MSVR Vee Festival 2016

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To end our 2016 campaign, RTV headed down to Brands Hatch for the annual non-championship MSVR Vee Festival at the weekend.

This is always a great event with loads of track time at a great price – qualifying and 3 races – which attracts star drivers from other series alongside a few who only ever do the Festival and no championship rounds. Stephen Morrin brought an Irish spec 1600cc Leastone over, whilst there were a few rather older vintage cars in John Bowles’ Hawk and the even older Appal driven by Erle Minhinnick.  Gavin Buckley was also over from the Irish Championship, but this time in a UK spec Vee hired from Team Carbrooke Racing, and there were a few new faces at the track, too.

James put the Sheane 12th on the grid in qualifying out of 21 cars, but unfortunately had to pull off the track after losing all the gears.

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Fearing a very short weekend, Ben Miloudi offered his spare gearbox to us, which would have at lest got us back on track for Sunday – luckily Glenn found that it was just a circlip that had come off. This was fixable, except it was a struggle to get the shaft back out to replace the clip. A little help from John Bowles soon got things back together, and the car was ready about 15 minutes before we were called for the first of the three races.

Knocking a second off his previous best lap times, James fought hard to stay with the leading pack, but dropped back a little not quite able to match the pace until a big crash between Ian Buxton, Ian Jordan, and Charles Merrill stopped the race.

Buxton was taken to hospital after going into the wall backwards at Paddock hard enough to bend his flywheel, but was seen hobbling around the paddock on Sunday morning to spectate. All three cars suffered fairly extensive damage and so were out for the rest of the weekend.

After the restart and a 2 lap sprint, James brought it home 10th – the perfect place to take advantage of a reverse-top-ten grid for the next race.

Sunday morning brought thick fog and ground moisture, testing the confidence that James had built up overnight ready to lead the field into Paddock for the first time.

After a slight delay, it was deemed safe to see a sufficient distance, and the Vee’s gridded up, with the yellow RTV Sheane lining up in the number 1 spot.

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Despite his confidence, James bogged down a little at the start on the camber, which was enough for Stephen Morrin to use the 1600cc and lower gearing of his Irish spec car to get ahead into the first turn.

There was never any real hope to storm away from the pack, but some good, clean driving was again displayed as the faster cars came through to regain their natural order, with James back to 6th at the end of the first lap, but still giving his all.

He managed to knock another 0.5 seconds off his best lap times, but again didn’t really have anyone lapping at the same pace to scrap with.

Claiming another 10th place, this race held yet another first experience as James caught a bunch of hard-fighting back-markers and had to lap through them, still carried by the extra pace gained from being up with the front runners for the early part of the race.

Starting 10th again for the 3rd and final race of the Festival veteran racer and Formula Vee legend John Bowles was all over the back of James for the first few laps, forcing him to give it everything until he finally eased clear to safety.

We were again expecting to end up in a somewhat lonely place in the middle of the pack, but James was still working hard despite aiming to bring the car back safe and sound without risking too much.

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This paid off as Jamie Harrison went straight on at Druids into the gravel, and then Irish Vee regular Gavin Buckley (on his second visit to the Vee Festival, but this time hiring the British spec Team Carbrooke Racing Sheane) went onto the grass to avoid tangling with Paul Taylor.

Coming down the hill from Druids, James saw Gavin rejoining the track and shot past, just about holding him behind to cross the finish line on the next lap in a best ever 8th place overall.

This also carried with it the unofficial Class B victory (although no classes were officially recognised for the Festival) – something that James will need to find another 2 or 3 seconds a lap to repeat in the regular season!

Massive congratulations to John Hughes who won the 2016 Vee Festival despite barely racing this year, and then failing to make the track for qualifying – everyone will agree that he drove amazingly all weekend, and has re-affirmed that he’s a very fast driver capable of big things next year.

Also congratulations to Craig Pollard and Pete Belsey for 2nd and 3rd respectively, having also barely driven in Vee this year!

