Lotus Cup UK & Europe
Last weekend saw the team head again to Spa, this time for the first Lotus Cup race of the year for Rob Fenn in his newly rebuilt Motorsport Elise AKA “Pip”. Unfortunately the weekend started badly with a catastrophic engine failure after 1 lap in testing on Thursday.
The JDR crew swapped onto the freshly rebuilt spare engine set for Lotus Cup Europe qualifying on Friday morning, after a couple of short runs to test the installation of the engine Rob managed to qualify the car in a close 4th position. With the car handling well and spirits in the team on the up Rob went on to qualify 2nd for the hour long Lotus Cup UK race.
However the weekend was not set to keep improving… After a great first few laps of the first 30min Lotus Cup Europe race Rob found himself catching and then challenging leader, regular BTCC driver Jack Goff with a number of fastest laps. As Rob made a great move down into the challenging Eau Rouge corner a piece of debris cut the driveshaft CV boot which then damaged the engine crank sensor causing instant retirement.
With the sensor and driveshaft changed, we were hopeful of challenging for the win in the hour long Lotus Cup UK race. After 30min and a good pitstop we found ourselves over 20 seconds in the lead. With Rob and car performing well and about to receive instructions to back off and take it easy to the flag, bad luck then struck again with TPS sensor failure. Rob managed to bring the car home 4th and 1st in the open class. A meaningless trophy when we were certain of a great win.
Again starting 4th for the second Lotus Cup Europe, a great battle emerged for the lead over the first few laps with Rob in a great position. But the weekend was not to end on a high as Rob trundled down the pit lane with the car on 3 cylinders at the end of lap 6. Another engine failure.
A weekend to forget and a long drive home.
Stephen Bond joins JDR
JDR welcomes its new customer Stephen Bond into the team with his Lotus Elan 26R.
With JDR getting the car to a race ready standard after the car not being driven for over 2 years, Stephen and his team mate Piers Gormley (making the long trip from Texas) had a successful first race meeting at the Spa Summer Classic in very difficult and typical Spa conditions!
This race was being used for Stephen and Piers (who had not driven at Spa before) to get some good track mileage and begin their relationship with the team before the car undergoes a lengthy preparation in time for the prestigious Spa Historic 6 hour race in September.
For this race Stephen and Piers will hopefully be joined in the driving duties by Keith Fell. Keith was the previous preparer of the car and has trusted the preparation/running of the car with JDR after an unfortunate illness. We very much hope that Keith will be fighting fit in time for the Spa race!
CSCC Race - Brands Hatch
This weekend sees the next round of Classic & Sports Car Club's Classic K race. Nick Atkins & Roger Barton will once again team up to compete in the JDR prepared Lotus Elan 26R.
Crystal Palace Sprint
Nick Atkins returned to Crystal Palace this weekend in his JDR prepared Lotus Elan 26R, to compete in the Motorsport At The Palace sprint - the very place he started his racing career many years ago.
Despite the wet weather, much fun was had by all!
Lotus Cup at Rockingham
This weekend saw the father/son team of Doug and Chris Setters excel in their JDR prepared Exige.
After a successful qualifying on saturday morning in the wet, Chris brought the car home 5th overall in the race and 2nd in class.
Oulton Park next in July....
Donington Historic Festival - May 2014
Donington played host to the Historic Festival this sunny Bank Holiday weekend, and with plenty of wonderful cars and close racing it was the place to be!
The JDR prepared Elite of Nick Atkins took part in the Pre 63GT 60 minute endurance race. Nick was joined by JDR's workshop manager Ross Curnow in his first race meeting in six years. The duo qualified 5th in a highly competitive upto 1300cc class and brought the car home 4th in class in the race.
"It was great to join Nick at this meeting, it's the first time I have raced a historic car and I thoroughly enjoyed it!" said Ross
A great fun weekend had by all...
Round 2 of Lotus Cup - Silverstone
JDR will be testing and racing at Silverstone on the GP circuit this weekend, where round 2 of the Lotus Cup championship takes place.
John Davison and father/son duo Doug & Chris Setters will be competing in their Elise and Exige in the 60 minute race.
Good luck to team JDR !
JDR wish all customers and followers a very Happy Easter. Enjoy the break!
Let the 2014 Race Season begin!
John Danby Racing’s 2014 race season will kickoff in style this weekend at Snetterton with the first Lotus Cup race meeting of the year.
Father and son team, Doug and Chris Setters, will race their Honda powered Exige in the 90 minute race on the new 300 circuit.
The duo are longstanding supporters of Lotus Cup and last year qualified third in class at this event, so hopes are high for this coming weekend.
John Danby “It’s great to have Doug and Chris on board with JDR, we are looking forward to a successful race weekend at Snetterton and with some more improvements for the car on the way we hope to build on our results throughout the season.”
JDR return to Snetterton again next weekend for the Classic Sports Car Club meeting with Nick Atkins and Roger Barton in Nick’s Lotus Elan for the 1 hour Classic K race.
Hillman Imp restoration complete
JDR assisted David Rumbellow with his first test in his newly built Bybox specification Hillman Imp at Snetterton on 1st April. David thoroughly enjoyed the car and will be racing in the remaining 2014 HSCC Bybox championship where he will be racing in the highly competitive under 1100cc class.
Lotus Cup - Official testday
1st March marks the official Lotus Cup pre-season testday and John Danby Racing will be shaking cars down in readiness for the start of the 2014 season.With father/son teams Doug & Chris Setters, David & Rob Fenn, plus John Davison on board it looks to be a busy and fun season ahead!
JDR & Gold Wolf F4 test
JDR and Gold Wolf recently hosted a two day test at Brands Hatch in a Formula 4 for three guest drivers from Japan ahead of the 2014 season.
Happy New Year!
John Danby Racing would like to wish all our customers, friends and suppliers a very Happy New Year - may 2014 be a very good year for us all!
Lotus VI Completion
The JDR built Lotus VI project has been completed and returned to a very happy Barry Davison. Will let the pictures do the talking!
Fenn 'cleans up' at Spa!
Rob Fenn and his John Danby Racing prepared Motorsport Elise dominated at Spa Francorchamps this weekend. The famous circuit played host to Lotus Cup UK's overseas race, and from the outset Rob's pace set a high standard.
Qualifying on pole, winning the race and acheiving fastest lap - the team had three great reasons to celebrate!
Next UK round is 24/25th Auguat - Brands Hatch GP.
Davison triumphs at Brands Hatch
It was a successful weekend at the Brands Hatch Aston Martin meeting for John Davison, with two podium positions in two cars.
In his newly acquired TVR Griffith John fought a hard battle to finish second overall in the HRDC Allstars race, and in his father's Elite came in first in class.
This busy weekend will soon be followed by more action at the Silverstone Classic for John, again in both cars.
Class win for Fenn at Silverstone
Silverstone played host to round two of the Lotus Cup Championship this weekend, with JDR drivers Liz Halliday & Rob Fenn both strong contenders. The 60 minute endurance race on the Grand Prix circuit provided Rob Fenn with some much needed championship points after his engine failure in round one.
Free practice took place on a cold but dry track, and set the pace for qualifying with Rob 4th overall and 3rd in class, Liz 10th overall and 4th in class.
Rob Fenn: “With Snetterton’s DNF put behind us, JDR managed to pull out the stops to get a new engine in the car ready for the second round at Silverstone. Last year, everything went our way, where we won the race outright partly due to some of the competition suffering from reliability issues throughout the race. Although we were back with more power courtesy of our Duratec engine, the 2-11 class in Lotus Cup UK have been allowed to increase theirs significantly also. On Avon tyres this time round too, no one was sure how the dust would settle.
Rob’s nimble Motorsport Elise favours twisty circuits, so the long fast Silverstone GP circuit was always going to be a challenge, with Rob qualifying 4th and 3rd in class. Sadly despite qualifying 10th overall, Liz encountered engine problems and couldn’t go on to race.
