2017, New year, new challenges …..

Welcome to January 2017,

Fossa Ford Anglia’s year started with a “new” Frankenstein engine installed 1 January ….

Selecting the top of our available parts, like selecting the top leaves for some special tea, we assembly a nice smooth engine for Fossa with our new BuddPower.com tappet cover and some new idea’s implemented.

Fossa's spare engine fitted

Fossa’s spare engine fitted

Before the installation I comply with a new rule of the MSA. All drivers over the age of 50 have to “pass” a stress ECG test. Not a regular visitor to any kind of doctor or related facility, the fact that I have to do this strange thing causes me STRESS. On the 30th of December I walk the treadmill. Firstly it is started at a slower speed and two minutes or so in the nurse press the accelerator and we speed up. Some nice scenery would have been cool. I inspect every wall and corner in front of me. Ten minutes into the brisk walk the nurse lean forward and reduce the speed of of machine, I expected an acceleration and prepare for a similar increase in speed as before. The machine comes to halt and I am still walking, already changed up a gear. for a brief moment I must have generated a few kilowatt feeding back into the system ….

Have I passed? Define passed. MSA is closed until the 9th. I have been looking at the results and wondered and Google’d …. “The age-predicted maximum heart rate is a useful measurement for safety purposes and for estimating the adequacy of the stress to evoke inducible ischemia. A patient who reaches 80% of the age-predicted maximum is considered to have a good test result, and an age-predicted maximum of 90% or better is considered excellent.” Do I accept that I have passed and renew my club membership and enter the 2017 Passion for Speed at early bird reduced price? If my results are not accepted, water down the drain? Waiting for feedback.

What happens if I do not pass? Well I will have a nice track car. Fossa will be roadworthied and we will have another road car labeled with stickers of her proud history. The Roach will get his MSA license and continue the “new tradition”.

We are considering taking Fossa to Super Track day at Zwartkops on the 22nd to give her “new” engine a run-in.

If all goes well, we will probably see you at the Passion for Speed, 28/29 January at Zwartkops Raceway!

Greetings, 😉

Super Traxday, Ford Anglia Club SA and testing …

We are planning to test our new Frankenstein engine. Using a chatting application the South African Ford Anglia Club start getting themselves excited …..

These little classics are truly amazing. They have a big following in the RSA and more and more are popping out from under their covers, barns or wherever they have been hiding. Me, for one, trust that this trend will continue.

Shortly after arriving at Zwartkops Raceway we spot two Anglia’s. These would be the only ones to arrive due to distance, status of cars and member working shifts.

Pre event NOOBS are called to the COC’s office for instructions. The two Anglia’s of Danie and Peet line up and take up position on track to get an idea of the “race” lines. The two Anglia’s on track look fantastic! Their cornering a strong reminder of Fossa a few years back. Meanwhile, I negotiate a short stint with Fossa and the other two Anglia’s for an on track photo or two.

Danie and Peet exit the track with that first signs of glowing addiction. I have the idea they have been bitten. Their first stint arrives …..

Three Anglia's lined up

Three Anglia’s lined up

Fossa first in line, we enter the track as I am trying to plan a photo’s I wave the two following Anglia’s past. Now it gets tricky. The rules of the track days include no tailgating with good reason …… All I can hope for is a small chance to get all three in one shot.

SA Ford Anglia Club's first track event

SA Ford Anglia Club’s first track event

Three-in-one down pit straight

Three-in-one down pit straight

And the three musketeers down the back straight

And the three musketeers down the back straight

After the two agreed laps, I withdraw Fossa and return to the pits to get ready for the first reason we are here, testing Fossa.

Entering the track, something have changed from our outing with the other guys a few minutes earlier. It feels as if Fossa is running against herself, if that makes sense. Then suddenly going down toward the final corner she seems to clear her throat and speed up nicely with a just as sudden appearance of oil smoke. I immediately take Fossa off track and wait the session out. Back in the pits the source of the smoke is quickly identified. She is blowing some oil from her filler cap and this made contact with a glowing exhaust branch. Other than a blown head gasket, something with a crack or rings not seated it is a mystery that showed it’s head a Kyalami a while back. I suspect unbedded rings causing blow by increasing the crankcase pressure to a level that does not allow for the oil pumped to the head to return past the push rods to the sump.

Meanwhile, Danie and Peet are growing their newly found addiction ….

SAFAC, Peet followed by Danie

SAFAC, Peet followed by Danie

Other car-less attendee’s, Francois, Andre and Roy from the Ford Escort club look at he Fossa situation and offer advise ….. The guys go out again. Danie has his first red flag incident managing to loose the left rear wheel, luckily with virtually no other damage. Peet takes his grandson on the experience of his life. The look on that kids face something words can not describe. Imagine the stories he is going carry through his life, his grandfather, a Ford Anglia and a racetrack ……

A temporary fix suggested by Roy have Fossa out on track for another two stints. First stint I have The Roach as passenger and stint two I take Danie who is currently in the process of building a race Anglia. Pulling out of the pits, I am immediately on the power and out of the corner off my eye it looks as if Danie is analysing his new found situation, perhaps a place to hold on. I enter speed mode and only return to Danie’s presence when Fossa indicates temperature overdose.  This way Danie can experience our setup and experience gained. With so many ways to setup cars, maybe he finds something he can use.

Overall a FUN day and a day new addictions have been established. As for Fossa, I will be on that engines in a few minutes from now …. Passion of Speed 2017 is around the corner!!! 😉

Kyalami, gigantic expectations, worse disappointment ….

