What Happens When You Swap Your MX5 For A G57-P2

What Happens When You Swap Your MX5 For A G57-P2

Jason Coupal had only ever been racing a Mazda MX5 when we met him a few months ago. Whilst at Dubai preparing for the 24 Hours, we met him once again and mentioned there was a slot in the G57-P2 if he fancied making the step up to prototypes.

We get it. Swapping an MX5 for a G57-P2 is not for the faint hearted. Nonetheless, when Jason jumped in the prototype for the first time, he blew us all away, and his times only got better and better. We were astounded by his driving talent, but this is what it felt like for him.

“When a Spec Miata racecar starts up, you’re not intimidated. Stimulated, yes, because it is a race car and it makes a satisfying little crackle that tells you it wants to go fast, but four-cylinder engines are never intimidating. Not so in the case of the 6.2L V8 that hides deep within a Ginetta G57-P2-P2. When that starts up, it sounds a bit like what I imagine a deep space electric storm would. This is intimidating.

So you’ve heard the G57-P2 start, and now you’re beginning to wonder just how you’re going to drive it. You get into it, grip the butterfly steering wheel and take a look around. You see lots of switches and buttons, an accelerator that’s over in the passenger side footwell, and a window to the outside world through which you’re meant to see where you’re going. You have absolutely no idea how you’re supposed to go about driving this thing with any sort of pace.

You’re wheeled out onto the pit lane and told to start the 6.2-litre powerplant (I use the word because it could probably power the Chevrolet factory it was built in for a few days). It bursts into life and the overwhelming feeling that you’re not going to be able to handle the thing returns. Still, you’ve been strapped in like any other race car and now you’re being waved on down the pit lane. That’s a least a few seconds of 40 km/h driving to get accustomed to it. You begin to bleed away the clutch and nearly stall about eight times on the way to the giddy heights of 40. It becomes immediately clear that the G57-P2 doesn’t like going slowly. It sputters and lurches, throwing you side to side and back to front. You pass the end of the pit lane, and decide to get it over with and put your foot down.

Second gear is required in less than a second, and third another second or two after. Turn one is coming and you’re on track. ‘Cold tires’ you remind yourself. The corners go slowly, you get to downshift once or twice with the carbon paddles. If a Saturn V rocket needed to downshift at any point, I imagine this is how it would do it. Then the back straight beckons. May as well see how fast it goes. ‘Very’, is the G57-P2’s response. The industrial-sounding yet lightning-quick gear changes flash by with no discernible hesitation on the car’s part, pushing you well past the fastest you’ve ever been in a car before.

Quicker than you’d thought possible, some braking is required. You brake conservatively well before the 100m marker, and you’re basically stopped before the turn in. Navigating the corner is simple enough, and then you accelerate out, fighting some fantastically controllable power oversteer. Another tight corner follows, before you start rapidly approaching the supposedly flat out left sweeper. You’ve been told it’s flat out, so you go for it. Easy. Why were you ever concerned, you begin to think. You could have easily ridden around the outside of that corner at full-speed, thanks to the incredible downforce. Your first lap in a prototype hasn’t resulted in a crash, and in fact you’ve gained considerable confidence. This might just be doable, you think.

By the end of your first session, you’ve befriended the Ginetta. There’s an understanding between you and it, one whose goal is the fastest lap time, the highest speeds. You’re confident hanging the tail out on corner exit, confident pushing the braking zone just a little deeper each lap. The grip means you’re not scared to carry more speed, and the responsiveness means you’re not worried to overdo it slightly with power application. This is the magic of the G57-P2. Unlike some of the more primitive racing cars, the Ginetta wants you to feel at home. After all, that’s the best way to win races.

This is how my first day driving a prototype went. I had only driven a 1999 Mazda Miata before then, and had never been more anxious to face a challenge. I suspect all those around me and the team were nervous to have put an inexperienced 16-year-old in their prototype, too. If I had been driving anything other than a G57-P2, it’s likely that day would have not gone nearly as well. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the Ginetta wants you to feel comfortable. It actively helps you to drive, to feel like you can get the best out of what is one of the fastest cars out there. If you think you can’t handle driving it, think again. The satisfaction you’ll get from conquering the G57-P2 is worth the initial nerves, and you’ll likely find yourself massively hooked."

24 Hours for Charity

Post Race Update: our intrepid charity racers completed the 24hrs intact, finishing in 8th place overall and raising over £2,600 for Children in Need in the process.  Well done, guys.

 

Just because the UK circuit season has come to an end, don’t expect our drivers to hang up their racing boots until 2017. Four Ginetta GRDC+ drivers - Colin Plumb, Adrian Campbell-Smith, Mike Jarvis and Paul Garstang – have formed a team for a one-off, 24-hour endurance race with a difference.

Our self-titled ‘Wacky Race-rs’ will be raising funds for Children in Need by competing as part of a ten-car grid at the Sebring International Raceway in Florida. Unlike their usual driving, however, this race will take place entirely within the confines of a digital simulator.

