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Beetle Challenge

Beetle Challenge
The Official Beetle Challenge Website - Aircooled VW Circuit Racing in the UK

Latest News

Series Registration

February 6th, 2011

Can all the drivers intending to race this year please register so the CTCRC have an idea of numbers and can issue roundells etc.

Post Historic option H

Classic Touring Car’s for 2011

January 20th, 2011

This year will see the the Beetle Challenge also feature in some guest races with the Classic Touring Cars Racing Club. We will be racing in with the Post Historic Touring Cars, this is a series for saloon cars marketed before 1st January 1974 of which more than 5,000 examples were manufactured in any 12 month period during the overall production run and/or were homologated by the FIA for competition in Group One category for Production Cars.

This should make for some interesting racing as we see Beetles mixing it with other Classic race car’s of various marques from a similar period in time. A new year with new circuits with more new cars and drivers this could be a defining year for the Beetle Challenge!

More details to follow :)

Another day another build….!

December 1st, 2010

We know of another two more cars currently in build status…

A 1954 Oval Beetle shell on a later Chassis! and also the below 1302 ( You can follow the build thread here - click to view)

Also the College of North West London’s is nearly finished preparing a rolling painted shell with their 2nd car build! - Pic’s to follow….

Congratulations to the 2010 Winner!

November 15th, 2010

 Dave 'The Bandit' Charlton

Dave ‘The Bandit’ Charlton and his trusty steed - the No.88 Ex-Forrest-Rally Bug - has once again taken top honours in the Beetle Challenge, securing his third successive year as the Champion! (All credit to him, the crew and Reichspeed for the meticulous race-prep) - for the second year running Dave was also a close campaigner for the overall Tin Top title also.. only to be cruelly involved in a racing incident in the last race at Brands Hatch, which cause some considerable damage to his front end/suspension.

Below are some interesting Facts about the Beetle Challenge Winner:
Won Beetle Challenge 2008 -2009 -2010

1600cc Engine

Since taking to the race circuits this Beetle has done:-

20 x Race Meetings – Which consists of :-
20 x Qualifying Sessions
40 x Races

In terms of race circuit laps the car has actually done:-

49 Laps in total during 2008
284 Laps in total during 2009
299 Laps in total during 2010

Consider that from a massive 632 race circuit laps in its life the little car has only had 1x DNS and 1xDNF.

Think that pretty good reliability (Thanks Reichspeed) and opens a big debate on what engine size is best!

On Track action as seen in ‘Brief Torque’ Mag

November 14th, 2010

A great shot of Simon, Nick and Trigger three abreast round the infamous paddock hill bend, during the November Race at Brands Hatch! - as seen in the BARC Magazine ‘Brief Torque’

Some footage from Brands

November 13th, 2010

 Some fisty cuffs from Brands Hatch Nov 2010…

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Poor Dave’s car was T-Boned in the first lap (after the rolling start) and sustained some pretty nasty damage

T-Minus 12 Hours to Brands Hatch

November 6th, 2010

Blimey it’s been a hectic few days of prep…

Unfortunately Craig ‘Grandad’ Winfield won’t be racing as his engine build has become quite epic… with a list of new parts growing daily as things unearthed themselves… but it will be fighting back in 2011 with a capacity increase to boot!

Trigger has had a couple of character testing days… with a number of almost unheard of issues raising their ugly heads.. a case of being purely unlucky… but luckily talented enough to machine new parts to fix them.. so with just hours to go the car was loaded onto the trailer…

Simon’s car has been well and truly beaten by the fugly stick.. in a case of function over form… it was a case of get the dB’s down to the permitted levels or don’t go racing.. so some components stolen from the Salvation Army Brass section have been grafted into the back of the car… his perception is that it will be a distraction to the people following him in a race situation…

Steve ‘Cookie’ has got everything in order for a fun day out… rumour has it that he has been touting the possibility of building a bigger engine for next season.. but has been unanimously greeted with responses relating to minimizing donut intake.. I say eat more glazed’nuts and go large on the ‘cc

Nick ‘The Vicar’ has had a stealth preparation by all accounts…

‘Perftec’ Phil is raring to go… no issues to report..

Dave ‘The Bandit’ and his trusty steed ‘Smokey’ is no doubt aiming to take this years title in style with a ‘double’ at brands… but if it is raining which looks likely then there is going to be some interesting racing amongst the bugs…

Wishing everyone good luck, a great day, and bring them all home in one piece…

Have Fun!!!!


November 6th, 2010

Just thought I’d share this with everyone:


What I would like to do is to offer some advice on tyre temperatures and pressures and how to achieve the best from our tyres when taking part in either trackdays or racing.

