The Day

Recently, we had the delight of going to a private track day at Castle Combe Race Circuit hosted by Peter Holm of BATT Cables and XCS Designs. The luck of beautiful 24° weather, perfect conditions for a day at the track and surrounded by like-minded car enthusiasts, all with something different to take on track. I was lucky enough to experience a range of these cars, but there are two in particular to discuss on here, the magnificent Porsche 996, Turbo with over 1,000BHP in Guard’s Red and the beautiful 991.1 GT3 in Agate Grey.

The 911 Turbo (996)

The only way to describe a Porsche that is running more than 1,000BHP, is to compare it to the feeling of sitting in a rocket, or a fighter jet. There is no other feeling in the world like it when in 2nd gear and the driver hard accelerates, forcing you back in the race bucket seats with no hope of moving until we slow down at the next corner. This car is not only at home in the straights, getting down to the chicane’s and round the corners, you do not once feel the body roll. This 996 Turbo is so firmly planted in the ground, it would take a very skilled driver to attempt an overtake. Lucky for the team at Purely Porsche, this is one of the co-owners personal cars, so if you happen to see us at track, it is certainly worth jumping in the passenger seat if you dare!

The 911 GT3 (991.1)

This is one exciting Porsche as both a driver’s car and a track weapon. The example I had the pleasure of enjoying a ride in, is standard with the PDK gearbox, and I can see why the owner loves this. After the tyres had warmed up with a few gentle laps, there was no stopping this car. Being Rear Wheel Drive, you do feel the back get a bit happy in occasion, but I personally feel you should be disappointed if you don’t get the back-end to wobble here and there in a GT3. Around corners, I struggle to think of a better model, the aero with that huge wing on the back keeps this car so well planted, and with a hard acceleration back out of the corners makes it almost impossible to wipe a smile of your face. The owner of this car previously had a Lamborghini Huracan LP610-4, but wanted a change and bought the GT3 in early 2021. This day was the first time he had taken it on track and was wowed by the car’s capabilities. One thing that worried him was the volume of the exhaust being too quiet, however from hearing it whizz by all day I can confirm that this model is plenty loud enough, and the symphonies coming from the twin-exhaust pipes makes a beautiful sound.

XCS Designs

The host of our day, Peter Holm, has become the co-owner for XCS Designs, where they are continuing the AC Cobra name with classic styling and modern technology. The company have been well known now for more than 30 years, and are home to the patented Camber Compensation and Anti-Roll suspension system (CC&AR), which is featured in the XCS 427. XCS Designs consider themselves privileged to have known John Tojeiro, who was the the designer of the original AC Ace, and are continuing his passion through their designs. The Cobra is one of the most iconic roadster performance vehicles, and the new XCS 427 is taking that into the 21st century and is a perfect balance of both old and new.

Gary Sanders and Peter Walker, 2 well-known names in the world of automotive design, came together in 2011 to design and develop the ultimate modern 427. Fast forward 6 years, in 2017 Harvey Rice and Peter Holm further enhanced the car’s dynamic ability and placed a significant investment into a state-of-the-art factory, workshop, tooling, machine facilities and staff.

The XCS 427

The chassis of this car is a rigid and lightweight round-tube that is designed to be an ideal platform to host the patented front and rear CC&AR suspension system.  The most popular choice of engine placed in this beautiful car is all-aluminium Chevrolet LS, but they will cater to a bespoke build with other V8 power units, including Ford and Chevrolet big blocks. Not a single component in the building of this car has been taken for granted. Wherever you look in the vehicle, you will find A-list trusted partners, such as Alcon, AP Racing, Bilstein, Chevrolet (GM), Edelbrock, Eicbach, Girling, Goodridge, Jenvey Dynamics, Lucas, Michelin, Nankang, Powerflex, ProFormance Metals, Tilton, Tremec, Willans, etc. What has made this car so successful is the key attentions to detail, and the expert, passionate team behind their creation.

The Cars

  • Alpine A110
  • Porsche 911 (996) Turbo with over 1,000 BHP
  • Porsche 911 (991.1) GT3 (x2)
  • Porsche 924S
  • Porsche 911 (993) Carrera (Cabriolet)
  • Porsche Boxter (986)
  • Porsche Cayman (981) GTS
  • Porsche 911 (993.2) Carrera S
  • McLaren 720S
  • Nissan GTR
  • Ford Mustang (2021) ROUSH
  • BMW 750li
  • Caterham 7 – Fully Upgraded with over 520 BHP
  • Caterham 7
  • Mini Cooper S – Highly upgraded
  • Radical SR3 (x2)
  • Ariel Atom
  • Lotus Elise (x2)
  • Mitsubishi Evo
  • Audi RS4
  • XCS Cobra
  • Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG
  • And many more!