Rob Fenn: “Practice went well, but outright pace was the obvious issue on Silverstone’s long straights. Although well respected for being the best car on the grid when it came to corners, I could only manage 4th and this position was held in qualifying.”
A steady race pace and timely pitstop from the JDR team ensured Rob’s good finish, and a visit to the podium.
Rob Fenn: “The race finish of 4th also may point to a mundane hour in the seat, but it involved losing a couple of places, making some up and some competition falling away due to various mechanical woes. Whilst it was a dull day in the office compared to Snetterton, this time we came away with a class win and much needed maximum points. Whilst Silverstone may not have suited us, we’re back to Brands next which should suit the Elise perfectly.”
John Danby “Congratulations to Rob for a competent drive, and some well deserved points. Next round is the DTM meeting a Brands Hatch where we hope to see both drivers on the podium! “
JDR return to racing again next weekend at Donington Park for the Masters Historic Festival.
Class win starts the 2013 season in style
The Lotus Cup race season got off to an exciting start this weekend at Snetterton on the 300 circuit. John Danby Racing tasted a mixture of triumph and disappointment with a superb 2nd overall and class win for Liz Halliday, and a retirement for Rob Fenn despite qualifying second on the grid.
With winter rebuilds and a promising round of testing for both Liz’s 2-Eleven and Rob’s Motorsport Elise completed, Sunday’s 30 minute qualifying session proved to be eventful. Dual sportswoman Halliday secured class pole by 0.4sec and Rob, having put the car on pole position, was pipped to the post on the last lap by fellow part time JDR driver Michael Lyons in a Lotus 340R.
Both JDR drivers were expecting a tough battle during the afternoon’s 1.5-hour race, and in true style the race was action packed from the start. Liz’s class battle was helped by a timely stop from the JDR crew, ensuring that no more than the minimum three minutes was lost in the pits before Liz returned to the action.
A late Safety Car period only added to the pressure as Liz, who now headed the pack, focused on retaining the place. But having successfully negotiated the traffic at the re-start, Liz fought hard with fellow 2-Eleven racer Simon Deacon, until Liz was able to find a way past at the Esses before holding on for a hard-fought class victory, not to mention second overall.
Liz Halliday: “What a fantastic result! This one’s for the team at John Danby Racing who have worked very hard to uncover the issues we experienced last season. The car was very reliable all weekend, which makes such a big difference when trying to work on the set-up with a new tyre.
“It was a dash from lights to flag and there was some great racing between all three of us. I was very determined to finish the job properly so being held up with a lap to go wasn’t ideal. I just thought to myself, ‘there is no way I am losing this one,’ and fortunately I was able to make the pass stick. If we carry on like that it’s going to be an incredibly close and exciting season.”
Luck was sadly not on Rob’s side as he suffered an engine problem three quarters of the way through the race and stopped on track, but not before he claimed fastest lap.
Rob Fenn, “Unfortunately then, this race was added to the list of ‘What Ifs’. Despite the field upping their game over winter, JDR has still clearly built the fastest car on the grid, but we experienced some new problems that add to the learning curve of a relatively new engine and gearbox combination. The whole team will not be lacking in motivation to make amends at Silverstone!”
John Danby “What a way to start the 2013 Lotus Racing season – a big congratulations to Liz for her well deserved podium finish, and to Rob for an excellent determined drive in spite of the result. The Team will be back in action at Silverstone, hoping for a JDR 1, 2 !”
JDR gears up for 2013 season
JDR are busy confirming plans for the 2013 race season - which looks to be a busy and exciting year ahead!
Watch this space for a confirmed list of races & venues.
JDR would like to wish all of its customers & staff a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Here's to a successful 2013!
Victory at the 6hr into the night race!
It was a triumphant weekend and superb finish to the season for the John Danby Racing built Motorsport Elise of David & Rob Fenn.
After a successful end to the Lotus Cup UK season with 3 straight victories, the approach to the non-championship Lotus 6 Hour ‘Into the Night’ race was more relaxed than your typical race weekend. That’s not to say we didn’t want to win! With David Fenn returning for his first race since May, and FIA GT3 racer Mike Lyons joining us after a DNF earlier in the season, we wanted a car that would finish, and finish well.
Rob Fenn “With a tight timeframe, JDR did what they could to give the car a refresh after the victorious Snetterton round. Vital as, after all, the race would be practically a full season packed into one weekend! The team also assessed data and running time to help plan our strategy for pit stops, although fundamentally the car would be the deciding factor as our ultimate adversary was 6 long hours.”
Friday evening welcomed the mandatory night time practice session, and the rain! With all drivers comfortable with the conditions, we looked forward to qualifying the next morning to see where we would sit amongst familiar foes and new competition, some with big reputations!
Rob Fenn “The car felt fantastic in the wet at Snetterton, so it was no surprise that the set-up was again good in Brands’ greasy conditions. With Mike Lyons behind the wheel we took 2nd position, just 2 tenths behind pole, happy to be on the front row with the potential chaos well behind us!”
After a scientific rock-paper-scissors adjudication, Mike started the race but almost lived to regret it as a poor start meant he had to overtake much of the grid to reclaim his position on the rolling start lap. Whilst everyone was biting fingernails as Mike made his way through the weaving pack, he was back in his rightful place just in time and settled into a good pace for his first stint of the race. With his first hour and a half drive done, it was over to David for his stint and the car was working perfectly.
Fenn: “It was a boon to have the variable traction control, with credit going to John Danby for ensuring it was well judged. It resulted in a car that could make the best of the conditions, helping to rescue any inevitable mistakes during such a long stint in the car.”
Rob Fenn,“It was a long 3 hour wait until I finally had my opportunity in the car, where it was fast approaching dusk. I was sitting pretty in the lead, with John on the radio keen to kerb my enthusiasm as I took part in one or two battles I didn’t need to! With the mechanicals all looking fine, and the bodywork still untouched despite having already covered hundreds of laps, it was the electrics that gave the first problem. I was forced into the pits as the lights wouldn’t come on; a shame as I was enjoying the challenge of driving in complete darkness! As I pulled up the garage, the team descended on the car to get me out as quickly as possible with a temporary fix. It had cost us a couple of laps, but with others facing more serious issues, we were back in contention come the final stint with Mike Lyons back in the car.”
With a couple of safety cars further helping, the Elise was back into 2nd and right behind the 1st placed Fox Motorsport Exige. With Mike revelling in the conditions, he was soon looking for an ideal overtaking opportunity and it was Druids where he went for the move. However, off-line was still treacherous and the Fox car understeered into Mike, sending him into the gravel. But our competitor didn’t escape scott-free, his splitter was damaged and Mike soon reeled him in a thrilling final 20 minutes. In fact, if it wasn’t for some calming radio messages, we would have lapped the Fox car by the end!
Rob Fenn, “Whilst it was great to add to the winning tally, I was delighted that the JDR team have received just reward for their hard work. Whilst preparation for this particular race was important, it was the ongoing engineering efforts and dogged determination by the whole team throughout the season which meant we could last a 6 hour race with the only problem being faulty headlights! Whilst the Duratec conversion caused some head scratching in the early part of the season, it is clear that JDR have built the best car on the grid and I hope to do it and everyone involved justice next year with a title win.”
John Danby “What a great way to finish the 2012 Lotus Racing season – a big congratulations to all the Rob, David & Mike – here’s to 2013 !”
Winners! 6hr into the night race
It was a triumphant weekend and superb finish to the season for the John Danby Racing built Motorsport Elise of David & Rob Fenn.
The traditional end-of-season Lotus endurance 6 hour in-to-the-night race at Brands Hatch was a full grid of championship winners and capable guest drivers, providing some great on track action.
JDR's multiple Lotus Cup UK race-winning Motorsport Elise was piloted by Rob and David Fenn, with Snetterton star and GT racer Michael Lyons guest driving.
The trio were up against stiff competition from earlier race winners, but came home to claim victory and a 50 second lead over the Fox Motorsport Exige.
