View Full Version : Niges Elvington Report.The tyre killer....

20-09-2008, 11:34 PM
This was booked a while ago, Matti said he`d go too. The plan was that it would probably be raining so I could have a play in the wet, huge run off and sympathetic marshalls to sideways action, so long as the noise is kept down. Late September seemed like the ideal time to plan with an above average chance of rain.

This was the first ever trackday I have wanted it to be wet ! On the offchance it was dry, I took a few sets of tyres with the view to wear them out and replace them. The tyres / wheels taken were already in need of changing so the high wear surface of Elvington seemed perfect. The track is my `local` at around an hour away so plans were put in motion, the car was prepared and the day approached.

Weather foreacast, hmmm, this isn`t going to plan, as the weekend approaches, the weather looks like 100% dry and sunny ! :o Matty, realising it would be dry and his LSD would be of less benefit suddenly had a fear that even though he had been several times, I may well be quicker, so he took the only option open to him (apart from turning up and proving he was faster) and said he `had to work`.. yeah yeah... ;)

A guy I work with had often said he would like to come and see what it was I keep going on about, he lives a short drive from Elvington, so he planned to come along and have some passenger laps. I spoke to Dave Boulder and he hoped to pop along in the afternoon for some passenger laps. Friday morning and my mate rang to say unfortunately he couldn`t make it. I`d spoken to James (ex race_elise) at Easter and we never seemed to be in the carpark together for him to have a passenger lap. I knew he lived nearby so a quick phone call and he said he`d be happy to join me for some lapping.

Car loaded onto trailer Friday night and reasonably early to bed. Unsuprisingly I woke before the alarm :whistle: . Coffee,breakfast, checks of the trailer and loading of spare wheels and Matthew and I were on our way. Lovely quiet drive and we saw around 12 hot air balloons taking off in the calm early morning. I`ve never been in one but the sight of so many taking off together was pretty impressive. Typically the only photo in focus if of ONE balloon. LOL

Andrew, who we`d met at the campsite over the summer is a part of Javelin and was giving the track a final once over.

Steve Gill & Zoe arrived. How does he manage to look cool in driving golves when not driving :blink:

Steve had the bargain of the year tyres on his CSL. His plan was to drive them on the road, see what they were like on the track,but if they were as bad as he expected, he would swap to his Pilot Sport Cups. The garage had fitted the new wheel / tyres and put the cups in the boot. It took 3 grown men several minutes to work out how to get the wheels OUT of the car :shame:

The briefing took place and although the facilities were `temporary`, the whole atmosphere was one of sensible approaches. You were expected to be safe, quiet (ish) and obey the flags. The overtaking rules were as usual but the whole setup seemed more `friendly` than the MSV days I`ve been on. Its hard to describe, but it was a definate `feeling` I had.

We went out for the 3 compulsory sighting laps after being noise tested. The Golf passed easily and now I`ve finally fixed the exhaust leaks, it is as quiet as hoped.

I started the day on the G60 steel wheels with Yokahama parads`s. They were doing OK and I was getting to know the circuit, building up speed and trying new lines. James was my passenger and it is good to bounce ideas off someone when trying different things. A couple of times through the day we looked at each other after a specific sequence of corners and said "yep, that worked" or "that was the best line through there" etc.

Chris was out taking photos after I`d given him a quick guide to using the camera. As he was the `official` photographer, he ignored these signs...

One of his first photos of me and my favourite.

I was finding that even though I could feel the car moving on the soft springs, it was gripping really well. You can see the front dipping under braking here

I did suffer from a little body roll too...

The Blue cones were the Apex cones, I even managed to get close to them on occasion :o

Not quite lifting a wheel, but getting close

Yeah, just managed it this time.

The morning was going well, we called into the pits and I took off and threw away the rear Blue stuff pads I was running, they just weren`t working. I found I had a couple of bolts on the rear caliper that were not as they should be, rather than go buy new ones, James very kindly let me borrow them off his MK2 for the day !! (I did refit them to his once the track closed). Cheers mate, I do appreciate that.

Approaching lunchtime and James and I were commenting that we could feel the front end washing out more and the tyres were making more noise. A few laps later and I was shown the `squeal` board. Stop making so much noise or I`d be black flagged. Whoops. Speeds reduced and after a few more laps, when the front grip was still not there, we decided that it was time for a break.