The R888 has a semi race construction (very stiff) and a race tread compound. The optimum tread temperature range is between 85C and 95C measured using a probe type pyrometer, and ideally a maximum difference across the tread of 9C. The maximum hot pressure we recommend is 40psi. Camber angles up to 5 degrees are permissible but the final setting will depend on tread temperatures. It is advisable to have as much positive castor as practical as castor induces a beneficial camber change during cornering. I recommend that the tyres be put through a heat cycle before hard use, this will scrub them in and remove any mold release agent.

The pressures you use will initially depend on the weight of the car, too little pressure on a heavy car can lead to over deflection of the tyre and subsequent failure.

Below are some basic settings:

Very Light < 800kg             17 - 22 psi                   22 - 29 psi
Light 800kg - 1000kg          20 - 26 psi                   24 - 32 psi
Heavy 1000kg - 1400kg      23 - 27 psi                   28 - 40 psi
Very Heavy > 1400kg         27 - 35 psi                   37 - 40 psi

As a tyre gets hotter the pressure increases, this is due to the moisture in the air. The cold pressure you set to achieve a desired hot pressure will depend on the conditions on the day i.e. ambient and track temperature, wet or dry. If the day/track is cold you will need to start with a higher cold pressure as the tyre will not get as hot therefore the pressure increase will not be so great.
Hot pressures must be balanced side to side. Once the tyres have cooled you will find that you will have a difference in pressure side to side, if you have been racing on a right hand track you will find the offside pressures will usually be higher than the nearside.

Changing hot inflation pressures by small amounts can be used to fine tune handling.

Reduce Oversteer Reduce rear pressures or increase front pressures
Increase Oversteer Increase rear pressures or reduce front pressures
Reduce Understeer Reduce front pressures or increase rear pressures
Increase Understeer Increase front pressures or reduce rear pressures

Achieving the required tread temperatures will depend again on the conditions on the day i.e. ambient and track temperature, wet or dry.

You often here competitors saying “My tyres started to go of towards the end of the race”, this is usually due to the tread getting to hot.

The tread temperatures are constantly changing through out a race, hotter when cornering and cooler when on the straights and cooling even more when you are slowing to come into the pits. Therefore the temps you record in the pits will be lower than those during the race. So if you record temperatures within the range given above the probability is the temps will be too high during the race.

Increasing your tyre pressures will cause your tread temperatures to increase, more pressure stiffens the tyre’s casing which results in the tread having to do more work resulting in the tread getting hotter. Lowering your pressures will cause them to decrease.

Inevitably changing one thing will affect other things, the whole set up of your car is a compromise between anything that is adjustable.

Alan Meaker
Technical and Motorsport Manager Toyo Tyres (UK) Ltd

Last Round this weekend @ Brands Hatch Nov 7th

November 2nd, 2010

Sign-on for the drivers:
08:30 Cannon’s Tin Tops (Beetlechallenge) Sign on
09:00 Scrutineering
09:30 Drivers Briefing (Haliwoods)

Spectator info:

10:00 Victor Meldrew Trophy Qualifying
10:25 Cannon’s Tin Tops (Beetlechallenge) Qualifying
10:49 Victor Meldrew Trophy Qualifying
11:14 Intermarque Qualifying

11:38 Race 1 - Cannon’s Tin Tops (Beetlechallenge)
12:02 Race 2 - Victor Meldrew Trophy
12:22 Race 3 - Intermarque
13:26 Race 4 - Victor Meldrew Trophy
13:46 Race 5 - PBMW vs Golf Gti
14:11 Race 6 - Cannon’s Tin Tops (Beetlechallenge)
14:35 Race 7 - Victor Meldrew Trophy
15:00 Race 8 - Intermarque
15:24 Race 9 - Team Handicap
15:49 Race 10 - All comers race

There will be 6 bugs out racing (Possibly 7 with a late entry)
20 TB 11 Nicholas Whitty Ruislip VW Beetle VW 2332cc
21 TB 40 Steven McGillivray Rickmansworth VW Beetle VW 1914cc
22 TB 48 Simon Sergides West Drayton VW Beetle VW 2165cc
23 TB 50 Paul Oldfield Yiewsley VW Beetle VW 1968cc
24 TB 88 Dave Charlton Kirton Lindsey VW Beetle VW 1584cc
25 TB 96 Philip Thompson Isleworth VW Beetle VW 1641cc

Event & ticket info here…… … bh—.aspx

Win a race in the VolksWorld Car!

