Kyalami, 22 April 2017 …

21 April I make a brief visit to Kyalami to complete documentation and collect our tickets. The sounds of the other practicing make me realise I should also be there ….

22 April, 06h00 we arrive track side leaving tickets for visitors at the main gate, find a spot and dismount Fossa. Our lack of successful visits to this legendary track wears on my mind really not looking forward to another engine rebuild. We are once again in the secondary pit area, this time with space to spare.

Fossa is taken for scrutineering passing as expected. Being billed as a two day event we are happy that qualifying is at 9:35 on Saturday. With our previous visit cut short by a valve through the piston after only a few minutes, and a best time of 2:55.793, this is still new to me. The track surface offers a lot of, maybe too much traction combined with Fossa’s Yoko’s. Well, with five timed laps we run an improved 2:41.655.

Race one: 10:50. For this was a rather quiet race running alone, using the opportunity as a reconnaissance and practise session. The only other car that we could have played with the Sunbeam Alpine of Mark Van Rooyen slowly disappearing into the horizon. We ran a best lap of 2:41.536. We are lapped by twenty one competitors of which eight pass us twice!

Fossa lifting her left front

Fossa lifting her left front

Race two: With the sun starting to fade at 16:40 we head out for race two. Heading over the startline, I make sure to just cross behind the nose of Mark’s Sunbeam and then it is an all holds barred drag down the strip, corner one, we find ourselves in front of the red trailer. From there on, it is a constant competition for that position. On occasion the Sunbeam Alpine pull in next to me with it’s awesome exhaust note. Fossa is really pushed to new limits with Mark in pursuit. In the corners the Sunbeam close the gap, on the straights Fossa opens a small gap. On the main straight I find my left hand moving for another gear, realising, there are no more. What it feels like to top out an Anglia on historic parts, 😉 . We run a best lap of 2:36.866. We are lapped by seven competitors once. The hardest I have worked behind a steering wheel in a while!

Our total race time, 18:44.4, Mark, 18:45.6 ….

Fossa Ford Anglia and her red trailer, Mark Van Rooyen

Fossa Ford Anglia and her red trailer, Mark Van Rooyen

For now, Fossa Ford Anglia is the fastest Ford Anglia on the new Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit.

The spectator volume really surprised and was most welcome. It was heartwarming to see the embankments filled with visitors! If motor racing can draw these numbers there is increased possibility of sponsors returning to our favourite sport.

Received some sad news today with the passing of Sean Allen, a brother in historic racing. Rest in peace.

Our next race outing will be at the Extreme Festival 17 June 2017. Considering some changes to Fossa, time will tell. Cheers.

Historic Tour 4 March 2017, … OOPS x two!

Being of the employed kind, this time round we head track side on Saturday morning. Happy as two members had a spell of some bug during the week. We find a pit spot in the overflow area and after Fossa is parked, time for an Aces Cafe’s BECT.

Qualifying nets us a time of 01:29.58 placing us in 16th position.

Race one: We head out on track leading class G following Chad Ten Doeschate’s Nash Metropolitan with the Alfa Romeo GT Sprint of Jaco Taylor Snr not lining up at pre race. Next in the queue Melanie Spurr in the Consul. Taking up position behind us Clive Winterstein’s Porsche 356A.  We are soon passed by the Volvo P1800 of Vic Campher after he had to start at the back breaking out of class in qualifying.

Chad starts running away and behind us the pressure is being kept high with Clive and a dark horse, Mark Van Rooyen with his Sunbeam Alpine and Terence Tracey armed with his Ginetta G15.

OOPS ONE. Pressure building like a highveld thunderstorm behind us, a few laps in, heading to corner five, release the accelerator to jump on the brake, Fossa’s carburettor is stuck in the open position, throw her into third and heavy braking to slow her down and prevent the Kent from over revving followed by a rather hair raising corners five and six.

A running decision has to be made, carry on and do a best effort or retire. At times the carburettor releases, at times it get stuck and I don’t know where what …… Decision made, no decision!

Terence’s Ginetta has an incredible burst of speed in the straights almost like too large choke tubes giving poor cornering speed. Our group share the lead with Terence shooting past and Mark passing us exiting corner three during one of the Ginetta’s recovery phases. From there on it is basically a race between Mark and me with the occasional visit from Terence …. and a semi stuck carburetor.

Race one lap times: 1:34.255, 1:30.207, 1:32.300, 1:30.008, 1:29.876, 1:33.159, 1:29.416, 1:29.409

A new accelerator cable seem to smooth the carburetor sticking issue ….

Fossa Ford Anglia and her trailer Mark's Sunbeam Alpine

Fossa Ford Anglia and her trailer Mark’s Sunbeam Alpine

Race two: We start a few positions up due to non finishers in race one. The procession of non finishers and the faster Volvo pass …. And race one is continued …

The Sunbeam Alpine looks like a trailer behind Fossa. At times the nose of the Sunbeam pull in next to Fossa in corner two, with Fossa pulling away down the straight.

Race two lap times: 1:35.199, 1:29.430, 1:28.345, 1:28.414, 1:27.795, 1:27.667, 1:27.444, 1:28.102

OOPS TWO: Mark Van Rooyen’s Sunbeam Alpine on my tail have us break out of class G on lap seven. Now, this is going to have us racing harder to get more competitive in  class with the target currently being the Nash Metropolitan and that super Ford Consul with Melanie Spurr behind the controls.

To catch the Nash we have to cut down 12 seconds over race distance, that is 1.5 seconds per lap ….

