Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Cheshire Life photo-shoot 16th March 2012

Cheshire Life interviewed Marcus for a forthcoming article in the magazine (likely to be the June edition) and sent a photographer along to take some pictures of him with the car, suited and booted.Please forgive the cheesy grin!

First test day at Oulton Park 10/03/12

It was an early start on Saturday morning at Oulton Park for the first test day of the two new race cars. This was a brilliant opportunity to test the cars, iron out any faults and practice timings. The team worked extremely efficiently from the word go. They arrived at 8am and had a kettle set up by 8:03! For a short while the chocolate Hob-Nobs took priority whilst the cars were still on the trailers waiting patiently to be unloaded.
After the boys had finished their morning banter they set to work on the cars, rolling them into the pit garage.  It should be pointed out that both cars are Porsche GT silver, but have orange and green highlights to their livery respectively.  The “orange” car (35) was fighting fit and raring to go on track the moment it opened but the “green” car (99) had an issue with the central locking system. This proved a superb test for the team its self as it forced them to quickly adapt a strategy which would enable them to make the most of the track time. 
It was decided to split the team into two with some working on prepping and analysing the orange car as it went out on track and the others dealing with the issue on the green one.  Some might say that the stack of cream cakes by the kettle added a little extra motivation to deal with the task, but regardless before long the green car was ready to go out too.

The team had the extra benefit of an experienced test driver who after driving both of the cars was able to give invaluable feedback on the cars performance. It allowed the team to adapt and adjust the set up of the cars a little every time they went out on the track, this sufficiently reduced the time it usually took to find the best set up. They made numerous records from the track session noting down various data such as tyre pressures and temperatures, fuel loads etc.  The team now know what changes they need to make to both cars for them to perform at their best, have a clear plan of what to do at the next outing and are currently fighting over who will bring the next lot of inspirational cream cakes.
Just a few track photos (courtesy of Daniel Walton)

Stickered up (sponsor space still available)

Hartech and championship decals on

Boot open

Green and orange

Autoperform and Gooseracing decals

Autoperform and Gooseracing decals

I think we'll know who the driver of this car is!

The Build

Car 99 back from repaint

Car 99 back from repaint

Reassembly commences

osf corner

Front bumper goes on

New dampers

Stripped interior

The engine going back in

Green brake calipers

Carbon fibre door card

Clear perspex engine cover

New wheels

Transparent engine cover through hard top rear window

Brake caliper behind spinning wheel

Autosport January 2012- The launch of Team Hartech

Car 35 on display

First car with Ben and Marcus

The girls look a lot better than the drivers

Car 35 on display

First car with Ben and Marcus

These girls were just for the show, we do have pit-babe vacancies!

colour co-ordinated girls

November 2011 - The donor car arrives!

Car 99 as it arrived - Front
Car 99 as it arrived - Back

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Marcus "The Goose" Carniel racing driver - career to date

Part 1

Working as a car dealer at his company www.autoperform.com specialising in sports and prestige vehicles, Marcus’ journey into racing came from starting doing track days in 2003 in whatever suitable cars were in stock, examples being the more potent models from Porsche, BMW, Audi, TVR or Ferrari.  As his driving improved, he found various flaws in using standard road cars on track – typically brakes would overheat for example.  He then bought a Porsche 944 and prepared it specifically for track use with the help of Unit 11 Porsche in Warrington, with the aim of renting it out for tuition too.  When it was having a routine check over one day, Jonny Holland at Unit 11 asked the fateful question “Why don’t you start racing?” followed closely by “I know someone with a car for sale...”.

This led to the purchase of an established 911 SC race car, which Marcus then campaigned throughout the 2005 season of the Porsche Club Championship.  It was a sticky start though, in his first ever qualifying session he was excluded for being below the minimum weight (he was over what he thought the minimum weight was!) so he had to start his very first race from the back of the grid!  The season quickly improved though, with a podium finish at his second meeting and his first win next time out.  His performance went from strength to strength and by the closing round he was one of just four drivers who could win the championship.  As it turned out he finished 2nd in class and 3rd overall – not bad for his rookie season in a field of experienced, quick drivers.

The 2006 season was similar, finishing 2nd in class at the end of the year, although with more class wins and on one occasion out-classing the whole field (all classes) and putting it on outright pole.  In 2007 the class championship went down to the wire, to be decided in the last race at Brands Hatch.  This barely lasted 30 seconds for Marcus though, as he was hit just after the start and spun heavily into the barrier.  This wrote the car off, sealing his fate as class 2nd yet again, having never been off the podium all season and with 7 wins under his belt, a number only equalled by the class winner, Ben Demetriou.

After this impressive set of wins Marcus had decided to take 2008 off however his ideas soon changed when he discovered that a competitive race car, a 964 variant 911, which runs in class 1, had come up for sale. After the necessary checks it was hastily bought.
Taking the chequred flag for the
first time at Spa.

Marcus was then thrown into a new season of racing with a new car and barely a week to perform the necessary checks, let alone become accustomed to the car its self. Against all odds he managed to qualify on the front row on Saturday’s PCGB Oulton round. But as they say more haste less speed. The car was struck with an ABS failure on the second lap of the race preventing him from a win. With the previous problems resolved he went on to do the Silverstone Classic and then Spa-Francorchamps Formula One circuit in Belgium.

The 2008 season reached its pinnacle at the finale in Spa where he came 2nd in race one to then go on and win race 2 ( a commendable achievement particularly in heavy rain). This was Marcus’ first ever outright race win and was a great end to the season.
(Picture to the left )

Marcus celebrating on the top of the podium at Spa, having beaten Ian White (left) and Ben Demetriou.

Marcus ahead of Jez pre
saftey car incident

The car had various work carried out before the 2009 season which overall boosted its performance leading Marcus to come away with respectable results. These amendments meant that not much needed to be done for the 2010 season and he obtained good results. It was luck he was lacking in this season starting at the first meeting at Brands Hatch with unjustified actions of a previous champion (Jez Clarke) not abiding by the rules of the safety car by overtaking. No action was taken by the Clerk of the Course and consequently Marcus finished in 4th position.  This stead of bad luck continued into the Cadwell Park meeting. 2nd place was certain until on the last lap he was shunted heavily from behind spinning him off track and propelling him ...straight into 8th place. He had yet another battle with Clarke at Silverstone with a (everything but accidental) shunt pushing Marcus into 8th place. He managed to regain some time eventually finishing 6th. He then improved further to get his first win of the season in the second race. From here on the season picked up with 2 wins at Castle Combe and another double at Oulton Park.