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Monthly Archives: April 2017

  • Fabrication and Welding Apprentice of the Year Nomination

    Tommy Grocock & Steve Firth at the AMRC Awards EveningCobra Sport apprentice Tommy Grocock has been nominated for the prestigious ARMC 'Fabrication and Welding Apprentice of the Year Award' sponsored by Sheffield International Venues. The awards are an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of apprentices currently training at the AMRC Training Centre on the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Sheffield.

    Sponsored by Boeing, the Apprentice of the Year award is based upon nominations by apprentice employers along with course trainers based at the AMRC. The awards are judged by a panel consisting of award sponsors and Training Centre staff .

    Competing against 700 current AMRC apprentices, Tommy made the final shortlist of 4 in the Fabrication and Welding category thanks to his work ethic, continuous development of manufacturing skills and exceptional contribution to the course and here at Cobra Sport Exhausts.

    Steve Firth, Production Manager at Cobra Sport paid tribute to nominees and commented on the success of the awards evening.

    “It was a fantastic evening and it was a pleasure to be in the company of such a bunch of dedicated and talented young people. Whilst there had to be individual category winners, they were all winners simply for being nominees for the awards. Witnessing such a high calibre of Apprentice gives you confidence to say that the future of British manufacturing is in good hands”.

    During the judging process, Tommy explained his role at Cobra Sport Exhaust to the panel along with his aspirations for the future.

    "My day-to-day activities are working within a manufacturing cell, building and fabricating stainless steel performance exhaust systems to specification using the TIG welding process.

    "Some of my highlights at the Training Centre are meeting new people, forming new friendships and learning new skills in a modern facility, which will allow me to achieve my aspirational goals in becoming a fully competent welder fabricator.

    "My career aspirations are to complete my apprenticeship at Training Centre and become the best that I can be as a time served welder fabricator. Challenging myself with complex fabrications and becoming a valuable asset to my employer."

  • AmDTuning.com with Cobra Exhausts show potential in British GT opener

    The AmDTuning.com with Cobra Exhausts team showed glimpses of its potential as the new British GT Championship campaign burst into life at Oulton Park.

    The Easter Weekend event marked the start of a new era for the West Thurrock-based outfit, with the Cheshire circuit playing host to the team’s first race with its all new Mercedes-AMG GT3.

    The weekend started well in the opening practice session with Ryan Ratcliffe posting the fifth quickest time in damp conditions, although the team was prevented from running through its planned programme by an accident involving two GT4 cars that led to the session being halted just before the halfway stage.

    It meant team-mate Lee Mowle had to wait until the second session to get his turn behind the wheel, with the two drivers lapping within half a second of each other en-route to the eighth best time.

    With two one hour races during the opening meeting of the season, each driver took to the track for their own qualifying session, with Lee out first to determine the starting position for race one.

    However, Lee was unable to show his true pace when contact at the final corner after the Aston Martin of Derek Johnston turned in on him damaged both the suspension and steering on the car.

    Having not yet had time to post a timed lap before the clash, Lee was left ninth on the grid for race one, with Ryan forced to soldier on with the damaged car for his qualifying session en-route to the tenth best time for race two.

    With repairs carried out for Monday’s opening race, Lee took his place behind the wheel for the first stint and produced a strong start to immediately fight his way to sixth before getting ahead of the Ginetta of Harry Gottsacker with an impressive move on lap eight.

    Sadly his charge up the order would end on lap ten when he went off into the barriers on the run to Shell Oils. Although he was able to rejoin, the incident would drop the damaged car well down the order, with Lee starting a recovery drive that Ryan would then continue during his stint to bring the car to the flag in tenth spot.

    Repairs to the car were completed just minutes before the start of race two, with both drivers lapping quickly and consistently to reward the team with a seventh place finish in a race that was halted early after an accident at Hilltop; one that Lee was fortunate to avoid being caught up in.

    Following the fight against the clock to repair the car, AmDTuning.com with Cobra Exhausts picked up the PMW Expo Team of the Weekend Award, whilst Lee and Ryan end the weekend eighth in the championship standings.

    Quotes:

    Lee Mowle:

    “Oulton Park is a circuit where it isn’t easy to overtake in a GT3 car, so the incident in qualifying really put us on the back foot. It was a real shame as we hadn’t had chance to put a banker lap in, and based on practice, I think we could easily have ended up in the top four on the grid for race one, and Ryan would also have had us higher up the grid for race two.

