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Wiscombe Park - August 2020

We were out at Wiscombe Park for the first time in 2020. Great to have both Jason Tunnicliffe and Rob Clarke competing. Here's a great write up from the event courtesy of Nigel Cole.

At Wiscombe over the weekend, amongst the various single seaters, there were two of the latest creations from Bridgwater based Empire Racing Cars. Jason Tunnicliffe in his Empire Evo and Robert Clarke with his Empire Evo 00 – both cars utilising Suzuki power. The Empire cars are very striking – perhaps partly due to the input of ex F1 aerodynamics guru, and ex British Championship hillclimber, Willem Toet, who has worked for Benneton, Honda, Ferrari and Sauber. Empire was founded by Bill Chaplin in 2009 - he was also the founder of another single seater manufacturer – Force.

Not surprisingly, Bill is very much a racer. As well as building race cars, he is also passionate about bike racing and was the 1998 British hillclimb champion with wife Livvy on a trike. At the weekend, he was also competing at Wiscombe – this time piloting a DMR F2 side car – partnering with Ronnie King. No doubt he was also keeping an eye on the performances of Jason and Robert. On Sunday Bill and Ronnie finished second.

Jason had a good weekend – he achieved the fifth best time on Saturday with 41.93s and went one better on Sunday with fourth best time of 40.06s. Sunday probably would have seen a better time, but on his second run, he had too much speed going in to Wis Corner and launched the car up the bank on the exit. Fortunately, Jason and the car emerged from the Wiscombe scenery with no damage, and he was able to carry on to the top paddock.

Wiscombe regulars will know Jason from his quick driving in a Peugeot 205 in recent years. The Empire was acquired in 2019.

Robert’s weekend saw a ninth place on Sunday with a 42.11s

(Photos and text - Nigel Cole)

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