Extreme Festival, Zwartkops Raceway, 9 August …

…. Annalie and I have taken leave for the Friday and after having some challenges with our Cortina’s right rear deflating after just being repaired, arrive at Zwartkops Raceway at about 13h00. The journey also taking longer due to sudden lack of power from our trusty steed.

Pre race I calculated that we should be lapped by about eight of the competitors ……

Documentation and scrutineering complete, I take Fossa for a practise session. Fossa run with 77 as there is another 777. She feels very good and with tires screaming around corners five, six and eight with her left rear also lifting on the final corner I set a new best lap time of 01:26.80. As I pulled into our pit bay Annalie very excitedly tells me to kill her engine. The reason for the excitement, blown intake manifold gasket with water running out. Pressed for time I check the Cortina’s timing while Annalie cleans of old gasket material from the head and intake manifold. We head for home.

Photograph by tuxracing.com

Photograph by tuxracing.com

Saturday morning armed with new intake manifold gaskets we hit the road at 05h00. The repair is done by 06h30 with our qualifying session at 07h30. Our qualy session ends prematurely with Fossa grinding to a halt after a few laps entering corner two. I open the bonnet expecting a loose ignition wire. My eyes glance to the side and find her 38DGAS level to the top with fuel ……..  We complete qualifying with a time of 01:28.77. Fossa is towed into the pits by the marshals. We strip her carburettor to find both of the brass floats detached. Peter Du Toit offers a float and we find a 36DCD, unfortunately the floats are to big. We solder the floats back into position as good as able and test by running her engine flat out for a few seconds to determine if she was going to run dry when Annalie screams, “drop her revs, she is running at ten thousand rpm’s” OOPS. Did not expect that kind of rpm. Did not know she could do it. Research tells the crankshaft has a safe limit of eight thousand ….. well, not planning to repeat that!

Photograph by Anso Smit

Photograph by Anso Smit

Race one arrives and we take up position. I am passed soon by the followers in their position mainly due to incomplete qualifying sessions. Soon Fossa is in a lone race again. Our latest setup proves more fun with Fossa yelping her tires around corners five, six and eight a times and lifting her left front on the ninety degrees corner eight. I finish as the flag man stands forward to announce the winner! We are not lapped and get a best lap time of 01:27.07.

Race two, again I have some followers, the unlucky few that did not complete race one and soon they pass. All goes well, though a little slower with a best of 01:28.21 until lap five. Heading down to corner eight, suddenly double waved yellow, slow down with a pack of cars breathing down my neck, hoping they will do the same, come around the corner to find the carnage that used to be Philip Croeser’s VW Golf and a race ending red flag!

Photograph by RacePics.co.za Paul Blackburn, happy to see Paul back in the lions den so soon after his encounter with Willie's Capri, Thanks Paul!

Photograph by RacePics.co.za Paul Blackburn, happy to see Paul back in the lions den so soon after his encounter with Willie’s Capri, Thanks Paul!

The final race results have us placed seventh out of fifteen in Class E, not bad considering the age of Fossa and most of her components compared to the feisty competition of the day.

For the curtain call, our recently installed exhaust system on our Cortina burns a hole through the rear brake flexi pipe leaving us driving home with a rapidly deteriorating brake system and a Fossa in tow ….. Extreme Festival was fun on track and gave us a brilliant testing session. Of course, a tiny bit of extra speed will come in handy, but doing it step by step, learning along the way.

Where next? Well the other racers are enjoying Phakisa the weekend, next race scheduled for 11 October at Zwartkops Raceway, of course there are Super Trax Days on the 24th of August and 21 September ….. First fix “Die Groen Bliksem” and then watch this space ……