The car was given the usual between session check over and you didnt need to be Einstein to realise why I had lost front end grip


Ah, that will be the rubber, canvas AND steel worn through then B)

Deciding that it was almost lunchtime anyway, I changed the wheels to a set of 888`s. They were the tyres and wheels I`d bought of Nick (leavingeasy) LAST August and although too worn for the ring, were perfectly useable for a UK trackday. They tyres were 195/55 and 205/55 so the gearing suddenly became a little taller.

Lunch was a double cheeseburger and then back out for some lapping. Unfortunatley Dave Boulder had contacted me and said he couldn`t make it, so the passenger seat belonged to James.. I had a few people come over and ask what engine the Golf was running. More than one was suprised when I told them is was a N/A 2.0 16V. Even a couple of marshalls came over to ask about the car and commented how well it was going. Like most people, I dont ASK for people to tell me how good the car is on track, but when total strangers come to find you to say how well the car is going and saying their xxx couldn`t keep up, well, its pretty nice to hear if I`m being honest...

20-09-2008, 11:35 PM
Anyway, after lunch and back on track.

We immediately noticed the huge improvement in grip and lack of tyre squeal. Corners were suddenly able to be taken flat and speeds increased dramatically. James was stunned at the difference and I`ll admit to being bloody impressed myself. Having run the Golf on 888`s exclusively at the ring this summer, I`d forgotten how much grippier they are compared to road tyres.

Steve was going well in the CSL and was starting to quite like the tyres :o . He was called in and told to watch his tyre noise, not from drifting, but from understeering too much and squealing :loser:

This Fiesta caught me and I couldn`t keep up. It was one of only a few cars that I couldn`t pass and looking at him in the pits later, the slicks and 2.0 on TB`s explained a lot. It was flying :thumb:

I caught this Impreza and stuck to his bumper for 3 laps before he decided that, yes, that golf that is behind me MUST be quicker if he can stick with me for 3 laps.. He moved over and let me through. I`ll be fair to him and say it was actually good fun following him and even when I passed, I couldn`t pull out a huge gap..

The Golf was performing faultlessly. One of the best things I found was the brakes, they were simply superb. No fade AT ALL. Great stopping power and I was gaining loads on people under braking, thats definately one area I don`t need to change a thing :thumb:

Steve was enjoying the CSL

Not everyone got their braking points quite right at the end of the straight...

yaay 3-wheelin

I was held up quite badly by a Maserati on track and it meant this NSX got a great run on me, so I moved over but he slotted in behind me and followed me for a few laps.

He came to find me afterwards and said he wanted to follow my lines and went faster when following me than when on track by himself !

I was very fortunate indeed that after speaking to some very nice people, Matty was able to go out with me for half a dozen passenger laps. A HUGE thank you to Javelin for sorting that for me :thumb: :thumb:

After taking Chris out for a session and him saying that apart from the fastest corner, my lines were `OK`, I started concentrating on improving my speed through it. I was a little suprised when the back went much lighter than usual and required a little corrective action in a tight sequence. Ah that will be because my passenger just pulled on the handbrake :P .

I used some of the techniques Andy Walsh taught me on the carlimits day to great effect. Non better than entering the final corner at high speed and letting the car sort itself, just like the `high speed bend`. (I didn`t spin today though :lol:)

I gave the tyres a check over and was quite pleased to find that out of 4 tyres, I`d worn 3 through to the canvas :smug:




Lat set of 888`s fitted but it was only for the last 20 minutes so after a final refuel, I was on my way. I was trying to unsettle the car in a few corners on purpose. Lifting off mid bend to see what happened, trying to get it twitching but the damn thing would NOT unstick !. I was going quick at the time too, but unless I enter a corner and a stupid speed, the car just composes itself and lets me get through in one piece. I had toyed with the idea of fitting some stiffer springs for UK track, but after feeling how well setup it feels after my tweaking over the summer at the ring, I`m leaving it alone. The only thing I found is needing adjustment is the front camber. Both sides were wearing the outer shoulder away. I suppose its down to there being much less sections of flat out straight to wear the inside edge away. I am currently running -1.3 but will increase that to -2.0 before my next track day. I may add a little rear -ve camber too, but we`ll see...