And there is some news for Mark Van Rooyen, just for pushing us into class C, I will be tempting you and pulling your red wagon across that line, 😉

Somehow I can not see the Ginetta stay in class once all it’s teething problems are sorted. That car is extremely fast …..

Extreme 22.04.2017

Extreme 22.04.2017

A check on the vitals of Fossa today and I have just sent our entry form for the Extreme Festival at Kyalami, 22 April 2017 …. Trusting we will have better luck!!!!

See YOU there!!!!

Passion for Speed 2017: Done ….

A busy “weekend” for the tuxracing team ….

26/01/2017: We head out to Zwartkops Raceway arriving shortly before six am. Pit selected. Fossa is off loaded. Time for coffee. Then a BCET. Confused? A BCET is that famed bacon, cheese, egg and tomato toasted from the Aces Cafe! Documentation done. Scrutineering done. We hang around until our HTP is completed. Around mid-day we head out for some run in of Fossa’s engine. Engine feels powerful and smooth. A lap and a half later the alternator light starts flashing. Back in the pits we find the fan belt destroyed. The water pump pulley does not line up correctly. Fossa is stripped, ready for quick assembly. It is decided to pick up some fan belts on the way home and complete the repair in the morning.

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27/01/2017: It is raining. By 07h00, Fossa is reassembled with her pulley and new fan belt in place. A cup of coffee made with our three-phase kettle. A three phase kettle is one that does not boil water in one go, this one needs three stages … And another BCET.

Fossa's solo run, a big job for such a small car to entertain the early visitors

Fossa’s solo run, a big job for such a small car to entertain the early visitors

08h00, The first stint for the slower cars come up. The consensus seem it is too wet out there. We still have an engine to run in and we may have a wet race on race day, Fossa lines up all by herself … The track opens. It is a bit slippery but improves as Fossa circulates and after five or six laps Mike Briggs joins the fun. We complete seven laps when our time is up, the slickest corner being number five. Fossa holds out well, engine running good, temperature good, oil pressure good …. Later another stints goes smoothly.

Just after 13h00 our qualifying slot. On our second hot lap, exiting corner two, I apply the happy pedal to discover how Fossa will handle with three wheels as her left front hub breaks and Fossa make a trail of sparks to the side of the track.

Breaking a hub in pics, courtesy Ralph Pike

Breaking a hub in pics, courtesy Ralph Pike

Breaking a hub in pics 2, courtesy Ralph Pike

Breaking a hub in pics 2, courtesy Ralph Pike

Sad sight

Sad sight

 

The hunt for a suitable replacement hub is on. Word goes out, things do not look good. Internet research based on the part number indicate Ford Cortina Mk2 Gt or Lotus … A visit to the Zwartkops workshop may be promising, but these guys are also in progress with their qualifying sessions and with the quantity of cars under their command rather busy. It is decided to go home and see what configuration the rhino has fitted and then we would debate returning or leaving the work for the next day. Worst case scenario at least weld the broken hub to enable loading Fossa on her trailer.

Back home we strip Rhino’s hub. Her stub axle have a smaller diameter …. This is a no-go. Mixed feelings, can’t say disappointed, could have been worse. there may still be that odd chance we may succeed, the probability low though. I start to mentally prepare to play photographer.

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28/01/2017: Up early. Brian Schussler will be arriving around five. There is still no helpful feedback with regards to any usable hub …. I decide to leave my race kit at home … Annalie, T-eam Manager suggest other wise, maybe another opportunity will show.

Track side pre 6am armed with our welded and assembled hub …. A short while later Gary Stacey arrives … We take a walk down to shed ons again and meet up with Peter Du Toit. Peter say we can strip his red Anglia for spares, Sorry, to me that is not an option. The chief mechanic promises to send one of their guys as soon as he arrives to go and look in a shed for a spare. By half past seven we are still waiting when Gary gets a brain wave, he might have what we need, just not sure of the sizes. After a few communications with his shop he has a Coastal Hire West Rand bakkie on route with the spares. While Gary is on track competing in the race that would have been our first race, the spares arrive and the “Roach” and Brian collect at the main gate ….. and I am waiting on glowing coals to see if it will fit …… The musketeers grab a lift with Danie from the Ford Anglia Club to speed up the delivery. I grab a bite of my BCET  …..

SA Ford Anglia Club

SA Ford Anglia Club

The parts arrive, Bearing sizes match and without much further deliberation we start cleaning and assembling. Lionel and Michelle Da Silva pop in for a brief visit. Brian and the “Roach” pitch in.

The "Roach" and pilot

The “Roach” and pilot

Brian Schussler and the pilot

Brian Schussler and the pilot

The newly refurbished hub is fitted. The brake caliper is fitted to discover interference …. Gary jumps into action with a borrowed angle grinder applying some weight reduction ….. Forty five minutes before our next race and final opportunity, I pull Fossa out of the pits … a short drive around the pits indicate a bit of a pull to the one side …

On with the racing kit. We are going to try! Should Fossa provide bad feedback I will bring her in ….. We line up at the back ….

Fossa back on track

Fossa back on track

Video with insert courtesy, Michelle Da Silva

Lap times:

1:47.1162 – 1:31.8903 – 1:31.8164 – 1:29.0605 – 1:29.6906 – 1:29.4857 – 1;29.5068 – 1:28.453

I am happy with Fossa’s lap times considering she has just had major surgery!

See you at Zwartkops Raceway for the Historic Tour, 4 March 2017,

Cheers, 😉