Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Spanking a Super 7

I recently got the chance of a lifetime to spend a day on an airstrip riding shotgun in a rare Hayabusa powered Super 7. If you're unfamiliar with these crazy little cars called Caterhams, just know that this particular one will touch 100 km/h in under 3.3 seconds. They're serious cars that cause quivers at anyone in a hypercar who's just spotted one at a local track day event. They're that good. All of the superlatives used to describe these beastly four-wheeled rockets are a result of it's Bugatti Veyron-esque power-to-weight ratio. For enthusiasts, it doesn't get much better than this. Low slung, noisy, and more responsive than you could ever imagine. I now need a 7 in my life. Enjoy the brief iPhone footage I managed to capture before my phone called it quits.



Officially, this animal is called a Super 7 GSX 1300R and built on Vancouver Island by a very devoted team run by a chap who's managed to import, build, and register them legally for road use in Canada. He runs a company called Super 7 Cars Inc, and you should pay their site a visit - if only to read up on the various insane, hoontastic Caterhams up for grabs ).

A quick note on the event. It was called "Dancing with Cones" and was put on by the BMW Car Club of British Columbia at the Pitt Meadows airfield. It was masterfully organized to the point where none of us had to do any marshalling or cone chasing, and all drivers got 30-50 runs in over the course of 7 hours. It cost approximately $160 and the catered lunch was perfect. I was only registered as a guest, and as others were queing to get seat time in the Caterham, I was able to meet some of the other gentlemen at the event who were happy to give up some seat time. I was invited to ride shotgun in a 1M Coupe, 997 Turbo, Mazda RX-8, an old stick-shift Volvo 240 Turbo Wagon, and 997 Carrera S. What surprised me the most is the fun-factor of the Volvo (turbo, sway bars, suspension work, Michelin Pilots) and how quiet the 1M Coupe was. The crazy experience in the Russian Mazda and the fantastic brakes in the 997s were also quite memorable. Without a doubt, I'll be back for their next event.

Here's some extra footage from my first ever time behind the wheel of a Caterham (an R300 Superlight). This happened at a place called Bedford as part of the Palmersport racing program. Full disclosure,... I saw my lunch again shortly after the video ends. Worth it.