Milltek Sport Supplies MkVII Golf R For Mission Motorsport’s Olympic Stars at Race Of Remembrance
Last weekend saw Milltek Sport, makers of some of the finest performance exhaust systems around, supply its MkVII Golf R for the Race of Remembrance, a unique event that sees ex-service personnel and those that have paid a high price for serving their country competing at the Anglesey Circuit in North Wales. The Mission Motorsport prepared car was piloted to an impressive 3rd in class by a driving lineup which included Sir Chris Hoy, Britain’s Greatest Olympian, Jon-Allen Butterworth, Britain’s Greatest Military Paralympian and Milltek’s own Tom Onslow-Cole.
Race of Remembrance (RoR) was held at the tricky North Wales circuit last weekend, and Hoy, Butterworth and Onslow-Cole were joined in the Milltek Sport car by Paul White and Jade Edwards, both highly talented racers in their own right. Now in its 3rd year, Race of Remembrance was started as a way to commemorate the sacrifices made by service personal and their families, and 2016’s installment saw 45 teams and over 150 drivers embark on a grueling 1000km endurance marathon.
While many will no doubt already be well aware of Sir Chris Hoy’s accomplishments both on a bike and in race car, Jon-Allen’s remarkable life is less well known. He joined the RAF in 2002 and served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, before sadly being involved in rocket attack during a tour of the former. The attack ultimately cost him his left arm though the terrifying injury did set him on the path to Paralympic glory, and Allen represented his country at the Paralympic Games in both London and Rio, winning Gold in the Team Sprint in Rio 2016.
The Milltek Sport-sponsored team began the race with something of a dilemma; though Butterworth passed the ARDS test necessary for him to take the start of his first ever motor race, the team’s KPM Racing/Milltek Sport MkVI Golf GTI, the car they took to a podium last year, was not exactly in rude health. Though the team worked long into the night attempting to rectify the problem, the reliability issue was eventually identified as a software fault, hence why Milltek Sport had to step up to the plate and provide a suitable replacement in the form of its MkVII Golf R.
Though already at the track and undoubtedly a potent machine in its own right, the Milltek Golf R was far from race ready and sported a setup better suited to combined road and occasional track day work, so there was a lot of work to be done in the 2 hours granted by the event organisers. The work involved was nothing short of amazing, with some serious (not to mention irreversible) modifications carried out by the team;
“Sacrificing the Golf R was a fairly easy decision – we couldn’t let the Mission Motorsport team go home without racing – but we had to make some fairly big and permanent changes to the car including drilling through the roof for the radio system and cutting vents into the bonnet,” explained Steve Pound, MD of Milltek Sport.
Frenetic spannering, drilling and modification enabled Tom Onslow-Cole to make it into the tail end of qualifying with mere minutes to spare, and the former BTCC ace and current endurance racer wasted no time in showing his class by putting the car 4th on the grid before handing over to his team-mates to complete their mandatory three laps needed to start the race.
The qualifying effort enabled the team to make the start on Saturday, in the process allowing Jon-Allen to make his race debut, and the driving lineup of Allen, Tom Onslow-Cole, Paul White, Jade Edwards and Sir Chris Hoy soon settled into the groove, all 5 lapping competitively and swiftly getting to grips with their new race car. The race continued throughout Saturday afternoon and well into the night, before all 36 remaining cars stopped as the darkness drew in. The race resumed on Sunday morning after an interlude for a Remembrance Service at 11am, and the action continued right up until the point when the flag fell at 3.30pm, the Mission Motorsport Golf crossing the line an impressive 3rd in class and having set the fastest lap of the day, impressive when you consider the caliber of the opposition.
Milltek Sport would like to thank everyone involved with Race of Remembrance and all those that made the ultimately successful endeavor possible, including all 5 drivers, Mission Motorsport, Toyo Tyres and KPM. Special credit must go to Jon-Allen Butterworth on his debut performance, and the entire team looks forward to seeing him back behind the wheel before long!