Walter Hayes Meeting - Silverstone
This weekend JDR will be supporting the Wlater Hayes Trophy meeting, running Lotus enthusiast and long time racer Nick Atkins in his Lotus Elite.
The all-comers closed wheel race will attract a full grid of historic crs from the HSCC championship and will be a nice close to the 2012 season.
We look forward to 2013 racing plans being finalised before long!
Lotus Cup Class winners 2013
Congratulations to Rob Fenn for a great season in Lotus Cup this year - Rob has been crowned Open Class Champion 2012 in the JDR built Motorsport Elise.
Lotus Cup UK Championship decider 28th October
This weekend sees the finale of the Lotus Cup UK championship at Snetterton. JDR regulars Liz Halliday and Rob Fenn will be competing on a full grid with high hopes of good results.
Rob Fenn is currently leading the points for Open Class.
6 hour Race - Into the Night
A test of every driver’s skills – it’s night race time! The 6 hour Lotus endurance event takes place at Brands Hatch on 10th November, preceded by night qualifying on 9th.
JDR will be running the Fenn’s Motorsport Elise in the event, which will consist of driver changes, refuelling and some challenging conditions.
John Danby Team Principal: “Preparation has begun to equip the car and drivers for some the mixed conditions over the course of the 6 hour race. It will be a great event to finish the season. ”
Overall victory & class wins at Donington!
Donington Park played host to the penultimate round of Lotus Cup UK this weekend, and it was a another triumphant result for team JDR – 1st for the Go Green Motorsport Elise and 1st in class for Liz Halliday.
The short 20 minute qualifying session heralded a good show for team JDR – Rob Fenn and British GT racer Adam Wilcox in the Elise on pole position, and Liz Halliday 3rd in the 2-Eleven.
Rob Fenn:Although I had achieved pole position last year, it would be my first outing on the GP circuit, so it was useful to have the experienced Adam to use as a baseline. With our new alternator specified by JDR and built by McLaren, running was smooth and the car arrived at race day without any issues (barring a bit of grass I had collected from the Old Hairpin!). Practice went well, but we were still expecting a fight in Qualifying and it was over to Adam to do the business. He did just that, setting the weekend’s best time and achieving a clear second’s lead in the process. Bonus news was that JDR team mate Liz Halliday qualified in 3rd, giving a buffer between our class title contenders.
With two John Danby Racing cars up the front for the start of the 90minute race, the atmosphere in the pits was electric. As the lights went green Adam maintained his lead into the first corner, and from there steadily pulled a second a lap lead over second placed Adrian Hall in his Exige. Liz too settled into a comfortable pace, however pitted earlier than expected during the mandatory pitstop window. Halliday’s 2-Eleven has sustained some rear end damage. The team managed to refuel and secure the damage within the allotted time, and sent Liz on her way. Sadly though the bodywork worked loose over time and Liz had to pit again for emergency repairs.
Adam pitted from the lead with 40 minutes remaining, and Rob Fenn took over as the dusk descended.
Rob Fenn:“As we went past the hour mark, other cars were suffering as our Elise charged on. I crossed the line in what has to be one of my most comfortable drives, with more than a laps lead. Looking at Championship standings, not only do we have a shot at class honours, there is now even a chance of winning the overall series! It’s all down to the last round at Snetterton; I know Brian and Karl at JDR will be checking every nut and bolt to be ready for an exciting finale to the championship! A big thanks to the whole team, Adam, and congratulations to Liz for her hard fought class win.”
Despite losing valuable time in the pits, Liz stormed to victory as the darkness fell and finished an impressive 8th overall and 1st in class.
Liz Halliday: “What a crazy race! There were so many twists and turns throughout so it’s a relief, as well as a surprise, to have taken the win. But I don’t think this was a fluke. Yes, we got some luck at the end with the two leaders retiring and the car just making it around, but we were on pole by a big margin and able to comfortably build an advantage at the start before the broken diffuser began to badly affect the car’s handling. It generates a lot of the rear grip so losing that has a big impact on performance. The team worked very hard at each stop to find a lasting solution. I am extremely proud of the job they’ve done to develop the car into a class winner over the season and hopefully we can repeat the result, if not the manner of it, at Snetterton!”
A truly stunning performance in both qualifying and race puts Rob leading the Championship by 5 points.
Adam Wilcox: "It was great to get the opportunity to once again drive with JDR who yet again did a top professional job in preparing and running of the car and team, and also to drive alongside Rob Fenn who is a very fast and competent driver who once again delivered a faultless performance to bring the Go Green Motorsport car home in first place much to the delight of myself and everyone in the team, I hope he will go on to win the Championship as is deserved".
John Danby “A great performance by all our drivers again this weekend – we welcomed Adam aboard to team up with Rob Fenn and they proved a force to be reckoned with. Liz employed her skills to overcome the time lost in damage repair and pulled it out of the bag to achieve 1st in class. Huge congratulations to all.
With only one round left, it’s going down to the wire in Championship points, so it’s all to play for at Snetterton.”
JDR will be back in action with Liz Halliday and Rob Fenn at Snetterton on 27/28th October for the Lotus Cup season finale.
Hillman Imp restoration project
The latest build project in JDR’s workshop is a 1960s Hillman Imp racer. The car was bought by a customer as a partly completed hill climb project, and is now destined now to be raced in HSCC ByBox championship in 2013.
The shell is fitted out with a rollcage and came complete with engine and gearbox, however is now in the process of a full stripdown. The car will be dry-built ahead of chassis dip and repaint, all ensuring the final build is of the highest standard.
The Imp is an iconic car of the 1960s & 1970s era, now rarely seen on the road but is a competitive racecar in many of the historic saloon championships. The car, originally produced by the Rootes Group (later Chrysler), sports an 998cc Coventry Climax type engine mounted behind the rear wheels and at a 45deg angle to fit.
This all makes for exciting handing as a racecar, and will be one to watch in the 2013 season.
Pole position & outright win at Zolder!
Zolder, Belgium played host to the European round of Lotus Cup UK this weekend, and it was Rob Fenn in the spotlight all the way. A truly stunning performance in both qualifying and race put Rob back in to Championship contention.
Rob Fenn: “Edging towards the end of the season, it was vital that we picked up maximum points at Zolder to still remain in contention for the Lotus Cup UK championship – no pressure then! It was nice to be back racing in Europe, something we haven’t done since last year, and the Elise performed faultlessly during practice and qualifying to give me maximum time to learn the track.”
Saturday’s Free Practice saw rain in the first session, giving an opportunity to test out the traction control system that JDR had installed a couple of months ago; this gave Rob plenty of confidence and he achieved 2nd place on the timing sheets. The next (dry) session resulted in a couple of tweaks to set us up for a fantastic qualifying session; we knocked a second off last year’s time.
Whilst all was looking good for the race, being a European event, there were a few extra competitors to add to the challenge. However, luck favoured us with one main competitor not making the start, whilst another started from the pitlane. Of course, in the world of racing, things are never that easy, and just to add a little spice to the script, Rob made a poor start to let four cars pile past by the first corner.
Rob Fenn: “Whether it was through anger or embarrassment, I quickly re-established myself in first place and set the fastest lap. I pitted early during the pit window and the team quickly refuelled the car and got me back out in great time and still with a healthy lead to boot. A few laps in though, I was getting a warning for low battery life. Despite having to nurse the car home for half an hour, we took the chequered flag with a 13 second gap to spare. But whilst the win looked easy on paper, it certainly didn’t prove the case in reality; I’ve never been so relieved to see the chequered flag!
With confidence high, I’m looking forward to the last two rounds of the championship, where hopefully all the drama will turn the season into a fairytale ending.”
John Danby“Rob excelled again this weekend, his driving skills are moving from strength to strength and as a team we are very proud. We are looking forward to the next round, just two weeks away now.”
JDR will be back in action with the Fenns & Liz Halliday at Donington 6/7th September at the penultimate Lotus Cup UK race.
