Yiannis' Albi Blue R27. Renault Sport track [email protected]

Discussion in 'Projects/Progress Threads' started by Yiannis197, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. Yiannis197

    Yiannis197 Paid Member

    Messages:
    3,692
    Location:
    London
    Car:
    Clio R27
    So I came back from my Transiberian - Transmongolian railway adventures and headed straight to Wales for the weekend. I always had an itch for some rally driving but had totally zero experience, Phil Price rally school came to change that!

    For the ones who don't know him, Phil is a legend and a highly respected individual in the rally industry. Not only he has trained (and still does) several WRC drivers including various big names but drivers and teams use his facilities to develop and test their cars. The way he talks about rallying makes you realise how passionate he is about it, I could go for hours listening to his stuff.

    Finished work on Friday and departed soon after, it's definitely not close, nearly 4 hour drive from central London but hey, it's all about Wales' B roads:wink: Arrived late at night at a gorgeous B&B in the middle on nowhere and wake up to this;


    27242489797_4348fd3c4b_k.jpg DSC00399 by YiannisR27, on Flickr


    Fogy morning, full of green, promising weather, and lots of sheep as expected. After being treated to a lovely full English we headed for the stages, 6 miles away. We were the last to arrive - without being late - so we got around meeting all the attendees. 8 drivers (maximum number per day), 7 men and a woman (who was quicker than me at the timed sessions and I'm not even embarrassed to admit it!). Introduction, basic coaching over videos, coffee and off we went to get ourselves in gear. The day consisted of trying to make the car slide, to then maintain the slide and then flip it from one side to the other. God that was fun! Whilst waiting for our turn we had the chance to go to the main rally stage for a blast with an AWD Impreza and Phil as a co-driver. The task was to blindly follow his instructions - having digested all the code presented to us in the morning - and drive on a specific configuration of the stage. I think I got the 50% of it, it was not easy! That's my excuse anyway:smile:

    The other cars were 2 rally prep'd RWD Subaru Imprezas, going around with instructors literally shouting at us, in a good way of course! It really was awesome. They kept watering the track so as to make it easier for us but the mud was gradually drying through the day making the whole thing trickier as you'd go along. We had totally about 10 runs each plus 3 runs for the competition (clockwise, anti-clockwise and a final go for trying to improve the slowest run). What I did notice was how competitive people became when the timer was up and running! Up until that point everyone was spinning, hitting cones, sliding etc, during the timed sessions they were literally driving around with all wheels on full traction lol, which I found hilarious. On the contrary, I was giving it full beans trying to slide and perform the Scandinavian flick (unsuccessfully) on totally dry gravel, taking several tyres and cones on the way (and time penalties of course). Did I care? Obviously not, did I have fun? God I did!!

    Highlight of the day was when Phil took his Group A Subaru out to take us all for a ride in the rally stage. And it was scary. You can't really tell from the video but it was nuts, especially when you don't know/see where the roads goes, when the car is flying and dancing and when there is a drop next to you without barriers. That was my first experience in a proper rally car with a proper driver, and it was the best thing I've ever done in regards to motoring experience.

    A couple of pics and a video with Phil driving;

    42112827811_ac464462d3_k.jpg DSC00403 by YiannisR27, on Flickr
    41211746805_6ab788a954_k.jpg DSC00411 by YiannisR27, on Flickr
    41392665284_89ed75bcd2_k.jpg DSC00406 by YiannisR27, on Flickr


     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
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  2. SeanTheSheep

    SeanTheSheep

    Messages:
    442
    Location:
    South Wales
    Car:
    Clio 200
    Mate, that looks epic I totally want a go!

    Bet you had adrenaline rattle after that ride along with Phil
     
    Yiannis197 likes this.
  3. suj

    suj Paid Member

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    741
    Location:
    Birmingham / Warwick
    Car:
    Nimbus Grey 197
    I've done that Phil Price rally course through work, it is soooo good, I might have to do it again haha.
     
