GW 200 CUP (clubsport->racecar->v2)

Managed to spend an evening down at NADUK to get the geo sorted, ended up being very conservative with a 15mm height bump at the front (compared to base spec) and 10mm at the rear with the following settings



Camber is slightly more than I had before and its still on the middle setting, this opens up the potential for even more caster! Corner weighted with myself onboard, you can see L/R weights are not ideal but got a few ideas on how to improve this over winter. I was confused by the weight (lighter) but then realised AR1 are considerably heavier, over 10kg for all 4 compared to PS4.


Very tricky to test on the road but it certainly feels different, turn in feels very unnatural with almost instant weight transfer and then it just keeps going with zero body roll. Very excited about seeing what it’s like on the track! Quick video from the arch as I check nothing is rubbing, concerned by the wishbone movement so might try and get a better view but maybe this is the reason to upgrade to sphericals..


Finally wired in the heater, was a bit worried as I hadn’t tested before plumbing in but fired up first time. I will tidy up the wiring when I have the dash back off over the winter. It’s very loud but seems to do the job in keeping the windscreen clear so cant complain.
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Concerned with the movement in the rear bush I sent SuperPro an email, they agreed that the movement seemed excessive and sent me a replacement. Comparing old to new there is a few mm difference in both the tube and hole, 3 hours later I had both wishbones off, bush replaced and everything back together.




Quick test drive confirmed things felt better with the steering wheel now dead centre as it was slightly off under load after alignment. Viewing the video there is still a lot of movement under braking but I have a feeling it might be due to the angle and the way the bush can slide up and down the ‘crush tube’ against the spacers. No question that spherical is required to remove this and something I want to do when I finally commit to taking her off the road.


With the weather being terrible I have held off getting a track day booked but things are looking better later next week, it’s been 3 months now so very keen to get this thing back on the track.
Weather finally cleared so booked a last minute morning at Goodwood, first good news is that all 4 tyres + tools can fit in the back, didn’t realise this since I had the full cage in but means I don’t have to run the risk of driving with very illegal AR1’s… No question that the solid mounts increase road noise, its very loud / constant hum.

Set the pressures and dampers to the middle as I was a bit weary of how stiff the rear is now going to be, first session was great and probably the most amount of clear laps I had all day. Turn in is just mega, car rotates around the middle but from the front rather than the rear, hard to explain but you don’t have to wait for the rear to move as the front just does all the work. The higher ride height was certainly doing the job with the car feeling a lot more stable through the bumps and mid corner, had no feedback telling me the bump stops where being hit and a quick check at the dampers after confirmed (could see the grease level).


Body roll removed :thumb:

After this first session I found the rear to be a bit too lively as I was getting confidence so softened a click further. I then had 3 sessions where I didn’t get a single clear lap, the problem with Goodwood is that you get a lot of supercar owners wanting to go fast in a straight line and letting a Clio pass is not on the agenda… However it was in these sessions where I started pushing things into the corners that I started to notice the vagueness when under brakes and trailing into corner entry, the only culprit I can think of is the rear wishbone bushes. Maybe its all in my head but I just had no confidence in turning in when braking, it just felt floaty and unpredictable, bump steer esque but once off and onto the throttle it feels sharp again.


I assume that with everything now solid, the wider track and stiffer ARB the forces are just too high for the rear bush, I have spoken to SuperPro and they agree that ‘Black Series PF is rock hard no give and is not progressive, SuperPro bush is softer but progressive in its operation’ therefore an upgrade is inbound…


With Goodwood being a fast flowing track I wasn’t expecting the changes to have that much impact on lap time as most of the improvements have been focussed around fixing RC/BS which shows on slow technical corners. However I took 4 tenths off my fastest with optimal telling me another second is available, you can see on this corner I am making 4 tenths alone at corner entry alone! Most importantly the car is fun, really fun :grinning:

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Was hoping to extend into the afternoon as I was just starting to get used to the car but Goodwood wouldn’t let me purchase from someone who had car issues which was frustrating, was planning on bumping up the rear stiffness and getting the car properly moving, next time.

Overall really happy, nothing broke and with a quick nut and bolt check after everything looks as per and no rubbing or clearance issues found, really satisfying having put so much work in to getting it this far and seeing the improvements.
Spherical’s purchased, just couldn’t resist any longer which means the wishbones off for the third time in about a month. Amazing engineering from pure as the setup looks aerospace spec let alone race. Relatively simple to push out and replace with the new housings and then push in the NMB bearings.



Managed to pick up a multi pack of 30 dust boots from GSF for £30, no idea why they where so cheap but this allowed me to knock up a boot for the rear and half the front to add some protection from the elements.



All back together and a quick test drive confirmed the setup is much tighter under braking, impossible to really confirm the difference till on the track but looking forward to getting some confidence in it. All solid on the front suspension now and you can tell, all sorts of vibrations into the cabin, lovely.


Also picked up a lightweight aux pulley from fb cheap, had noticed my original had some play and was looking a bit tired. I know that damping is advised on the crank but it seems a lot of people run them without issues. The original is really heavy, you can immediately tell the difference when driving, revs pick up (and drop) much quicker so makes things a lot more exciting.


Few changes in the interior as I have dropped the passenger seat back in as I am meeting up with some mates at Brands next week and want to get some tuition. I have also moved my seat back one notch, this means I need to extend the steering wheel ~20mm however the spacers are so expensive for what they are so going to wait for any Black Friday deals.


Hopefully its dry next week and I can get some data on the car as this is the track I have always struggled with in this car.
The vibrations I mentioned started to get concerning so did a nut and bolt check on almost everything, nothing loose. After some head scratching I realised that it was the X brace vibrating on the bottom of the gearbox casing, if you look at the racer part list there is what looks like a ~10mm spacer. Once replicated vibrations completely removed, I assume that the final removal of poly has resulted in the brace taking up the slack.

Screenshot 2022-11-30 at 15.44.31.pngScreenshot 2022-11-30 at 15.44.21.png

Brands Hatch on Monday with some guys and Matt from C&C academy, very wet and misty start with high chance of more rain, plan was just to get used to the car and make sure nothing breaks.

Screenshot 2022-11-30 at 15.44.45.png

Kept the PS4’s on, seem to be lasting very well as they still have plenty of life, first session was interesting as the track was far slippier than I expected. Not sure if its the new surface or I have a bad memory but it was hard work trying to find grip. However the car felt awesome, the movement under braking has been completely removed and the turn in is sharp and consistent on corner entry. So much feeling through the wheel as well, you can almost feel the surface of the tarmac as you cross over the dry line.


Conditions changed throughout the day and normally within the session itself, lap 1 could have a dry line and end with enough rain to put the track back to almost full wet within 15 minutes. Amazingly only 1 red flag which didn’t take long to clear, was with Circuit Days, so was a nice change to some of the OT days..



Got some time with Matt in the car which was an eye opener, really helped in how to find grip and take advantage. Can feel so unorthodox taking a wide line, breaking off the dry etc but it really does work. Interestingly Paddock had the most grip, druids was a mine field with the exit being a death trap and Surtees through to Clearways grip was non existent. Going to try and work on my technique this winter, hands get lazy on the wheel, shifts are slow into a corner and my feet technique needs a change.

Difficult to form much of an opinion on the changes due to the wet setup / tyres but it’s the turn in that seems the biggest improvement, it is also very stable even when pushing. Had a few laps with a dry line and you could just keep it turning through druids, now desperate to try Brands in the dry. I am likely to make some changes to the geo in regards to the rake as I think I can go lower on the front now which should help the rotation, getting more of a feel on how I like my car setup and its leaning towards the more 'lively' side so a stiffer rear beam/axle is on the cards.

Few small upgrades purchased over Black Friday for some winter work (lots planned) I have booked Brands in December with OT but might cancel depending on weather.
Jacked the car up after Brands to see how the rear beam bush was behaving and then proceeded to immediately take it all off and purchase the pure bearing and strengthening kit. With it being the last bit of rubber it was obvious that it was moving a lot giving me little feedback, might regret going so stiff at the rear now but we shall see.



