The Next Small Thing?
evo Singapore|January 2017

The diminutive Citroën C1 looks set to replace the ageing 2CV as the budget racer of choice. But first it has to prove itself, as does evo’s racing debutant Will Beaumont, in a 24-hour endurance event

Will Beaumont

I was pretty disparaging when my mum said she’d decided to spend a significant amount of money on a sodding camper van. I couldn’t fathom why she’d want to buy something so slow and dull when she could be buying something fun and/or fast and a hotel room. But now, as the wind seems to be trying its hardest to relocate the entire Irish Sea onto Anglesey Circuit and I’m cocooned by steel rather than wispy nylon sheets, I’m incredibly grateful. Because not only did she not listen to me, she has actually let me borrow it.

Despite my sumptuous accommodation I still can’t sleep. The wind is rocking the van, not in a calm send-you-to-sleep manner, but in an erratic way like it’s trying to shake me awake. That isn’t the reason I can’t fall asleep, however; it’s because I have just completed my first two stints of race qualifying, ever. One in daylight, one at night. I really need the sleep, too, because tomorrow I am going to compete in a 24-hour endurance race. My first race. Ever.

I’ll be racing in the experimental class. That sounds far more glamorous than it actually is, because my car will be an almost completely standard Citroën C1. For years the cheapest way into motorsport has been to race a Citroën 2CV, but as the cars and the parts needed to keep them competitive get rarer, they have increased in value, making 2CV racing an expensive hobby. An alternative was clearly needed. Enter the C1. It’s plentiful, cheap to buy and, because the regulations permit only minimal modifications, inexpensive and easy to turn into a racing car. But the members of the Classic 2CV Racing Club need to see the newer Citroën in action before they’ll consider allowing a C1 class in their club, and the annual 24-hour 2CV race at Anglesey will be its first competitive outing.

BEFORE TODAY I WAS INCREDIBLY NERVOUS.

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