Privilege Insurance BRDC British GT Championship
For 2000, SITD are building an all-
The GTO car will utilise the latest Darrian GTR chassis and incorporate all the latest aerodynamic and suspension modifications developed by Darrian Cars in conjunction with the Swansea Institute. The car also features the widened engine bay so that at some future date a Chevy V8 might be installed and the car upgraded to the GT class.
The team expect to contest a limited series of races in 2000, not joining the Privilege Insurance series until later in the season.
Channel 4's "GT on Four" provides excellent coverage of the Privilege Insurance British GT Championship.
Safety Devices Tarmac Rally Championship
John Dalton's long promised car has at last been completed and Tim Duffee is extremely pleased with the results from early testing at Pembrey.
For 1999, the SITD team retained sponsorship from the WDA and entered just two rounds of the championship at Brands Hatch on 20th June and the British Grand Pix support round at Silverstone
After the trials and tribulations of the previous season, the car, in the hands of Matthew Manderson and Frank Bradly, ran faultlessly for the entire 50 minute race finishing sixth in class and eleventh overall.
Following a successful pre-
Matthew Manderson approaching Druids on 20th June (Photo: John Rawlins)
After the race, a delighted Tim Duffee explained that the car had only just made it on fuel and that its race performance had also been hampered by low turbo boost.
Armed with their Brands Hatch success the team were looking forward to the Silverstone race. Unfortunately their luck deserted them and after problems in qualifying with a faulty engine sensor, the failure of a small pin in the oil pump forced the car to retire from the race after only 3 laps.
1998 Privilege Insurance BRDC British GT Championship -
The SITD team spent the previous winter preparing for their move into GT2. The improvements gained towards the end of the '97 season stood the team in good stead for the year and during the winter break, modifications were made to the rear bodywork of the Darrian GT to improve cooling and downforce. Testing at MIRA showed a marked improvement in downforce with only a marginal increase in drag.
Silverstone: 23rd August
Unfortunately the team's endeavours were thwarted at its first intended outing at Silverstone on Sunday 23rd August when the engine, which had been run for at least seven hours both in the car and on the dyno, threw a rod on the last lap of testing at Silverstone on the Friday leading into the race weekend.
SITD were looking forward to the race as, following practice, the car was placed 16th on the grid with 11th fastest time in the GT2 class. Much to their delight they had also proved quicker than Ken Thompson, who, for this race, had defected to the Venturi team, who were alongside them in the pit-
Once again the team suffered bad luck: this time with only 15 minutes of the race run, the car was forced to pit with an engine bay fire, caused by the leakage of exhaust gases from a failed joint in the manifold system onto the surrounding bodywork. Fortunately, the damage sustained was not particularly serious but it meant that the team were forced to retire the car.
SITD Darrian GT2 at Silverstone
1997 BRDC Privilege Insurance British GT Championship -
The Darrian Challenge
As a result of rule changes for 1997, Darrians were no longer eligible for the GT3 class. The rules also meant that the cars would be uncompetitive in GT2, so the SITD team progressed to the GT1 class competing directly against the Lister Storm and McLarens etc..
The change to the rules unfortunately also hit a number of privateers who had hoped to be competitive in the GT3 class.
The SITD Darrian team car was displayed at the Autosport Show at the NEC, Birmingham in January in its new orange, white and green livery.
The Season's Results
The new Darrian GT1 contender finally made its debut at Oulton Park, following a superhuman effort by the team to ready the car, and on its first outing of the season finished 5th in class and 8th overall.
SILVERSTONE (British Grand Prix support race)
Three Darrians competed at this round with the results as follows:
SITD Darrian (Thomson/Duerden) :5th GT1 -
Mackenzie V6 Darrian (Mackenzie/Maries) : 16th overall.
Darrian Cosworth (Manderson/James) :DNF (blown tyre)
The race was won by the Greasley Porsche after a high rate of attrition in the GT1 class, both the Lister Storm and the Harrier amongst others failing to make the finish.
The Darrian finished 10th overall and 6th in class. The race was won by Colin Blower's TVR Cerbera after it had burst into flames, causing the red flag to be brought out.
The race was won by John Greasley and John Morrison in their first outing in the recently purchased Porsche GT1. The Lister Storm, co-
The SITD Darrian had a torrid time with turbo intercooler problems in practice, and was forced to retire after completing only a few laps of the race, as a result of a front suspension failure.
Prior to the Croft round, which had been rescheduled for 28th October, I spoke to Roger Dowden who told me that the team's electronics expert had remapped the engine, and that it had made a vast difference to its driveability.
Unfortunately the car finished unclassified, following a two lap delay during the driver changeover to top up the turbo intercooler.
The Darrian GT1 during the pits walkabout with Tim Duffee and
Roger Dowden (foreground) and Ken Thomson (in the background).
