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Plus4E Roadsport Championship season opener – Snetterton

OK, a couple of races at Snetterton to kick off the Caterham Roadsport championship. This weekend was only the 4th time on track with the car in Roadsport spec.

Having had excellent tuition with the fantastic Adriano Medeiros ​ on the Tuesday, my times were in the 2:18s, somewhat off the pace for a Roadsport, so I was pleased to see these come down in Friday testing, and ultimately my fastest lap was my quali lap on the Saturday with a 2:15, so you can’t ask for much more really.

After coming out of the Academy as 5th fastest in my group, to find myself sitting P11 on the grid at Snetterton was about right, now that the two groups were merged. The 10 ahead of me certainly deserved to be there, and there were a few further down that probably should have been further up as well.

I got a poor start in both races, but in race 1 scrapped my way back up into respectable numbers, before struggling with the tyres. Over driving out of frustration didn’t help, and I dropped back. Still, started 11th, finished 10th. Can’t be too unhappy.

The second race was a different affair. A similarly poor start, followed by a processional first half, ultimately picking u p some debris which punctured my radiator. Unaware of the leaking coolant, I found my tyres losing grip again, but this time it was so bad I thought I must have a puncture. Hanging on to the circuit was a mission, and I was pleased to just finish, including a last minute lung under the bridge to salvage 20th on the last lap.

Video footage below, for those of you with 40 mins to spare…. 🙂

Telling the DVLA about engine conversions

mx400-engine-bayOne of the things that people have asked is “How do you inform the DVLA of an engine change?”

I’ve heard various tales of the DVLA not being convinced and extra evidence having to be produced, but my experience was surprisingly easy. Now, I only have my experience to base all this on, and I suspect that there’s an element of luck involved as well, but I sent the following letter to the DVLA, along with all the documents identified therein.

“I am writing to you to notify you of a change in engine size to my Mazda MX-5, registration Jxxx xxU. The engine was sourced from a Lexus LS400, registration Sxxx xxU.

Please find enclosed:

  • The V5 for Jxxx xxU, with section 7 completed to reflect the change in engine.
  • A photocopy of the receipt for the purchase of Sxxx xxU.
  • A photocopy of the V5 I held for Sxxx xxU, prior to disposal of the vehicle after removing the engine.
  • A photocopy of section 9 of the V5 for Sxxx xxU, showing the transfer of the vehicle to a dismantler
  • A certificate of destruction for Sxxx xxU
  • Confirmation from the DVLA of the transfer of Sxxx xxU

I trust that this should be enough of the necessary evidence as detailed on your website at

Please advise if you require anything else.”

v5A few weeks later I had a nice new V5C on my doormat, for a 4.0 Litre MX5! 🙂 Simples!


So, as hard as building a car is, applying to get it on the road is so much more so. The paperwork feels like a bit of a lottery, and you find yourself guessing at a lot of it! Still, the DVSA are at the forefront of the 21st century and you can upload the docs, which VOSAmeans I get to post this picture!

I decided to try to take the approach of being a likable idiot, and pestered them with emails along the lines of  “erm, hi, it’s me again. I know this is what was said at the last step, but could you advise me if there’s anything I should be doing, and how long it might take to get to the next stage…?”

All of which led to a flurry of emails the other day:

“Your application for IVA1C Basic Category A, S, C, W has successfully been

“Your application for IVA1C Basic Category A, S, C, W has been released for

“Your recent application has now been processed by DVSA Testing and Support Services (TaSS). If you have notified us of a preferred appointment time and date you will receive an appointment letter via email once the DVSA Testing Station has allocated your appointment…..”

Next step, get an “appointment”….