Elan 50th Anniversary race - Donington
This weekend saw the second and final 50th Anniversary race for the Lotus Elans. Donington played host to this event, organised by the Classic & Sports Car Club, and Nick Atkins's Elan 26R proudly took part.
The JDR built 26R was amongst a grid of varied Elans of all ages and types, putting on a great show for the crowds.
The next outing for the Elan will be the HSCC season finale at Silverstone, 20th October.
Lotus Festival – Elans, Elises & 2-Elevens excel!
The 2012 Lotus Festival was this year hosted by Brands Hatch on the famous and seldom used GP circuit. For John Danby Racing this was a busy event – running two cars in the Lotus Cup endurance race, and an Elan in the CSCC Elan-only series. A 2nd and 4th place in the Lotus Cup, and two class podiums were reason indeed to celebrate!
JDR regulars Nick Atkins with his Elan 26R, Liz Halliday with her 2-Eleven and Rob Fenn were joined by Adam Wilcox to partner Rob in the Motorsport Elise. Adam, a professional sportsman, is not unfamiliar with the Motorsport Elise having competed in the original championship in 2000 engineered by Lotus’ John Danby. Wilcox went on to win the Championship in 2000.
The action began on Saturday morning with free practice followed in the afternoon by qualifying for the Lotus Cup UK grid. An engine issue with the Motorsport Elise meant the car failed to participate in Qualifying, so would start from the back of the grid. Dual sportswoman Liz Halliday stormed to 6th place in a difficult 20 minute qualifying session marred by safety cars.
It was the turn of experienced Historic racer Nick Atkins in the afternoon – qualifying for the special Elan 50th Anniversary race. In the scorching heat over 23 Elans lined up to qualify – demonstrating the popularity of this iconic 1960s car. Sunday’s raceday was a great success.
Nick Atkins:“I spent the week before the Elan 50th anniversary race in hot weather in South China, and with arrival back in London scheduled for the morning of qualifying alternated between wondering whether I really wanted to do the event, and looking forward to it. In the event Dickey Bowes car service and the JDR magic carpet delivered me to the Brands GP circuit and a perfectly set up Elan to qualify in sticky heat comparable to Hong Kong’s. It was even hotter on race day, but the Elan ran perfectly, even though I was rather slower than I would have liked the Brands GP circuit experience is always wonderful and can be rarely enjoyed.”
Raceday brought more sweltering British weather, and the Lotus Cup grid was charged with excitement. Rob & Adam started from 44th position, and a determined drive by Rob saw them in 2nd place by the pitstop window having achieved Fastest Lap. A slick pitstop later, and Adam emerged in 2nd place, despite great efforts time wasn’t on his side and he couldn’t quite close the gap to 1st place before the race was red flagged.
Liz also enjoyed a storming drive – an eventful first lap avoiding a spinning car in her path set her back to 10th position. Liz’s experience and determination paid off as she fought her way back to the top of the grid, coming home 4th overall and 2nd in class.
Liz Halliday: "Overall I'm pleased with the weekend as we were able to show excellent speed and enjoyed a trouble-free run in the race."As for the Paddock Hill incident, it was definitely the save of my career! I'm not sure how I managed to avoid the spinning car and it was only a few corners later that I said to myself 'wow – that was close!'
JDR will be back in action at Donington 15/16th September with the CSCC Elan 50 series.
Lotus Festival - Brands Hatch 18/19th August
This coming weekend Brands Hatch welcomes the Lotus Festival, a hugely supported meeting usually hosted at Snetterton.
An action packed weekend of racing will keep John Danby Racing busy - with the Motorsport Elise and 2-Eleven in the Lotus Cup UK race, followed by an Elan only race to celebrate 50 years of the Lotus Elan. All this - and on the GP circuit, making for a great spectacular.
Lotus Cup round 4 – Oulton Park
A visit to Cheshire is next on the list for the Lotus Cup UK Championship with a 60 minute race at the challenging Oulton Park circuit. With John Danby Racing regulars Liz Halliday and Rob Fenn on board this meeting will be one to watch.
John Danby, Director: “After a disappointing finish for the Fenns at Castle Combe, we are looking forward to the chance to get back on the podium. We are a strong team with some talented drivers on board, so let’s hope for two good results at the Oulton race this weekend.”
A triumphant weekend at Silverstone for John Danby Racing
The 2012 Silverstone Classic is a fabulous 3 day weekend of motor racing and entertainment, and a busy one for John Danby Racing, the team this year running 4 cars.
JDR regulars Nick Atkins, Barry Davison and Oliver Stirling were this year joined by Bruce Mansell, visiting from Australia to co-drive with Barry, and Roberto G & Karl W who teamed up to pilot Robert Clarke’s GTA.
The action began on Friday morning with qualifying for both U2TC & Pre 63 GT grids. First out and running in U2TC were Roberto and Karl, in a furious and busy grid of predominately GTAs and Cortinas. This was swiftly followed by the Elites of Nick and Barry in Pre 63 GT.
Morning qualifying successfully completed, it was the turn of Oliver Stirling who was kindly sponsored by Nick Atkins in his Lotus Elan in Masters Gentleman Drivers. A drying track saw Oli qualify 3rd in class ready for Saturday’s race, in which Oliver brought the car home 2nd in class.
Nick Atkins, owner: “It was great fun, and none of the cars missed a beat, which I know was much appreciated by Barry, Heather & Oli, and me of course. JDR did their usual extraordinary feat of organisation of running cars from both paddocks, hampered initially by heavy rain, followed up by the best efforts of the Silverstone organiser, assisted by the Masters race organisation to prevent the drivers reaching the international paddock, and when they did keeping them out of the drivers’ hospitality area. JDR were cheerful throughout and overcame every obstacle!”
Saturday and Sunday brought with it the long awaited British summer weather, and with it a bumper grid to start the U2TC race. With several casualties from the rolling start, JDR were pleased to see that Roberto had avoided any first lap incidents and made up several places. Our luck was about to change however, when after a driver change to Karl halfway though, the car sustained a hit to the rear, and that combined with a slipping clutch meant an additional pitstop. Despite all of this, Karl brought the car home to finish the race, and not last by any means!
Sunday’s finale was the Pre 63 race for the Elites of Nick Atkins & Barry Davison. Barry was partnered by long time Lotus Elite fan and racer, Bruce Mansell, who made the journey to Silverstone from his native Australia especially for this race.
Barry Davison: “We had a truly memorable weekend at Silverstone Classic. Nic, John and the JDR boys looked after us faultlessly and the car prep was second to none. Having JDR look after my cars allows me to get on with my job and “go for it” without worrying about the machinery.
Working my way past a dozen or more cars in the first 25 minutes was huge fun, and a testament to how well the Elite was going!
Bruce Mansell, a very experienced Elite racer from Australia, who came over specifically for the event, co-drove the second half of the race and said our car was as good as he had ever driven. He reckoned the trip was well worth it”
Silverstone Classic Preview
JDR are preparing for a busy weekend ahead, running 4 cars in the 2012 Silverstone Classic race meeting. The team have been busy preparing and testing an Elan, two Elites, and a GTA with customers over the last couple of weeks.
JDR will be based in both the old and new pit garages at the meeting, running in Masters, U2TC & Pre 63 GT.
HSCC Race meeting - Snetterton preview
This weekend brings another HSCC round - this time to Snetterton on the 300 circuit. JDR will be running Nick Atkins in his Lotus Elite in two races over the course of the meeting. The weather looks typically unpredictable, however there will be plenty of races to keep the crowds entertained.
See you there!
Lotus Cup - Another podium finish
The DTM round at Brands Hatch proved again successful for father & son team David & Rob Fenn with a second place finish. Having qualified 3rd on the grid, Rob started the race and quickly gained the lead. A great pitstop, and David took the wheel for the second half of the hour long race. A 5 second lead over the rival car sadly wasnt quite engough, and as the chequered flag fell David came home in second place.
Next race - Castle Combe 14-16th June.