Before the start of the final round of the championship, the SITD team were quietly confident, having achieved a 1 min 25.4 secs lap in qualifying. Tim also told me that he believed that he had solved the intercooler over-
Unfortunately though, as the cars came round on their warm-
With a fastest lap of 1min 27secs compared with a typical lap a 1min 28secs by the XJ220 of Tomas Erdos, it was between the 5th and 7th fastest car on the track although it still has to go a little further to match the typical 1min 21secs lap times of the winning Porsche GT1 of John Greasley and John Morrison.
The Darrian heading up the hill from Bridge
1996 BRDC Privilege Insurance British GT Championship -
In 1996 Swansea Institute Team Darrian (SITD) was formed to compete in the GT Racing arena and the following Press Release explains the teams aims:
SITD: Darrian en route au Vingt-
For the past couple of years, undergraduates in the Automotive Engineering Department of Swansea Institute have had the opportunity to work on the Darrian T90, raced by Senior lecturer Roger Dowden, in the WRDA Sports and Saloon Car Championship at Pembrey. This has provided them with invaluable practical experience, and of course, provides a great incentive for students to join the courses run at the institute. To coincide with the launch of a new degree in Automotive Engineering which will run alongside the existing BEng and HND courses, the decision was taken to expand the college racing activities by a move into GT racing, and SITD (Swansea Institute Team Darrian) was formed with the eventual aim of preparing a car to run at Le Mans. The carwhich is to take on this challenge is the T96, and it was originally intended to run this car in turbo-
Tim Duffee explains: "The Darrian traces its roots back to the original Adrian Evans designed Davrian which emerged out of North Street, Clapham in the mid 1960s. Following much racing success in the 1970's, a move to Wales promoted the interest in rallying. Both Tarmac and forest cars were campaigned with championship success. Racing Davrian Mk8s were produced but no direct works involvement, which is something I believe is essential, was undertaken. Following the metamorphosis into Darrian, rallying became almost the sole form of motorsport involvement with direct works support for Geoff Kitney, Kevin Evans and John Dalton, who all gained Welsh Championship success followed by Motoring News Tarmac Titles in 1990 and 1993. Since the rally success in 1993, we have started to make a move back towards circuit racing events. This is due in part to the structure of international rallying which does not permit a small specialist manufacturer to progress to higher levels (a minimum production run of some 5,000 cars being required), but also to a desire to seek a new challenge.From 1993 we have seen customer cars competing in the Lynton Trailers Sports/Saloon series and the Scottish and Welsh Drivers' Championships. We have given some support, at a distance, to Edinburgh driver Roddie Paterson and encouraged by his success in Lynton Trailers events have developed the T90 to a surprising level of competitiveness for a converted tarmac rally car. Due to my belief that direct involvement in works cars is the only way to make progress, I have been continually frustrated at not being able to provide full hands-
The T96 is a further development of the Darrian concept -
Outline Specification and Model Updates
The Kevlar/Carbon GRP monocoque chassis tub has been reworked to incorporate a new fully adjustable semi-
1996 BRDC Privilege Insurance British GT Championship -
Ken Thompson won the championship overall but not without some drama along the way. Originally placed first, he was later displaced to 2nd overall after reinstatement of the Marcos in the results for the Snetterton round (see below).
Then after a counter-
KEN THOMSON and DARRIAN were finally confirmed as the BRDC Privilege Insurance GT Champions of 1996, following the re-
Darrian results from the Privilege Insurance BRDC GT Championship rounds were as follows:
Round 1 (Silverstone) 3rd in GT3 class.
Round 2 (Donington Park) DNF (alternator failure)
Round 3 (Brands Hatch) The SITD GT3 Darrian of Ken Thomson (co-
Round 4 (Donington Park) 1st in class.
Following this round Ken Thomson reached 3rd in overall drivers' championship
Round 5 (Thruxton) 1st and 2nd in class and 5th overall.
Ken Thomson is now joint-
Round 6 (Snetterton) On the track the Darrian of Ken Thomson won the GT3 class and took the championship lead. However after the event, 7 of the 14 finishers were declared to have failed the noise test, and amongst these cars both Darrians and the McLaren were excluded. The results are now the subject of an appeal and if the cars are reinstated, the Darrian will lead the championship. If the race is declared void the Darrian will remain joint championship leader and if the result stands, the Darrian will slip to third place.
Round 7 (Oulton Park) The Darrian of Ken Thomson and Simon Duerden was 1st in GT3 class and 4th overall.
Round 8 (Silverstone) Ken Thompson takes the Championship! The final round of the championship was contested on Sunday 13th October and a 1st in class and 4th overall, ahead of all the GT2 cars, means that, irrespective of the Snetterton result, Ken Thompson wins GT3 for Darrian and is overall winner of the championship.
Silverstone: 5th October
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©John E.F.Rawlins (New Davrian Register) 2013