Another great day supporting the attendees of the last Greystone GT track day at a very very wet Donington Park. Weather was awful but it didnt stop most of the attendees from getting out on track to enjoy their cars.
To be hnest we werent overly busy so we decided to shoot some new Youtube videos to show how to do a track inspection and change your brake pads on a Mclaren so will get those up soon.
There was some lovely cars there as well, an awesome Senna, the new Aston Martin GT4 and the new Brabham which to its credit rattled round all day without an issue.
Again, very few issues with the Mclarens, some again needed oil and a few niggles like loose undertrays but the only real issue all day was a Porsche Cayman that cracked a crank case cover dumping the entire contents of oil all over the floor so little we could do.
Next Greystone event is at Goodwood later this year hopefully see you there.
As part of our continued support of the UK Mclaren Owners Club we attended their track event at Blyton Park. A total of 26 cars attended representing the entire range (save for the P1 and F1).
Our role was to ensure all the cars were prepared before going on track, deal with any issues and ensure all the cars were safe to drive home again which meant conducting the full Mclaren pre and post track inspection as well as dealing with any mechanical issues on the day.
Yet again the cars all showed just how reliable (in real life) they are. Over the course of the day:
12c with an oil leak, ‘fixed’ by a dealer a few weeks previously
570 with a coolant leak, clip
12c with a coolant leak, loose hose
600LT with some error lights, all cleared
675LT with low brake pads
Thats it. So thats 26 cars, some brand new, some over 5 years old all getting ragged round track without a single major issue.
Thats not to say we werent busy though, the Mclaren pre and post track day checks are quite thorough so do take time (especially when you have 26 cars lined up for them) and during the course of the day we had to deal with a variety of issues from clearing out dead birds from the air intakes to punctures which required us to lend a wheel from our own 12c to get the car off track (to avoid damage to the wheel).
We did need to top up a lot of oil on cars though, 7 of the 26 cars were running low on oil to require small top ups to get them off the minimum so we continue to advise owners to check their oil once a week, running low oil on these cars can be disastrous with significant top end damage so please, keep an eye on your levels.
We are proud to continue our support for the owners club and delighted we can help members enjoy their cars with the comfort that if something goes wrong we are here to help, all free of charge.
Thorney Motorsport has been in the business of tuning cars for over 20 years and its fair to say we have seen our share of 'snake oil' products to emerge promising all kinds of performance gains. Oil additives, spurious petrol claims, engine flush treatments, pretty much all of them are there to expand the pocket of the garage rather than improve your car.
So when we are contacted by a company offering a process to clean your engine, gain power, improve fuel economy with no downsides and a cheap cost you can imagine our response......the second word was 'off'. However they persevered and the fact the guy selling it to us was previously employed by me for 5 years whom I respected I did begrudgingly agree to a demonstration.
So, we provided two cars to run the test on, our Mclaren 12c Spider, a £130,000 car which is already heavily modified but with low miles (20,000) so not exactly worn out and also our Citroen C2 race car, 118,000 mile shed which we are racing this year purely for fun. The reason we picked the Citroen is that the race regulations are very tight and we cant touch the engine all we can do in the regulations is clean it, so we figured thats what we'd do.
For the purposes of the test we dyno'd both cars and then ran the HydroFlow machine on each and then dyno'd the cars again, same day, same conditions.
Now the process of HydroFlow cleaning is quite dull, the machine uses distilled water to create pure hydrogen gas which we then feed into the cars air box intake (both intakes in the case of the Mclaren as its a V8) and then ran the car for 45 minutes, thats it. No special chemicals, no treatments, or tantric chanting, just feed a hose into the airbox intake of the car and let it idle, occasionally revving the engine a little to get the revs up. All that is used is pure hydrogen gas but what happens is that the hydrogen burns with the fuel at a higher temperature and the resulting extra localised heat cleans off the carbon build up in the valves, intake, exhaust, cats, DPF's its a similar effect as a human body breathing in a Vicks vapour rub, its just opening up the airways that over time have become blocked.
Well if I said the results were amazing it would be an understatement. With the Mclaren I decided to road test it right after and the mid range pick up and acceleration was manifestly faster, and I do mean manifestly, it felt significantly faster. With the C2 race car we dyno'd it again and we had gained 10 bhp - thats 12% thats a dramatic increase for such a small engine (granted it had Moon miles on it) and a road test confirmed the engine revved up far smoother and quicker and it even felt faster, which for a gutless piece of crap race car the C2 is thats a statement.
However, despite all this we weren't convinced, it might have worked on a couple of cars but the equipment is a lot of money so I declined to buy it but seeing on how thorough we were on testing the suppliers offered to pay us to test a wider range of vehicles so that they could use the test data for their own marketing (none of their existing dealers had their own dyno). To be honest we are pretty sure that they just wanted to show confidence in their product but seeing as we were being paid for our time and were still curious on what sorts of results could be achieved we agreed, work is work right?