The event takes place at The Race Centre in Southampton, running from the morning of Friday 18th November through to the afternoon of Saturday 19th November 2016, and aims to add a further £15,000 to the more than £50,000 raised since its first outing.

Those who have been involved before will know that this is a very popular contest, with some strong teams participating including the Maurussia Virgin Racing F1 team.

The entire cost of the actual event is covered directly by The Race Centre and the participating teams, which ensures that all donations go to Children in Need.

Our GRDC+ drivers have extended an invitation to anyone who would like to come down and see the race first hand, so if you’re one of them, head to The Race Centre and say hello. If you’d prefer to donate digitally then you’ll find their JustGiving page here.

November 16, 2016 by Paul Zwicky-Ross
Week Two - We Are Ginetta vs. Movember

Week Two - We Are Ginetta vs. Movember

We are nine days into the Movember challenge here at HQ and it’s ‘so far, so good’ as we near the halfway point. We have staff growing moustaches, our BTCC front of house girl attempting to conquer 1958 kettle bell squats and Ruth and Lo from our PR and Championships team attempting to run 800m around the Talk Radio studio in the quickest time possible.

Below is how they have been getting on, but first, we are really keen to expand our We Are Ginetta Movember team, so if you are doing ANYTHING to raise money this month, drop us a line via pr[AT]Ginetta.com or donate to this fantastic cause at the following link: http://moteam.co/we-are-ginetta

 

Ginetta Mechanics – Growing the Mo’

Nine days into Movember and the boys are going strong! They are currently in the midst of battling through ‘itchy tash’ and working out how best to eat without having food stuff stuck in their beards.

Samuel is unimpressed with his beard growth this week but at least his face is being kept warm in the snowy weather conditions. Some of the fathers of the group have received ‘complaints’ from the kids due to ‘chin pie scratching’ but it’s all for a good cause.

The competition is tough going, the testosterone has kicked in, beard wax, combs and a variety of oils and potions are being deployed in a bid to conquer Movember.  All in all a great week for facial hair and making the Ginetta workshop incredibly proud.

 

Joanne Sutcliffe – 1958 Challenge

My Movember Challenge is to complete a total of 1958 kettle bell squats, which is around 65 per day. I decided to do more from Monday to Friday to give me rest days over the weekend.

I started out with a strong 110 on November 1st.  This was a mistake. By the end of November 2nd  my legs were like jelly!  With hindsight, I should have started lower and built up the numbers.  I struggled on through another 110 regardless, telling myself it would be easier on day three - wrong!  By November 3rd I could barely walk, and trying to sit down meant I had to hold onto something stable to stop myself dropping like a stone.

In the gym at lunchtime I only managed 90 squats, and had to be encouraged by my colleagues, one of whom joined in to get me through the last 40. It’s slowly become easier though and after a couple of rest days at the weekend (and one cheeky extra day off) I have been back in the gym again and have completed 430 in total, with 1528 still to go.  I’ll be back on it at lunchtime so watch this space…

 

Dash in a Tash – Ruth and Lo

We have been busy training hard for the 800 dash. Lo has the added benefit of having her personal trainer Scout, a massive Samoyed who forces her to walk / job / run at least 5km a day. That’s a stark contrast to myself (Ruth) who walks as far as the Ginetta office coffee machine.

So it’s safe to say Lo is already way ahead of me in the training stakes. She ran as a hobby before, whereas my gym commitments were more ’30 Day Shred’ and various keep fit DVDs, putting me at an instant disadvantage. However, the pair of us are working at Brands Hatch this weekend as part of the Simpson Race Products Ginetta Junior Winter Series, therefore we plan to get our training on track (literally) at the end of each day.

Check back next week for some photo updates of our progress thus far.

A Cuppa Tea With.... Jonny Hadfield

A Cuppa Tea With.... Jonny Hadfield

Here at Ginetta towers, we get lots of praise for our superb racing drivers and the endless laps of entertainment they provide. Yet, you – the public – often don’t get to find out what’s going on under those race suits and helmets. Okay, so it’s usually fireproof underwear, but what about the drivers themselves, what makes them tick?

So, because we love nothing more than a good chatter over a mug of Yorkshire Tea and some custard creams, we’ve sat our drivers down to ask them a couple of questions which should give you an insight into their lives. Or just entertain you for a minute.

This week, we’ve been chatting to a driver who has grown up as part of the Ginetta family. He cut his teeth in Juniors then moved onto the Ginetta GT5 Challenge, setting up his own team with big brother (and on track rival) Ryan. Its Jonny Hadfield from R & J Motorsport.

 

Ginetta: What do you have to set to ‘record’ on your TV when you’re away racing?

RH: Motorsport!

 

G: Who would play you in a film about your life?

RH: Me because I would love to do it all again

G: Who’s the most exciting person that follows you on Twitter?

RH: Ruth Harrison 😂😂

G: You’re not the first person to say that…. #teacherspet

 

G: Do you have any pre-race rituals?

RH: A quick visit to the little boys room.

 

G: What’s been the hairiest moment behind the wheel of a race car or go-kart?

