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Monthly Archives: April 2018

  • Strong pace unrewarded in the BTCC at Donington Park

    The AmD with Cobra Exhausts team was left to wonder what might have been after missing out on more strong points as the Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship headed for Donington Park for the second round of the year.

    The team was looking to build on a fine season opener at Brands Hatch, where Ollie Jackson had picked up a podium in his Audi S3 and rookie Sam Smelt had secured three solid finishes on his series debut.

    The Cobra Sport team attended the event with the events trailer, providing quotes for direct fit & custom build performance exhausts along with stocking the expanding range of AmD with Cobra Exhausts official team wear.

    Ollie qualified in 27th place having been stripped of his best time in the session for exceeding track limits; a lap that would have put him 18th on the grid for his 150th race in the series.

    Showing the pace in his Audi, Ollie made up six places on the opening laps and was making good progress until he came up behind the Honda of James Nash, with ultra-defensive driving from his rival leaving him to finish the race in 19th place.

    Going into race two, Ollie was keen to continue his forward progress and moved up five places on the first lap into the points scoring positions. Having climbed to twelfth, a top ten finish looked like being on the cards before contact from Rob Collard’s BMW at the start of the fourth lap saw him go off track at Hollywood.

    Forced to pit as a result, he would end the race down in 29th place, which is where he then started the final race of the weekend. A storming first lap saw him rocket up to 18th place despite being on the less favourable hard tyre and although he would get up into the points, Ollie would be shuffled back to 16th at the finish – just missing out on adding to his championship tally.

    Team-mate Sam enjoyed an impressive performance in qualifying at the wheel of the sister Audi to qualify in 18th place, with his focus for race day being to try and gain valuable experience of running in the pack.

    Maintaining a place inside the top 20 in the early laps, Sam lost places when an error on lap four saw him run off track and from there, he focused on bringing his car to the finish which he did in 28th spot.

    Race two would end in disappointing fashion when driveshaft failure forced him to retire after eight laps whilst there was further misfortune in race three when, having made up five places, he was tipped into a spin at the Old Hairpin that dropped him off the back of the field; a 24th place finish being the end result.

    Ollie Jackson, #48 AmD with Cobra Exhausts Audi S3, said:

    “This is a weekend that could have been so different, and we could easily have come away from it with three good points finishes. As it is, we come away from it with nothing on the board despite having good pace in the car once again. 

    “If anything, the performance of the Audi was actually stronger than it was at Brands Hatch but where we were in qualifying hurt our chances. Race one was going well until we came up behind the Honda and there is no doubt we’d have had a top ten in race two without being punted off. 

    “On the hard tyre, it was a case of doing what we could in race three and we nearly got some points so I’m not disheartened. Clearly we have good speed in the car and hopefully we can be back in the points at Thruxton.” 

    Sam Smelt, #23 AmD with Cobra Exhausts Audi S3, said:

    “I took a big step forwards in qualifying and to be 18th on the grid was fantastic as it put me right in the mix. I have to hold my hands up that I made a mistake in race one which was a shame, and then in race two, there was nothing I could do about a mechanical problem that forced us out. 

    “In race three, I got hit off track which dropped me way behind the rest of the field and it just sums up the luck I had on race day if I’m being honest. Despite that, I’m not disappointed because I’ve been able to learn a huge amount again – more than I did at Brands Hatch. The aim now is to keep making progress at Thruxton in a few weeks time.”

    Shaun Hollamby, AmD with Cobra Exhausts team principal, said:

    “Both Ollie and Sam have done a good job on race day and it’s unfortunate that the end results don’t reflect it. Ollie was on the back foot after qualifying but the pace he showed in the three races was very encouraging and he could well have come away from the weekend with some good points on his board.

    “Sam has also taken a big step forwards in terms of his performance this weekend and it is unfortunate that luck wasn’t on his side on race day, but he I hope that when we get to Thruxton he can continue to move his way forwards towards the points scoring positions.”

  • Get up to Speed with STEM - Engineering Careers - Magna 2018

    Get up to Speed @ MagnaGet up to Speed with Engineering and Manufacturing (GUTS), is the premier event in northern England aimed at inspiring the upcoming generation of young engineers and manufacturers who will go on to be vital in the future of innovation and commercial success in Science, Technology, Engineering and Manufacturing.

     

     

    Cobra Sport MD Rachel Abbott joined the discussion panel to debate the state of manufacturing and future skills at the Get up to Speed event alongside Julie Kenny CBE, DL and David Richards CBE.

    It was great to meet the future generation of engineers at the event along with representatives from many of our local suppliers and business contacts.

    On the Cobra Sport stand we had a number of performance exhausts on display showcasing the craftsmanship & attention to detail which go into making a Cobra Exhaust. Alongside the finished exhaust products were a series of videos providing an insight into our advanced manufacturing to prospective engineers and apprentices.

