Monday, October 14, 2013

The Time Attack Final- Brands Hatch

This year Bo Nielsen set out as the under dog of Club Pro 2WD.

Competing against an S2000 and VX220 amongst others meant it was going to be a challenge to get his times to where they needed to be.

A gauntlet was thrown down by the Miltek Team, when they released a statement saying that they had built their racing Golf specifically to compete against Bo's Vauxhall Astra.

In true Bo style the challenge was taken, and Bo began development work to make his, the fastest Astra Time Attack has ever seen.

The start of the season wasn't without hiccups.

Bo was third on the podium at Cadwell but missed out at Croft, with various mechanical failures meaning that his car was not up to the reliable standard that we have become used to seeing from the Great Dane.

So he went away, and re assessed his options, and came back for Snetterton with a new sponsor in Owen Developments.

This meant a new turbo, a new turbo set up and a new map.

Finally Bo was able to finish on the top step of the podium, securing some great points and igniting his championship title dreams.

After that things just got better for a Bo, with a second at Oulton Park, followed by another win at Silverstone.

This meant that going into the final round at Brands Hatch, he was in contention to win the championship title.

The pressure was on somewhat, but as usual the Great Dane didn't show it.

His family came along to support him, and his wife made the most fantastic cake in honour of the final round of Time Attack 2013.

Although Bo's pace was good in warm up and practice, the team were headed for big disappointment in the final.

After leading the times for qualifying, word reached the team that Bo had pulled his car off the track.

Hopeful that it was a minor mechanical failure that could be fixed, the garage rallied round waiting for Bo's return.

However Bo knew that the problem was terminal.

It was a clutch failure, something that involves a huge amount of work to fixed and that is just if you have the right tools and parts.

Although winning the championship was now completely out of reach, Bo managed to score 40 points in qualifying, which was enough to secure his second place in the championship and consolidate a year of hard work.

Although the Bo was disappointed to not have won Club Pro 2WD 2013, there is no denying that he has achieved a huge amount to even finish in second place.

"This year didn't end like it should have, but I had some great times after Owen Development joined as a sponsor.

They transformed the car to a level where it could get to the RWD cars in the class, and I enjoyed driving it again."

"I would like to send big thanks to Forge Motorsport, Owen Developments, Cobra Seats, EPS Flooring, Hose Tecnik, Silicone Hoses, Pipercross, Synionic Lubrication Technology and Open Tracks."

They have all sponsored and supported me in UK Time Attack 2013."

For full results go to

Photos with thanks to:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Round 5 - Silverstone

As the penultimate Time Attack of the season approached, for the first time in 2013 all was calm in the Great Dane's work shop as he took a family holiday, confident with the work from his new sponsor Owen Developments.

A wet Silverstone circuit did not deter the crowds for Trax and the Time Attack pit garages were receiving a lot of attention from onlookers keen to find out about the modifications.

Not only were the car fanatics out in force, but so were sponsors, eager to see how Bo was getting on after creeping up the championship this year, putting himself in contention for the Club Pro 2 Wheel Drive title.

As warm up got underway the car was running perfectly, taking on the fast pace of the shorter circuit at the 'Home of British Motorsport'.

Unfortunately the session was red flagged after only 5 minutes due to a competitor dropping oil, meaning that the session was over due to the day being run on such a tight schedule.

Even though this meant the teams didn't get to scrub their tyres in or really get to grips with the track, they were't fazed, instead using the extra time to make sure that their cars were in perfect working order ready for practice.

Despite heavy clouds threatening rain, remained dry with the sun breaking through the clouds giving the drivers a real feel for the infamous 'National Circuit' and the times began to come down, breaking the one minute barrier.

As the drivers took lunch, the rain began to fall. After a dry season that has seen more issues with being to hot than wet, the excitement to drive in the rain was palpable; our Time Attack drivers do love a challenge!

Unfazed by the rain, The Great Dane changed his tyres ready to take on the damp circuit.

As the session began, the rain began to ease off, but it didn't make conditions any easier.

As the cars slide round the track, it was a chance to see the drivers talent to full effect as they fought to keep their cars on the track and to keep their times coming down.

