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In favour of Proto

Members will have received from Anne Robertson in the evening of Sunday her email relaying the paper I helped assemble about the future of Proto. Many thanks to the Club secretary for circulating it.

Since then there has been a flurry of endorsements from various members and some useful additional comments about the principles. To get all that aired in advance I take the liberty of making them available to you, annexed to the original paper; please click on the link below. I have not included a couple of dozen emails I have seen about technical details of engines which might better be the domain of engineering experts in a sub-committee after the Drivers' Meeting on Proto engine specs.

I can't be at the Drivers' Meeting myself but I send warm regards to all,


Re: In favour of Proto

Gentlemen, or at least Protonians.

Looking at the discussion document, it appears to me that nobody has made a decision on Proto, what I think has happened is that the Register has seen the low numbers of Proto entries and feels it’s the right time to discuss it.

If again you refer to the document finishing Proto is only one of the options, I don’t know why there is such an adverse reaction to looking at the facts and making the correct decision(s). If I may say so someone (or more than one?) has gone off half-cocked?

The second important feature in the document is the question about whether we should approach the BARC running two races with the cars grouped Cup-Class B and Class A-Proto . If that could happen what’s your problem? There appears to be a lot of indigenous support for Proto so I can’t see you would have a problem with numbers? I do know that this requires support from BARC but how would you ever know if you haven’t tried?

Marcus, thanks for posting this in the forum rather than an email. I do however myself consider it smoke and mirrors:0)

I must personally comment on two of your items:-

1) To pick a low Cup entry of seven for the last race is somewhat of a distortion, everybody in marketing knows you don’t take a point source but an average. Cup average has been good and is set to rise in 2016.

2) David and Goliath, well that’s interesting as so far as I can see the audience, the commentator and Autosport all cannot tell David from Goliath. It’s a Clubman’s secret!

Nobody in Cup wants to see the demise of Proto as far as I know, I have even in my weaker moments considered converting one of my cars but I have been put off by the prospective costs and the fact that there are two cars at 240 bhp ish with another car yet to come out. All of which will have the potential to blow you into the weeds. I personally felt that there should be more restraint on the power, 175 bhp probably would have been sensible as that was the power of the Vauxhall engines on their demise?

There is also a lot of hogwash about class systems working, from what I can see we have a massive difference in power from a Cup car to a 240 bhp Proto, it’s pretty much putting an F3 car in an F1 race. If you look at most of the class races in the UK you may notice that there is only small differences in power/weight between the classes. That can work.

So what’s the summary of what I am saying:-

1) I don’t think anyone has decided to shut down Proto.
2) There is a suggestion of separating the classes into different races (BARC permitting)

Re: In favour of Proto

just to clarify the vauxhall front engine cars had 210bhp and the the supersports cars had 235 bhp when they last ran.

also our cars range from 210 bhp to 225 bhp.

when we first ran proto the cars ( mine and Lester had 185 bhp and it wasn't right ) the engines worked best around where we have them. or they lack grunt.

Also if memory serves me correctly it was YOU pushing the 240 bhp in the first place when both my dad and i were against it and wanted to up the cup power as i have mentioned in my other post Also you were going to do it and have Adrian out in a car didnt you buy and MCR instead?

anyway just thought i would chip in.

Re: In favour of Proto

Daniel, nice to see you still dip in.

If you watch my lips I said "on the demise", front engine Vauxhall engine Mallocks I believe were banned at 175bhp. Subsequently the rear engine Supersports got up to 225bhp I think. Anyway it's irrelevant.

I never ever pushed for 240 BHP.

The MCR was purchased to give Adrian rear engine experience.

As you are taking the time to respond and contribute I assume that you are coming next Sunday?

Re: In favour of Proto

hi Andy

i started racing in 97 with a rear engine vauxhall car against the front engine cars and we had 200bhp then, when we did the winter series at the end of the year we changed the power to 220bhp and the following year the front engine cars began to leave, irrelevant true indeed.

yeah i keep an eye out on things. clubmans has been in my blood from birth ( sorry guys im sticking around, want to come back some day, and go full circle ) so cant not keep my ear to the ground for rubblings.

id love to come but duty calls im afraid ive ridden my luck going racing since candice was born and i think my nuts maybe on the menu if i try another weekend away lol.

hope alls well


Re: In favour of Proto

Daniel Gibson
hi Andy

i started racing in 97 with a rear engine vauxhall car against the front engine cars and we had 200bhp then, when we did the winter series at the end of the year we changed the power to 220bhp and the following year the front engine cars began to leave, irrelevant true indeed.

hope alls well


Dan congrats for your daughter, if my memory is correct the front engine cars were banned?

There were a few acrimonious meetings and votes

Re: In favour of Proto

Sounds like there should be another couple of chapters written to "he Lone Furrow", to bring the Clubmans story up to date,particularly in this 50th year.

Re: In favour of Proto

Great factual article.
The club supported the concept of Proto at the begining and should stand by those people who invested in it and continue to race in it. There are many innovative (innovation was what clubmas was and still is about right?) and cheap ways to get a Proto car on the grid.

I can see why some people would want to see the power capped around the 200-210bhp area as it is cheap and easy to get an engine to that point. Personally, I'm for it but that is beacuse I'm racing an A-Sport next year and I want some close wheel to wheel racing - not bothered about what class it is as long as i'm flat out and dicing.

Why bother limiting the engine type you can have? Cap the power and lets see what crazy stuff turns up. I'd love to see that Wankle Engined Mallock in Clubmans and also the bike engine cars turning up.

There are some forms of club motorsport that have hub dynos, forget speccing ECUs if someone is bothered by how powerful a proto car is they can protest it and get it dyno'd. I've seen the silhoutte Corsa type series do this....

Anyway, lets also remember that the Protos are not that fast - other than the Nemesis cars I don't think another Proto has beaten Mark Chateris right???


Re: In favour of Proto


So well put you have summed it all up in one !!