September 25th, 2010

The November issue of VolksWorld announced the opportunity for one lucky VolksWorld Show 2011 attendee the chance to race the official VolksWorld car in one of the rounds of the Beetle Challenge Series!

Full training, including obtaining your full race license, will be provided, plus a complete team back-up and tickets for your family and friends to cheer you on!

The Volksworld Show, the largest indoor show in Europe, will be on the 26th-27th March 2011, at Sandown Park, Esher Surrey.

Check out

Build up feature of the VolksWorld Car

September 24th, 2010

VolksWorld is running a series of articles on the build up of their official race car.. see the latest November issue for the first installment - available at all good news retailers!

Apparently Simon ‘weirdly’ approached Ivan at the Stonor Park Show - He just walks weirdly because of all the donuts his pocket - Race Diet and all that!

You can see from the shots just how much work was done.. in less than a month!

VolksWorld Race Car and Test Mule

September 22nd, 2010

The latest issue of VolksWorld Magazine ( debuted the new circuit racer, which will also be used as an ongoing test mule for some detailed product testing features, so you’ll be seeing a lot more of it!

Following a successful day of testing at Castle Combe, also it’s first time turning a wheel in anger since the 90’s as it’s an Ex-Cup car, everyone was smiling.

It was all produced from a ‘great idea’ - through to acquiring a donor vehicle - a complete body and mechanical strip down and overhaul - rapid procurement -  and out onto the circuit in just a few (but long!) weeks. All with the help of some great sponsors and supporters of the project, who’s logo grace the gleaming new paintwork.

The donor vehicle was dragged into the College of North West London’s (CNWL) automotive engineering and bodyshop, where the Lecturers worked a minor miracle, rallying their troops to produce the car in a time frame that would even make the producers of Overhaulin’ nod their heads in admiration!

Trigger of Thingamies Beetles, was appointed as the technical adviser on the project, an obvious match given his pro-active involvement in the Beetle Challenge, and many of the race cars which have been, and are being built. (The CNWL bodyshop have painted most of the other cars too! - but then you knew that already as you have been reading the Blog - Haven’t You????!!! )

This was the first car that the college had mechanically and race prepared directly (Although they did have an competitive advantage, as the Chief Mechanic ‘John’ has had a long term love affair with Aircooled dubs, and an inflactuation with turbos and superchargers - good man!).

Given the deadline pressures the college did a super-human job.. proof was in the pudding on the testing day at Castle Combe.. where ‘time’ between product swap-outs was the biggest problem for Trigger and the VolksWorld pit crew, as the car didn’t miss a beat!

It was then back to the CNWL for the race car, where it has been undergoing more product tests which are being proven on their brand new Rolling Road.. So you’ll be seeing and reading more about the results in the coming months in the Magazine and online with some behind the scenes features, videos and more technical detail reading for the more  nerdy types that want to get even more under the skin of the test results and methodologies.

Next step is back over to Thingamies HQ for an MoT so that it can grace the streets without the need for Trade plates - or the kind trailering and crew support from Perftec Phil and his trusty T25.

To read the article.. pop down to WH Smiths, or better still get a subscription!
(Zooming in won’t work on these images! Go get a copy !)

Dep-o Magazine Feature

September 15th, 2010

dep-o magazine ran a recent article on a couple of the challenge cars… then promptly visited the Ace Cafe for the aircooled meet…

Shots from Rockingham

September 10th, 2010

Rockingham Sunday 29th Aug

August 24th, 2010

Adult £10 in advance £15 on the gate
Kids free entry
Weekend £20 in advance £30 on the gate

Beetle Challenge cars compete in the Cannons Tin Tops

final instructions…ust%202010.pdf

entry list

How to get there

New car emerges from the booth

July 21st, 2010

You’ll be seeing a lot more of this car over the coming months!

The photo’s don’t do the paint job any justice.. it’s like an Ice Grey - which looks like a flat colour until the sunshine makes it pop! It looks stunning in the flesh… The guys at the College of North West London burnt the midnight oil to prepare the car in under a fortnight! (With a healthy dose of new parts being thrown at it from various major sponsors - with VolksWorld Championing the project)

And here it is back on the road by Thingamies HQ where it will be having some final prep before some track testing tomorrow and an initial shake down. (Let the snag list commence :) - Note it has a temporary engine for at the moment - hence the pea-shooters!

No rest for the wicked though… the guys at the college have set a high standard for the next car to come out of the workshops.. which will be their very own Official CNWL Race Car. (Oh and a couple of Campers too!)

