We interviewed Justyn Setterfield, Astra H VXR owner about his obsession with modifying his car for track and motor racing.
IT’S JUST A BUZZ, HONESTLY IS…
I think it was something to do with my Grandad. He always had a bit of an obsession with motorcars, motorbikes, anything with an engine. So it led on from there, motor racing, watching that as a kid then wanting to have a go myself.
I used to go and watch Formula 1 – when it was still as good as touring cars. Just sit around with the telly at his house; it was a Sunday ritual.
IT BECAME ADDICTIVE VERY QUICKLY, THE CAR THAT STARTED AS STANDARD HAS NOW GONE FULL RACE CAR…
I think it’s the feeling of speed as much as we enjoy it. Yeah, it’s just a buzz. Honestly is. Track days for me was just a case of being able to vent, yeah it becomes addictive very quickly and the car that started nice and standard, has gone full race car, and there’s not a lot of creature comforts left in it.
Club VXR was just one of the facebook pages, great little club, nice people on it. Always a few bits and bobs for when you’re trying to figure out how to do something or if someone needs your help when their stuck doing a job.
Nine times out of ten being a Vauxhall club someone will have took it apart in the past, so someones got an idea how to do it.
I ENJOY THE CULTURE, I ENJOY PLAYING WITH CARS… IT’S NOT A PHASE
It’s just one of them that I’ve never got bored of, its not a phase. Because of cars we end up speaking become friends, we’ll go out and do track days together or go out and have weekends, have a bit of a laugh.
GETTING OUT ONTO THE TRACK
I’d always had a bit of an itch to have a go on track. I did my first track day, and a week later I’d stripped the full car out, it was no longer a nice place to be while out on the road.
Nothing compares to it. It’s the most fun you can have with your pants on! Essentially from the moment you pull out of the pit, your head switches off, and I just go into driving mode and enjoy myself.
That’s the weird thing on a track it doesn’t feel that fast. Each time you’re trying to go quicker and quicker, so you do have the feeling of speed about it.
Just on track, it feels normal.
It’s a different world because people who you wouldn’t talk to in a million years will come up and start talking to you about your car or anything, life in general. Seems like, I don’t know there’s no unfriendly people in the pit so to speak.
I ALWAYS HAD A BIT OF AN ITCH TO HAVE A GO ON TRACK. I DID MY FIRST TRACK DAY AND A WEEK LATER I’D STRIPPED THE FULL CAR OUT…
There is always that time element where you’re trying to go that bit faster every time, and that’s how I ended up modifying in the beginning, because you get to that point where you reach the limit of certain components or upgrade or you change your set up a little bit.
Most of the time it’s not so much racing on the track with your friends, but you got similar sorts of times and always trying to one-up each other, as much as they say it’s not competitive, it is, you just go out and have a bit of a laugh.
ASTRA H VXR SET UP
We’ve got the ultimate top hat kit, direct route intake, gearbox breather kit, adjustable lower arms and the EP Ultimate Astra H VXR exhaust system.
I think it’s just a case of I’ve modified it to make it do what I want to on track, don’t get me wrong I can see what everyone modifies their cars for, that’s just the path I have chosen, and I’d encourage others to do the same.
You want it to handle well, but you want a bit of ‘get up and go’ at the same time.
Each has got their merits, but trying to find an equal balance would be nice.
AFTER EVERYONE’S DONE THEIR FIRST LAPS… EVERYONE IS SMILING LIKE CHESHIRE CATS
Soon as you get out the car when you first get there, fair enough you set up and it’s just literally after you’ve done your sighting laps, come back in and everyone starts faffing around with there cars, running round to try and get everything sorted to get back out.
After everyone’s done their first laps, come in, you got hot tyres, hot brakes and everyone is smiling like Cheshire cats everywhere.
I quickly learned the shortfalls of my car, brakes were terrible, handling was atrocious, but I still had fun. This was another one where I had my friends there with me so made myself faster by nearly crashing many times trying to keep up around a track.
A Honda was faster than me and he won’t let me forget that.
PUSHING TO THE LIMIT
You don’t know if you’re pushing the limit until you get there. It’s about just finding that limit and sitting on it. It’s indescribable for me. It’s just elation, almost when you make it out of the end of a corner and you think “I probably shouldn’t have got out there like I did, but we’ve done it”.
Coppice at Cadwell, first corner off the start of the finishing straight, hit that just right and you’re doing three figures going around a corner, amazing!
I’m an engineer for my job, so its something I’ve always had a bit of a thing for is taking something apart if its broken and making it work again. It’s just a sense of satisfaction from actually achieving getting that thing to work again.
Whatever my Grandad taught me has stuck, I like to make sure that something works well.
Would you like to feature your car on EPTV? Get in touch at email@example.com
Justyn's Spec List
EP Astra H VXR Ultimate Top Hat Kit
EP Astra H VXR Induction Kit
Wossner 86.5mm Pistons
Cat Cam Single Valve Springs
Cat Cam Fast Road Cams
RnD Vernier Cam Pulleys
RnD Air Con Delete Kit
630cc Deka Injectors
Forge Actuator and Recirc Valve
EP Astra H VXR 3″ Turbo Back Exhaust System
EP Astra H VXR Gearbox Breather Kit
EP Adjustable Lower Arms
KW Clubsport 2-way Coilovers
RnD Spherical Axle Bushes
Vibratechnic Engine Mounts
Arc Autosport Weld-in Roll Cage
18″ x 8j Team Dynamics Road Wheels
17″ x 9j Team Dynamics Track Wheels