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  4. Pav

    Pav Moderator

    Messages:
    11,582
    Location:
    Manchester
    Car:
    albi blue 197 with boost
    great write up Yiannis..looks like you have learnt a thing or 2 and had a fantastic time..do a bit of rallying never hurts..:thumb:
     
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  5. sevenfourate

    sevenfourate Devotee of OCD Paid Member

    Messages:
    8,433
    Location:
    Lowestoft, England.
    Car:
    Racing Blue RS-200 / Citroen C2 GT
    AWESOME ! Rally drivers are screw-loose. The worst of the worst. What an experience...

    Hugely jealous. What a blast
     
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  6. Yiannis197

    Yiannis197 Paid Member

    Messages:
    3,692
    Location:
    London
    Car:
    Clio R27
    LONG POST WARNING!

    Time for an update here me thinks!

    Quite a few things on the go currently, good and not so good, as it always is:smile: Track day in Rockingham and a weekend in Brands, supporting my mate who is racing in the Caterham Academy series. What an absolute blast of a weekend that was. Blimey, racing is so addictive even to those who don't actually race. The weather, the cars, the atmosphere, the vibe, the energy, the preparation process, the testing...everything was so addictive. There were quite a few races that day including Touring cars and this is when you know that things are getting serious however, the actual Caterham race was much more interesting. The competitiveness is sky high and the elbows are literally out. We managed to secure a solid 7th out of 28 cars so overall not a bad weekend!

    28056796997_e9cfa570eb_o.jpg DSC_9780 by YiannisR27, on Flickr

    And yes, a singer parked somewhere around there;

    41115614080_fbc387aab2_o.jpg DSC_9783 by YiannisR27, on Flickr


    Off for a week to lovely Sitges to get some necessary vitamin D and of course it didn't disappoint one bit;


    28056796867_2675e65d61_o.jpg DSC_9850 by YiannisR27, on Flickr
    41115613820_bb781181a3_o.jpg DSC_9855 by YiannisR27, on Flickr
    28056796767_852d395c1a_o.jpg DSC_9884 by YiannisR27, on Flickr
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    And then a 5 day break in lovely Wales. I hadn't been there for...well, a month lol so I missed it! We started from South Wales this time on Saturday morning heading to the North where we eventually took our way back to London on Tuesday morning via gorgeous Cotswolds. The weather was not splendid but that obviously didn't stop us neither ruined the fun.

    We departed Friday after work and we stayed in Tintern at a lovely B&B, literally next to the river with great food and views.

    Day one we did A4069 heading towards Llanwyrtyd wells where we followed the single track road to Tregaron, Devil's Bridge, Elan Valley and eventually to Dylife where we stayed for the night. Lots of stops in between for exploring Devil's Bridge area (walking up and down the waterfalls is highly recommended), Elan valley and of course bits in between. The road between there and Elan Valley is the best road in Wales in my humble opinion. Wide enough with rightly cambered turns, superb visibility, no traffic or sheep, not very smooth so it keeps the car unsettled and therefore playful and most importantly..you don't have to be doing crazy speeds to maintain a challenging drive. Simply perfect. It did remind me of some of the very fine roads in the continent. B4518 was awesome, same was the one leading to our hotel which was in the middle of nowhere, Star Inn. We did some trekking in the mountain (one of the most famous Welsh paths according to the locals) and finally ended up back to our hotel for dinner and wine.

    Day two we departed late because we caught up with a fellow enthusiast who was driving around in a classic, God how time flies when you share hobbies right? So we followed the Forge road to Penegoes, up to Llanymawddy, then joined a single track road to Eunant and eventually lake Vyrnwy. That road is difficult at times (rough tarmac and very narrow) but as soon as you start going up the mountain it becomes seriously handful, I was getting way excited and I nearly binned it. All good though so the Clio stays to live another day! Break at the lake at a big hotel overlooking the lake and then off to Bala via B4391 (what a road, elevation changes etc!!), A494 to horseshoe pass and eventually to Llangolen for some rafting sessions! 2 hours in the river fighting with the boat, great fun! Dinner at a pub literally by the river, off to do the Evo triangle late evening and eventually to our hotel at Betws-y-Coed. Now, a few might crucify me for saying this but the Evo triangle has to be the most overrated road after the Stelvio pass (the bad stelvio that is, not from Bormio side, Bormio side is excellent).

