CLIO 197 CUP - Project TF

Really happy with how the photos have come out from the track day. Was slightly worried as Opentrack have parted ways with Rob Baxter for photos so was wondering who was stepping up to the plate. Though I am gutted that I still haven't got any RB photos of any car on track.

The main frustration I found from the day was dealing with me being new the clio still and having to realise that the car hasn't got as much done to it as what my mini did. Being more "fast road" spec than anything currently. That being said, after recalibrating my mind to think like this I am begging to really enjoy the car for what it is currently. So much so I'm questioning whether to put the buckets in yet!

To myself, I have always said that this year is going to be "stage 1" for building the car. With the most important thing for me being seat time and actually enjoying the car rather than just working on it or having it down to being broken. I must say though that so far it has achieved the simple seat time stallion part I wanted. With Cadwell on Monday easily being the most track time I have had for one day; despite the adverse weather.

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Must say I really do like the last photo!

Also massive thanks to JWS Developments in Chesterfield for getting the car set up. Handles amazingly well and really impressed with it. If you're local I would definitely get Jon to set your car up. It isn't cheap but it is worth it. I've worked with him before on mini and have not been disappointed.
Spent some time yesterday on the car and have removed the standard seats front and rear for the collection with the bucket seats ready go in later this week.

Also impulsively booked a track day with a friend for this Sunday at Blyton. Meaning it is crunch time in fitting seats. Which always adds a level of spice. But with prepwork done it should be fairly easy (touches wood and spits).
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Cheers guys! Its more assembly on the seats onto the runners that I am nervous about as I had friend that assisted last time.

But like you say. Should be fairly straight forward :smiley:
Where there is a will there is a way.

I've some direct fit subframes that are assembled and ready to go. Just to put the seats on them.. I will try to get them build sooner rather that later this week to give myself some breathign room.
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Blyton Park - 02/04/23 Review,

All in all as mentioned above a really good day Ran by Javelin. When I book with them, I honestly always expect the worst. Not because they run a bad day, more so the type of person they attract to their days (more on that later). I will add to this, one thing that does strike me as exceedingly odd about their days in what is a relative post pandemic world is the lack of actual briefing. Which In one aspect I am happy about but in the other I feel there is something being missed here. As it is always somebody's first track day and their online briefing took me a grand total of 60 seconds to complete. Fine for some one that has done a few days but not so good for newbie imho.

Anyway regardless. what we all care about the clio. Yet again this car has impressed me. In what is relative terms some rather B-Tec suspension and some sticky tyres the car is phenomenal. It needs the bushes doing and is crying out for an LSD as coming out of some of sweeping left handers you can really feel where the car is loosing time. This is most prevalent coming out of Bunga Bunga in the big left hander. However that being said I was confident in keeping flat going through Port Froid and hitting 95ish through it- the fastest I have gone through it in any car. Not sure what has attributed to that whether its "bigger balls", the clio or god's own tyres the MRF ZTR- must say thank you for the peer pressure in opting for these I am quite impressed.

My mate was also there in his ST150 which is quite overbuilt with some Aero work on it and fully pollybushes inc a Blakcline diff as well. Was quite impressive to see how closley match the clio is in comparison to the car.

So the unpleasentness. As mentioned above Javelin days attract a certain kind of person at times. One such guy was driving a silver Edi 30, I caught him from half a track back in 2 laps and didn't seem to realise that maybe keeping the power on whilst pulling over to let me by wasn't the best idea. Decided to be a pilchard and keep on him to prove a point. (Yes I know not good trackday etiquette on my part). Thankfully they black flagged him at the end of the lap where the pace was so glacial I didn't need to brake for some corners. Could I have backed off? Yes. Why didn't I? Why the hell should I? I would have caught him up time and time again.

All in all a good day with some quality track time and battles with Cars and people who knew their machinery well. Some of my favourite photos from the day are below.

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I will also add that Javelin are really understanding organiser and understand what people are here to do and didn't mind when I sent a couple of foam blocks to the shadow realm when at pace.
See I don’t have an issue with Javelin I guess because they’re one of the main providers and run a fair few dates you are bound to get those type of drivers regardless of who the TDO is.

and yes the straight line hero’s are annoying especially in a Clio

I’m on the fence with the briefing, MSV have started bringing it back in and their online one is longer with having to “watch” the videos but again you can easily have it on Mute and click ok.
You raise a valid point. They are the go to for everyone even beginners and numpties as they’re so well known.

definitely! I don’t get the striaght line warrior mentality. If you want straight lines go to pod.
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No update for a while as there hasn't really been having much done to it other than Ring prep and service work so there isn't much to really share.

Both buckets seats have been added to the car and I now have a fancy boot carpet for where the rear seats used to be. I will try and get photos of these tonight to upload; as despite everyone here owning/ have seen a Mk3 clio with buckets it might be fun to share.

But the bright note is we are setting off to the ring Thursday this week and I cannot wait. I will do a write up of the trip when we get back too.
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Reyt then.