RH: Spa Francorchamps in 2016! I almost went over backwards! Second to that was getting fully sideways at Thruxton in the rain!

A CUPPA TEA WITH... PETER SMITH

A CUPPA TEA WITH... PETER SMITH

Here at Ginetta towers, we get lots of praise for our superb racing drivers and the endless laps of entertainment they provide. Yet, you – the public – often don’t get to find out what’s going on behind the scenes.

So, because we love nothing more than a good chatter over a mug of Yorkshire Tea and some custard creams, we’ve been chatting to various folks around Ginetta HQ to find out what makes them tick. Here we with down with our Chief Design and Development Engineer Pete Smith.

Ginetta: What do you have to set to ‘record’ on your TV when you’re away racing?

PS: All racing that is on, Professor Brian Cox, Masterchef, Eden and health food programs such as Food Unwrapped!

 

G: Who would play you in a film about your life?

PS: Guy Martin.

 

G: Who’s the most exciting person that follows you on Twitter?

PS: Sir Chris Hoy but don’t use Twitter that much.

 

G: Do you have any pre-race rituals?

PS: Pre-race is normally a grid photo which includes a stupid face and generally a lunge or two. During the race Stephan and I have a ritual of eating a Dutch Stroopwafel but we think there is a possibility it may be more of a curse and increases dental bills.

 

G: What’s been the hairiest moment behind the wheel of a race car or go-kart?

PS: 2012 Joest Racing Christmas kart race. I was P2 and decided T1 was flat if I had the line right. On the following lap I realised I had the line wrong but for some reason stayed flat. I hit and mounted a wall hard, hurt all my ribs and lost quite a few places but still finished second overall. 

A Cuppa Tea With... Richard Smith

A Cuppa Tea With... Richard Smith

Here at Ginetta towers, we get lots of praise for our superb racing drivers and the endless laps of entertainment they provide. Yet, you – the public – often don’t get to find out what’s going on under those race suits and helmets. Okay, so it’s usually fireproof underwear, but what about the drivers themselves, what makes them tick?

So, because we love nothing more than a good chatter over a mug of Yorkshire Tea and some custard creams, we’ve sat our drivers down to ask them a couple of questions which should give you an insight into their lives. Or just entertain you for a minute.

This week, we’ve been chatting to Richard Smith one of our Ginetta Racing Drivers Club Plus racers.

Ginetta: What do you have to set to ‘record’ on your TV when you’re away racing?

RS: Emmerdale of course… (A love of all things Yorkshire!)

 

G: Who would play you in a film about your life?

RS: Daniel Craig (Obviously!)

 

G: Who’s the most exciting person that follows you on Twitter?

RS: Paul Cummins MBE (He’s a friend.. does that count?)

 

G: Do you have any pre-race rituals?

RS: Carry a ‘lucky’ penny in my race overalls!

 

G: What’s been the hairiest moment behind the wheel of a race car or go-kart?

RS: Turning in to Hawthorn’s ‘fully lit’ on a wet Brands GP practice and being blinded from the spray of an overtaking, quicker car!

Charlie Robertson: Live from Project CARS

Charlie Robertson: Live from Project CARS

We spent an afternoon with the team behind the multi-million selling racing simulator Project CARS this week so Charlie Robertson could set a few fast lap times and have a live-streamed chat with the game's Creative Director, Andy Tudor.

The original broadcast when out at 3pm on Thursday so we wouldn't blame you if you missed it completely, but if you fancy finding out what a real-world racing driver thinks of the virtual experience and want to hear him answer some questions from the game's die-hard fans, you can watch the full piece here.  Enjoy.

Watch live video from ProjectCARSgame on www.twitch.tv

August 20, 2016 by Paul Zwicky-Ross
A cuppa tea with Jamie Orton

A cuppa tea with Jamie Orton

Here at Ginetta towers, we get lots of praise for our superb racing drivers and the endless laps of entertainment they provide. Yet, you – the public – often don’t get to find out what’s going on under those race suits and helmets. Okay, so it’s usually fireproof underwear, but what about the drivers themselves, what makes them tick?

So, because we love nothing more than a good chatter over a mug of Yorkshire Tea and some custard creams, we’ve sat our drivers down to ask them a couple of questions which should give you an insight into their lives. Or just entertain you for a minute.

Jamie Orton has skipped out of the Knockhill meeting seen as though he’s about to become a daddy for the first time. Before he trades his race suit for an entirely different Babygro though, we hit him with our questions:

Ginetta: What do you have to set to ‘record’ on your TV when you’re away racing?

Jamie Orton: BTCC

 

G: Who would play you in a film about your life?

JO: David Blunkett

 

G:Who’s the most exciting person that follows you on Twitter?

JO:Anyone of the other 82 people I've never heard of.

G:It's up to 139 now @JamieOrton71!!!

G: Do you have any pre-race rituals?

JO: Lots of visits to the little boys room.

 

G: What’s been the hairiest moment behind the wheel of a race car or go-kart?

JO: A fellow driver turning into me at Hawthorns, Brands GP last season!

August 12, 2016 by Ruth Harrison