AutoShow Sunday 18th July 2010

July 18th, 2010

A few of the Challenge Bugs were on display at the Middlesex AutoShow this weekend:

Thanks go to Thingamies, and Morelli’s for their on going support of our promotional activities outside the race track. Was a great day out <not least for the auto-cross antics at the end of the day on the empty fields! Have Quaife and will use it to serve up donuts of a better quality than the catering vans LoL>

Lydden Hill 17th July 2010

July 17th, 2010

Some Shots from Lydden this weekend

New race car in the Paint Booth

July 15th, 2010

You’ll be seeing a lot more of this car shortly…

Monster on the Rolling Road

July 15th, 2010

Making full use of the rolling road at the College of North West London :)

July 17th Round at Lydden to be Televised

July 5th, 2010

Apparently the Lydden round is due to be televised…

…will there be a different commentator after reading so many dodgy comments online

…one thing is for sure is that there will be a £100 eBay special jag out and a bunch of pesky beetles :lol:

Caption Contest - Win Free Tickets

July 3rd, 2010

Hmmm Caption Contest.. need I say more…
(Two Free entry tickets for the next round at Lydden are up for grabs for the funniest comment)

*The editors competition winners decision is absolute and final! :lol:

Submit a caption


LS:  “For Fuck Sake, no one told me Nipple Tassles were listed in the Blue Book”

RP: “Toyo Tyres question why the Bibendum man is racing”

SS: “Cookie inflates his temple with helium to gain an advantage”

BB: “Phil resorts to sticking his fingers down his throat in a quest for additional weight loss”

Cookie: “Can everyone stop laughing at the small man in a babygrow and funny hat… I have you know small man syndrome is a serious disease”

KM: “Espionage - a spare wheel is tied to the back of triggers car to slow him down”

SP: “…..and you’re going to do WHAT with that ratchet strap?!!!”

Genuine question from the wife, in response to seeing the photo:
Trigger… Phil…. Kev…..  who’s the fat guy?“  :lol: LMAO :lol:

A Hat trick of new cars to debut soon

July 3rd, 2010

Not only will there be the below car ready to buy soon - The College of North West London are building there own car to campaign next season.. and they are also simultaneously race-preparing another car for major player which will be announced soon… watch this space… as there are going to be some interesting developments for the 2011 season.

There will be a lot of data, test-results and myth-busting information emerging over the coming months as some intensive product and set-up testing programmes are being organised, all done in controlled conditions to obtain significant and unbiased data/results.

If you have any tests you’d love to see added to our already long list, then get in touch.

Only two weeks to the next Race back at Lydden Hill on Saturday 17th July

Another Ex-Cup Saved !!! - FOR SALE

July 3rd, 2010

Breaking News: Another Ex-Cup car has been saved, and is being prepped to MSA specification to put it back in it’s rightful place on UK Race Circuits.. It’ll give the lucky buyer fast-track access to come racing.. more details will follow shortly.. but if you are interested get in touch using the contact-us page.

Full Spec to follow shortly once all the MSA spec updates have been made (Plumbed in extinguisher, in date harnesses, valid seat, FIA cut-out, Battery Box, sticker-pack etc.. etc…)

Next Round - Lydden Sat 17th July

July 2nd, 2010

The next round at Lydden Hill has been confirmed to take place on Saturday 17th July.

Lydden Hill June 28th - Race Review

June 30th, 2010

The HOT HOT HOT race and that was not just the weather.

A welcome return to the Beetle Challenge for Trigger (Paul Oldfield) His return did have a bit of a twist though as he was in Simon Sergides car! The other competition being from Phil Thompson, Steve McGillvray and regular competitor Dave Charlton.

Because of the extreme heat all four drivers were concerned about their precious air cooled engines however this thought obviously went straight from their minds when they got onto the circuit.  Qualifying resulted in Dave 53.894 Trigger 53.952 Steve 56.038 and Phil 1.03.873.

Race 1 -  This was a race with two races in it. Steve and Phil having a good battle and changing places many time. Dave and Trigger were also battling the lead despite Trigger saying he was going to take it steady !!! as it was not his car! Dave went a long way down the start/finish straight off the circuit causing a major dust cloud and somehow managed to get back on the track and continue in the right direction however now sporting a damaged exhaust. The cars survived the heat and Trigger took the race win with a fastest lap of 53.797 followed by Dave 53.975 Steve 54.336 and Phil 54.134 (Steve just pipped Phil to 3rd place on the podium on the last corner of the last lap!)