    First of all let's start from the basics. It's not a triangle! A5 (bottom road) is a main artery road so it's too busy, too risky to speed and it's nothing special anyway. B4501 is excellent but still - not very challenging in our cars. Our clios have so much grip so you'd have to be doing crazy speeds there to find yourself involved, and you are risking too much should you opt for it. But very good nonetheless with elevation changes etc. A543 is boring, no two ways about it. Rough tarmac, lots of straights and very narrow at the bottom. Overall, very disappointed considering how legendary these roads are supposed to be.

    Day three we woke up early to go to Llanberis through A4086. The Llanberis pass was excellent, reminding me of a miniature Alpine pass. I would have loved to do it both ways but we were running out of time as we'd have to be to Llanberis at 10am to catch the train up to Snowdon Summit. Train up and trek down, the wise way:smile: After 2 and a half hours of walking we got back to the car towards A4085, B4410, A496 and B4391. The latter is a sublime road. I did try to do the EDIT: B4407 as well but it was too foggy so we turned back. We were planning to to the triangle clockwise but for the aforementioned reasons we skipped it, I couldn't be bothered really. So we took the A5 and A494 to end up to a friend's house where we stayed the night.

    Day four we ended up in Jade developments because the car developed a steering issue. I knew exactly what the problem was but I just wanted Sean to confirm. The joint in the rack has developed a play and therefore a knock, I had exactly the same issue 5 years ago which was covered under the extended warranty, I'll have to foot the bill now lol. No big drama, I know that these units are not up to the job and if the car is driven hard, issues will appear sooner or later. Good thing that happened now and not a week before the Alps! After a quick diagnostics we headed to Stow in Cotswolds for lunch and then back to Camden. Overall a great break and I can't wait to go back! Some pics at the following post!

    Thanks for reading!
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
  7. Yiannis197

    Yiannis197 Paid Member

    Messages:
    3,692
    Location:
    London
    Car:
    Clio R27
    42925611481_628953b9ae_h.jpg DSC00524 by YiannisR27, on Flickr
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  8. Big Ben

    Big Ben Winner - POTM February 2018 Paid Member

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    Brilliant update.

    Wales sounded great.

    Look at those wheels man:hearteyes:
     
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  9. Johnny 99

    Johnny 99 Winner - POTM October 2018 Platinum Member

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    Location:
    Inverness
    Car:
    Clio Renaultsport 200
    Great post @Yiannis197. I'm interested to see your views on the Evo triangle. I've not done it yet, but I believe @///M has included it in the Welsh run he is organising & I hope to be on that. Maybe the reason they use it is for the fact that it encompasses different road types, A road, B road, rough tarmac? I don't know. Anyway I still want to experience it.
    I agree with @Big Ben, those wheels look awesome. The red/blue combo works so well.
     
    Yiannis197 likes this.
  10. Yiannis197

    Yiannis197 Paid Member

    Messages:
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    Thanks John:smile:

    To be honest, if I was driving the EVO triangle without knowing it was the EVO triangle as such, I'd say that B4501 is an excellent road and A543 is a decent drive mainly due to views (naked fields and a patch of tarmac in the middle). Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I did them and any petrolhead who visits Wales should, but I just don't get the immense reputation that these 2 roads have in the community. EVO magazine might have their own reasons for taking their cars there but this buzz in the car forums is something really bizarre to me. I mean...there are definitely much better roads in Scotland and even lake district. And there are definitely much better roads in Wales as well! Why this is so famous I simply fail to see.

    Anyway, it's definitely worth visiting and Mes knows his stuff as he's been in the region quite a few times, I'm sure you'll drive all over the best bits so I'm looking forward to hearing your opinion as well:smile:
     
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  11. Slowride

    Slowride Paid Member

    Messages:
    41
    Car:
    Clio RS 197
    Those wheels...:hearteyes:
     
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  12. Yiannis197

    Yiannis197 Paid Member

    Messages:
    3,692
    Location:
    London
    Car:
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    Brands evening session the other day, and a reminder to myself NOT to do that again. It was painfully busy with fast cars but drivers not realising the concept of the "slow car on straight line but quicker on bends" so I ended up most of the time behind them trying to go through traffic.