Few days later and Chris at GDF had got it blasted / welded and powder coated.




Decided that now was a good time to also ditch the original hard lines that ran across the beam as they had seen better days. Enjoyed putting new parts onto a clean part.


Started the final few items required for scrutineering, after a year of dealing with rusty hand pulls on electrical/fire there was no question I wanted wired on the Clio. Not cheap but easier to install and far less likely to cause issues, what started off as a simple install has resulted in me pulling the full loom out again so I can do it properly with Deutsch motorsport spec connectors. Still in progress but should get it all finished next week as I am off.








Cut the steering wheel lock off and new bolt, would love to remove the key completely but seems removing the immobiliser isn’t that simple.


Lots on the list, fire extinguisher, brake bleeding, rain light, loom install, door strip and I want to replace big end bolts, there is also a chance that I might have finally found a unit to rent locally.
I don’t think you’ll regret the solid rear beam, if anything it made mine even more stable and predictable

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That’s good to hear, I was finding it very unpredictable before so looking forward to seeing what it’s like now.
As always Liam, cracking update. I'd be interested to see how you find the car now you're fully bearing'd up! (Not that I'll do it myself but it's always good to see others progress)
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2023 plans, race the Clio, don’t care about positions just want to get a car I have built on my drive onto the track in its first race.

Still undecided on what to enter, 750MC HH is certainly the most competitive with a lot of very experienced drivers and a few clios which appeals. The new BRSCC Cooksport Renault Cup could be interesting depending on the regs as I am not interested if it isn’t limited by BHP/t as it just becomes a money game.

The slight issue is the due date of baby number 2 in mid March which means no racing for me until at least May… very poor planning :grin: This means I will probably try out a few series depending how the year goes and takes the pressure off competing in a championship but who knows.

I also want to get to a point where I can do everything on the car, engine/gearbox rebuild through to geo setup, I think this is invaluable when racing and I really love learning new things. Ambitious I know and will certainly require a garage / unit but want to aim high. Looking to also design / engineer some parts, got a few ideas focused on reducing weight (carbon fibre etc.)

Learnt a hell of a lot over the last 2 years since starting this thread, mostly from reading others projects on here and trying to replicate. Not sure if all forums are like this but it seems rare for so many to put so much effort into each update, looking forward to seeing what comes this year!
Learnt a hell of a lot over the last 2 years since starting this thread, mostly from reading others projects on here and trying to replicate. Not sure if all forums are like this but it seems rare for so many to put so much effort into each update, looking forward to seeing what comes this year!

Exciting plans.

I have found this forum invaluable for doing pretty much any work to the Clio (albeit I don't really do much of it myself).

I am looking forward to your updates as your Clio becomes a more unique project.
Wiring still not complete as I wait for fire extinguisher and also looking at adding a few more ‘extras’. Instead decided to gut the doors and finally embrace the poly glass.


It wasn’t actually too bad of a job although getting the glass out is a real pain if you have left the window fully up and gutted the electrics :chair:


Decided to leave the top bar but take out the cross member which is now replaced by the cage door bars. Original weight was around 36kg, by my calculations I now have it down to 25kg, so you can get about 11kg off each by gutting / poly / door cards. Doesn’t sound like much but they feel noticeably lighter on opening/closing, this puts me at around 1090kg dry.



I posted on fb asking for advice on replacing conrod bolts / bottom end refresh, I got all sorts of rubbish in response ranging from do it through to don’t do it but create a savings account, luckily Alex W replied…


The car is now on close to 65k and with it spending its life bouncing off the limiter I am keen to keep her going strong plan was:
  • Sump clean / gasket replacement
  • Take off the rod bearings / inspect
  • Take off oil pump / inspect
  • Replace conrod bolts with ARP


The sump was rough, even after draining there was about 300ml of dregs, definitely recommend taking the sump off and cleaning. Nothing metallic that I could see or filter just crappy oil.



The oil pump was worse, scoring on the inside and the gears themselves seen much better days, speed dial 1 to Nick at PMS for a new one.