It's a week on from being back at the ring and I am back in the office procrastinating so felt it's time to do a little write up of how the cars first ring trip went.

The trip started on Thursday the 11th for half the team going. As we were divided into 2 camps. Northerners and Southerners. As we had made the group decision to go via the Chunnel. We set off down to Kent at 11am on the 11th.

From the northern side of things there was my 197, a 200T, S3 (Proper spec 3 Door) and 430D (pray for my boy he drives traffic).

I'll not bore you with the details of the hotel and evening meal. It's a premier Inn with a Beefeater. What is there to say? though I will add that the Clio table (2 drivers, 2 passengers) did get rather lads on tour. And was like Scumbag college Vs footlights college of the BMW Audi table.

Next point of interest was a 3am wake up call to the sound of our Southern counter parts arriving at the hotel to meet up prior to going to the chunnel, as they didn't want to drive down the night before, as they felt it was cheating! I genuinely did feel for the people here just on business but then again an E92 with supersprint Exhaust was never going to be quiet...

Here's all the cars on the tirp lined up at 3:30am with everyone ready to go.

Additional cars were: Sirocco R, F82 M4, E92 M3, ST180 Swapped MK7 Zetec S, Clio 172, Tesla Model 3 (M2 Comp nicked and this is replacement?!?!? Apparently he didn't his head)


Once we all woke up a bit we made our way onto the Chunnel and then through Europe. Other than the the Tesla drivers deciding playing Mario Kart with the car on the train was good idea leading to them depleting the battery that meant our stop at Zolder was now an Ibis styles in the middle of Belgium. This was rather uneventful.


Upon arriving at the Ring. It was straight to Pinocchio's for pizza and beer. Za.jpg
At which point Scumbag college decided to go full Scumbag college. One ordered a pint, I ordered a litre and then another matched before being topped by ordering the 2 litres.

Saturday started with a lap and pancakes. From this I made my way to Apex to pick up an instructor for some tuition. Whilst it is not my first trip nor first laps. I felt that this would be a worthwhile investment to give myself some more confidence on the track. Which it did massively. A few line corrections, an understanding that the car can carry much more speed than I would expect in the car. Would definitely recommend this for anyone going to the ring. It has made me a far better driver for it. Food wise we visited the Crown for those bothered. But there's not much to write about. It's a great pub that does good burgers and is ran by bloke from Sheffield so it felt rather like home in all honesty. Though I would recommend it.

The shed at Apex.

Saturday also featured touristy activity for those who had not been before and one of my favourtie photos of the trip too! Proper geeky but we love it.

Now for what people actually care about the car. How was it? Pretty much faultless. Car had some rubbing issues as I am a bit scene and like to run a possibly too low ride height. This was amended quickly with raising the car slightly. The car felt quick all weekend and surprised myself and a few other on the trip as well. The guy with 430D had himself convinced that being able to put a faster lap time in a GT3 car on GT7 would mean that the the 2 clio's would have glacial pace. But we soon put that to bed winning the golden pineapple of the trip for the quickest BTG. 8:59.7 or 9 minutes dead as I feel that's an easier to claim. I know that by comparison to some this is still an extremely slow lap but I am proud of it. I've been focusing for the past 6 months saying if I can get a 9:XX BTG I am going to be over the moon.

The car did 14 laps over the weekend which again I am proud of it for achieving.

Now the question is what is next. My next goal for me and the car is to go sub 9 properly and deep sub 9 would be a dream but that remains to be seen.
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So for now I can live on a high whilst I decide what's next. In all honesty I feel like this trip has spoiled me a bit. It's my first ring trip in my own car and left me wondering if it is worthwhile doing UK trackday's or just funding ring trips? Blyton park is fun but it's not quite the same as chasing a GT3RS through foxhole at the top of 6th. There's talks of September trip but I am not sure as of yet. We shall see what the future holds.

It has also left me wondering what is to become of the car. I had dreams of wanting to put a full cage in the car and go full tropic thunder on the car but not I am not sure. I definitely want a diff, cage, better suspension and bushes doing but it is a question of when. I was going into the trip thinking I might sell the car after this but now I definitely want to keep! So much so I've been looking at private plates for the car! Really like the idea of becoming a BTG enjoyer.
Nice write up, don't get hung up on times too much. All it takes is for someone to get in the way a couple of times per lap and you've lost 10-20 seconds that you'll never get back, and you risk over-driving to get it back. 8:59 is a respectable time for the mods you have, shit, I only did 8:44 and I've spent a billion quid on go-faster bits*

* I was held up several times on this lap and I'm gunning for sub 8:30 in a few weeks, but let's not talk about that
I'll have some polybushed front arms up for sale in a few weeks once I go full solid up front (I've acquired spares and I'm just gonna swap out both arms)
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I have not done a Ring trip yet, but do plan on doing it at some point in the future. Track days will probably not give you the special feel about a Ring trip as you don't have social engagement with the long drive over and the long drive back, or the food and beers with your mates. But on the right day, with the right cars on track, it is difficult to beat chasing another car as fast as you can go without losing control.
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