Lotus Cup Round 2 - DTM race
John Danby Racing is gearing up for Round 2 of the Lotus Cup at Brands Hatch this weekend supporting the prestigious DTM UK race. With three cars competing it will be an action packed weekend indeed.
Liz Halliday and father/son team David & Rob Fenn will compete alongside each other in the Lotus Cup race, and Rob Fenn will compete in Elise Trophy in his S1 Elise.
JDR are based in the paddock, come and see us !
Donington Historic Festival - 5/6th May
John Danby Racing will this weekend be supporting the Donington Historic Festival with two Lotus Elites in the Pre 63 GT race.
The pretty white/blue car of Nick Atkins will be shared long time Lotus racer Malcolm Ricketts in the 1 hour endurance race.
Barry Davison will once again be sharing his yellow Elite with Patrick Sherrington - a familiar face at JDR having won the Sports2000 Championship with us in 2009.
Come and join us in the paddock.
Double Podium for JDR in Lotus Cup Season Opener
‘Triumph through adversity’ sums up an exciting weekend for team JDR – both drivers finished on the podium despite exciting and action packed practice sessions. Long time Lotus Cup racers Rob Fenn & James Barclay paired up to race in the JDR built Motorsport Elise, with professional dual sportswoman Liz Halliday running alongside them in the 2-Eleven Class.
Co-drivers Rob and James qualified P2, but damage to Liz’s 2-Eleven supercharger in Free Practice resulted in her starting from the back of the grid for the race. An hour’s race, and a slick pitstop later saw Rob & James win the race, hotly followed by Liz who came in 5th overall, P2 in class after a stunning drive from the back.
Rob Fenn: “It was going to be a test for temporary co-driver James. He had flown over from Boston to join me in the 1 hour race. Things got off to a good start as James got right on the pace in practice, and we were towards the top of the time sheets. Qualifying however proved frustrating, an unwelcome punt ending what look like a very competitive attempt at pole. Despite being cut short of vital laps, we were happy to be on the front row for the race, qualifying P2.”
With little testing to date, Liz was hoping that Sunday’s additional free practice and qualifying sessions would help her to continue learning the John Danby Racing-prepared 2-Eleven in time for the afternoon’s hour-long race. Those hopes were dashed however when a problem with the car’s supercharger in the morning prevented her from setting a qualifying time. “Despite the complexity of the problem, the team worked wonders to machine a new part from scratch in time for the start “ says Halliday.
Starting from the back of the grid, Liz consistently set the 2-Eleven class pace to steadily work her way back into contention. An excellent pit-stop, timed to perfection by the JDR crew, played its part in Halliday continuing to pick up places as the race drew to a close. So strong was her and the team’s performance that another lap would have almost certainly seen her take fourth overall.
Liz Halliday: “It was great to be back racing again and an excellent result in the circumstances. The JDR team did a phenomenal job to repair the supercharger in time for the race as it wasn’t just a case of replacing a broken component. We’re here to win but second in class on my debut would have been a fantastic way to begin the campaign without the dramas, so I’m more than happy with the result. In some ways it was good to get some overtaking practice in before Brands Hatch which will be very busy on the short circuit!”
Rob Fenn: “I started the race and without surprise lost a few places on the initial straight-line drags. However, the JDR prepared Motorsport Elise simply operates on a different plane in the corners, and soon we were back in contention. I had a great dice with ex-F1 driver Martin Donnelly, eventually getting past him a lap before our pitstop. Thanks to our strong driver pairing, James drove unflustered for the rest of the race and we finished with an almost too good to be true 30+ second gap!
Big thanks to the JDR team for getting the car fixed between qualifying and the race; the car felt perfect. We have a car that is clearly more than the sum of its parts; bring on the rest of the season!”
John Danby, JDR Team Owner: “Fighting back to finish second in class from the tail of the grid was a remarkable achievement for Liz in her first outing in such a competitive series. We are delighted with Rob & James’s Pole Position – a great way for JDR’s team and drivers to start the season!”
JDR will be back in action at the next Lotus Cup UK round at Brands Hatch on May 18-20th.
Lotus Cup Round 1 - Preview
Professional dual sportswoman Liz Halliday returns to the cockpit this weekend (13/15 April) for her first competitive outing since 2010 when the Lotus Cup UK season begins at Silverstone.
The British-based Californian, who remains the most successful female driver in American Le Mans Series history, will channel her considerable knowledge of sports-prototypes into a new project with highly-experienced Lotus squad John Danby Racing.
Despite sporadic outings, Halliday’s motorsport career has been largely on hold since 2008 when her other profession, 3-Day Eventing, took precedent. That commitment to both sports will be in evidence again this weekend when Liz, having completed practice on Friday, travels to the South of England Horse Trials in Sussex before returning to Silverstone for Sunday’s qualifying session and one-hour race around the full Grand Prix layout.
“The car was very good right out of the box and felt like I could race it straight away,” said Liz. “We’ve made a few changes as you would expect but I must congratulate JDR on developing a very impressive package over the winter. It goes without saying that the 2-Eleven is vastly different to the LMP cars I have driven in the past but that didn’t stop me from having a great time. It’s a quick car and I think that as I spend more time driving it and getting to know the characteristics of the handling I will enjoy it even more.
“The quality of drivers, their experience of the championship and sheer number of cars ensures that the series will be competitive from the start. Silverstone is about finding my feet and establishing where we are, but with a car capable of running at the front that’s where I’m hoping to be on Sunday. It's going to be great to be out there again and I just can’t wait to get started!”
JDR Team Owner John Danby added: “JDR is looking forward to competing with Liz and the Lotus 2-Eleven after some excellent pre-season tests. Liz has helped enormously with the development of the car which will use a JDR-installed gearbox, something that is currently unique to the 2-Eleven. Although the Lotus Cup UK series is highly competitive, we are sure Liz and the car will perform well and that she can bring some of her endurance racing knowledge to the longer events.”
Easter Weekend - Historic Racing at Castle Combe
Wiltshire’s Castle Combe circuit played host to Easter Monday’s race meeting for Nick Atkins in his JDR built Elan. Despite the driving rain and cold temperatures the meeting was a great success.
Nick Atkins: “I approached the Castle Combe HRDC GTS65 race at Castle Combe with some trepidation having not raced there since 1982, when soaked after a wet race in an open car the door marked “Drivers’ changing Room” was opened to reveal……….a field.
This time it was equally wet but JDR had somehow converted the dip in the Elan’s power curve 3700 – 4300 into a progressive lift which formed a gentle start to getting the power down on a wet and initially oily road, so progress was without unwanted excitement. We splashed round to a fourth in class ahead of one of the Elans who stopped because of the conditions. To my wonder and admiration the leading Healey 3000s and an Aston flew by every few laps, sometimes on the track sometime off it.”
2012 Racing Programe gets underway
Two Historic meetings start John Danby Racing’s 2012 programme off in style; with the Elan of Nick Atkins racing at Donington followed by Castle Combe at Easter.
The Historic Sports Car Club (HSCC) calendar started this weekend with its inaugural meeting at Donington Park. Despite a cold, wet start to the day, the rain ceased just in time for qualifying. A dry line had appeared on the track by the time the flag fell to signify the end of 30 minute qualifying and Nick qualified 9th in class , just 0.3 seconds behind the Lotus of long time friend, racer & fellow competitor Malcolm Ricketts.
In the 40 minute Guards Trophy race, Nick made a good start, helped by a good timely pitstop midway, finished a respectable 7th in class against some stiff competition.
This race weekend will be swiftly followed by another Elan outing – the inaugural HRDC race at Castle Combe on Easter Monday .
In the meantime JDR’s extensive testing program continues ahead of the first Lotus Cup & Elise Trophy races of the season.
Lotus 2-Eleven debuts for 2012 Season
The John Danby Racing built Lotus 2-Eleven finally breaks cover after a full strip down and rebuild. Over winter the car has been converted to a Hewland gearbox with sequential gearshift by JDR, breaking new ground in the Lotus Cup Championship.
