22 November 2009

Footman James and Project Merlot partnership continues.

Team Merlot are please to confirm that their long standing association with Footman James the car insurance specialists is to continue. Footman James, (formerly AON) have provided motor insurance for Project Merlot since the project's inception in 2006.

12 September 2009

Merlot at Mallory

2009 was a special year for the MX-5 and the MX-5 Owners Club. They both had birthday, 20 and 15 years old respectively. The Owners Club big celebration of 2009 was a National Rally at Mallory Park circuit on Saturday 12 September.

A big highlight of the day was the track action organised by Mazda on Track and Project Merlot took part in the morning open pit lane session and the afternoon 20 sessions, but it nearly didn’t. Merlot regulars Robbie and Martin took the morning session and it was Robbie who brought the car in off the track at around midday as it wasn’t handling well and it was no surprise to Robbie to find that one of the front tyres was flat! Not since its first track session way back in October 2006 at Donnington Park had the Merlot ever suffered a problem on a track day. With an hour or more of the session to run, and more booked for the afternoon, the hunt was then on to find a way to carry on. The solution was simple! We were at an event with in excess of 1000 MX-5 parked up and that makes 4000 wheels available to borrow. So it was that Owners Club Eastern Region member Gary Smith, who was due to take the car out on track in the afternoon lent us a wheel and off we went again. Gary wanted his wheel back to drive home understandably so Dave Larkman was kind enough to lend us the spare from his drift MX-5, which was a bit better than having to creep home on a space saver tyre.

So all’s well that ends well. Mallory is a brilliant little circuit, the sun shone, the rally was a success and the Merlot lived to fight another day.

2 August 2009

Helmingham Festival 2009.

There is no better way to spend a Sunday than at the Helmingham Festival of Classic and Sports Cars, held in the ground of the wonderful moated, stately home, Helmingham Hall. This is Suffolk’s very own mini Goodwood Festival of Speed and Project Merlot made its annual appearance on the MX-5 Owners Club Eastern Region stand.

And as you can see we had a very special guest on the stand:

26 July 2009

Silverstone Classic.

Wow and wow, and WOW!. This was the first time I had been to the Silverstone Classic and I was pretty knocked out by the event. From the Ferrari Owners Club stand, to the classic racing, to the many other club, trade stands and stalls, this is certainly a classic event. Project Merlot spent the day on the MX-5 Owners Club stand adorned in the Clubs 15 20 balloons, the third biggest Club stand after the Porsche and Jag OC stands we were told! The Merlot didn’t get the chance to go on track this time but having sat and watched some of the most exciting racing I have seen for a long while, it wetted the appetite and Silverstone is now a “must do” for Team Merlot.

27 June 2009

A very hot day in Suffolk.

The weather was hot and so was the action on track. Project Merlot with drivers: Jon E, Martin C, Chris G and Gary S, made its first 2009 appearance at Woodbridge Airfield on Saturday the 27 June. The MX-5 count for the event was high with 7 on the track and we even had a Merlot fan who had flown in all the way from Las Vegas for a passenger ride!

16 May 2009

Team Merlot Spring in to action in Yorkshire.

The MX-5 Owners Club 2009 Spring Rally was held at Elvington Airfield in Yorkshire over the weekend of 16-17 May and featured a full track day, run by Javelin Track Days, on the Saurday, and a Club sprint competition on the Sunday.

The Merlot was there both days along with plenty of other Club members putting their 5 through its paces.

Track conditions varied from dry to flooded on both days but this certainly didn't put anyone off.

Following the Rally weekend the Merlot along with plenty of Eastern Region friends was to be found blasting across the Yorskshire Moors, scaring plenty of sheep, on roads that those us from East Anglia can usually only dream of!

Merlot and friends at Scarborough.

28 February 2009

Merlot goes "Mad Max" in Shakespeare County !

Saturday 28 February saw Team Merlot head off for a driving experience day with Mazda on Track at the Shakespeare County Raceway, otherwise known as Long Martson Airfield (a location in many respects doing a very passable impression of a set from a Mad Max Movie.!)

Two different sprint courses had been set up the runway tarmac with cars, mostly MX-5s, going off for a lap, one at a time. A different format to the usual track day we know and love but certainly one of the most entertaining driving days I have ever experienced.

And I thought Robbie had given up smoking.?