Huge thanks again to MSVR for hosting the Festival for us – I know a lot more cars would have been out but had some unfortunate damage to them or the drivers which stopped them racing.

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And that will be the last time that RTV will turn a wheel in anger in 2016!

It won’t be the end of the updates, however, so make sure you click to like us on WordPress, Facebook and Twitter. There are big plans for 2017, and lots of work to be done in the off-season.

2017 will also be the 50th year of Formula Vee in the UK, so all eyes should be on what is already a respected and hard-fought championship – with rumours that the Vee Festival will be held on the full Brands GP circuit with some star names jumping back in a Vee.

Please get in touch if you want to help in any way, or if you want to sponsor us.

As ever, all the action from the weekend was captured on the excellent JooVuu X and Mobius action cameras supplied by JooVuu, and you can view them on YouTube:

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Snetterton 300 – 24/09/16

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At the final race weekend of the year, James Cater finally managed to get on the elusive B Class podium with a hard-won 3rd place and 11th overall on the Snetterton 300 circuit in Norfolk.

Following the disastrous Silverstone weekend where two engine studs snapped (likely to have been caused by the long holding times with the engine running), Glenn Hay made the decision to swap in next years engine, using most of the internals from the ruined engine.

With no time to test, Racing Team Vee drove the trusty VW camper to the Norfolk circuit on race day – with almost all the other drivers having arrived at the circuit the day before to test or set up. 750 Motor Club put on a great value extra test session at 09:00 – but with qualifying scheduled for 10:35 if we found any problems we’d have had no time to fix them anyway.

The RTV Sheane took to the track for a very limited qualifying session. With a red flag stopping the session, James only managed one lap whilst trying to get up to race speed, putting him 22nd and 21st on the grid for the final two races of the 2016 Formula Vee championship.

James reported that the car felt good, and it felt like he was driving hard but it still didn’t seem fast. He opted to leave the settings as they were for the first race, possibly stiffening up the damping front and rear for the second race, if the speed couldn’t be made up by his driving.

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Another great start in race 1 moved him up the grid onto the back of a large pack fighting for the final trophy place, mixed with a number of higher spec A Class cars.

After fighting through to the front, James was able to hold off the assault, pulling away with 2 laps to go when several of the chasing pack fell victim to an oil spin on the infield of the circuit.

Despite another hard fight in the second race, James fell back from the main battle with the engine losing power, finishing in 18th place overall and 5th in class.

All of the action was captured by cameras supplied by sponsors JooVuu – the UK based action/dashcam company.

Although the regular season has now ended, RTV will be out one more time on the last weekend of October for the Formula Vee Festival at Brands Hatch, where there will be qualifying and 3 races against competitors from the Irish championship.

Hoping to improve on the 9th place finish we had last year, and knowing that the new engine is reliable, we should be able to get a little more from it, and James will be keen to push harder as a driver on his 3rd visit to Brands Hatch Indy circuit.

A full drivers-eye-view of the racing is on wwwjamescaterracing.com

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​​Silverstone International – 20/08/16

Silverstone International – 20/08/16

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Making up 8 places before the first corner at the start of the first race sadly came to nothing, as engine failure at the end of the first lap forced retirement.

Starting out the day with the aim of testing a newly rebuilt gearbox, James Cater had the added problem of a very cold and wet track – having only driven at Silverstone International last year in dry conditions.

A miscalculation with the suspension settings (we were totally focused on the gearbox and actually went out with the dry setup we’d used at Anglesey!) added to the problems, but despite a few spins James still qualified 23rd of the 38 cars entered.

With the track almost dry for the first race, conditions were better suited on what is a brilliant circuit, exactly one year from when James had his first ever race there.

A demon start took the RTV Sheane closer to the B class podium finish we were aiming for, before a 120+mph spin at Abbey at the start of the second lap meant dropping back down the order.

