Last weekend I drove the short distance down the road from STL HQ to Oulton Park for one of their open pit lane track days. I had been hoping to be taking part in my P10 Primera but I never got round to preparing the car in time, so instead I went down to support Mat in his Primera.
Thanks to a low sun and Mat’s even lower seating position, a sun visor was necessary. Of course we didn’t have one to hand, so a Street Track Life windscreen sticker would have to do for the time being!
There was an interesting mix of cars present for the day, although it was very apparent that this was a highly subscribed event and that the track would be quite busy all day. Circuit weapons of choice varied from 80s and 90s heroes such as Mat’s P10 eGT to more modern track-orientated cars such As VW Golf GTIs/Rs and Renault Clio Sports models.
Mat’s Primera was the catalyst for me buying my own, along with reviving online interest in the somewhat unknown platform as a source of good cheap fun. The car owes him just a few hundred pounds and yet it provided big smiles all day long without a hitch.
The spec is wonderfully simple. Uprated shocks and dampers have been fitted which have dropped the body height somewhat and stiffened up the ride, while the front brakes were swapped out for S14 callipers and discs redrilled to the P10’s 4×114.3 stud pattern. The SR20DE under the bonnet pumps out a perfectly usable 150bhp and breathing duties have been handled by an aftermarket intake, manifold and exhaust setup.
The interior has been stripped out slightly and kitted out with an OMP steering wheel, bucket seat, super low seat rail, harness and a Nismo shift knob. In reality, this was all that was needed to have a hugely fun and entertaining day. Check out my video below to see for yourself:
By comparison, the car in the pit garage next to Mat’s couldn’t have been more different. We spoke to the owners for a few minutes and, typically, I can’t remember the majority of the details that they told us but I do remember that it was around 600kg and had over 400bhp from a boosted four cylinder lump. As you can imagine, when it overtook us on track, it did so pretty swiftly.
The gentlemen on the far right could be found pointing what looked like a leaf blower at the turbo before and after every session. Dedication!
Going back to the real world and Foxy’s E36 Saloon was back on track after his oil pump failure at the Cadwell Park day that I attended a few months back. This thing sounds so so good and the preparation is immaculate.
Jamie could be found wringing the neck of his DC2 as always. His fun was cut short though by some kind of excessive vibration on the front left wheel which was a suspected driveshaft failure of sorts. I couldn’t help but laugh at the jeers from passers by as the car was transported back to the pits on the Oulton Park recovery truck.
Elsewhere in the pits, this little Lupo GTI looked like a nice and basic fun haver. Nowadays there seems to be so many cars from the late 90s/early 2000s that are both highly affordable and suitably raw enough to enjoy on track, so it’s no wonder that track days are getting so popular with owners of these cars.
This R35 GT-R wasn’t to be seen on track on the day but I’m told that it does see some circuit use. The bronze TE37s were a great choice, while the carbon fibre swan neck spoiler wasn’t something I’ve seen on a track orientated GT-R before (they’re more commonly seen on Liberty Walk-style cars).
This Lotus Elise was really cool as well. Strong ride height, suitable wheel choice, some neat little touches here and there…I was a big fan of it. The Elise is not a car I’ve ever had much interest in but this example really got my attention.
Last but not least, I thought I’d take some pictures of my Y32 Cedric parked up as I can’t remember the last time I took a photo of it on my DSLR.
It was pretty funny seeing so many people snapping photos of it in a pit area surrounded by much faster, more exotic and more capable machines. Although I then felt bad for not washing it and cleaning the bird poo off the passenger window beforehand, my bad guys.
I’m really happy with how the car’s sitting now on its Yabaking 1-Piece wheels. I’m hoping the bodywork can be seen to in the very near future to bring Cedric up to the standard he deserves to be at!