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.
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.
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 –
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 🙂