Matt's 200

MattP

Paid Member
So kids shouted upstairs that a parcel for my Clio has come - ran down excitedly thing it was the coilovers but turned out to be a slightly less exciting delivery. New mats.

Now the mats that were in it were a bit past their best and the drivers may in particular was pretty threadbare in places, they were also black with white stitching and badge which didn’t quite work.

So new ones are yellow and I think they do a great job of tying the Recaros to the yellow on the steering whee and rev counter.

Anyway, details always make me happy! (Excuse my ripped Recaro - need to sort that!)

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Sibbers

Paid Member
Didn’t realise they were so new, but they look great. Lovely motor you got there buddy and sounds the biz too. :thumb:
 
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Lauzmmj

Paid Member
I really like the yellow mats, tempted to get them for mine but theres always other repairs that need prioritizing
 
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MattP

Paid Member
Reading - 7:00

We meet at our local garage with very clean and shiny cars, all our gear and high expectations for three days of driving.

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I won’t bore you with the M4 so first significant stop leg starts as we enter the Brecon Beacons at Abergavenny, following the A465 along the bottom then up and over, back down and then across the Black Mountain pass up towards Llandovery, then right towards Brecon.
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Waiting for the locals to let us have a crack at the black mountain pass!

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Everyone’s favourite hairpin!

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View from the top

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A chance encounter with a pub landlady at lunch changed our intended route as she suggested what she described as “quite a good driving road” through the Elan Valley. A greater understatement has never been uttered!

We went right at Rhayader and embarked on a glorious 40 min of perfect valley roads overlooking the beautiful Elan damn and reservoir.

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This is point F on the map above and you can see the valley and damn to our left before we drove off towards Aberystwyth following the winding river to the right. Stunning!
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The next few hours were spent getting to Aberystwythand the heading North into Snowdonia.
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I’d been looking forward to this stretch and particularly the right turn off the A470 at Trawsfynydd onto the A4212. This is a really excellent piece of road with plenty of dips and crests and nice technical turns. The Clio is the perfect car for this kind of terrain and it just soaks up punishment and answers every question you throw at it. The road then goes past a lovely lake and then just before reaching Bala you can go left and join the B4501.

Which of course leads you to the now legendary ‘EVO triangle’

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So...... the triangle.

Thought we should do it as we were nearby and was a little worried it would disappoint having been hyped so much!

Ended up going round it three times, particularly to try and master the very tricky first half of the right side. Lots of camber and elevation changes mid corner and plants to keep you on your toes!

How they hoon around it in super and hyper cars I’ll never know as the Clio felt like the perfect car to be tackling it in!

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It was getting late and we were hungry so back onto the A5 to take us all the way to Anglesey island via a big bridge that looked like it might eat you if you weren’t careful!

The A5 is a gorgeous road and even though we were just doing the finishing run to the hotel it was tempting to go back and do it again.
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So we ended our first day. Arriving at the hotel 13 hrs after we’d set off and thoroughly exhausted but happy!

Over steak and chips we tried to pick our favourite roads/ moments but found it so hard as it had all been so stunning. At this point, I think the A4212 was mine but Tom felt the winding river road out of the Elan Vally just piped it.

With Anglesey Circuit waiting for us on the morning we went to bed two very happy chappies!
 

MattP

Paid Member
Day 2: track time!

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I was so looking forward to driving Anglesey and the track didn’t disappoint at all. Beautiful surrounds and stunning views whilst enjoying some really exciting corners, cambers and elevation changes.

The whole back ‘straight’ is one long pull in 4th and as you lift off toward the end the Clios Akrapovic would make the most amazing machine gun impression on the over run. I was enjoying that so much early on in the day I completely missed my braking point and ended up completely overshooting and sitting in the middle of the grass!

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Kept up with this fella for at least a lap!

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Surely one of the most stunning blind crests of all the UK tracks?

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Getting some good ideas on how to go faster from a close relative......

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Lunch saw us sneak off up to the abandoned buildings for some photo ops

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And then another afternoon of hoonage and a really satisfying track day. Felt I really understand the Clios limits now and am looking forward to really feeling the difference that coilovers and more track focussed tyres will give it.

Anglesey lived up to the hype and I will definitely make the pilgrimage again!

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MattP

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Day 2 (evening)

Faced with an evening back at the hotel we thought we might as well make it to the very end of Wales!

We followed the coastal road right round Anglesey and enjoyed the roads and views!

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MattP

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Day 3: Home time @ 4:30am!

We decided to leave at dawn the next morning to make the most of empty roads and I know less about this journey as I followed Tom as he’d planned the route home.

Again though, a glorious mix of fast A roads like the A5 and mountain and valley roads took us diagonally down Wales and towards Shrewsbury.

Wet early morning dampness gave way into a glorious Saturday morning!


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The Clio marked its 70k moment by doing exactly what it was designed for: taking apart a Welsh A road!

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And then back into England where the normally stunning Cotswolds and Malvern hills looked a little flatter than normal but still have plenty of opportunity to enjoy the drive.

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Finally - trying not to fall asleep on the M4!

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And then home. Some 924 miles after we’d left 3 days before.

Both cars had been faultless and had dealt with everything that had been asked of them with ability to spare. Fast, comfortable, nimble, trackable and vaguely frugal, the Clio has monstered the journey and apart from a large collection of insects on its nose, felt as fresh as a daisy.

Love that car so so much! Can’t think of a better car to do it in!

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Ocsltd

Paid Member
Great write up and pics!! This sums up Clio 200 ownership perfectly for me, such great cars!!

I did something similar, year before last. Went to Wales for 3 days, did the Evo triangle, and like you, followed the coastal road to Anglesey. (We did end up on some dubious grass tracks!) We didn't have any track time and the circuit was closed for private testing. But as you say, stunning views, will defo go back!

I was in a Porsche Boxster S, which was enjoyable, but can't help but think it would have been even more enjoyable in the revvy Clio!!

Thanks for sharing.
 
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Fantastic road trip, its these moments that make a owning clio people dome get... thanks for taking us along!
Such a wonderful car the Clio3, cannot compare the 4, am sorry guys!
 
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Sibbers

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What a buzz, good read and only made better with the pics. Makes me want to get mine out there, the commute to work aint doing it for me :wink: