Home Car The Pinderwagen: This Is What Peak Efficiency Appears Like

The Pinderwagen: This Is What Peak Efficiency Appears Like

The Pinderwagen: This Is What Peak Efficiency Appears Like


With a time of seven minutes and 23 seconds, that is the quickest Volkswagen Golf Mk2 to ever lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

Do I’ve your consideration? Good, as a result of while it could look a bit tough across the edges, Nigel Pinder’s Volkswagen Golf CL is likely one of the most exceptional automobiles I’ve ever skilled in particular person.

Pinderwagon MC-19

Nigel’s first expertise of ‘The Inexperienced Hell’ occurred again in 2006 in his household automobile, a 2003 Mazda 6 property. After only a few meandering laps, he’d caught the bug. Realising fairly shortly that the poor Mazda wasn’t actually appropriate for the job, he set his sights on both an E30 BMW 316 or a Mk2 Golf.

Pinderwagon MC-21

The front-wheel drive security of the Golf received Nigel over, with the added level of: “If I hated it I might simply promote it and purchase an E30 anyway.”

Clearly, Nigel didn’t transfer over to an E30, although his first Golf met its demise on the ‘Ring round Easter in 2007. The automobile you see earlier than you is Nigel’s second Mk2, and the results of 16 years’ value of analysis and growth.

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Nigel and the ‘Pinderwagen’ are considerably of a legendary pair within the UK monitor day and Touristenfahrten (TF) circles, so when the prospect got here as much as spend a day with the 2 at Thruxton Circuit, I wasn’t going to move it up.

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Two issues have been obvious from the off: One, Nigel is a stunning chap and, two, you may inform he’s been attending monitor days within the Golf for near two many years.

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At first it was ‘simply’ a Mk2 Golf with a Mk3 Golf GTI 2.0L ABF engine, which apart from the addition of a standalone ECU and Suzuki GSX-R throttle our bodies remained pretty commonplace till being turbocharged in 2014. The rationale for the latter? Some pleasant in-family rivalry.

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“I had plateaued across the ‘Ring with a time of 8:20 the identical 12 months my son took his E36 328i monitor automobile,” says Nigel. “Inside 5 laps of making an attempt the E36 I’d managed an 8:04, and I used to be torn between entering into one thing totally different or turbocharging the Golf.”

As we speak, the engine is lots totally different to when it was initially turbocharged, although. The block, cylinder head and crankshaft could also be commonplace, however the remainder of the construct is complete. Wiseco solid pistons are mounted on Built-in Engineering rifle-drilled connecting rods with ARP bolts, whereas ARP head studs preserve every part in a single piece.

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The turbocharger is a hybrid Littco-Garrett G25-660 plumbed as much as a customized KR/1.8T consumption manifold and ABF throttle physique by way of the customized front-mounted intercooler, with a mix of two.5-inch and 3-inch pipework. A DTAFast S80Pro ECU controls ignition, gasoline and increase, whereas a customized SCH40 metal manifold and 3-inch system handle exhaust gases.

Pinderwagon MC-77

Energy reaches the entrance wheels by an SQS Racing 02Q 6-speed dog-gear guide transmission with an SQS SeqShift mechanism, which basically converts the standard H-pattern into sequential shift. A light-weight flywheel, Alcon paddle clutch, SQS plate-equipped restricted slip differential and customized driveshafts bolstered with Golf R32 elements full the bundle.

Pinderwagon MC-7

Suspension and chassis-wise, the Pinderwagen has had as a lot work as Nigel has been capable of do to beat the truth that “on the finish of the day it’s a 30-year-old Golf – there’s solely so quick it’ll go!”

Pinderwagon MC-37

The shell has been strengthened and stiffened with a mix of multi-point roll cage and reinforcing the chassis legs within the engine bay. The entrance stitch-framed subframe has been braced to take away as a lot flex as attainable beneath load, along with polyurethane bushes all through the automobile.

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On the again, the stub axles have been spaced out by 25mm and changed with newer VW Polo gadgets for higher sturdiness, whereas on the entrance a mix of prolonged decrease wishbones give elevated caster at 7.5 levels versus the manufacturing facility 1.5 levels for extra camber when turning.

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This has been carried out alongside spherical joints and an upgraded Vauxhall steering pump and steering rack from a Mk3 GTI for extra exact and dependable cornering, going hand in hand with the KW Clubsport coilovers operating Eibach Professional Race springs in customized prolonged, bolstered and slotted strut towers

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AP Racing CP9660 callipers and Reyland floating discs on the entrance are, admittedly by Nigel, overkill in a bundle as gentle and manoeuvrable because the Golf. However with security and reliability on the ‘Ring being the precedence, I’d argue any drawbacks are far outweighed by the advantages.

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The actual speaking level of the Golf – apart from its sheer pace, after all – is the aerodynamic bundle, which has been honed and developed by Nigel with the assistance of some confirmed testing methods, technical literature and his pricey spouse, Louise.

Armed with a duplicate of Competitors Automotive Aerodynamics by Simon McBeath, Nigel set to work on his first entrance splitter and air dam idea, which he notes did make a noticeable distinction within the pace he might keep it up monitor. “The primary splitter regarded horrendous; I simply thought I’d see if it really works… and it did!” Nigel says.

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Nevertheless, after a number of tweaks, a quite scary second at Silverstone Circuit – the place the rear finish of the Golf tried to overhaul the entrance – taught Nigel the significance of aerodynamic steadiness. Classes on monitor with strings of wool taped to the facet of the automobile and Louise taking images at numerous factors on the monitor to seek out pockets of ‘lifeless’ air and wind circulation have culminated in what you see right here. “I’m on model six of the entrance splitter now, and model three of the rear diffuser,” Nigel added.

I can let you know personally that at pace you may actually really feel simply how planted the Golf is round corners and quick sweeping bends. At excessive speeds specifically, it’s the Golf’s flat ground that makes the distinction. Nigel mentions how even in opposition to “sleeker” automobiles with related energy, the Mk2 continues to drag away because of its lack of underbody drag.

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Even with a completely stripped automobile, Nigel needed to retain a point of consolation for his journeys and monitor classes with passengers, akin to his spouse. The roof scoop directs air at Nigel while the NACA ducts and ducting all through the automobile retain cabin airflow.

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A really driver-focussed cockpit with a number of digital readouts for driver and passenger preserve Nigel knowledgeable concerning the Golf’s situation, whereas the passenger show retains the sufferer occupant knowledgeable about how briskly they’re being hurled into corners.

With very changeable climate situations at Thruxton Circuit, Nigel switched twice between semi-slicks, slick tyres and his moist climate Michelin Pilot Sport 4s, all mounted on 17-inch Workforce Dynamics wheels in 17×8-inch, and 17×9-inch for the rear full slicks.

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What caught with me probably the most from our day at Thruxton wasn’t simply how blindingly quick and succesful the Mk2 is as a monitor instrument, nor was it Nigel’s talent behind the wheel. It was his can-do, effectively organised and constructive angle.

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Nigel’s strategy to trace days and the approach to life that surrounds them is about as healthful because it comes. He commonly attends monitor classes along with his household, making entire journeys and experiences out of it. They’ve spent complete summers tenting on the Nürburgring, doing monitor laps and exploring the area.

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Even on the day, a silicone increase hose actually exploded within the engine bay on our second lap out. As a substitute of being disheartened about it, a brand new hose was sourced from a close-by efficiency workshop and the monitor motion continued.

Aspect observe: This specific workshop is a gold mine for a BMW nerd akin to myself and would possibly warrant one other journey…

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Very happy to reply questions and chat with passersby, and preferring to share his monitor classes with a passenger over heading out on the circuit by himself, Nigel is a real gentleman and represents the very best of what monitor day tradition is about.

I’ll go away you a gallery under with some highlights from the day. Because of Nigel and the Pinderwagen, it’s one I received’t overlook.

Mario Christou
Instagram: mcwpn

Pinderwagon MC-78
Pinderwagon MC-69
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Pinderwagon MC-25



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