A week or so later we collected up a wide range of cars we had, crappy Fiesta diesel commute cars, more Mclarens, high milers to garage queens and the results are the same car after car - a dramatic increase in power and subsequent improvement in fuel economy.
Here are the results:
Mclaren 12c 3.8 V8 Twin turbo MY2013 Current Mileage 36,121
Peak Power before 639bhp
Peak Power After 685bhp (+43bhp)
Torque Before (4000rpm) 640nm
Torque After (4000rpm) 700nm (+60nm)
Mclaren 650s 3.8 V8 Twin turbo MY 2015 Current Mileage 21,234
Peak Power before 643bhp
Peak Power After 660bhp (+23bhp)
Torque Before (4250rpm) 660nm
Torque After (4250rpm) 700nm (+20nm)
Vauxhall Mokka X 1.4 turbo MY 2017 Current Mileage 18,234
Peak Power Before 138bhp
Peak Power After 144bhp (+6bhp)
Torque (3500rpm) Before 240nm
Torque (3500rpm) After 260nm (+20nm)
All the testing was done on the same day for each vehicle, we didnt even remove it from the dyno, just dyno'd it, HydroFlow cleaned it and then dyno'd it again. The results were a consistent 6-9% improvement on power and torque and each owner reported the car actually feeling faster, more responsive and smoother.
Its not just passenger cars either, we also HydroFlow cleaned our Man 7.5t race truck, it had recently failed its MOT for excessive emissions (black smoke basically) and had been quoted thousands of pounds of remedial work, one treatment with the Hydroflow and it passed with flying colours so 'old smokey' now needs a new nickname!
So, we bought one and now we are offering the service for all of our customers. Doesnt matter if its a high end Mclaren, a daily driver, a race car, an off road ATV or the crappy train station car you dont really care about a HydroFlow treatment really can help it and potentially save you thousands of pounds of repairs, MOT failure costs and fuel bills. See here to see just how simple it is to do.
The cost for a single clean is £199 with a money back guarantee, if you are not amazed by the outcome on your car then we'll refund it, it is that good.
The process takes an hour so can be done while you wait, we also offer a mobile service (mainly so we can treat race cars at circuits) which is the same cost plus any mileage/travel time.
We are honoured to offer our continued support for the Mclaren Owners Club at their 2018 Annual meet at the Silverstone Classic.
56 cars and over 100 owners all arrived to the Silverstone Classic and were treated to a hog roast under the shade of a nice marquee courtesy of fellow member Alex Reade.
Prior to the meet we hosted a BBQ as an ice breaker for all the members as a nice way for everyone to get to know each other which we hosted at the Silverstone Shooting centre. 42 members and 20 cars – made for a near £4m car park in our workshop yard!
Delighted we can continue to support the Mclaren owners club, surely one of the most friendly car clubs out there.
All of our tuning and performance upgrades have to undergo an extensive development process before we are happy to release them for sale, fortunately some of these processes are relatively enjoyable (crash testing certainly isn't one of them) one of these being noise testing for the new exhaust upgrades. Exhaust sound is a subjective thing, what's too loud for one person is not loud enough for another so we try to concentrate on getting the right tone in all applications from cruising on the motorway to flat out on track but through the gears is a good test so we always take a trip to Santa Pod Raceway for final testing.
The idea for two runs is to show the sound of the exhaust with all the windows closed but also with the rear window (our development car is a spider) so you can hear the exhaust with one of the windows open, we'd have liked to run the car with the roof down as well but without arm tethers (straps to stop your arms flapping about if you roll the car) we werent able to. The reason for helmets was that the Mclaren was too fast to run without them (the first run was a suck it and see run as there had never been a Mclaren at Santa Pod before so no one knew how quick it would be).
THE VIDEO TELLS THE STORY...
Overall we were delighted with the day, the exhaust performed brilliantly and was universally seen as an improvement visually for the car (including a couple of Mclaren employees who happened to be there), its quad pipe form it is an impressive sight we feel but lots of options for tail rims will be made available. As for the strip? Well, we will be undertaking full performance runs when we decide to release the power upgrades.
Weekend began simply enough, park up at Le Mans after a spirited drive down and as we are unloading the camping stuff we spy a row of expensive looking race trucks in the fenced off car park next door. Then as we were heading back to the campsite one truck lowers its rear door and a P1 GTR just rolls off into the car park. Just in case you didnt know the P1 GTR is McLarens latest race car, built from the P1 road car the GTR represents the fastest race car McLaren have built, nearly 1000bhp and it was at Le Mans for its first real public viewing to commemorate McLaren last winning the race in 1995. In other words is this not a car you just ‘see’.
Right off the truck
So, after a brief conversation through the fence (helped no doubt by the fact that we were there in a McLaren ourselves) and John (the race tech with the car) allowed us in to have a look round. What a stunning piece of engineering, more carbon fibre than I’ve ever seen before (and I’ve seen quite a bit over the years) and a presence just sat there in the car park that was just amazing.