    “In the opening race, the car felt absolutely mega and a world away from the BMW we raced last year. It was hard work making my way through the field, but we got up to P5 and then I just carried a little too much speed into Island Bend and got slightly wide onto the wet part of the circuit.

    “Once I then hit the grass, I was a passenger and it seemed an age until we hit the barriers. It was a big hit and did a lot of bodywork damage, so it was a case from there of us just bringing the car to the finish.

    “Although the results aren’t what we hoped for, there’s no doubt that we had could have come away from the weekend with a podium. The car handled superbly and provided loads of confidence behind the wheel; things just conspired against us. While it’s a case of what might have been from Oulton Park, the two hour race at Rockingham should suit us and we’re looking forward to a strong weekend there.”

    Shaun Hollamby – team boss:

    “There are a lot of positives to take away from the weekend, even considering that the end results weren’t what we hoped for. Both Lee and Ryan showed solid pace behind the wheel and I think that there was clearly the potential to run higher up the field in the races had it not been for the incident in qualifying.

    “That was always going to make it tough for race day but we showed what the Mercedes can do in the early stages of race one before Lee was caught out by the damp conditions. From there, we showed our battling qualities to not only get a finish from the race, but to get the car repaired and back out for race two.

    “The longer race at Rockingham next time out is one that should suit the Mercedes, and we’re confident that Lee and Ryan will be firmly in the mix for a strong result.”

  • More points on the board in the BTCC at Donington Park

    AmDTuning Cobra Exhausts BTCC Drivers at Donington Park, UKThe AmDTuning.com with Cobra Exhausts team enjoyed another points scoring weekend with a brace of top 15 finishes as the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship headed to Donington Park for the second meeting of the year.

    The West Thurrock based team headed for the East Midlands looking to build on the results secured at Brands Hatch, with both Ollie Jackson and Ant Whorton-Eales eager to push towards the points scoring positions in their Audi S3s.

    Having opened his account at Brands Hatch, Tamworth-based Ollie started his bid for points from 25th on the grid in race one and fought his way forwards to 17th place by the time the chequered flag dropped.

    Pair of AmDTuning with Cobra Exhaust Audi S3sRace two saw Ollie run as high as tenth before he was forced to retire after being left with nowhere to go when a car spun ahead, but he recovered well with his repaired car in a wet final race to come from the back of the grid to 15th spot – earning him the final championship point.

    “There are a lot of positives to take away from this weekend,” he said. “The Audi is getting better and better, and I think we showed genuine top ten pace this weekend.

    “We just needed a little bit more luck on our side and we’d have been able to bring home a top ten in the second race, although the way we came through from the back in race three to take a points scoring finish on merit is also really pleasing.

    “Our race pace is good so we have to try and improve on our qualifying performance so we are better placed to make the most of it. If we can take that next step then we’ll be able to get ourselves towards the head of the midfield pack and really show what we can do.”

    Having shown his pace on track at Brands Hatch, albeit without being rewarded with the end results, Lichfield racer Ant went into his home event keen to open his account but like Ollie, was on the back foot after qualifying in 29th spot.

    Ollie Jackson - Donington Park BTCC 2017Radical changes overnight transformed his Audi for race day and he ended race one less than half a second away from the points having made up no fewer than 13 spots during a busy 16 lap battle.

    Those points wouldn’t be far away however, with a measured drive in race two being rewarded with a strong twelfth place finish and top rookie honours for the first time – giving Ant the team’s best result of the year to date.

    Race three started well with Ant on the fringes of the top ten, although a slow puncture would see him slip back down the order before eventually being forced to retire on the final lap.

    “Race three wasn’t how I wanted the weekend to end, but overall I’m really pleased,” he said. “After qualifying, we took a gamble with the car for race day and it really paid off. We were able to lap quickly, made up loads of places and I got into the points, which is a real achievement from where we qualified.

    “I knew early on there was a problem in race three as there was a vibration under braking that got worse as we went on, but I think we can come away from this weekend feeling confident about the races to come as we’ve taken a massive step forwards.”

    BTCC Grid - AmDTuning Cobra Exhausts GridTeam boss Shaun Hollamby was pleased to see both drivers score points, admitting it had been one of the best weekends to date for the Audi squad.

