More challenges, …….. Nothing new

…. BoltStop has their charity drive on the 25th ……… Fossa returned from an extreme wet testing at Zwartkops Raceway with no problems. It is late afternoon 24 October. I start preparing Fossa for an appearance at BoltStop, I turn the key and something is not cooperating …. no start, suspect the battery, add the power from our auxiliary source, still not the desired change in pitch from starter motor to engine.

Eish, lift Fossa and remove her starter motor. The brush retainer broke yet again and the bushes have given up the ghost ….. I put out an appeal for a urgent replacement …. no luck. Annalie even planned her attire to assist with the loading of Fossa on the Friday morning.                No replacement offered …….. We are screwed, to bed very tired and with disappointment!

Every month we think this month there will be some extra funds for a this or a that … Not when you have a race car. Friday morning I find a brand new “replacement” at R1627.??. We collect in the afternoon and have to change the bendix with the old one as the gear on the new bendix has one less tooth. First attempt at making a bendix removal tool fails miserably. Call it a night, Saturday up at 03h00, thinking, planning.

With a pending “car show” less than two kilometers from home, the race continues.

Using a much thicker gauge material at a cost of time and hardware, attempt two succeeds and we have the old parts cleaned and swapped in good time. Now for fitting, but now the holes do not align and the lugs on the engine side is too long. Elongate the holes and cut off a piece to allow fitment. At last the starter is fitted.

Starter motor assembled, elongating holes

Starter motor assembled, elongating holes

Now it will start, RIGHT? Nope,        WRONG     !

We drain the battery. We drain the auxiliary source. We have the Cortina on charge and jump start. NO LUCK. We checked for spark, present. We checked fuel supply, present. Compression is there. Distributor is tight and have not moved …….. She wants to start and then dies. With our hands in our hair, almost like a m$ problem and the clock ticking. It is time to look for a more advanced gremlin.

We experienced some small water based challenges in our “speed boating” at Zwartkops the weekend before and I decide to start stripping the electrics. Remove the distributor cap, no damp present, pull off the rotor, close inspection, this looks just peachy ……. but wait what is this? The wires of the AccuSpark had pulled in under the trigger and stripped clean. Push some cable in from the outside, reassemble and start as if there was nothing wrong in the first place. No words to describe!

Fossa and our Cortina gets a wash and we are off utilizing the old faithful a-frame with a quick panel beat. Arriving to a show and shine and sound off. Neither of the cars have that kinda sound and have not been prepared for a show and shine. We hang around for a while with the odd visitor to do a quick inspection of Fossa.

Fossa and mighty V6 sister

Fossa and mighty V6 sister

Then our planned time to depart arrives and Fossa remarkably starts. Give her some time to warm up. Pushing up the revs a bit, she lets go with flamed explosion out of her exhaust which suddenly draws a bit of a crowd.

Myself, after a meal, on the couch and slept from 18h00 to awake and go to bed at 22h00 and wake at 04h00. Well I have some refinement to do too prevent that failure again and some pre race checks and wire sealing to do, see you later.

20 October, the day of the penguin ……..

At last. The first test of her current rear axle …… in the wet, wet, wet and WET.

Planning to be on schedule for our usual early morning and then …… Fossa does not get traction to get onto her trailer. It is raining and we use block and tackle to pull Fossa onto her trailer – result: We get soaked. We arrive wet at Zwartkops Raceway at about 06h40.

Some off our visitors arrive, Ben and Judy Booysen and a little while later Shane Venter and Philip Pritchard bringing some more parts. It has been a while since we have had family attend and it was cool to have Ben and Judy there for their first ever introduction to historic racing.

We and all the arrivals contemplate whether the day will continue. I keep on telling myself it’s not that bad, really wanting to do some testing but at the same time pretty nervous. And then suddenly without warning the first road cars enter the track.

It’s our turn and Fossa comes up with a new trick, her battery is down. A bit of running around and we have her started with our external power source.

Fossa, swimming lessons 101

Fossa, swimming lessons 101

We join the track, it is slippery when wet. Like using smooth leather soled shoes on an ice rink. We have our first spin-out on lap two, onto the inside of corner two. And Fossa does not start. A quick run start and we are on the way again. For the whole day the rain comes down just varying in volume. After our spin I have a feel for the available traction and apply that to the rest of our stints. Run Fossa down the straights, turn early in the corners and have her drift towards the outside of the track with careful steering, counter steer, steering, counter ………. and with vary precise throttle control.

Fossa, swimming lessons 102

Fossa, swimming lessons 102

Fossa behaves well and in some weird way I am surprised at the grip offered by the semi slicks. I have been told that at times she has her left front in the air on the exit of corner eight …….. WHAT? I have to be proud yet again of what we have achieved with that Anglia that came into our lives just over a year and a half ago.

Fossa, swimming lessons 103

Fossa, swimming lessons 103

Both Ben and Judy opt for a suicide ride and after paying the track and signing indemnities, Ben is the first to take the plunge. He says a few things but I am concentrating to keep Fossa in one piece. Judy takes her ride and though very quiet during the ride quite verbal as we pull into the pits. Her words not suitable as I do not want our website marked for language!

Fossa, swimming lessons 104

Fossa, swimming lessons 104

We were scheduled to meet with someone who said they would sponsor us two sets of tires for 2014, but unfortunately he was a no show.

We have two weekends free before our final points race for 2013 and are currently leading Pre66 class U with only 3.5 points. That will take place on the 9th of November on the Zwartkops Raceway. The provisional program have us qualifying at 07h30, first heat at 10h00 and the second at 13h40. Calling all Fossa’s fans!

…….. again, a weekend came and went ….

Another weekend came and went. Our plans for testing at Super Trax day @ Zwartkops raceway fell victim due to withdrawal symptoms of the flu, the tires on our trailer that are perished, our puppy that had a bout of cat flu and funding.

Annalie, our Tea-m Manager is about to start saving for our next semi slicks. Yip, we work hard for the project.

We would love to race but are thinking of skipping the race at Kyalami on the 19th of October. Kyalami is a long track and looking at the wear on Fossa’s tires after our last race I can only imagine the wear on her mechanical parts.  It is also very expensive to enter and then also not a points race for the Pre66’s.

This may see us at Super Trax Day on the 20th of October and racing for points at Zwartkops on the 9th of November.

Not all doom and gloom, FEAST YOUR EYES ON THIS …….

A first, a pic with Fossa's one wheel raised of the tar! : Pic - Dave Hastie

A first, a pic with Fossa’s one wheel raised of the tar! : Pic – Dave Hastie

Considering I was the only entry in class U in the race, why was I racing like this? No half measures!

Till next time, cheers!