Last session of the day and I finally managed to catch the 205 GTi. We`d been on track together and when I started to catch him, he had pulled into the pits. This time, I followed him for 3 laps, then he let me by and followed me for a couple. In the pits afterwards, him and passenger both agreed those laps were the most fun of the entire day :thumb:

Thats a little better than Mr Gill. He had very kindly lent me hid HD camera, so I slowed down to follow him for some chase footage. He passed me then kept accelerating and dissapeared in to the distance. hmmm, not quite the `chase` footage i`d planned. :lol: :loser:

I WON the race too, the marshall showed me the chequered flag first :smug: .

Loaded the car onto the trailer and waited for Andrew to finish tidying up.

We had decied to go for a meal afterwards. It meant hanging around an hour or so after the event closed, but Chris had assured me that this indian restaurant was worth it, so instead of going home, Steve, Zoe, Matti and I waited then we all went to the restaurant. Arrived and we agreed, it looked very nice indeed. :thumb:

Table for 6 please. have we booked? er no, Chris forgot so we had no table :loser:

quick phone call to his mum and she recommended a local pub to go to instead. It was a 5 minute drive and very busy, we managed to grab the last empty table.

Food was actually pretty nice and we stayed until 21:15, taling about the day, and generally catching up. :thumb:

Was Elvington a good track seeing as it was an `airfield, with a layout made out of cones? Absolutely YES.

Would I do Elvington again ? Absolutely YES, BUT only if I had a set of tyres (or 2) that I was willing to destroy. The surface is very abrasive and destroyed 2 (admittedly very worn) sets of tyres. I would prefer to drive this on a WET day!

The organisation was spot on with sensible leeway being applied for issues on track.

I hopefully have lots of incar footage to upload once I Steve encodes it for me (as I used his HD camcorder, I can`t play it on mine...)

Thats it, I`ve had a few beers, spent over an hour typing this and i`m off to bed. Hope you enjoy it. I had a fabulous day, great car, great track and great people. As chris would say

"it was GREAT".. :thumb:

21-09-2008, 12:42 AM
excellent thread nige!!

genuinely good day, had loads of fun, good company and good weather

thanks steve for some good laps too!!


till the next time :D

Darren Langeveld
21-09-2008, 06:16 AM
Sounds like you had a good day lads!

And well done to Matty for the enterprise!

21-09-2008, 07:35 AM
Great report as always Nige! :thumb:

21-09-2008, 07:58 AM
Great report Nige.

Looks very abrasive :o

21-09-2008, 08:06 AM
Excellent report and its good to hear how well you and the car were going, Nige.

21-09-2008, 08:08 AM
Duncan, Steve`s super duper cheapo tyres lapped the whole day and we THINK they lost 0.001mm of tread :lol: . They didn`t appear to wear at all :o

The 888`s took a beating, but the tyres were taken to be worn out, so I wasn`t particularly tyre friendly with my driving....

Simon, I was pleased at how well the car went too. :thumb:

21-09-2008, 08:30 AM
Great report Nige :thumb:
Not happy about the lack of watch shots :whistle:

21-09-2008, 09:28 AM
Sounds like a cracking day Nige. Golfy looks sweet :thumb:

21-09-2008, 10:36 AM
Good report and well done B)

I've not been able to play with the car limits training either. I tried a bit of the knowledge at Cadwell but it's not the best place to try stuff :blink: I wish I'd done Bedford afterwards.

I like to get very last drop from tyres too :whistle: :thumb:

21-09-2008, 11:30 AM
Nige good report, you would have had some sideways action if you'd refit that rear ARB!! :lol: :lol:

21-09-2008, 11:58 AM
Originally posted by GVK@Sep 21 2008, 12:30 PM
Nige good report, you would have had some sideways action if you'd refit that rear ARB!! :lol: :lol:
why do you think I haven`t refitted it :lol:

Seriously though, unless I am an absolute idiot, I can`t unstick the back, which is just how I want it :thumb:

21-09-2008, 12:47 PM
Glad you all had a good day :D

Nice photos Chris, pity Lou doesn't get the sunny days ;)


21-09-2008, 01:14 PM
Nice report Nige, I was going to make it up with James in my car, but I had it steamcleaned the day before and it was still soaked inside :(

Andy C
21-09-2008, 01:23 PM
Good read Nige.