    “Both drivers have done a brilliant job this weekend,” he said. “It’s probably been the most competitive weekend we’ve had in terms of our pace, particularly in the second race where Ant got well earned points and Ollie could also have scored. Ollie also did really well in tough conditions in race three and for both to score points this weekend is promising.

    “The improvement in the car is clear to see, and hopefully when we get to Thruxton we can produce an even better performance on track.”

    Images courtesy of Marc Waller Photography

    AmDTuning with Cobra Exhausts Audi S3 BTCC Cars

  • AmDTuning.com with Cobra Exhausts put points on the board in BTCC season opener

    AmDTuning with Cobra Exhausts BTCC 2017 Brands HatchThe AmDTuning.com with Cobra Exhausts team enjoyed a points scoring start to the new Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season as the 2017 campaign kicked off at Brands Hatch.

    The West Thurrock-based team made the short trip to the Kent circuit hoping to impress with its updated Audi S3s, with returning driver Ollie Jackson being joined by series debutant Ant Whorton-Eales as part of an expanded two-car team.

    Tamworth-based Ollie would be left with work to do on race day having been caught out by difficult conditions on track in qualifying, with rain showers and traffic contributing to him being down in 29th place on the times.

    Running the softer compound Dunlop tyre in race one, Ollie worked his way forwards to 22nd place and then set about further progress when the lights went out in race two – lapping quickly and consistently to fight his way through to 14th and a first points scoring result of the season.

    Ollie Jackson - BTCC Brands Hatch 2017More points looked assured in race three as Ollie moved up to twelfth place on the opening lap, with a top ten finish looking to be a realistic goal until contact from behind knocked the rear tracking out on the Audi.

    It meant Ollie would slip back down to 16th by the time the chequered flag flew, although there was still plenty to be encouraged by at the end of the weekend.

    “I’m ecstatic with the progress we have made across the weekend with the car,” he said. “It was quite difficult to drive at the start of practice but we made a series of changes that really improved things and I head away from Brands Hatch confident that we have the Audi in a good place but with plenty more still to come.

    “The points in race two were good, and I think we can take a lot of encouragement from race three as it showed we have the pace to run at the head of the midfield pack and to challenge for the top ten.

    “That’s something we could certainly have achieved without the contact that damaged the rear of the car, but we can head for Donington Park next time out in confident mood.”

    Ant Whorton-Eales - BTCC Brands Hatch 2017For Lichfield racer Ant, qualifying would also prove to be a challenge, which left him 26th on the grid for the opening race.

    Any hope he had of a strong result were ended by the need to pit early on when a warning light appeared on the dash, with the reigning Clio Cup champion then able to rejoin the race but a lap down on the rest of the field.

    Encouragingly, Ant was able to run with the midfield pack despite being a lap behind and posted a number of quick laps before the chequered flag dropped with him in 25th spot.

    Having run inside the top 20 early in race two, Ant would unfortunately retire after being caught up by a clash between three rival drivers ahead with the team repairing his damaged Audi in time for race three.

    A 23rd place finish left him with two Independents points scores from the weekend, with the 22-year-old optimistic that better results lie ahead when the series heads to Donington Park.

    “The results on paper this weekend don’t really show what we are capable of, which is a shame,” he said. “I think I was a bit too reserved in the conditions in qualifying as I didn’t want to be the new boy who threw it off in the wet and it meant we were out of position for race one.

    “Although the need to pit meant I wasn’t able to get the result, the pace when running with the pack was really good and I think it showed we could have been in the mix if I’d qualified higher up the grid.

    “Race two was just unfortunate and one of those things that happens, which meant we were at the back for race three and had to get what we could from it. I’ve learned a lot this weekend and from working more with the team, and I’m confident that we have a good car that we can push on with at Donington.”

    Team boss Shaun Hollamby was pleased to see the Audi show its pace during the opening meeting of the year after a hectic winter, and expressed confidence that points scoring finishes can now be a regular aim.

    “I think it’s been an encouraging and positive start,” he said. “When you consider that we only got the new engine fitted to Ant’s car on Friday night and have only done limited testing, we knew this weekend wasn’t going to be easy but we’ve come away from it with a points finish and knowing we could have had more.

    “We’ve ended the weekend with a car that is both quick and reliable, and that has shown it is more than capable of scoring points. It’s now down to us to build on the potential we have seen and push our way up towards the top ten, and the performances out of the box here will spur us on to bigger and better things.”

     

    Images courtesy of Marc Waller Photography

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