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Headline:Evo Trackday !Date:22/08/2002
Source:FastSaloons.com   (Click Here for more details).Ourthoughts
   
Review:
Well the day has arrived - I am driving to the Evo trackday with Rich tailing me in his psycho-clio. We're supposed to be there at 7.30am and it's already 25 to eight. I'm pretty relaxed as I pass east midlands airport and take the right turn into Donnigton. Even as I approach the rear of the pits I'm ok.
Looking round there are is a variety of cars from an old capri to VW corrado G60. We go into the the end garage and sign in, carefully forcing ourselves to tick the novice box on the form. Things are pretty relaxed and we get ourselves a digestive and a drink and wait. The garage is decked out with magazine racks with Evo, Autoexpress, Mens Health and Maxim. There are also a couple of playstation 2's with GT3 concept. More people are arriving and I notice an M5 tucked in, a couple of M3's, some TVR tuscan's.... The TCOTY (track car of the year) cars are also being unloaded - caterhams, Noble, Ultima's. Even in this environment they look mad.
The Alpina is looking pretty good - Rich forced me to do some more cleaning. I am quite glad now looking out over the carpark. The Alp is very low key and even when I stick my number (28) on the rear window - it still looks restrained. Especially parked to Rich's clio which is one of the most visually impacting cars currently on the road - even compared to the Evo and WRX it is madly styled.
About 8.45 we have a briefing and get told the rules of play 'overtake on the left- move over to the right for faster cars'. We also find out that it will be an open pit lane so we will be free to drive onto the track virtually all day until 5pm (apart from an hour for lunch). Familiarisation laps are being run in an Audi A4 - but there was a pretty big queue so we spot Evo's Evo RS sprint in the pits and chat to John about getting a ride. Only one of us can go at once so I jump in and then... get scared to death (in a good way). I was begining to feel apprehensive even before the briefing, but now flying round the track barely keeping off the grass and spending more time sideways than straight. I am begining to think I am not cut out for this ! So when Rich jumps in for his passenger laps I am really starting to wonder what I am doing here.
Evo's Mitsubishi Evo RS Sprint - used and abused (see pic of Tyre)
Rich on the hand can't wait to get on the track. So we jump into the clio and drive round to the pit lane. As you drive onto the track you are required to show your tag to allow you onto the track. The Clio needs to be handled with care and Rich drives round the track smoothly but still pretty quickly - he seems to be a natural ! after a couple of laps I decided it was worth filming stuff so got the camcorder out and recorded our progress. It wasn't until we came back into the pits that we realised this was a no-no - we had narrowly avoided a black flag :(.
However this did give me some confidence and so we immediately jumped into the Alp and drove through the pits and onto the track. I nailed the throttle and was soon hirtling to the first corner - which has a late turn in (all the corners were helpfully marked with cones. The first corner is a long right hander which is long and fast - dropping down the hill into the Craner Curves Which is a left followed by a sharp right - both of which felt really old in the passenger seat, but not bad when you drive them. it is then up the hill a left and a tight right, up to Coppice which is blind right hander onto the long finish straight from there is right / left chicane and back passed the pits onto the start line. To say I am enjoying myself is one of the biggest understatements - this is fan-bloody-tastic. The Alp seems to be enjoying herself too and is keeping up with most of the other cars especially on the straight.
The track conditions are dry and the weather sort of so-so. By the end of the 5th lap the brakes are beginning to smell and so I drop into the pits to give us both a rest.
We take the opportunity to look around at the other cars which now include two Ferrari 360s - one of them a spider, a TVR 450, 2 TVR Tuscans, Honda type-R, Elises, a work-in-progress turbo technics Lotus Exige, Fiat Turbo. Evo has organised for Caterham to bring the R500, R300, Fireblade and academy cars, 2 Leading edge cars including the red one that featured in numerous outtakes on the Evo TCOTY CD, the Ultima, The beautiful Noble M12, The Westfield XR, The Radical S3, The Clio cup, Mini Cooper works, VX 220 Sprint and the Ariel Atom.
In the end I got a passenger drive in :
The Mitsubishi Evo RS Sprint - Lots of sideways action - as I mentioned I used this car for my familiarisation and spent most of the time travelling sideways!
The Noble M13 - I love this car - everything about it - the fact that it was created within 6 months. It was fast but so controllable it seemed really well balanced, even on road tyres.
The Radical S3 - ferociuos acceleration and race car dynamics meant this was a fantastic buzz and over too quickly. I was also the first so go out on wet tyres and therefore experienced tyre warming exercises. The Caterham R300 - I had a ride in this in the wet and spent the WHOLE lap sideways - fantastically balanced car
Subaru P1
Maserati Quattroporte V8
Jaguar XJR
Noble M12
Ultima
Caterham R500
Porsche 911 GTR
Ferrari 360
Vauxhall VX220 Sprint
Westfield XR
Radical S3
Ariel Atom
Leading Edge
Cars:Alpina B10 3.3 (E39 (02/99-02/03))

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