Bo pulled put all of the stops to fight for his place in qualifying, finishing third, just 0.425 seconds behind Charlie Butler Henderson in first place.

Now Bo really had the bit between his teeth and a whole new determination for the final.

The sunshine put in an appearance for the final and started to dry out the track leaving the drivers and their teams indecisive about which tyres to run on the still greasy surface.

Bo made a quiet decision, which was mirrored by The Hell teaming, not wanting Bo to get ahead.

Bo managed to maintain second place throughout the final, only coming in to check where he was placed.

Knowing he was in second, only half a second behind Charlie, he was soon back out on track giving it his all for that first place.

It looked impossible as the checkered flag came down with Charlie still leading, but there was one times lap left to be counted.

The Great Dane lived up to his name as he flew across the finish line one last time setting the fastest time in class, leaving the other competitors with no time to beat him.

After giving his sponsors a show, Chris from Forge Motorsport was happy to tell me why Bo was the first competitor they sponsored in Time Attack:

"When Bo first started Time Attack he came and bought some products off us."

"Then he won his first season straight away, and he came to us and we discussed sponsorship which we decided to go ahead with because of how well Bo showed off our products."

Forge work alongside other companies, including Cobra Seats and Owen Developments who have also sponsored Bo in his 2013 campaign.

Chris wen on to say they get a lot of people wanting what Bo has:

"Everyone wants Bo's intercooler! They've seen it out there winning and what better way is there to prove how good a product is?!"

With just one more round to go, everything hangs on the result at Brands Hatch with a championship which is nail bitingly close!

For full results see

Photos credited to Rich Sams Photography

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Owen Developments

With less than a week to go until the penultimate round of Time Attack 2013 at Silverstone, it is time to give you guys the low down on Bo Nielsen's latest sponsor, Owen Developments.

The main question on every one's mind when Bo made the mid season move was why? I put the question to The Great Dane after his second place finish at Oulton Park in July:

"I have known about Owend for many years, and they cam highly recommended by people helping me with the car, so it was an easy decision to contact Lee at Owen Development when I lost confidence in my former turbo supplier."

The thing that really sold Owen Development to Bo was the fact that the design, produce parts for and build bespoke turbochargers especially for racing.

The company have their own in house Motec Technician, who has been working on Bo's cars engine management and mapping it to his specific needs.

Not only have Owen Development worked on Bo's car, but numerous BTCC cars and are the first of call for many searching for quality turbochargers for their performance car.

Bo feels the work that Own Development have done, has already made a huge difference to his cars performance.

"By changing the turbo setup to one of their race proven ODGT2871-M turbochargers and working on the mapping in-house, they have made the car as drivable as possible."

Heading into round five, Bo really feels he has made the right decision for the rest of the season.

"Going forward it's of the utmost importance to have dedicated partners with knowledge like Owen Development."

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Round 4 - Oulton Park

The beginning of the season has not been a smooth one for Bo Nielsen and his Club Pro 2WD Astra.

However Snetterton was a turning point for Bo where he managed to clinch his first victory of the season giving him a boost in the overall championship standings.

Oulton Park was the first round of Time Attack 2013 to experience summer weather.

With temperature soaring all week there was no doubt that round 4 was going to be hot.

Having done some development work between rounds 3 and 4, Bo was feeling comfortable with the car;

"Owen Development have come on board for the rest of the season with me changing the whole turbo setup and mapping just 5 days before we came to Oulton.

I did some testing at Brands Hatch on Tuesday and was so happy with the work. The car was so drivable and well balanced compared to before."

It is safe to say that Bo was feeling up to the challenge smashing the times set by his competitors in FWD at Oulton Park.

During warm up and practice, Bo set the pace of his car, knocking seconds off his times down every lap.

Going into qualifying Bo knew he had set times to match the front runners of the championship, mike Cantello and Charlie Butler Henderson.

Bo once again proved that his Vauxhall Astra is a force to be reckoned, placing himself second in class for qualifying.

Happy with his position, Bo knew he would have to work to maintain it in the final.

The times were as hot as the track, and Bo was battling it out right until the checkered flag.

With a final time of 1.53.751 it was enough for him to secure second in class overall, adding those all important points to his total.

