Tuesday 14 January 2014

A test drive in the Caterham 620R

A few calls to Doug, to confirm order specs and other bits had passed, and then I got a call from him… He said that there was a free track day to have a go in the new supercharged Caterham 620R… I thought for about, errrr, a nano second before I said “ok, I’m in, where, when” It was at Donington Park on 3rd November 2013… Got up to Donington Park about 8am, had a bacon bap, the usual briefing and then off to have a go in a Supersport R. Great (or at least I thought) until I went out in it.

For one reason or another the car was extremely twitchy and I was left thinking, hmmm what have I done? I don’t remember Andy’s R300 being like this… Anyway didn’t really enjoy it, and when I got out I spoke to the other drivers who were there (one was an academy racer) and they all had a similar complaint about it… 

Hung around for a bit whilst some of the other drivers went for their spins (one quite literally) in the 620R, before it was my go…  The car came in and I was like cool - here we go, however, some marshals instantly flocked around the car and then advised Greg(?) and Doug from Caterham that the car was too noisy and had been black flagged - great! 

Anyway, Greg and Doug done some pleading with the staff who were running the track day and they allowed the car back onto the circuit so long as it was short shifted, with the proviso that if the car went over the db limit again it was an instant ‘time to go home’ moment. Having this said to me just before my go was quite irritating as i wanted to give it the full beans, but didn’t want to ruin everyone else’s chances of having a go. Went out and instantly felt at home in it, seemed much more compliant and like the R300 I’d driven before, so I was chuffed to bits. Video link to footage here:-

Left Donington park thinking that the 620R was the car I now ‘needed’… Spoke to Doug on the Monday and it was a ‘no chance’ of you having that to build, so don’t even bother thinking about it… and you won’t get it until May 2014 at the very earliest, plus it was a lot of money, so had to ‘stick’ with the R500 cool smiley

So… The R500 arrives at the beginning of February, minus (Fuel tank and Fuel pump) apparently Caterham are out of stock of the Fuel pump, so I can either wait until the end of Feb and have my kit supplied with the fuel pump and tank installed in the chassis, or get the kit at the beginning of Feb and put in the fuel pump and tank myself - absolute no brainer...  

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