The CCar is a MkII Golf GTi which is jointly owned by a syndicate of eight Ringers.

Within 24 hours of me raising the idea of a syndicate purchase, we had firm commitments from eight people. Within 48 hours, we'd found the car. Within 72 hours, we'd bought, registered and insured it. :-)

It's primary purpose was as a backup car so that our weekend isn't ruined if we have problems with our own cars, but it's proven so much fun that many syndicate members have spent most of their time driving the CCar.

The original syndicate members were JW, Ed, Keith, Joerg, Christer, Jochen, Birgit and myself. Christer, Birgit and JW have since left, and Matt, Myles and Jon Myers have joined.

We opted for a Golf GTi because, well, everyone does. They are cheap to buy & run, but offer a lot of fun for the money, with decent handling and at least a halfway reasonable amount of power.

The following mods have been made:

Full roll-cage. Race seats. Harnesses. Plumbed-in fire-extinguisher. All are highly recommended on the Ring.

Koni adjustable suspension (cheap, simple, single adjustment ones - but with ride-height adjustment also). Front upper and lower strut braces. Rear upper strut brace. Four-wheel alignment with fairly radical settings to reduce understeer. Smaller steering-wheel. Rear seat removed. Mildly sticky road tyres (we have also tried R-tyres but decided that only the speed, not the fun-factor, increased).

G60 front brakes with uprated brake pads (Hawk Blues). Rear brakes standard with standard pads.

The observant will notice that the engine is the one thing we haven't changed. The car is fast enough to be fun, and we wanted something that would remain reliable. The only mechanical modification is the installation of a second (non-themostatic) oil-cooler. This is a recommended mod for any Golf that is going to be worked hard.

We also had a Golf G60, kindly donated to the syndicate by Joerg. Unfortunately, shortly after the Ring prep work, and before many of us had the chance to drive it, it was stolen. :-( Given the rarity of G60s, and the rather distinctive nature of the car, it seems pretty certain it would have been immediately broken up for parts.

You may sometimes see the CCar referred to as the MCCar. The is because the original CCar was written-off by one of the syndicate members, initials MC. Although the chassis was bent beyond repair, most of the mods survived so were transplanted into a replacement shell.

I sometimes get emails asking how the syndicate works. What we do is this ...

Purchase and Ring-prep costs were paid for in equal shares by each of the syndicate members. The current value of the car (purchase cost plus mods) is kept up to date by syndicate financial maestro Keith, so we know what a share is worth at any given point.

All fixed running costs (road tax, insurance, garaging, etc) are funded in the same way: each syndicate member pays an equal share.

The costs of all consumables (tyres, brakes, etc) have been tracked and analysed by Keith, and as a result we know the total consumables cost on a per-lap basis. Each syndicate member pays that as a per-lap fee. (Petrol and oil are both topped up by the driver at the end of their session.)

To cover mechanical failures, the lap fee includes an additional 40% which goes into a contingency fund. This means that the more you drive the car (and thus the more wear you put on it), the bigger the share you are paying of the cost of mechanical repairs.

The syndicate operates 'Big Boy's Rules', otherwise known as 'crasher pays'. Any syndicate member who crashes the car is responsible for the full cost of repairs, and - in the event of writing it off - purchasing a replacement car acceptable to the syndicate, and transplanting or replacing all the modifications.

If someone wants to sell their share, they must first offer it to the syndicate at the current share value. If the syndicate doesn't wish to buy it (ie. each person chips in an equal amount to own a larger share of the car), then the member can offer it for sale elsewhere. However, the syndicate must approve any potential new member.

Any prospective member must normally have driven a minimum of 100 crash-free laps of the Ring, and all must be checked out on the Ring by a couple of syndicate members passengering with them in their own car to satisfy ourselves that the candidate has sufficient driving skill and a sensible attitude. (Apart from wanting to protect the car, we also don't want the CCar getting a reputation for lairy driving.) | CCar
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