Professional dual sportswoman Liz Halliday now begins a testing programme with the team prior to the first race of the season at Silverstone on 15th April .
John Danby, Team Principal:“Having engineered Hewland gearbox conversions to other GT cars with great results we chose to guide Liz in this direction for her 211 racecar in order to overcome some inherent issues with the 2-Eleven standard gearboxes. We now begin our testing pre-season testing program, and very much look forward to the first Lotus Cup event.”
For more information on Liz Halliday, please see the Drivers page.
JDR Achieves ISO14001 Certification
In John Danby Racing’s continued commitment to environmental awareness we are proud to have once again achieved the internationally recognised ISO14001 certification, demonstrating our conformance to the standard.
This independent assessment was conducted by the leading Certification Body, the British Assessment Bureau and demonstrates John Danby Racing’s commitment to customer service, quality and the environment. Certified organisations are committed to continuous improvement and are assessed annually to ensure progress is being maintained.
John Danby, Director, “We are particularly pleased to have maintained our ISO14001 certification as it underlines our ongoing commitment to our customers and our focus on the environment.”
Winners of 'Best presented car in Lotus Cup 2011'
Saturday 3rd March saw the annual Lotus on Track Drivers Club awards night, and the Fenn/JDR combination were the proud winners of 'Best presented car in Lotus Cup 2011'.
Rob Fenn, "It was great to see JDR receive just reward with the Best Presented Open Class Car' award at the 2011 Lotus Cup Awards Ceremony recently. Preparation is everything, and as a driver it brings great confidence when you feel sure the car is maintained to the best condition possible. The award is acknowledgement of JDR's dedication to being a professional, leading outfit. Here's to more awards in 2012!"
Winter Project - Lotus VI
John Danby Racing's latest restoration project is the rebuild of a 1950s Lotus VI . Exported to Utah, America in the mid 1980s, the car was housed in a museum until rescued and brought back home to England for a customer in 2011. The car will be restored to its original glory by JDR over the coming months and progress/photos added to the site.
JDR welcome Liz Halliday’s return to racing
Professional dual sportswoman Liz Halliday will return to regular motorsport competition in 2012 after sealing a deal to contest the Lotus Cup UK series with John Danby Racing. The British-based Californian, who combines careers as a professional equestrian and race car driver, is keen to maintain her involvement with four-wheeled as well as four-legged competition.
In 2012 she will be back behind the wheel of a racing car alongside her busy eventing schedule, launching an assault on the fiercely competitive Lotus Cup championship aboard one of the British marque’s 2-Eleven sportscars. The effort will be run by the vastly experienced John Danby Racing outfit, for whom Liz successfully contested a number of historic events during 2010. The smooth running of these outings made the Colchester-based squad a natural choice for her return to competitive racing action.
Liz Halliday: "I'm really excited to be going racing again in 2012. It’s shaping up to be an extremely busy year: alongside the Lotus Cup, I'll still be focusing heavily on my eventing competitions, so there will barely be time to catch my breath.
"Moreover, I'm thrilled to be renewing my relationship with John Danby Racing. They're a fantastic team, extremely hard working and reliable. They did an excellent job running the historics in 2010 and as a group they inspire a great deal of confidence in a driver. I can't wait to get started and to begin working with them again."
John Danby, Team Principal: “We are extremely pleased to be welcoming Liz on board full-time for 2012. Having worked with her previously we know the commitment and passion she brings to her racing, and are looking forward to a thoroughly successful season together."
For more information on Liz Halliday please see the Drivers page.
HSCC Season opener race meeting – 17-18th March
Donington plays host to the HSCC’s season opener race on the weekend of 17/18th March. John Danby Racing will be supporting with a line up of historic racecars.
John Danby Team Principal: ‘We are looking forward to our first race of the season. Having performed various winter work on the cars, ranging from engine refreshes to diff rebuilds, the cars are prepared and ready for yet another fun season. Let’s just hope the weather in March will be kind to us! ‘
Autosport Show 2012
JDR attended the 2012 Autosport Show this week - the UK's premier Motorsport Trade Show. As members of the MIA, JDR had a busy schedule of meetings with manufacturers and customers in the MIA business lounge, as well as viewing the latest products and technology on show.
PRI Show, Florida
Once again JDR are attending the 24th annual PRI Show in Orlando Florida, December 1-3rd. The show, one of the world's largest Motorsport Trade Shows, plays host to the worldwide racing industry.
As MIA members John Danby Racing attend many networking events, striving to be at forefront of developing technologies.
JDR?s season concludes with the Britcar ?Into the Night? race
The team has been developing the Honda NSX, a unique project built from a roadcar chassis into a technologically advanced racecar, throughout the season. ‘This event provides loads of tracktime, so although we will use the race as extended testing, it will provide a great atmosphere it !’ said John, Team Principle.
NSX owner David Fenn was recovering from a knee injury, so stepped aside to let son Rob represent the Fenns at this event. Rob paired up with friend and experienced racer Rob Barff, which proved to be a very dynamic duo indeed!
‘The car now feels both alert and rock solid’ enthused Fenn, ‘It handled high load corners and quick direction changes very well. Thanks have to go to JDR and test driver Rob Barff for putting in the mileage to iron out some handling characteristics caused by OEM components and set up.
A surprise and delight factor came thanks to JDR’s solution for additional lighting at the front of the NSX. Whilst repairing a previously damaged front bumper, JDR used the opportunity to integrate three auxiliary lights to help night racing. We’re left with an OEM looking solution that doesn’t upset the aerodynamics; the pick of paddock compared to the bolt-on monstrosities that most of the competition had!
General testing during the day on Friday went well – the track was damp to start, but soon dried up and the team began to bed in new pads and discs, do a full systems check and fuel usage verification prior to the endurance race.
Friday evening saw the start of Night Practice – and an opportunity to prove the new light clusters developed by JDR for the event. ‘The circuit takes on a very different feel at night, as anyone who has been to Le Mans 24hr race will know’ commented Nicola, ‘we are very pleased with the performance of the car this evening – 1st in class is a tribute to both drivers & car development this season’.
The NSX came in 1st in class, and 6th overall with a time of 50.1s set by Barff, with the second in class BMW running down in 10th place on a 50.5s. The team also took the opportunity to practice their pitstops; driver changes & tyre changes again.
Thanks to Sportstock.co.uk for some great images taken over the weekend!
Qualifying took place in the sunshine on Saturday morning, although the track was wet. Rob Fenn started the session, then swapped to Rob Barff who scrubbed in new race tyres,. A practice pitstop later and Rob Barff started to set his times. In the last few minutes, as the track dried, the times got faster. Barff struggled to get a clear lap as the timer counted down, and finished 1st in class, 11th overall and a tenth ahead of second in class BMW of Clarke & Gibson.
Sadly during the re-prep before the start of the race the data showed a developing engine fault, and the team decided to retire the car from the race to save any further engine damage.
This was an unfortunate finish to John Danby Racing’s 2011 season, but plans are already in the making for the 2012 season. Watch this space!!
Britcar Night Race
JDR are busy finalising preparations for the Britcar Night Race at Brands Hatch on 18&19th November. The father/son duo, David & Rob Fenn will be joined by Rob Barff to compete in their JDR built and run Honda NSX.
The Honda, having undergone a season of testing this year, will compete in the 2hr Production race ahead of a season's endurance racing in 2012.
Good luck guys !
Walter Hayes Trophy, Silverstone
John Danby Racing ended their Historic motor racing season on a high at the Walter Hayes Trophy meeting at the start of November.
Running Nick Atkins in his JDR prepared Elite, the team tested on the National circuit on the Friday and raced in the HSCC Closed Wheel race on the Saturday.
Although the weather was unusually kind for November, the track was damp for qualifying. Despite this however, Nick qualified a good 3rd in class against competition such as E type Jaguars. The HSCC season-finisher race was an ‘All-comers’ Race, with a huge variety of historic cars providing a great show for spectators and competitors alike. Nick finished 3rd in class – 25th overall from 37 starters.