    In all honestly I was really pissed off with the poor driving etiquette, the fact that the Clio is gutless on track only added to the frustration. I won't lie, I came back and started looking at Meganes even though falling out with my pride and joy because of other's bad driving is not on.. At the end I'd pointlessly try finding a clear slot to go out but no luck. 2 and a half hours of track time with 51 cars made that a task and a half.

    Most interesting car of the day was a performante with a skilled driver who definitely knew how to peddle. And blimey it was on another level, he would overtake any car as if it was stopped, unreal difference on grip and speed.

    Not an interesting footage but multi edited to cut most of the traffic whilst hanging on behind others. The full blown race Leon Cupra is a friend's and it's running 411bhp on 1050kgs. it was literally flying!

    28461263747_900809a7d7_h.jpg DSC00835 by YiannisR27, on Flickr
    42612705984_808c30ac27_h.jpg DSC00843 by YiannisR27, on Flickr
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    43329844761_6daba01685_h.jpg DSC00866 by YiannisR27, on Flickr
    42612699994_7720dcabee_h.jpg DSC00869 by YiannisR27, on Flickr


     
  13. Pav

    Pav Moderator

    Messages:
    11,582
    Location:
    Manchester
    Car:
    albi blue 197 with boost
    nice work Yiannis..car sounds brill..sorry to hear about your frustration though..have to admit that you hit the nail on the head..
    as much as these cars are good in the corners,the straight line performance is poo...
     
  14. jamesgw200

    jamesgw200

    Messages:
    1,165
    Location:
    cambridge
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    Megane 275 Trophy
    wow thats busy! great driving.
     
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  15. trackspec197

    trackspec197 Paid Member

    Messages:
    1,101
    Location:
    Worcester
    Car:
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    Enjoyed that.
     
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  16. Yiannis197

    Yiannis197 Paid Member

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    Location:
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    Yeap, always been the case matey @Pav but that normally wouldn't be an issue if the slowest drivers would go out of the way. That white Leon FR was bang on, overtook me on the straight and after 3 corners he let off the throttle to allow me to overtake. This is how is done and this is what I've been doing for years. Why waste the time of another driver is beyond me. Those caterham drivers for example were bang on out of order. Not to mention the BMW drivers...

    Racing or chasing laptimes is a different thing, there you need straight line speed and easy pick up on the exit. But on leisure events like track days you can do without, assuming of course you can drive around carrying as much corner speed your talent allows you. Which would be feasible if everyone stuck to the rules and fucked off when they'd see a car on their rear bumper.

    Rant over.
     
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  17. trackspec197

    trackspec197 Paid Member

    Messages:
    1,101
    Location:
    Worcester
    Car:
    Clio 197 BMW 320 M Sport
    Couldn’t agree more. I’m sick to death of it and it’s getting worse and worse as more people do them.
     
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  18. Johnny 99

    Johnny 99 Winner - POTM October 2018 Platinum Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Sorry to hear about your frustration. A pity because Brands can be fun if everyone plays ball. I like the Indy circuit despite it's relative simplicity because you don't get much of a breather and are pretty much full on all the time. Hoping to do the GP circuit in 2019.
     
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  19. Yiannis197

    Yiannis197 Paid Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    That's it mate, I do like the Indy as well and as you say, awesome when everyone is switched on.

    GP must be magnificent, I'd love to do it but I just can't afford it as it always flirting close to half a grand!
     
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  20. peter

    peter POTM Winner - February 2017 Gold Member

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    b e l g i u m
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    exactly what happened to me at spa last week. it's a brilliant track, but when you can't keep up the momentum in our cars, it gets frustrating quite quickly. M2's and 911's creeping up eau rouge and the raidillon, then leaving you for dead on the straight before holding you up again at rivage. was the first time it was so bad.

    won't stop me from going back, though ... :smile:
     

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