Formaplex fires up a Sunbeam at the 2012 Silverstone Classic
Formaplex Composites Director Jon Payne has been in action behind the wheel again. This time at the 2012 Silverstone Classic: he took part in the Fuji Film Super Tourer Race and we had a GoPro Hero2 HD video camera on board!
Jon was driving a Sunbeam Talbot Lotus in a field of British and European touring cars from 1970 to 2000 dominated by late 90s super tourers and the legendary Sierra Cosworth RS500s and E30 M3s. This meant that Jon wasn’t going to be troubling the podium, with the Sunbeam not having the best track record as a tourer (it was more of a rally car), but that didn’t mean he was out for a Sunday drive to make the numbers up! (just check out the video!).
Based in the new pit complex under the Silverstone Wing, Jon battled the elements (it bucketed it down) and a host of past and present touring car drivers in Friday qualifying to get the Sunbeam a slightly disappointing 31st on the grid for Saturday’s race.
The weather had improved for the first race of the weekend and it was a rolling start (the closest Jon got to most of the competition!). However, despite the power and experience of the rest of field, he kept in touch and pushed all the way to the chequered flag, earning third place in his class and a very nice trophy.
Race day two was a hot and sunny affair, bringing a crowd of thousands to Silverstone, and after fixing a fuel leak and adjusting the suspension, the Sunbeam was back on the grid and raring to go. Again, Jon’s race would be about staying in touch with the hot favourites and he was putting up a valiant effort until disaster struck after six laps. The Sunbeam began to run hot and that meant an early retirement from the race.
Despite the premature end to the racing, it was an unforgettable weekend for Jon, who was still smiling on Monday at the Formaplex offices at having competed in the world famous Silverstone Classic. Congratulations to the Fuji Film Super Tourer Race winner Rick Pearson and his team in the Nissan Super Tourer, and thanks to Dave Jarman and his team for putting the race together.
Special thanks from Jon to Steve at Stanton Motorsport for the dyno time, his friends Graham Meeks, Julian Antil and Dave Dockeree for their help over the weekend, and to Greg Rose Racing for the loan of tools and equipment over the three days!
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