Cadwell Park - August 22nd 2010

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Picture re-produced with kind permission of VF Racing


After the horrendous rain of Saturday, Sunday was dry and fine. Darren had taken the opportunity to sign on and scrutineer the day before so it left some time in the morning to make sure the car was ready for qualifying. With new tyres supplied by Service and Sport, Darren slowly warmed them up. However, it was to be a frustrating qualifying. Several fast laps were lost to yellow flags, mainly the Subaru’s of Dale Gent and Steve Froggatt spinning in front of Darren and then at the end of the session to Roger Sibley in his lovely Honda Civic ending up in the tyres at ??? corner. Roger was ok but the car was not fit to continue.

This was not helped by the lap timer giving up the ghost for several laps in the middle of the session and an MR2 being slow to give way.

Qualifying Result –

9th Overall
3rd In Class

Race 1

Starting 9th meant that Darren was on the outside of the circuit. As the lights went off, Darren launched around the outside and onto the grass to pass Adrian Howells who had been slowed by Andy McLennan in his swift, and the Integra of Paul Hughes and the Subaru of Matt Edwards. Up into 5th at this point Darren could not hold off the lighter more agile Subaru Cup car of Howells along the straight. The swift soon muscled his way past on the inside of the Goose Neck leaving Paul Hughes in his Integra not far behind.

For several laps the Integra loomed large in the mirrors under braking and on two occasions alongside Darren but was unable to get past initially. However on Lap 5, a nudge from the Integra of Hughes mid-corner of the hairpin put Darren on to the grass of the exit and dislodged the bumper to cause tyre rub.

This left Darren in front of the debutant Matt Edwards in his Subaru Cup car. Matt is an upcoming young driver with a lot of talent and this showed as he harried Darren to the chequered flag despite his tyres showing signs of overheating with more prevalent understeer.

Race 1 result

8th Overall
2nd In Class

Race 2

For this race, Darren was on the inside of the track, which means not a lot of room for manoeuvre at the start. An adjustment in tyre pressures would hopefully compensate for the high post race pressures and the poor end of race performance from them.

A slow starting Hughes in the Integra in front left Darren nowhere to go and he was passed by a fast starting Matt and Nick Jones in his MR2 Turbo.

Darren had to work hard to get past the MR2 of Jones, which had good straight-line speed and better braking in the lighter car, whilst also fending off the agile MX5 of Jonathan Blake. It was not until lap 6 that Darren made a move into Mansfield which left him the inside line into the Mountain after using his better traction from the corner to gain a slight advantage.

By this time, however, the damage was done and there was not enough laps to haul in the cars in front.

In the latter stages of the race some damage was also sustained from debris from the Integra of Hughes which had yet further incidents with the swift of Andy McLennan and a strange handling characteristic developing. Upon post race investigation it was discovered an upright bolt had come loose leading to camber constantly changing on the offside front wheel.

Race Result

8th Overall
3rd In Class

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About Darren Hughes

  • Darren has previously helped prepare racing cars for his friend Karen for the MR2 Challenge and Nippon Challenge series. This will be his forth season in racing having successfully completed three years with excellent results in 2010 and narrowly missing out on the title. In 2012 Darren was forced to take a break from racing due to budget constraints but this year he will be competing again in the same race series, sponsored by Arden Bridge Subaru and will be looking to take the top step of the podium regularly.
  • Please check this site regularly for updates on Darren's preparations and his progress throughout the season.

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