Bo was pleased with the cars performance:

"The car felt brilliant right up until half way through qualifying when I started to struggle with under-steer.

"Later I found that I had driven the final with a broken front damper and had snapped the anti roll bar- it wasn't just bad tyres as I though."

"I want to say a big thank you to all my sponsors, especially Mark and Lee from Owen Developments for getting the card sorted out with a new turbo setup with such a short time frame."

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Round Three Snetterton

Time Attack 2013 has not yet been a completely smooth run for Bo Nielsen, but with round three and the half way mark of the season approaching, he was keen to make this round the turning point.

Unlike Croft, Bo collected his car mid week and arrived nice and early for round three of Time Attack.

Once again sharing a garage with DCE Motorsport, the whole Nielsen clan were on hand with support this weekend.

The session began with warm up in the morning and once again Bo had not managed to get any testing in before Snetterton so was unsure what to expect from the car. 

"Preperation for round three didn't quite go to plan! But i managed to find someone to look at the throttle map, which transformed the car from being un drivable at Croft, to being the best it's been in two years." 

Bo soon put down some fast times. With a 1.31 in warm up, and a 1.26 in practice, Bo Nielsen and his Astra VXR were well on their way to proving a point in Time Attack round three.

Qualifying rolled around and the Forge sponsored VXR was flying, setting a 1.21, ahead of the previous class winners and other Club Pro Two Wheel Dive cars.

The unexpected lead put Bo into first place going into the final.

All was running smoothly as Bo battled it out with Mike Cantello for the top spot when the VXR made an un scheduled pit stop. 

As Bo coasted towards the pit garage the team new something was not right.

The bonnet of the Astra VXR was opened and Bo quickly found that the alternator belt had come clean off. Fortunately no damage had been done, and the ever prepared Bo Nielsen had a spare belt which was quickly replaced.

Bo headed straight back out with only minutes to spear, pipping Mike Cantello's fastest lap with a 1.20, taking Club Pro Two Wheel drive and his first win of the season. 

Reflecting on the race afterwards, Bo admitted he had not been looking forward to Snetterton:

"I expected Snetterton to be a straight fight between Romain in the CRX, Charlie in the S2000 and mike in the VX220, so I was shocked to get the podium top step at my least favoured track in this years championship."

For the rest of the Time Attack news, head to the website

Photos courtesy of :

Rich Sams Photography

Friday, June 14, 2013

Time Attack Round 2 Croft

Time Attack 2013 is a whole different game for Bo Nielsen and his Astra VXR.

After previously winning three Time Attack Championship titles in Club Class, this year Bo has moved up into Club Pro Two Wheel Drive.

He is now competing against supercharged VX220's, Honda S2000's and Honda CRX's just to name a few.

After finishing 3rd in the 2013 opening round at Cadwell Park, Bo was keen to up his game for Croft and get some more points to secure his place in the Championship table.

In the weeks running up to Croft, Bo's Forge Motorsport sponsored Astra VXR headed up North to have his engine rebuilt.

However when the car was started up, Bo discovered a problem with the cylinder head, meaning it had to be replaced the day before Croft, not what any driver wants to have to do before round two.

As everyone was heading to bed before race day, Bo was only just arriving at the circuit and getting set up.

Despite the poor weather predictions, warm up stayed dry and Bo was able to setting  gentle time of 1.40 getting a feel for the car and the track.

Having only driven the track in his day to day car earlier in the week, the uneven and fast circuit was taking some getting to grips with.

Soon Bo realised he was having problems getting the power down out of the corners:

"I liked the circuit after driving it earlier in the week in my Vectra Diesel Estate so had been really looking forward to the weekend. However when I got the car on track I soon realised I had big problems with the power delivery as I had last year."

To try and compensate for the wheel spin and acceleration issues, Bo tried adjusting the boost trim, turning it down coming into the corners and up again when the car was in a straight line.

This meant Bo was able to set a time of 1.35 in the final putting him into 4th place.

"I did the best I could with the tools I had, but never managed to set a time anywhere close to what the car should have done around that circuit. All in all it was a very disappointing weekend, but I am confident the issues can be resolved for Snetterton."

For the full race report head to

Flat Out Photography Copyright John Stewart