Red flags a few corners later due to another accident caused a restart, but with the engine sounding off, James took the restart from the pit lane after checking in with Glenn Hay. Sadly, the problems got worse back on track, and he had to pull back in to the pits and retire from the race.

An inspection found two engine studs had snapped, one proving too tough to remove the remains of the broken thread from the engine case at the track.

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Despite a valiant effort from Glenn to repair the engine, we unfortunately ran out of time before the start of the second race, and the weekend was over for us.

We’re disappointed with the result, especially as James had new sponsor decals on the car for British action camera company JooVuu, and also the newly formed RTV.

We will be hoping to make amends and get a solid result at Snetterton on September 24th for the final race of the year.

As always, you’ll be able to read the more in-depth race report from James’ perspective on www.jamescaterracing.com shortly.

Here is the onboard footage from qualifying:

RTV at Dubtoberfest 2016

Dubtoberfest Festival 2016

Racing Team Vee had the honour of being asked to display the Sheane at Dubtoberfest at the weekend.

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This is a great little festival for the VW camper van brigade, with a Bavarian theme and a family-friendly atmosphere, held at Throckmorton airfield near Pershore.

Displaying both the new JooVuu and RTV stickers in public for the first time, we joined Gary Richardson and David Leniewski with our three very different Vee’s on display.

With live music playing all through the day, loads of food on offer, a 2000hp ‘Mental Breakdown’ dragster, dog agility course, show & shine car competition, archery, and some rather nice partying each evening (in lederhosen, no less!), a great time was certainly had by all of us – and the equally friendly crowds of people seemed to be enjoying themselves just as much.

Some of them (including James’ fiancée, Julie) even got to experience riding on the Dodgems with a load of ultra-competitive Formula Vee racers!

It’s a great festival, still in its early days, and I’d heartily recommend it for next year!   

Massive thanks to Damian Cottrell for the invite, organising things, and his hospitality!  As a racer himself (and pretty good by all accounts) and being a local, it’d be good to see him back out on a grid again soon!

I’ll leave you with some pictures from the weekend.

 

RTV – The Newest Race Team in Formula Vee

RTV – The Newest Race Team in Formula Vee

I’ve hinted before about the pending formation of a race team, both to give Glenn more credit for his untiring work on the spanners, and to also make it clear that we are a team when we get more cars out of track.

I can now proudly announce the formation of RTV – Racing Team Vee.

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The name is inspired by the professional Super Vee teams of the mid-70s, who used similar naming styles, and reflects our focus to both push and strengthen Formula Vee in the UK and across the globe.

Combined with the new stickers on the car for our sponsor JooVuu, it’s been an exciting few weeks!

I have made this page for RTV, where you will find race reports, updates on the other cars/drivers, and maybe even some history.  I’ll even see if I can coax some Super Vee information out of Glenn, as there isn’t much around about that.

But don’t worry!  I’ll still be doing my thing over at www.JamesCaterRacing.com – in depth warts ‘n all reports, thoughts, answering your questions, and giving my perspective of things!

So please like/subscribe/follow the new RTV page on Facebook and WordPress.

A huge thank you to everyone for your support, and contact me if you want to get involved in any way.

RTV – Racing Team Vee:

Website/blog: www.racingteamvee.com

Facebook: RTV – Racing Team Vee

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Welcome To RTV

Welcome to RTV – Racing Team Vee!

RTV run in the Ravenol UK Formula Vee Championship, currently with a Class B Sheane.

Glenn Hay – Glenn started racing in Formula Vee in the early 70’s, winning the UK championship himself in 1979, having a brief stint in Super Vee in the mid-70’s, and racing his championship winning Scarab into the 90’s.  He then ran cars for Robert Cowburn (winning the Class B championship in 2009), and latterly for James Cater.

James Cater – The current driver competing in Class B in his first ever season of racing.  For his more in-depth views, blogs and thoughts, please go to www.jamescaterracing.com.

This is a new site – please check back for regular updates!