I then took the bearings off, they don’t look great, no scoring but obvious wear across the full width, back to PMS for new bearings. The journal on the crank is better with minimal wear and no scoring on any of the faces. This was when I started getting a bit out of my depth, enjoying the process I invested in a HPA course and have now gone down a very deep hole in learning about engine building. My background is actually Mech Eng so it’s not completely alien but my degree was focussed very much on the maths / theoretical side of engines so I have a lot to learn.


Plastiguage ordered so I could check the bearing clearance with the new bearings, seems to be a dark art. I ordered standard OEM bearings so I could get a base measurement, worst case I then have to purchase undersize to handle any wear. Luckily however they have come roughly in the middle of spec at ~0.04mm, with the spec being 0.02-0.07mm (r3 engine is 0.07-0.09)

The plastiguage is also even across the journal so I am confident in the crank, only slight issue is my rod/crank lateral clearence which is at the top end of spec at around 0.35mm against spec of 0.02-0.04mm so right at the top end. Not much I can do about this without new crank/pistons but tbh I see no extreme wear so I wonder if it was like this from the factory.



Hopefully the replacements / upgrades will keep her going for another 65k. TBC as I am currently waiting for a few parts before torquing her back up.
Ive just read this from page 1-10 in full, great build and I'm so glad you're documenting on here. Social media has killed forums and proper progress threads which is a real shame! Looking forward to reading future updates!
TLDR, 2 weeks ago I booked a last minute shake down at Brands, started off great and finished very badly, lots of things broken and the shell is a write off.



Started the morning with a damp track which allowed me to get used to the changes, with the car now being lighter and a stiffer rear I was careful on making any other big changes to the setup. Overall felt great on the PS4’s with everything being very predictable / confidence inspiring. Bolted on the AR1’s before lunch as things dried out and got a few sessions in as I started stiffening the dampers back up.

Second session after lunch things went wrong, car felt lively so was planning on softening the rear slightly but on what was probably the last lap of the session I made the mistake. Into Surtees I was very greedy on the throttle before the apex, diff pulled the rear and it was just too little too late on the correction. Onto the grass and it was then damage limitation, 80 mph into the barrier, I was expecting a big hit but didn’t anticipate being launched backwards into the air. Initial impact split the fuel tank filler allowing 40ltrs of fuel to flow in, luckily the impact also ripped the front dash off pulling my isolator connector. Note to those that mount important switches on the Clio centre dash, don’t expect them to be there after you have a big hit!




The onboard is brutal.




It has taken about 2 weeks for me to recover from the mild concussion and various bruises, sitting on the grass with your car upside down puts things into perspective and I certainly have no regrets on the money spent on safety. Helmet, FHR and roll cage allowed me to walk away from this, I don’t think the gdf cage has a scratch on it.



Bumper is in a million pieces, chassis legs / turrets are no longer straight, gearbox mount is in 5 pieces and the OS shell and roof are not looking good. Annoyingly every part of the OS hub has broken so going to have to replace/rebuild including the EE bracket and damper is no longer straight but lots of expensive items have survived including engine/gearbox/shafts/exhaust/x3 dampers and potentially even the rear beam.



To get the car to this point and then bin it like this is gutting and took a few days to really sink in but I count myself luckily to walk away so haven’t dwelled on what has been lost, it’s the journey I enjoy, time to move forward.


I have managed to rent a garage very cheaply although only temporary, stripping has already begun and should hopefully have some exciting news on v2 later this week. The goal is to get back to where I was before the end of the summer but not going to rush into anything.


Ah mate that’s gutting, glad you’re ok! i know exactly how it feels to wreck your car after you’ve put so much work into it.

As you say, there’s no use in dwelling on it, onwards and upwards.

Let me know if you need any spares and i’ll have a look as i’ve got a few on the shell i crashed!
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Completely gutting especially as you put so Much into it and it was looking great.

sadly that’s the risk doing this kind of “hobby” but as above not to dwell and bounce back

look forward to seeing the revival project
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