I'd not chance only one set of tyres in the wet should it rain next time. I raced there in monsoon conditions. There is stuff all difference in grip it seems - knee down through standing water on road tyres? No problem, it's that abrasive.

The down side is its like falling off on velcro. You stop too fast, bad for the collarbones.

I'm curious. Whay did it take special arrangemnt for Matt to be in the car?

21-09-2008, 01:34 PM
you should have made it tom, was brilliant :thumb:

Dave B
21-09-2008, 01:46 PM
Cheers, there in spirit if not in body...I obviously missed a cracker :angry:

Jim Cameron
21-09-2008, 01:59 PM
No chance of apostrophes in any of the titles of ANY your threads, Nige?

I'll get my coat...

21-09-2008, 02:01 PM
Always thought about doing elvington but never got round to it may i should ;)

Have i missed the thread on building a wheel rack nige :lol:

21-09-2008, 02:10 PM
Originally posted by Jim Cameron@Sep 21 2008, 02:59 PM
No chance of apostrophes in any of the titles of ANY your threads, Nige?

I'll get my coat...
I do it on purpose :P

Lee, no you haven`t, it will be posted soon, its still unfinished, I was still welding at 21:00 the night before :o

Andy C, YHPM

Dave, you did, it was amazing...

21-09-2008, 02:13 PM
i thought you might have made it Jim?

21-09-2008, 03:25 PM
Originally posted by JamesW@Sep 21 2008, 02:34 PM
you should have made it tom, was brilliant :thumb:
la la la la Im not listening :angry:

Jim Cameron
21-09-2008, 03:27 PM
Wanted to, but a weekend up North was incompatible with getting to Heathrow this afternoon.

I'm a big fan of Javelin days, disappointed I missed it.

Nige, :thumb:

21-09-2008, 04:30 PM
ahh fair enough :)

Zoe Sherratt
22-09-2008, 09:06 AM
It was a good day, met some new faces and although the weather wasn't wet it was still nice to see the sunshine.

Steve Gill
22-09-2008, 11:19 AM
Nige - it was Michelin PS2s, not Cups :thumb:

...and thanks for not mentioning that I got black flagged, if that got out I'd be a laughing stock :lol:

22-09-2008, 11:24 AM
Originally posted by Steve Gill@Sep 22 2008, 12:19 PM
..and thanks for not mentioning that I got black flagged, if that got out I'd be a laughing stock :lol:
:pokefun: :lol:

22-09-2008, 12:11 PM
Originally posted by Steve Gill@Sep 22 2008, 12:19 PM
Nige - it was Michelin PS2s
Ah, the budget tyres :o :o

Steve Gill
22-09-2008, 12:32 PM
Originally posted by Simon@Sep 22 2008, 01:11 PM
Ah, the budget tyres :o :o
The PS2's were the expensive tyres I didn't want to destroy on an airfield, so I bought 4 new 18" wheels for 415, for an extra 80 they came with tyres :D

The tyres arrived, that well known Michelin beating brand called "Admiral" :thumb:

Considering they still have 3/4 of the tread left it was a bargain! Seriously, I'd recommend this to anyone as long as you are comfortable with what happens when the car loses grip (a lot) :lol:

22-09-2008, 09:04 PM
Originally posted by Steve Gill@Sep 22 2008, 12:19 PM
...and thanks for not mentioning that I got black flagged, if that got out I'd be a laughing stock :lol:
no worries mate ;)

i`m being careful what I post, you have my incar video :whistle: :blink:

22-09-2008, 09:06 PM
415 FTW :thumb:

22-09-2008, 09:59 PM
Originally posted by Andy Carlile@Sep 21 2008, 01:23 PM
I'm curious. Why did it take special arrangemnt for Matt to be in the car?
Minimum age for a passenger on a UK trackday is usually 16, which both annoys and amuses 'Ringers :rolleyes:

Gary Kinghorn
23-09-2008, 06:43 AM
Good stuff winkle :thumb:

23-09-2008, 03:10 PM
Good report. Shame I couldn't make it. Too hungover/drunk from Friday night to drive. :(