On return to the pits three cars were in one piece but Dave’s normally reliable beetle had a broken exhaust and he said he had only had 3rd and 4th gears most of race and this was the reason he had gone off because he had been unable to change down. Despite this he remained only 2 seconds off his qualifying times. As is the case with racing all hands to the deck and a Blue Peter repair was done to the exhaust. Nothing could be done about the gears but Dave said he would start the race and see how far he could go!

Race 2 -  Trigger was still maintaining he was only going to take it steady after all it was not his car!! The odds were stacked against Dave’s car making the finish and Steve and Phil were definitely going into battle. Again Steve and Phil were having a cracking time racing each other and were able to catch and pass Dave who tried to defend as long as he could now only had one gear so surviving was an achievement in itself. 4th place is not usually where he is or where he wants to be again!!!! Trigger in the mean time had took off and was battling Ken Angell in the Jag and Jon Wild’s metro (a brilliant battle to watch) So the result of race 2 was Trigger first with fastest lap 53.071 Phil 54.016 Steve 54.432 and Dave with 55.302

Check out the videos of the day to confirm this was hot hot hot racing.

Lydden Race in Car Footage

June 29th, 2010

A short clip of incar footage from Car.96 (Perftec Phil) dog fighting with Car.55 (Cookie) at this Sunday’s race at the Lydden Hill Circuit…. and an autocross moment from Dave Charlton in his Rally Bug!!!

More photos and race report to come…

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Lydden Race This Sunday

June 23rd, 2010

We have suffered a few casualties for this weekends race:

Owch! This is going to put Car Number 96 (Florence Butcher) back until the next round in Mid-July

Also Craig in car number 76 is going to be out due to some engine issues

Trigger should be out this weekend.. but it’s down to the wire as the fresh engine has just gone in and needs some ‘running-in’ mileage on it… It’s Thursday and it also needs it’s Drysump system installing! (Cutting it super fine… !!)

Also the College Of North West London are building an official college car.. which we expect to see out for the ‘11 season!!

Brands Hatch Race Review 12.6.10 & 13.6.10

June 12th, 2010

The weekend of “Reliable Improvement”

This weekend saw three cars out Dave ‘The Bandit’ Charlton, Nick ‘The Vicar’ Whitty and Steve ‘Cookie’ McGillivray with qualifying and Race 1 on Saturday and Race 2 on Sunday.

An added bonus being qualifying and each race would be 20 minutes. Considering Mallory consisted of three 10 minute sessions on track this was going to be a real test of reliability. All of them passed with flying colours.

Dave qualified in front with a 1.03.638 The Vicar second with 1.07.049 then Cookie with 1.10.710. This was Cookie’s first time out on the Brands track which is always somewhat daunting and a very full grid of 31 cars to contend with as well. The Vicar’s second visit here saw him take 2 seconds off his qualifying time from his first visit back in March.

22 Laps in Race 1 saw Dave take yet another win with a fastest lap time of 1.04.041  The Vicar and Cookie had a good battle resulting in Cookie taking second place from The Vicar whose car appeared to develop a miss-fire. Cookie was obviously getting comfortable with the track as his best lap was a 1.07.410 and Nick’s 1.07.304. This was an excellent achievement for all of them as the circuit was busy to say the least.

So to Race 2 and yes The Bandit took another win with that reliable little rally car. However he needs to keep checking that mirror because The Vicar and Cookie are definitely after him. Their times improving dramatically. They had another battle with each other and this time Nick took the second place the miss-fire having cured itself overnight. Fastest laps in this race being The Bandit 1.04.139 The Vicar 1.04.691 Cookie 1.06.218

The successful weekend also saw Cookie taking the award for best prepared car.

So with these three cars finishing the weekend with no major problems we look forward to Lydden on 27th June and the promise of other cars to join them.

Race Car for sale -SOLD

June 11th, 2010

!!!!   SOLD  !!!!

 Watch this space!!!

£1695.00 Ex Beetle Cup car. Needs engine tires and some minor finishing quick and easy way to get out on track.

car located in Watford.

DSC03218.jpg picture by oldbeetlecupdriver

DSC03222.jpg picture by oldbeetlecupdriver

Current spec includes. Full Rollcenter cage, new seat with alloy mounts, new battery box,

trigger short shifter, extinguisher, FIA harness, small steering wheel, engine kill switch and

pull cables all in place, rear high vis light, all bonnet pins and tow eyes in place, early fuel

tank, facet fuel pump, lowered beam with sway aways fitted, front disk conversion, heavy

duty front roll bar, plexi quarter windows, oil cooler fitted, remote oil filter, uprated gearbox

mounts, Spax dampers, uprated torsion bars with nylon bushes, removable rear panel,

cyclone alloys.

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