With five consecutive HKS Drag Series championships under our belt, the team here at CPL Racing had decided to take a year out from competitive racing in 2011. Firstly to take a rest from the rigors of championship drag racing and secondly to take some quality time to further develop our car without having the pressure of having to prepare for races in between developing the car.
For some time, two fellow racers and Guy here at CPL Racing, had been planning a feature race which would happen once a year and give any racer that entered the chance to compete for a significant prize fund. Given that any racing is expensive at a competitive level, a healthy prize fund is always welcome from the racers point of view and makes things more exciting for the spectators as it encourages the competitors to push that little bit harder and maybe take a few more risks than they otherwise would do. We also wanted to bring sponsors on board both to allow exposure for the companies and products already associated with racing and a few that were not. The prize fund would be made up of entry fees from the competitors and the sponsors that came on board.
We are pleased to say that this race finally came to fruition in August of this year, and the first of many U.K. FWD Outlaw Shootouts took place.
In the months that lead up to the Outlaw Race here at CPL Racing we spent a considerable amount of time and effort encouraging as many competitors to take part in the race. So having encouraged so many of the other racers in Europe to compete we realized mid-year that we could hardly sit this one out ourselves. So, just six weeks before the event we stopped development work on our car and put it together in the best state we could. There was absolutely no time to build a fresh engine so we had to dust the cobwebs off the same one that had done almost a whole seasons racing in 2010. We were not comfortable being in this position and putting it on the dyno for re-tuning was nerve-wracking. We did however manage an astonishing 939hp on the dyno using some of our new developments. This is well over 100 bhp in excess of what we had run in the car in 2010.
The Outlaw Race was scheduled to take place on Sunday 21st August 2011. We arrived at the track on the Saturday before for a couple of test runs up the track. Straight off the trailer we ran a 10.4 sec pass – but during this pass we had to let off the throttle a couple of times due to the car steering towards the wall. With just enough time for one more test pass before the big race the following day we warmed the car up ready and pulled to the start line. We launched, and this time the car pulled up the track in a straight line and a clean pass netted us an amazing 9.7 sec pass at 151mph. This was quick enough to secure the record for the quickest FWD car in Europe again (a spot that had been taken from us by a lightweight Vauxhall at the end of October 2010 with a 9.8 second pass). We were extremely happy with the 9.7 – not a bad result from only the 2nd run of the year!!!
Unfortunately, on checking the car over after the run we could hear a faint knocking coming from the bottom end of the engine, so we were unable to compete in the Sunday race however we knew we were already on borrowed time with this engine so were very grateful to have been able to get where we had the previous day.