Looking forward to Kyalami since mid September, completing a successful race at Zwartkops Raceway ….. Did an oil and filter change. No obvious problems …

Annalie and myself take leave from the 21st with the intention to sus out the track, the available pit space and facilities. A late decision have us take Fossa to the track to find the impressive secondary pits already filling. It would have been a lot easier had fellow event competitors adhere to the spirit and keep their service vehicles out of allocated pit bays.

Somethings I would have banned, “pitbikes” and skateboards.The guys with the pitbikes race in and out with no consideration for the pedestrians. Skateboards / snakeboards, it is a dangerous area, it is not a playground. Testing of race cars in the parking area.

Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, the venue. Sure there are things that can be improved on, I would like to see a few more covered pavilions. The African sun can be quite vicious. The embankments will look very inviting once the dry spell passes and they start to green up. The toilet facilities is very welcome for a venue that had to provide portable toilets at past events. It is obvious that a lot of money has been spent and it is probably not the end.

The security will have to be beefed up with regards to training. I understand some people can be difficult, but no pit access = no pit access. Here I am not referring to pedestrians. I refer to unauthorized vehicles that enter an already congested area. On Sunday there seemed to be a swing in the complete opposite direction. Unluckily for us Fossa broke in practice on Sunday morning. A call to The Roach to bring the Cortina to be used as recovery vehicle, have the bright sparks refuse me access to the secondary pits to collect our remaining items despite ticket arm bands and a pit sticker applied to the windscreen.

The events seemed to be spaced to boredom. It felt as if there was an incredible quantity of races red flagged. Probably over enthusiastic participants?

We were scheduled to have a practice session 17H50 Saturday afternoon. We arrived very early to ensure a worry free parking for our service vehicle as the previous day vehicles were triple parked. I knew it was going to be a close call with the program at one stage about an hour and a half behind schedule. Very looking forward to the session to enable a first hand reconnaissance of the track, feel out the spectacular looking track surface and verify Fossa’s mechanics which have held up well for the last few races.

We were losing light fast and at 18H30 were advised we will have a ten minute practice session …. The Legends, all prepped, Thomas Falkiner’s Mustang even fitted with lights, line up. It is now dark. A different level of adrenaline flowing. This is going to be like starting out on night shift of an endurance race. I knew this was going to be a different challenge but I am so mentally prepared and up to it ……. and then it is called off, eish.

Fossa ready for action

Fossa ready for action

The Sunday morning’s menu has been changed. Third morning in row we are up early. With the winds we experienced during the night and home only 14.3Km from Kyalami as the crow flies wondering how the secondary pits held up. Luckily they did not turn into a new world record sized kite. We will have a practice session included in the early morning. 07H15, We are lined up again. This time it is a go!

The track surface seems tricky with offering a change in traction. Firstly just a warm up lap, accessing Fossa, then time to cruise. I take it easy feeling the corners, take mental notes. Fossa should be able to sail through this course nicely. I think I have the long main “straight” figured. Corner one, a corner to be wary off, already has Fossa’s tires chatting. Crowthorne done. Go though Jukskei Sweep and line Fossa up for the changed Barbeque. Here the change of traction can be felt and with the hint of squeal from the Yokohama rubber I have this corner in the coming race 6-D in-printed in my mind. Go past our secondary pits Fossa feels good, heading down through Sunset corner, this is a corner I have not got the full feel for … Clubhouse and the Esses sorted.

Leeukop, I have to find a brake marker, prior to the revamp there was a join in the surface that was my guide to braking. Down the Mineshaft, with the changes to track width, pending available clean under wear, I think I can pilot Fossa round at full tap. This will however leave me with a very tricky Crocodiles braking point and style. The Crocodiles have been widened and seems to make available a few possibilities as as far as line is concerned. The squeal from Fossa’s rubber and the feeling of a slight drift make me long to see Ol Blue Racing Capri and some of the big Merc’s go through here! I go through Cheetah corner still storing data. And then just before the primary pit entrance, a whiff of smoke, a glance in the mirror indicates some critical oil burning taking place. With the actions of a trained professional the engine is killed and Fossa has only enough momentum to safely enter the pits. Two and a half laps end all expectations! All the anticipation destroyed. I can not describe the disappointment.

Fossa exiting Barbeque

Fossa exiting Barbeque

Who knows when, if ever the next opportunity to race this track will present itself. Will we be able to afford the entry fee? Questions to which only the future has the answers.

The cause: No 3 Exhaust valve decided it is time to leave the party.

Endoscope view cylinder no 3 looking rather psychedelic

Endoscope view cylinder no 3 looking rather psychedelic

The reason: It appears one of its neighbours have been tapping it’s piston, very slight, but that is all it takes at a few thousand rpm ….. ? Normally this does make a noise … Maybe it did, and us too caught up in the moment.

Fossa still the first Ford Anglia to take to the revamped Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit. Pity we did not set a lap time.

Stripping the damaged engine ——- There is NO SIGN OF THE REST OFF THE VALVE! The aliens took it!

Replacement engine build is in progress with a starting target before the coming weekend. She should be ready for Redstar Raceway 19 November. This decision will only be made pending available funds and sufficient PRE66 Legends entries to have a field for a competitive Legends only race. Other than that I will try to fit in some extreme trackday at Zwartkops Raceway prior the year end.

Thanks to TOTAL SA and Petrus Motsoko for your assistance, unfortunately analysing this batch will be rather fruitless, I trust our next attempt with oil no3 will more successful!

The joys of racing, because RACECAR, cheers, 😉