Brands Hatch GP - Saturday 23rd July 2016.

Carl & Nick Mellor

Car 205 1.6 GTi

While the CSCC Tin Tops were off racing at Anglesey I was given the rare chance to race on the Brands Hatch GP circuit. Its rare because not many clubs get the chance to race on the full GP circuit, so when the CSCC decided to treat the Future Classics series to a special race there I wanted to be part of it. The Future Classics series is for cars 1970-1990 so sadly both my 306s would not be allowed to enter!
The search was on to find a car that was able to race, this didn’t take long as a fellow Tin Top racer Nick Mellor had a 1986 205 1.6 GTi which he runs in the Tin Tops series but it can also run in the Future Classics!. After a quick chat with Nick it turned out he was very keen to do the GP circuit to so a deal was done.
In return for a race in his classic 205 Nick wanted a bit of work done and some tidying of his cars wiring. This was no problem, so lots of unwanted wire was removed from the car of the next few weeks as well as a fair bit of other weight, and then a few minor tweaks, we were good to go.

In the Future Classics the engine sizes are a lot bigger than the Tin tops, so you get things like a 6.6 ltr Trans Am, a 5.7 ltr Chevrolet Camaro. Turbo cars are also allowed so you get Sierra Cosworths and Porsche 911s! So the poor little 205 was going to be up against it! Nicks car is running pretty much standard, with original injection system etc, just has a limited slip diff and some Gaz Gold shocks! It would run in Class E80 which is cars up to 1600cc 8v 1980-1990. Only 2 other cars were in our class, a Davrian Mk8 (yes I had no idea what that was either!) and a Mazda MX5 mk1.

In qualifying it was soon clear that the Mazda was very quick and was nearly 5 seconds a lap faster than us! Hmm thats not good! But both myself and Nick started to try and learn the circuit as neither of us had ever been on the full GP circuit before. Things were going well but the poor 205 was loosing out on the long back straight due to its lack of power and low gearing. It was also a very hot day so the water temp was getting very high, with the warning alarm going off at times meaning a cool down for a lap and then back on it the next one.

Staying out the way of the faster cars was also a problem with one eye in the mirror at all times. After a few laps things went well a the little 205 was holding its own. Nick was a bit cheesed off a bit as I posted a quicker time than he did in his own car! Sorry Nick!
We ended qualifying 24th out of 41 cars, but were the fastest front wheel drive car and were just ahead of a Talbot Sunbeam Lotus and a Sierra Cosworth! We were 3 seconds faster then the next FWD car a Mk 2 VW Golf GTi 16v and over 9 seconds faster than a 309 GTi 16v that was out there so we were more than happy in our little 1.6 GTi!


It would a standing start and Nick would be going first as it was his car! He would have his work cut out to keep the Sunbeam and the Sierra behind but was willing to give it his all! The start went well the 205 got off the line better than most the RWD cars around it! Nick held off the Sunbeam and the Sierra for 3 laps, till they both got him on the long straights. Though the Sierra only lasted another 2 laps before its gearbox went bang!
Sadly it was still very warm so keeping the 205 cool was still a problem so it was a case of pushing hard, but backing off now and then to let the temp come back down a bit. Nick chased down and passed a 2.8 Capri just before he had to hand the car over to me.
Our pit stop went well and we were back out, sadly Jane had knocked in the passenger side door mirror while in the pits and Nick had set the interior mirror very high so the first few laps were a bit interesting for me!. The safety car came out as there was a few cars in dangerous places around the track. This gave me time to at least get the interior mirror right! We had managed to pass the Sunbeam in the pitstops so this was now right behind me when we restarted.
I was keen to get past a back marker BMW quickly and try to get a gap on the Sunbeam, but with no N/S mirror is was blind that side so clipped the BMW on the way by, sorry Nick! No harm was done, only a minor ding in the passenger door! Sadly the Sunbeam was still hot on my tail and past me with ease on the straight! To add insult the Mazda MX5 was coming round to lap us and was still flying! The next few laps were just trying to keep the poor little 205 cool as it was still alarming high water temp nearly every other lap!
But we made it to the end, 18th overall out of 30 cars that finished. We were 2nd in class, but still the highest placed FWD car! Nick was happy again as he was again fastest in his own car and had beat my time by 0.08 sec!!

Thanks to Nick for letting me share his great little car!

1st Plant/Bryant Morgan Plus 8 fastest lap 1:40.150
2nd Perry Waddams TVR Tuscan fastest lap 1:45.061
3rd Mark Chilton Porsche 928 S4 fastest lap 1:43.901
4th Miles Masarati Porsche 911 Turbo fastest lap 1:44.829
5th Lilley/Tucker Ford Sierra Cosworth fastest lap 1:44.128

Class E80
1st Dan Rogers Mazda MX5 Mk1 fastest lap 1:48.173 (11th overall)
2nd Mellor/Chambers Peugeot 205 GTi fastest lap 1:52.218 (18th overall)
3rd Jon Jeffery Davrian Mk8 fastest lap 1:57.690 (29th overall)