Redstar Raceway, Historic Tour Round 6, Final Race 2017 ….

Early morning, 28 October 2017 we head out to the Delmas based Redstar Raceway for our second racing visit to this track. Fossa Ford Anglia’s engine proving itself during the track day at Zwartkops Raceway, everything sorted. It is an very cold and damp morning.

Thinking about finals, you never know when it will be your final race or your final anything. We do not not know what the future holds for us. With that in mind, the idea is to push hard and do the utmost best on every outing. The results from our last track day gives the idea that we can break out of class, Annalie, Tea-m Manager wants a trophy and not a break out ….. 😉

Qualifying: Fossa Ford Anglia initially have the odd slide on the “damp” track but as we get some heat into her semi’s traction improves to some screaming. 2:44.945, a bit better than last year’s 2:49.431.

Fossa and the MG

Fossa and the MG

Race one: Chad Ten Doeschate promotes a reverse grid. We line up and have a new driver joining, William Kelly in a MG Midget. William qualified at 2:45.527, just about a half a second shy of Fossa. With the differences between our Ford and the MG, it is a cat and mouse game the duration of the race, Fossa pulling away in places and the MG catching up in other. Comparable lap times of our last visit 2:45.100 to now 2:41.930

Fossa in shuddering corner action

Fossa in shuddering corner action

Race two: Reverse grid again, the fasties go by and William goes through. The difference of the strengths of the cars and drivers visible. The MG seems very stable around the corners, not sure just how hard William was pushing. Our Anglia the better at top speed, but rather shaky in the corners. So shaky in fact that the seat mounting breaks and I suddenly face two challenges, the MG in front and the seat. I pull the chest straps of the harness, that gives some stability as I am virtually part of the roll cage. Fossa’s gear ratio also a challenge. Running clockwise corner six too fast for second and to slow for third … Sometimes the MG seem to disappear, just to reappear, and then close enough, main straight Fossa catches up and passes William’s MG. It is obvious that I have rethink Fossa’s suspension setup within the rules .. The Roach have some photo’s of Fossa almost becoming a motor bike with only two wheels is definite contact. Lap times last year for race two, 2:40.846 and this year 2:38.596

Another lesson to take from the event, William and his MG are going to become players in class C or B.

Looking at photo’s taken by the Roach there are a few MSA approved photographers trackside, just wondering, where are their photo’s published. Are they only capturing for certain races or racers?

As for the immediate future. Fossa is parked in tip top shape. Maybe a track day before year end and push that class limit. There is one race left on the race calender, Kyalami 2 December. We have however already reached way beyond our racing budget for the year including the opportunity to race at Dezzi Raceway. Unfortunately, Fossa will not be making her appearance there. Pending spectator entry fee, we may attend with our camera’s.

26 / 27 January 2018, Passion for Speed our next target. Cheers for now, 🙂

Motor Racing – “Just photographs of my dreams”

Hi, and there we go again …. Post a leak down test done by John Ten Doeschate with good results, we take Fossa to Zwartkops Raceway for a trackday on 1 October implementing John’s advise. Just a slight modification seem to reduce the oil being moved to Fossa’s catch tank.

We complete a few successful stints and use the opportunity to experiment with some Weber configurations. We have a visitor, Victor Peachy, not someone without a share of historic racing in his past. Unfortunately his circumstances had him give up the sport. After a chat about our carburettor configurations and our calculations that 32mm choke tubes should be ideal for Fossa, Victor advises he have some spare. In the afternoon we decide to take one final short stint as we did not have any extra fuel. It will be a three lapper.

Starting Fossa, she sounds good. Annalie feels the semi’s, they still have some heat. My mind says, out lap, qualifying lap and in lap. With the heat already in her tires, even our out lap is a hot lap, lap two, find a sweet spot in that seat, I am really testing Fossa’s physical setup. Flying past the start – finish line I am sure we would just have broken class. The Roach have been monitoring Race Chrono and once again the application fails. The figures suggested by him confirms my thoughts. We will have to wait for another day.

That last three laps experience and that “sweet spot” in the seat lets me research seating positions as racing Fossa is definitely no comfort ride. And then there is that distributor “fine” tuning I have wanted to do for the past five years ….. Lets just say, the past two weekends have been no rest!

Well, Fossa has been entered into the Historic Tour Redstar Raceway event on the 28th of October. Yet another test …… Can all this be real ….

Motor Racing – “Just photographs of my dreams”

16 September ’17, Time for school fee’s again …

In a rather “last” minute decision Annalie and I take leave for the 15th and head out trackside. Documentation and scrutineering done, we make use of the first session available to see what our rebuild post running bearings at Dezzi Raceway will do and test some changes to Fossa’s rear suspension.

Completing a few laps have me pull in to the pits and just in time as Fossa have filled her oil catch tank to the brim and have started dripping oil. For some or other reason Fossa seem to have too much crankcase compression.

We throw around a few idea’s and head home. The first idea is to run her with the Roach’s Anglia engine. A few tests have us decide against the idea and the fact that she is currently our only running car as the Cortina has shown a brake issue which I have not gotten to due to the short daylight working hours in the winter and the TIME taken up repairing and preparing Fossa.

A compression test have us puzzled even more as this does not indicate a problem. The general consensus is still failing compression rings. We head out to get the known needed spares and Fossa’s oily engine is removed, stripped and cleaned. At around 01h00 Saturday morning, raceday, her engine is reassembled and at 01h30 after fitting only her engine we call timeout. The idea is to head trackside and at least support …

At 06h00 Antz Vlok from the Cape provides a wake up call. Annalie comes up with the idea to contact our Little Giants group “rep”, Chad Ten Doeschate to have him nominate a time for us. We are going to try to finish Fossa and head out to Zwartkops Raceway for our races. A little while later John Ten Doeschate calls. The driver of the red Anglia can not attend and the car is entered, do we want to use her. With my mind so preset on completing Fossa and post the Dezzi Raceway incident with the Dart, I advise of our plan.

All work completed, I head around the block for two slow laps to enable some bedding of the rings and just to get a feel for Fossa’s readiness. Pulling into the yard I park Fossa, ready to load. Opening her bonnet indicates oil in the catch tank! Disappointment is very closely followed by tiredness due to the four hours sleep ….

After quite a few emotional changes, decisions and work in 24 hours …. The couch wins!

We run another compression test with results slightly lower than the previous but that is to be expected as the rings have not had any bedding time. Having fixed so many engines in the past with success, I just can not seem to get this Kent engine’s ghost.

Following in house team discussion, we are in two minds about entering Fossa into races without testing and running in on a track day which is considerably cheaper than a race entry with a lot more stints. I also need to split available time across more projects and prioritize them. Still, the question on why the excessive crankcase pressure, so despite the above, we will do a basic leak down test to try to determine where that pressure is coming from.

Two Historic Tour races remain for the 2017 season. 28 October at the Redstar Raceway and 2 December at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit. The Redstar event was sort of planned but the Kyalami event doubtful due to rather steep entry fees. Nobody said motor racing is cheap nor demanding on time, but there has to be limits.

Cheers ….