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 ….

Historic Tour, Dezzi Raceway, an event with happenings ..

3 August 2017, Annalie and me head south on an unknown adventure, leaving home at around 16h30. First the slow and tedious traffic to exit “civilization”. The GPS says seven hours to Dezzi Raceway …..

More like nine hours later with few pit stops and one stop due to a blown fuse and the second to apply some fuse blowing preventative measures we arrive rather tired at “a” gate at Dezzi …. and it is closed, bordering that another gate, also closed ….. We never saw the road fork to the track …. A challenging reverse and turning around. We have to find a place to rest and head to the one place we know there should be peaceful parking, the Shelley Beach boat launch and NSRI station around 02h30am.

The first part of success, a rest spot

The first part of success, a rest spot, some crazy people take fishing rods to the coast!

Fossa Ford Anglia is at the sea. Shortly before the normal work alarm triggers at 04h30 we start waking up. After some communications with my brother we have a brief meet with him and Yolanda, a coffee before heading track side. Fossa is off loaded and everything checked. Another first, we fit a rear view camera. The plan is to to take one practice stint to get a feel for the track, I however do not feel fit after the long travel. Shortly after 12 we head for our accommodation, unload the needed goodies, catch a shower and a bed ….

Raceday, 5 August, 3:30 – 4:00 we are “slept out”. Oh well, peaceful shower and a small breakfast. On our way to Dezzi Raceway, final preps and first engine warm up.

Fossa Ford Anglia morning start

Fossa Ford Anglia morning start   Photo: Annalie

Qualifying starts at 08h15. We complete seven laps and attempt to learn the track. Our final lap proves to be our best at 1:43.945, a few seconds below what I hoped for.

Fossa and Mark Van Rooyen's in his Sunbeam Alpine

Fossa and Mark Van Rooyen in his Sunbeam Alpine

Race one: 11:35, We achieve a best lap on lap five of 1:43.997 out a completed nine laps when Fossa start sound really sick. On some of the corners her engine is at zero bar oil pressure and the bearings have taken a knock. Not much we can do but coast in, at least her body is in one piece and she will still be able to drive onto and off her trailer!

We return the transponder … All that is left, enjoy the rest of the day and rest, right? My brother and the balance of the pit crew dessert us and we go and take a seat on corner two. Barely got seated when something like my phone’s ring tone fills the air, it is my phone. On the other end, Mr John Ten Doeschate.

The short and the sweet, is your car broken, yes, we brought a spare Dart do you want to race it? First answer, no, I do not like the risk endangering .. have a chat with Annalie, she says and I reply to John, see you now. we rise as one and head down,

Race suit back on, go and collect our previous transponder, do car change forms etc. Head back to the Dart. There Chad Ten Doeschate and Ishmael Baloyi run me through the car characteristics. Getting into the Dart I find myself in another world, first “cabriolet” and me with my short legs …. I can’t sit on my …., I have to almost lie down, the tips of my shoulders touching the seat and can then only press the accelerator to the floor if I slip down a little further. I take the Dart uphill and back down. Chad fits our GoPro with a suction cup and a roll of duct tape.

Race two: 15:00, As we pull out of the pits it is clear that this is a different car, AND THAT I WILL HAVE TO CLOSE THE VISOR ON MY HELMET! Or else decide on which bugs to swallow … Lap times not to good, but I seem to learn the car and some of the quali and race one track knowledge start to form. On lap six the lapping by the two liters start. I keep to the side but am tagged with the sound of plastic, glass and what sounded like thin steel plating … we end on the side of the track, luckily with the engine idling. Back out, seriously concerned as I have no idea on the damage to the Dart head for the pits. Apparently the damage is not too bad and I am told go, go, go.

tuxracing.com in an Alfa powered Dart?

tuxracing.com in an Alfa powered Dart?   Pic: Ralph Pike

Well I GO, and we get a best lap on our final lap of 1:39.254. As soon as the experience started, it ends. It is truly an amazing little car, would have been a serious break out with some seat time.

The opportunity offered lands us with a first in class. Can only say thank you very much!!!

Annalie and me spend two days on the beach like Vaalies, sun, wind, rain …. taking snap shots of whales before we head back ……

Will probably fit the back up engine coming weekend and strip this engine to access the damage. Next race, Historic Tour, 16 September, Zwartkops Raceway, see you there, cheers!!

Hello Dezzi Raceway ……

Fossa Ford Anglia is going to KZN! Excited, that we are, it will however only be two of us as the Roach will be tending to our four legged children and keep an eye on the teams home ….

A few right things at the right time and planning and preparations start. Fossa ready. The to do list, easy prep meals for The Roach, four legged kids meals pre prepped and get the mindset right for the dark journey down.

With our last south coast visit December 2009, and last visit from some south coast family in December 2014, it may be time ….

The plan is to leave after work on the evening of the 3rd of August to arrive very early the Friday morning, catch a sleep, do the documentation, scrutineering and one, maybe two practice sessions to get a feel for the track. Followed by a peaceful afternoon and evening. Saturday qualify and our two races. Dezzi Raceway looks like a challenging drivers track. Best I can do for now is utilize in-car footage of previous events and study the track and their racing lines ..

Image from http://www.dezzi.co.za/dezzi-raceway/

Image from http://www.dezzi.co.za/dezzi-raceway/

Tea-m Manager, Annalie will do triple duty trackside, assistant mechanic, photographer and chief supporter ….. with some excited family living in the Port Shepstone area she may have some help …

See you in KZN!