete against you this yr or next ..
 

jp_lcr

ClioSport Club Member
  172 Cup
Collected from it's new haircut quality work by Mark at Revolution, wheels look like new. For me now this is as clean now as a race car would ever need to be. If anyone needs anything can contact him on Facebook.

So this week its had...

Stage one detail (including interior, engine bay)
Headlights restored (plus film applied to protect from chips/UV and prevent them going again)
Alloys refurbished
Fabia splitter
Pure Motorsport tow eye front
Tow stickers front and back
Ignition barrel stickers
Clean number plates with small front plate
OEM Renaultsport carpet mats
OEM Rear wiper
OEM 172 Cup b pillar stickers

Last bits to finish MSA requirements/cosmetic refresh this weekend...

Front aero wipers
Gearknob sticker (to fit / lacquer)
Yellow tape battery negative
Snappy refurb or just leave it this season

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GazTwo

ClioSport Club Member
  Blue c/w Gold Wheels
Looks great pal, never mind Aero Wipers get some original Valeo ones from Euro Car Parts ??

They had 50% off the other week....



 

Rob Thomson

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 172 Cup
Welcome to the 172 Cup "Standard Car" sprint/hillclimb club. There are quite a few of us, probably because they're fabulous little things and very competitive.

Good luck!
 

jp_lcr

ClioSport Club Member
  172 Cup
Welcome to the 172 Cup "Standard Car" sprint/hillclimb club. There are quite a few of us, probably because they're fabulous little things and very competitive.

Good luck!
Thanks I like doing research and looks like your the man to catch in this class from your collection of class/lap records ?? hopefully a fun year, lots for me to learn
 

NTG999

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 172 Cup
Looks great, I've just bought a 172 cup for trackdays but getting tempted by hillclimbs after reading this. Noticed your car has foglights, mine doesn't which seems good for brake cooling - were they an option?
 

jp_lcr

ClioSport Club Member
  172 Cup
As car as I know foglights were standard but it's a common modification to remove and replace with ducting for brake cooling.
 

Rob Thomson

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 172 Cup
Thanks I like doing research and looks like your the man to catch in this class from your collection of class/lap records ?? hopefully a fun year, lots for me to learn
Haha... I've still got a few records to break, and at one event last year I got beaten by some bloke in a Fiesta. :mad:
 

jp_lcr

ClioSport Club Member
  172 Cup
Cheers OssPoop I should hopefully be able to make the Saturday of that weekend ??
 
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jp_lcr

ClioSport Club Member
  172 Cup
A few other bits sorted today got some Alpinestars FIA approved gloves on offer for £50, then last MSA required bits after front and rear tow points marked with PMS front tow eye fitted.

The timing strut is a butchered painting tray, was hoping to use a lovely offcut of carbon fiber a mate had but was too small sadly. Think it'll hold with velcro same as number plate plus its tucked in behind so a bit of natural support.

So think soon as belts/service done I'm ready to go!

One question for those who's car is not a daily how often do you go out for a run without need for trickle charger? Never had a car that wasnt a daily, its recently had battery if that makes a difference.

Race numbers is it worth just buying a batch of them right size in white for rear windows? Or do they sell at event when you know your number?

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Also added Cliosport members sticker for the extra 5bhp ? and MSA sticker

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Rob Thomson

ClioSport Club Member
  Clio 172 Cup
Well done, it's looking good!

Mine happily sits on the drive for weeks at a time between events, never had an issue or any hint of an issue with the battery discharging.

For numbers, I use these. 6" in white, and apply to the rear window as you suggested. Sods law says you'll get through some numbers quicker than others, but a pack should keep you going for a while.

Have you got a first event planned?
 

jp_lcr

ClioSport Club Member
  172 Cup
Ah great that's reassuring on its standing for a while and will get some of those numbers ordered, thanks for the link.

In terms of first event, plan is...

1st-3rd May in Diamond Motors for belts/service
7th May Curborough Sprint School
11th May first race at Curborough (as part of Curborough Sprint Championship and put in diary to hopefully make 7 of the 9 rounds in 2019)

I've thought a lot about what to do and as I'm complete novice maybe be good to go to the same place keep learning, get to know a few people just enjoy it and get confidence up. I'll do the odd track day and other event, the Midland Speed Championship looks a great mix but maybe when found my feet.
 

donnylad

ClioSport Club Member
my numbers are just black numbers stuck onto some white magnetic sheet, that way they are bought for life.

If I get number 27 I just find a 2 and a 7 and place them on the car etc. Bought it all from ebay and rated at 80mph, although ive gone more and they stick fine!
 

jp_lcr

ClioSport Club Member
  172 Cup
Ready to race!

I've just picked up the car from Diamond Motors and what can I say after driving home cant stop grinning it drives so well now had no idea before.

So thanks to everyone for recommending @MicKPM but big thanks to the man himself. Top service, took time to talk me through options before I booked in, then when I arrived missed my train to work as chatting cars so much ?, throughout the job agreed with Mick to cancel unneeded changes for example clutch was fine as is.

Mick talked me through how to look after car in driving style and storage, things to watch for on an advisories list, basically everything and more you could hope as a first time customer and with that I'll be going back anytime car needs anything in future. Even if that runs risk of Mick wanting to buy the car off me which I guess is the highest complement can get ?

So its had, in no particular order...

Timing belt kit (timing was miles out)
Aux belt
Dephaser
Cam cover resealed
Water pump assembly and new coolant
Big service including oil change
Gearbox oil change
Brake fluid change
NGK spark plugs
And a few other items sorted CV boot, new middle timing case, fuel rail seals

And its bloody lovely to drive now!

I'm just waiting of confirmation back on Curborough if can race on 11th otherwise it'll be 26th for first race. 7th Sprint School was fully booked sadly but other than that I am good to go!

Enjoy the bank holiday weekend everyone. If you see a little blue car buzzing about over the countryside around Sheffield that'll be me!
 
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jp_lcr

ClioSport Club Member
  172 Cup
I've got confirmation of place for first race 26th May, and spent an evening writing cheques and filling in forms for 7 rounds I can make this year.

I'm car 22 so if anyone is there that day be good to say hello ??

I think got everything I need now, great advice on here and uphillracers, watching videos on YouTube and reading everything I can so can just go have some fun and enjoy the day, waiting on delivery of a new OSF wheel arch liner to give a bit of protection to aux belt as still looks a bit exposed.
 


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