‘What a nice way to finish our 2011 Historic Race Season’ commented team principle John, ‘we look forward to another fun season of racing Historics in 2012’.
JDR prepared Elite at Silverstone - 4/5th November
JDR will be running Nick in his Elite in the last HSCC meeting of 2011 this weekend. Testing friday, qualifying and race on saturday, it is shaping up to be a nice race meeting to end the season.
If you will be there so come and see us - look out for the big JDR racetruck.
Thanks to the HSCC for another great year's racing!
GTA For Sale - Ready to race!
Very clean, tidy GTA for sale (with HTP papers) ready to race.
Run by JDR in 2010, to view or for further details please contact us.
Chassis number 848011.
New Aluminium 55ltr fuel tank & harness.
Car has competed in 6 races on the current engine.
Interesting history, ex Helmut Marko,
• Engine (0 hours) & spares
• Fully built up rear axle (low ratio, ideal for hillclimbs)
• Set of wheels & good tyres
Class Win at Six Hour Meeting
The famous Spa 6hr Meeting is an annual event for John Danby Racing, which this year saw the team entering the Elan and Elite of Nick Atkins and bringing home a class win in Masters Gentlemen Drivers and a 3rd in class in Pre 63 GT grid.
Experienced Historic racer Nick Atkins teamed up with sports racer James Barclay to bring both cars home in podium positions. Somewhat surprisingly, glorious sunshine reigned upon the Belgian circuit for the whole weekend, and this brought the crowds out in their numbers.
The pair qualified both cars third in class; James’ time of 3m 23 in the Elite, followed by another great performance of 3m 04 in the JDR built lightweight Elan 26R secured the grid positions.
As well as racing, Nick was host to a number of his corporate guests at the event, and delighted in being able to share the excitement of racing with some motorsport newcomers. “Endesign's guests’ enjoyment of Spa was at another level. The weather, the hospitality unit where they could dine while watching the 6 hour race, were particularly appreciated “ Nick reports. “Endesign Director, Eef van Leusden’s detailed instructions for 2012 endorsed his positive reaction to the event.”
Raceday brought more glorious sunshine, and the Elite was first out to race. Nick made a good getaway in the rolling start, and a smooth pitstop midway with driver change to James maintained third position against some stiff competition.
“The Spa circuit has long been my absolute favourite so that on a personal note, the development of the Elite by JDR provided confidence such that I could get on terms with the car and really race it. To spend the pre-’63 GT race in competition with another Elite and an ‘E’ type Jaguar (3x the capacity), and to finish 3rd in class will be one of the memorable occasions of my driving career” enthused Nick.
The Masters Gentleman Drivers was a 2 hour race for the Elan, in which the car crept steadily from third in class to first in class. A stall during the pitstop saw the competition overtake, and the JDR Elan exited in 3rd place. James however closed the gap steadily, taking a car a lap and in three laps was once again leading the class. James maintained lead to finish 1st in class, 8th overall with a stunning 47 second lead over the competition.
USA based Barclay travelled to Europe especially to partner Nick in the two races, and was delighted to be able to return to America with two trophies in hand.
Speaking afterwards, Nick said “For the Gentlemen Drivers’ event the higher power of the Elan made making precise control in the long Spa corners more challenging. The use of the new Racelogic V box system as recommended by JDR enabled me to understand the car’s special requirements by viewing what co-driver James Barclay was doing, and to make significant improvements to the lap time. In the event, the Elan finished first in class against powerful Elan mounted opposition.”
Masters Historic Festival - Donington
The John Danby Racing prepared Elan of Nick Atkins took part in the second Masters Racing Festival at Donington this weekend. Historic Lotus racer Nick Atkins was partnered by pro driver Rob Barff for the 2 hour endurance race. The duo qualified the Elan third in class on a 1.22.5 and brought the car home safely , 4th Elan overall.
The next outing for both Nick’s Elan and Elite is the Spa Six Hour meeting end of September.
Trio of Lotus' for the Gold Cup
Despite the typical Bank Holiday weather, the Oulton Park Gold Cup was a great fun weekend for all at John Danby Racing. Barry Davison & Nick Atkins teamed up in their Lotus Elites & Eleven racecars to brave the rain in three races.
There was plenty of on-track action, with free practice, qualifying for the HSCC Roadsports, Guards Trophy and Legends Stirling Moss Trophy on Saturday. Sunday brought yet more rain, but the Elites completed the Roadsports race in good style, Nick very pleased with the addition of his new heated windscreen! Sadly the pair were 2nd reserve for the Guards race and didn’t get to race.
Monday, and yet another full days racing for the JDR team – qualifying and race for the Stirling Moss Trophy.
Lots of fun had by all, not just on track but some great team dinners too !
Team JDR are now preparing for this weekend’s Masters Historic Festival at Donington – come and see us there!
NSX 'Charity Drive of a Lifetime'
Auction winner Mark Hartley was recently treated to a 'Drive of a Lifetime' at Brands Hatch in the John Danby Racing built Honda NSX. Mark, highest bidder at the Charity Auction in aid of the Royal London Society for the Blind, spent the day at Brands Hatch with ex Formula One star Martin Donnelly and NSX owner David Fenn.
Martin thrilled with some high speed laps around the full Grand Prix with Mark as passenger, making it a day to remember!
Flying Fenns dominate at Brands Hatch
David and Rob Fenn were on home turf in the Lotus Cup Europe championship last weekend, attending round four at Brands Hatch GP, their local circuit. Turning the table on their European counterparts, it was the French and Belgian majority’s turn to visit a relatively unknown circuit, whilst the Fenn’s demonstrated their JDR prepared Motorsport Elise’s true pace....
Things got off to a good start, with David putting the Elise 6th on the grid and 1st in class, a season's best in the Cup Europe championship. It was over to Rob for the first of the races, a 20 minute affair with a rolling start. After being out-dragged by more powerful cars on Brabham straight, Rob soon regained his starting position before joining the battle for 3rd place. As the pack fought for position behind him however, Rob ended up enjoying a fuss free end to the race to consolidate his place on the podium and take a class win.
The following day it was David’s turn, this time in the longer 30 minute race from a standing start. A combination of some competitors false starting and some exuberant throttle action cost David someplaces on the first lap. Eager to quickly regain position, David spun the Elise at Graham Hill Bend,allowing his class competitors through. Far from being the end of the race, David’s challenge had truly started!
Rapidly moving through the pack, David picked off competitors one-by-one, delighting the crowds and thrillingly snatching 5th place on the last lap from a defensively driven Lotus Evora.
David’s fight-back ensured another double class win for the pair, with the JDR run car sitting comfortably at the top of the Open class points table.
Lotus Trio excel at the Silverstone Classic
The world’s biggest classic motor racing festival – the Silverstone Classic -celebrated its 21st birthday in style this weekend with over 1000 entries from the finest historic racecars. Long time supporters of the Festival, John Danby Racing, were once again proud to be taking part with three historic Lotus GT cars.
Experienced racers Barry Davison and Nick Atkins teamed up with fellow competitors Oliver Stirling and Malcolm Ricketts for an action packed weekend of racing.
Nick Atkins, longtime Lotus fan, shared his newly built lightweight Elan 26R and his beautiful Elite with stepson Oliver in the Masters Gentleman Drivers and RAC Tourist Trophy endurance races. Barry Davison was partnered by Lotus stalwart Malcolm in his Lotus Elite, ensuring fierce competition in the Elite class between Davison and fellow JDR teammate Atkins.
Based in Silverstone's new Formula One garages Saturday’s Gentleman Drivers Elan race entertained the crowds with pitstops and driver changes, with Atkins’ JDR run Elan proving to be second fastest 26R. "The Elan is the perfect example of 'steer with the rear' and I can't wait to drive it again" enthused Oliver, "I’d drive it home if I could!!"
