Chris Burley – what a rookie!

One of the stand-out rookies in 2019 was the affable unflappable capable Chris Burley in his blue and orange Gulf-lookalike No.32 Ford Fiesta XR2. The little car is easily big enough for his manly frame and he is now hustling it around and putting in strong race performances after just a year. His engaging and delightful wife and children are an enthusiastic presence in the paddock; wife Sarah can just about keep tabs on their daughter Jessica, but not on son Charlie who ranges round most of the drivers in the paddock exchanging nuggets of race car and technical expertise.

“I came to CMMCS through meeting Andy Banham at a Lydden track day in 2018 while testing my Fiesta, then again at another track day. I was invited to race at Lydden, my home tack because I live inear Ashford in Kent, and took part in their Motormania for my first race, November 2018. Here, I was engulfed by the Saxos and the bonhomie of  Marcus Bicknell, Steve Everson and Chris Bicknell. Rod Birley was also very encouraging and I was invited to race the following weekend at Brands Hatch with the BARC Southeast Tin Tops which has now morphed into the CMMC Southern Tin Tops. That was great fun; I was hooked. I continued in 2019 and did the whole season with CMMCS.”

The car’s spec is 1597cc engine,  very mildly tuned with ported/polished cylinder head and stainless oversize valves; Kent Cam (awaiting fitment is a custom Kent Cam with a Richard Longman profile); should be running twin 40 DCOE (see below) by April 2020; lightened flywheel; 4.2 final drive; limited slip diff; LEDA adjustable front suspension; Gaz adjustable rear with adjustable Panhard rod; polybushed throughout.

In 2019 with the CMMCS, Chris was 2nd in class twice (the two pitstop races at Brands) and was awarded the H&G Engineers Production Saloon driver of the day at Lydden Hill on 12th October. What a great start for his first season in motor-racing.

“My ambitions for season? Develop further as a driver, and continue learning, hopefully with a reliable car! Try new circuits and possibly even start moving up the field a little! Met some great people, made new friends, and we went over to Germany in December to meet up with Volker Timm who races with the CMMCS Intermarque Silhoettes. Looking forward to racing in 2020!”

Good luck Chris. We’re gunning for you. No, that’s wrong… we wish you happy and successful racing.


** DCOE explained… The basic design for twin barrel, two-stage carburettors was pioneered and produced by Edoado Weber in the 1930s by Fabbrica Italiana Carburatori Weber in Bologna, Italy. DCOE is an abbreviation for ‘Doppio Corpo Orizzontale E’ which means ‘double body horizontal’, type E. The WEBER DCOE was designed, developed and introduced in the late 1950s/early ’60s and was fitted to Aston Martins, Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Ford, Maserati, Lancia, Lotus, Lamborghini, Triumph, Abarth and more..It was produced in large numbers in Bologna, Italy unti 1992 when the production moved to Madrid in Spain, where it is still being produced today.

Written by Marcus Bicknell with Chris Burley’s input, 30 Jan 2020


With thanks to Rafal Biniszewski for the second photo and

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