A little later we head back and find the car park is now full of Woking’s finest; 4 P1’s, 5 F1 GTR’s, 4 650S Le Mans and 19 650S models, all up there was nearly $200m of cars! McLaren were there at the race to commemorate their last win in 1995, bringing a collection of owners there were celebrating the 20th anniversary with a jaunt down through France and culminating with a parade lap of the full le Mans track ahead of the 24hr race.
$200m, right there
Row of F1 GTR’s
Well, nothing ventured nothing gained in my view so I wondered over to the group and said “No 12c here……..want to borrow mine?” I fully expected to be given a corporate Paddington Bear style glare and be politelytsold to go away, but I got the complete opposite, the McLaren guys made a few phone calls back to base and subject to a few checks they would be delighted to have us along – result, Ethan and I would be able to participate in the track drive!
Row of P1’s
Famous Gulf livery
Any race car driver would give anything to drive Le Mans, its a road circuit so its not a track you can just book on a track day – its Le Mans24hr/Classic or never and seeing as I dont have the budget (or experience) to drive in the Le Mans races this was as near as I’d over get to that. The downside was that there was a strict speed limit of 50mph, however I’d been on’parade’ laps before, once you’re out there there is usually nothing ‘parade’ about them so we were over the moon.
The group was made up of McLaren owners as well as a few select drivers from the McLaren team over the years including JJ Lehto; one of the winning drivers from 1995 race (where five F1 GTR’s got 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 13th) and us, in our second hand 2013 12c Spider. Understandably (and as it turns out fortunately) we were placed at the back of the group, the P1 GTR led, followed by the 5 F1GTR’s then the 650s and then us, great, we can misbehave back there I thought – there was no way I was driving round Le Mans at 50mph! Well I didnt need to worry, JJ had no intention of cruising the P1 GTR (all 1000bhp of it) round the track at 50mph, he shot off like a bat out of hell quickly followed by the F1 GTR’s and the P1’s – even right at the back we could hear it, and we were off.
Impressive sight of McLarens
A decent crowd ahead of the race
First few turns were quite delicate, we werent allowed to overtake (that was a very strict rule) and we were behind a white 650S driven by a journalist,well I think he wasnt really aware how quick these cars are so a scary moment of mid corner braking round a tight turn and decided we should hold back and get a better run at everything, downside to this was we were being shadowed by the Audi RS3 course car – damn.Well, I neednt have worried, after a little while of me swerving about trying to make it fun the course car came alongside, I thought I was about to get told off but no, he gestured that we should hold back to let us (both) get a run at the track – cool, got to love the FIA sometimes!
Good ole white 650
Pit straight – no way was I cruising down here
So after that we hung back and got to power through the turns and really enjoy the track, each time we came up behind the white 650, slammed the brakes on with the Audi catching up and doing the same. Pretty sure he was grinning as much as I was in this and was hilarious to see him pull up each time as we caught up the 650. Down the Mulsanne straight we got up to 240km/h (before the white 650 loomed in to spoil the fun) but the others with the more room they had got higher, the P1’s near300 km/h and the P1 GTR nearer 360km/h – thats quicker than the LMP1 cars! All too soon it was over, the idea was a photo shoot of the P1GTR and F1GTR’s crossing the finish line which meant that we had to wait at the start of the straight at the back of the group, the others all peeled off one by one leaving us on our own with our friends in the Audi course car. Well I wasn tabout to bimble along the finish straight at Le Mans in front of 100,000 people, so we launched it, Audi in hot pursuit with our run ending with a full on aero braked finish to avoid hitting the white 650 again – great, great fun.
Great, great fun
I’ve got to say huge thanks to McLaren, everyone we met from senior director level to PR staff was nothing short of fantastic, we were small fry in terms of owners there (several were multiple P1 owners) but we were treated like royalty by everyone and all my thoughts that McLaren were a cold organisation were completely dispelled, they really are a family. To give you an example, Ethan was sat on his own at one point (I was engrossed in one of the cars) and seeing he was on his own a pretty senior member of McLaren staff went over and starting talking to him, he had nothing to gain from speaking with Ethan (not like a child is going to buy a car is it!) but he went over there as he saw a guest of Mclaren on his own and looking a bit lost – thats the sort of people they were.
After that we got to spend the rest of the weekend in the McLaren hospitality suite, got to meet some great people including JJ and Gordon Murray(the designer of the F1 GTR) who even signed the underside of the bonnet on our car. Was something very surreal about drinking champagn in an air conditioned suite over the pitlane then walking back to our crappy little tent!
The drive back home seemed an anti-climax after all that, we had some fun getting stopped by the police (25 van loads of CRS at a service station – McLaren does that it seems) and then home.
French cops were enthusiastic
Fits snugly into the Channel tunnel trains
It was a great weekend, with great company and with great cars, roll on 2016.