Sunday brought glorious sunshine and yet more racing, this time the turn of the two JDR prepared Elites of Atkins & Davison. Timely pitstops for both cars during the 50 minute race proved critical in the battle between team mates, and as the chequered flag fell Barry brought the car home in 7th place, Oliver in 8th place. Speaking afterwards, Barry said "What enormous fun to drive, and with a combined age of over 200 we three didn't do bad!"
Double winning weekend for John Danby Racing
The month of May heralded many successes for race team John Danby Racing, with a race event every weekend the team have been busy travelling UK and Europe supporting some fun race events. The finale weekend saw both JDR teams, at Silverstone and Magny Cours consecutively, bring home trophies and podium positions.
The experienced duo of Nick Atkins and Barry Davison, both accomplished drivers in the Historic Motor racing scene, teamed up at Silverstone for the GTSCC hour-long endurance race in Barry's Elite.
In the meantime, David Fenn competed in the second round of the Lotus Cup Europe series, with a double header race at Magny Cours.
David, in his Motorsport Elise fresh from round 1 of the Lotus Cup Europe in Dijon just two weeks prior, was new to the circuit and with limited testing time qualified the car a superb first in class in Saturday qualifying despite heavy rain replacing the French sunshine.
As Race 1 approached the weather brightened and as the lights changed to signal the rolling start David found himself trying to keep ahead of a pack of swarming 211s. The ensuing battle ended as three of the rival cars came together at Adelaide, leaving David free to put in his best lap times of the day and as the chequered flag fell, he finished a full 18 seconds ahead of his nearest class rival.
In Race 2 the Class win was yet again claimed by David. Despite a poor start and an episode in the gravel, David pulled out another impressive lead in what was a very exciting race.
"David has now got a few race miles under his belt in the Elise with its new transmission pack we engineered over-winter, and we are delighted to see him claim victory after victory. Our next outing with the car is on home soil, Snetterton in June, so we look forward to some more great racing." says, Ex-Lotus Motorsport Engineer John Danby
Meanwhile, at Silverstone, a cloudy but dry qualifying session put Barry & Nick third in class against four other Elites, with Barry setting the qualifying lap time.
Fresh from a full JDR suspension overhaul, the number 22 yellow Elite started the hour long race with Barry Davison at the wheel. During the mandatory pitstop Nick Atkins took over and brought the car home safely, third in class as the chequered flag fell.
JOHN DANBY RACING ACHIEVES ISO 14001 REGISTRATION FROM THE BRITISH ASSESSMENT BUREAU
Colchester based Motorsport Engineering company John Danby Racing has achieved the internationally recognised ISO14001 standard establishing it as one of the leaders in its field.
This independent assessment was conducted by the British Assessment Bureau a leading Certification Body and demonstrates John Danby Racing's commitment to customer serice and quality in delivery.
JDR has now earned the right to display the coveted British Assessment Bureau Quality Shield and ISO 14001 logo to demonstrate its conformance to the standard.
ISO 14001:2004 was first introduced 1996 as a British Standard and requires organisations to have an environmental policy and action plan to manage their impact on their environment. Certified organisations are committed to continuous improvement and are assessed annually to ensure progress is being maintained.
John Danby Racing has shown that it has a good service reliability and process control which means lower costs for its customers!
Nicola Danby, Director, said, "We are particularly pleased to have achieved ISO14001 certification as it underlines our commitment to our customers and our focus on quality. Not many customers get to see their suppliers' 'back-office' activities. This recognition demonstrates we can provide a quality solution from quotation to delivery."
The benefits of registration to the ISO14001 standard include:-
Streamlining an organisation's procedures.
Bringing consistency to an organisation's service delivery.
Reducing cost and rework.
Improving an organisation's management practices.
Lower insurance premiums.
John Danby Racing?s Season kicks off in style
This weekend saw the first race of the season for John Danby Racing, running father and son team David and Rob Fenn in their newly rebranded Lotus Motorsport Elise.
The Motorsport Elise, fresh from a full winter overhaul, has been re-engineered by JDR to compete in the Lotus Cup UK and Europe Championships. Now featuring a whole new transmission package amongst other bespoke engineering modifications, the car will be one to watch as the season progresses.
"Over the winter we have engineered a new world touring car based gearbox package for the Motorsport Elise. This with our paddle shift kit has really made for a competitive package in this fabulous car" says, Ex-Lotus Motorsport Engineer John Danby."
Saturday brought sunshine and lots of action in qualifying. The 20 minute session proved to be busy 31 cars vying for position, with a safety car halfway through adding to the pressure. As the chequered flag fell the Fenns were second in class and seventh overall.
Snetterton Circuit, revamped over winter by Jonathan Palmer’s MSV team, now features a whole new layout and as a result provides an all-new challenge for drivers.
"With the new circuit layout and a lot of cars on track it proved difficult to find some clear space to set a lap time. I however managed to work my way through the traffic to set the time to put us second in class. So overall a decent position for the race and most importantly the car feels great after the rebuild, it clearly has huge potential for the season" says David Fenn, Team JDR Go Green Motorsport driver.
Raceday proved to be just as exciting with plenty of action to keep the crowd entertained. Starting driver Rob Fenn nailed the gas as the lights extinguished and the 60 minute race began. Rob kept a level head and began to make his way through the grid, taking second place just as the pit window opened. A smooth pitstop for Team JDR put David in good stead for the second half of the race. Sadly a safety car hampered progress and backed up the field while an incident was cleared from the track, leaving David stuck amidst back markers and down to 10th place. Perseverance paid off as experienced driver David eased his way back towards the front, finishing eighth overall and taking second in class as the chequered flag fell.
Rebranded for 2011 in new sponsor Go Green Motorsport livery the car attracted lots of attention, and can be seen again on track at the next race in April at Silverstone, the home of British Motorsport.
JDR?s Historic Racing Season Begins
John Danby Racing's historic racing season begins with a visit to Snetterton on 9/10th March.
Nick Atkins and step-son Oliver Stirling will be competing in the Classic Sports Car Club meeting in their bespoke JDR Elan 26R. Nick commissioned JDR to build his Lotus 26R last year with a view to a full season in 2011.
Pioneering New Technology
JDR are pioneers in new technology and for some time have been using innovative new Works Bell steering wheel bosses in their racecars. These impressive products include amongst many others a Lightweight 'Flip up' steering wheel boss and an Endurance 'quick release' steering wheel boss.
Both high quality products are perfect for endurance racing – allowing easy access for driver changes, and easy reassembly of the wheel. The quick release boss have a unique 'locator' whereby the wheel can be fitted instantly in any orientation, rather than fumbling to reattach the wheel, saving vital seconds in pitstops! Please contact us for further information
Atkins Elan Finished
Last weekend saw the completion and debut of the Nick Atkins 26R Lotus Elan.
The Elan was painstakingly built by JDR on a donor chassis with a new body shell. After a successful test on Tuesday it was taken directly to the Nurburgring for its debut race at the famous Oldtimers meeting. Qualifying went well and with Nick getting used the car he said it had "tremendous grip". All eyes then turned to the sky as rain was forecast for raceday. The rain certainly came and the car was ready with wet tyres and settings. Unfortunately our race and all the remaining races where canceled only an hour before the start due to flooding on the track (it was really heavy rain). Nick and the Elan will be back at the Donnington Masters round on September 5th.
- Race Car Preparation
JDR have extensive expertise in racecar preparation and setup - the knowledge and resources to ensure maximum competitiveness at all levels of motorsport.
- Race Car Engineering
JDR specialise in bespoke projects from Panelwork and Chassis fabrication through to lightweight prototype parts for optimum performance.
- Vehicle Restoration
From stripping and rebuilding, to researching and finding parts for incomplete projects JDR are highly experienced in getting your car back to perfect condition.
- Historic Road and Rally
JDR's skills are not limited just to the racetrack or rally stage. As fellow car enthusiasts we offer a bespoke service for your treasured road or trackday car.
- Machining and Fabrication
JDR offers in-house bespoke engineering solutions - design, development and manufacture thanks to our CNC machine shop and solid modelling capabilities.