Not a bad photo of Adrian Smith in his GT86 that I snapped between my runs.

 

Last Sunday I competed in my first Toyota Sprint Series event, round one of the TSS 2017, at Blyton Park near Gainsborough.  It was a three hour drive north so I stayed in a hotel on Saturday night and arrived at the track at 7 a.m. on Sunday. For the last seven years I have been competing in MSA  events – events run under the auspices of the Motor Sports Association. This event was different as it was organised not by a motor club but by a commercial organisation (Javelin Track Days) and was an IOPD (International Organisation of Professional Drivers) event rather than an MSA one. The main difference from the competitors’ point of view was that it was not compulsory to wear race overalls or a helmet with a particular sticker on it – you simply had to wear long sleeves and any helmet and you did not need an expensive MSA race licence, you could buy a much cheaper IOPD licence on the day.

In the TSS there a number of classes for different Toyota models. For my GT86 there were four classes –

  • F1 – GT86 – Forced Induction – Modified Engine
  • F2 – GT86 – Forced Induction – Standard Engine
  • N1 – GT86 – Normally Aspirated – Modified
  • N2 – GT86 – Standard Car – Michelin Primacy Tyre

These are all ‘Street’ classes but there is also a ‘Pro Tuner’ class for tuner or heavily sponsored entries where the driver or car is at a professional level.

All cars (48 Toyotas) compete against each other on equal terms and also within their respective classes. I came 29th overall and first in my class. However, I was the only entry in class N2, all the others being in N1 or Pro Tuner.

Nice pic of me by Peter Downham

It was excellent value for money – £159 – for which we got two sighting laps, two untimed practice runs and eight timed runs. Well worth the drive up to Blyton and the other competitors, especially those in the GT86 class were very friendly and supportive. I’ll certainly be going back for more.

Here are some photos.

Adrian Smith in the Pro class was the overall winner in his GT86 with a time of 1:08.18.
Lauren Blighton won the NS1 class with a time of 1:15.92
2nd in Class N1-S – Tomas Vernier – only 500ths of a second behind Lauren in his left hooker.
Tim Huxley third in class
Kevin Atkins 4th 
Neal Shore 5th
Mike Anchor came 6th in N1-S
Alec Keeler  was in N2-S last year but in N1 now. I was disappointed not to beat his old class record.
Steve Gaunt got a late entry.
Mike Batty in the only GT86 Auto.
Stuart Tormey with his great looking GT86 Aero which he’s had since new.
Some old guy with a yellow car.

Talking of yellow cars, readers of my other blog, Cars On Streets, will be familiar with the story of the yellow car in the Cotswold village. My last post on that story was Yellow Car in which I said ” thought I might take a trip down there and park up near by in solidarity”. I never got round to it, but on Saturday hundreds of other yellow cars did just that. The funny thing is that when you watch the cavalcade of yellow pass by in the video below, you’ll see a single red car. What is it? A GT86!

Anyway, back to Blyton… Here are a few more pics –

Two very fast looking GT86s came to watch.
Not all Toyotas were GT86s.
It was also a round of the MX5 Sprint Championship.
Nice to get a trophy even if I was the only one in the class. I’ve thought about buying some decent tyres, swapping air filter and exhaust and moving into N1-S but I think I’ll stick in N2-S, save some money and hope some others will join me.

Next round is at Croft on 14th May but before that I have two more hill climbs at Loton Park on Easter Sunday and Monday.

I’m pleased I sold the Lotus and love this GT86. After Blyton I drove 3 hours back to Kinver and loved every minute of that drive. Great car 🙂

4 thoughts on “Blyton Park 2 April 2017

  1. Maria Piotrowska

    Power to the canary. Maybe the only one in its class but that just means guaranteed first. Love the donut plate. Will have to come over sometime when you’re racing so I can join your fan club. 😊

  2. Darren O'Brien

    Cracking write up with some good photos to punctuate the event. Well done both on the article and your result on the day.

  3. Peta Marshall

    How do you always end up with a trophy??? SO many places dot issue trophies if there is only one in the class…..

    1. Ha! True. Yes, was a surprise.

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