Donnington Park Vaux Valves Outing.

Published on 29 September 2023 at 09:09

Malcolm had got a phone call from somebody at MSV - Jonathon Palmer's racing event company - asking if it was possible to show his Daughter's BTCC car at a special Vauxhall event. Malcolm being Malcolm agreed and also offered his Monaro VXR Corvette 5.7 litre engined monster. So it was agreed we would take both cars down, one on the transporter and one on the trailer behind. It was an early start, me Russ and Paul met at the Boston Bowl at 06:30, Malc followed up later in the car, he brought his grandson, Joshua Watts with him. Remember that name, that lad is going to be a star. Anyway, it was a very easy drive, about 2 1/2 hours but we had a good laugh so it didn't seem that long.

We had preprinted tickets and went in through the exhibitors entrance, the two cars on the back added credence to our credentials, the guys waved us through, all we had to do now was find Jason Hughes, who we were sharing an area with. We had been told by Malcolm to go in turn left then Jason would be on the right, those instructions were a wee bit vague and actually entirely wrong. Russ phoned Jason, who gave us the correct directions and very shortly we were unloading the cars. I got to drive the Monaro for the first time, must have been all of about 30 metres, it was enough to attract quite a crowd, although that was nothing to when we booted up the BTCC car later in the afternoon.

Russ took  the transporter and trailer back to the parking area and the three of us had a wander looking at the wonderful array of Vauxhalls on display. I was delighted to see so many young car builders there, the overall quality of the workmanship was truly inspiring. We all particularly liked a striking blue Combo van parked near us, it had  Tigra front end, VXR turbo engine and a stunning paint job. It wasn't over done but it was very well done, it was all blended in beautifully. I didn't get the builder's name, but it really was a credit to him, seemed like a really nice guy too.

There was plenty of racing going on, I particularly enjoyed the Mighty Minis and the historic racers. There was also BMW's, Alfas, Clios and MX5s, at lunch time the sporty Vauxhalls got to do a few laps. Jason led the way in his BTCC Vectra, it was Jason Plato's spare car and it was ridiculously fast. Loudest was the Mega Bertha of Ric Wood, it's 8 litre v8 engine  shook the ground, I suspect geologists in California were worried that the next big quake was on it's way.

We paid a visit to Garage 39 -- the coffee shop / restaurant that is conveniently located right next to garage number 38, quite a coincidence really. I have to say service was painfully slow, I left the rest of the guys in there while I went and watched some BMW's crashing.

We left at about half 3, the parking area was emptying quite quickly by then so there didn't seem much point hanging around any longer. We got the cars loaded without any issues, came home, dropped them off and then enjoyed a quick beer before going home to our spouses, I don't know about Paul or Russ but I fell asleep. Totally knackered but totally content, it had been a great day. 

I have some videos, which I will upload to youtube when I have a bit more time.

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