    We were also proud to have Sam Smelt's current AmD with Cobra Exhausts BTCC car on display at Magna which proved to be the main attraction of the automotive display. The car was fresh from the open rounds of the 2018 British Touring Car season at Brands Hatch the previous weekend where Ollie Jackson picked up a best over podium finish in race 2 in the sister Audi S3.

  • AmD with Cobra Exhausts Stun with Podium at Brands Hatch!

    The AmD with Cobra Exhausts team enjoyed a stunning start to the new Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship season with a fine podium finish at Brands Hatch.

    The team went into the opening meeting of the campaign eager to impress, with returning driver Ollie Jackson keen to push for points and series debutant Sam Smelt targeting valuable mileage to build his experience. 

    Tamworth-based Ollie showed solid pace throughout practice but the tight nature of the times meant he had to settle for 23rd on the grid in qualifying despite being just six-tenths of a second away from pole position. Northampton-based Sam meanwhile lined up 32nd on the grid for race one with a best time less than 1.2secs off pole. 

    Rain greeted the team for the opening race of the weekend but Ollie reveled in the wet conditions when the lights went out, fighting his way up to 16th place on the opening lap and into the points by the time the Safety Car was deployed on lap two. 

    Racing hard in the midfield throughout, he brought his Audi S3 home to the finish in twelfth spot to pick up some early championship points whilst Sam achieved his aim of a solid finish in 24th. 

    Changeable conditions going into race two left teams with a decision to take over which tyres to run, with Ollie and the team gambling on going with slick rubber on the drying track. 

    Early on, that meant he slipped back down the order but as the circuit conditions improved, so he started to rapidly climb his way up the order. From 21st at the end of lap twelve, Ollie had raced his way into the top eight by lap 20 and continued to pick off the drivers ahead to run in a four-car train battling for the lead with three laps to go. 

    When one of those cars ahead then ran off track, Ollie moved into third place to secure his maiden BTCC podium, a first for the Audi S3 and the team’s first since Knockhill in 2014.

    Sam elected to run with wet tyres and that allowed him to climb up into the top 20 in the early stages of the race but he would ultimately finish 25th when the performance of his tyres dropped away.

    Fourth on the grid for race three thanks to the reverse grid draw, Ollie made a strong start despite being forced to carry success ballast on his car and climbed up to second when the lights went out. 

    Although he would slip back to seventh place, Ollie looked well placed to pick up another strong finish only for contact on the final lap to cost him valuable places as he crossed the line in 14th.

    Sam’s strongest drive of the weekend was rewarded with another 25th place finish as he got involved with racing with the pack; gaining valuable experience to take forwards into the races to come.

     Ollie Jackson, #48 Audi S3, said:

    “It’s been an emotional weekend. We’ve worked so hard as a team to improve the Audi and have been getting quicker and quicker, and today we’ve been able to fight for strong results across all three races. 

    “Race one was perhaps the race of the day to be honest and to come from where we where on the grid to finish twelfth was really good and helped to set up the result in race two.

    “We knew it was a gamble to go with slicks but also knew that the circuit was only going to get drier and it proved to be the right call. The car was absolutely fantastic and to bring home a podium was beyond our expectations coming into the weekend.

    “Even with the success ballast onboard for race three, we could well have had a top five finish had we not been hit off track a few times, which also cost us the Jack Sears Trophy this weekend.

    “However, I can’t go away from a weekend where I’ve taken my first podium feeling disappointed and I think we have shown this weekend that we deserve to be taken seriously in this series and aren’t just here to make up the numbers. We have to now try to build on this and fight for regular points as the season goes on." 

    Sam Smelt, #23 Audi S3, said:

    “It’s been a good weekend for me. Coming into the weekend my aim was to have three clean races and pick up three finishes and that is what I’ve managed to do. I think I improved in terms of my performance on track every time I went on track, and the feedback I was able to give the team has also improved.

    “It’s been good for me to sample all kinds of weather and the experience will only aid me going forwards through the rest of the year. This weekend has been a case of mission accomplished and my focus now is on trying to take another step forwards when we get to Donington Park.”

    Shaun Hollamby, AmD with Cobra Exhausts team principal, said:

    “It’s been a fantastic weekend to start the season and to come away with a podium is way more than we could have imagined.  The team has worked hard all weekend to improve the car and both Ollie and Sam have done a good job on track.

    “Ollie has driven better than he has ever done before across race day and he made the most of the tyre call in race two with a fantastic performance. To secure his first podium in that way was brilliant but it was just as impressive to see how he drove with extra weight in the car in race three. If anything, that showed the steps forward we have taken with the Audi and he certainly deserved more than he got.

    “The conditions this weekend have made it difficult for Sam given his experience, but he has done exactly what we wanted him to do. He stayed out of trouble, has got quicker as the weekend has gone on and put in a solid drive in race three.

     “I have to give huge thanks to everyone involved with the team for their efforts on a weekend like this, particularly the likes of Cobra and Carbon Clean as we wouldn’t be racing without their support and hopefully we can build on these results as the season goes on.”

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