Kyalami, 08/11/2014 A man walks up to you with a shoe box …..

The day arrives. It is going to be like a Cannon Ball Run Challenge. Qualify, race, wedding …… race …..?

How wrong can that be? Chris, “The Roach”, helps us load Fossa. Today we are a man down, “The Roach” is staying behind. He is doing his first stint as DJ at the wedding part of our challenge for the day. Smooth sailing to arriving to a impressively neat Kyalami. It seems things are happening under the new ownership of Toby Venter.

Fossa is unloaded, trailer parked, everything unpacked. Fluid levels and tyre pressures checked. Cup of coffee and a muffin ……

Fossa in wedding guise

Fossa in wedding guise

Qualifying: Head out confident. And then sudden unexplained loss of power, then it’s back, then it is gone. Struggle round twice and back into the pits …… suspect a fuel delivery problem ….. Well in a way it was, and an ignition problem. the cable providing the much needed positive came loose from the coil. That’s not all folks!!! Trying to start Fossa, the starter turns but nothing happens, bendix gone again. A quick run start from Annalie and one of our new found Taylor Alfa friends Fossa starts and I go and play. This time around I complete a lap in 2:27.380 bettering our previous best … This was after only completing 3 timed laps, 😉

Fossa pre race line up

Fossa pre race line up         Pic: Annalie Visagie

No rest between qualifying and race one, first drivers briefing, then down to Fossa to remove her now useless starter motor. Pulling out her starter motor, HORROR! The bendix had came apart and there are some parts left in the bell housing keeping the flywheel & pressure plate company. Imagining what they can do at some rpm, I start a challenge fishing for them with a magnet in an all magnetic area. I manage to recover the biggest piece with a washer and the retaining clip still MIA.

Fossa being tailed

Fossa being tailed        Pic: Annalie Visagie

Race one, without the help of our starter motor Annalie and our Alfa friend push start Fossa. After a lengthy idle in pre race paddock I have to switch Fossa off. Do not want her to overheat. Luckily we have a push starter ready in the form of Annalie and she is joined by one of our fellow racing drivers! THANKS!

Fossa Ford Anglia in action 1, Pic: Kerry Hughes

Fossa Ford Anglia in action 1, Pic: Kerry Hughes

We do our first lap to formation and then lap in formation to our running start. Lap 1, just keep ahead of our old competition, the MGB, Mk2 Cortina GT and a Volvo P1800. A MGB GT that must have qualified bad pulls through and the MGB wants to tail past, luckily the MGB GT do not have the straight line speed and Fossa gradually starts pulling away catching up with Andre De Kock in a GSM Dart. The Dart is usually quite fast and must have been racing with some sort of handicap. I can catch up with the Dart and follow on his tail for a while then pass him on the mineshaft. Andre is still racing to the best of his Dart’s ability and in the bowl I line up for the corner incorrectly and Andre passes me again. With me being “held up” behind Andre the following is catching up and in the near future I pass Andre and start building a little breathing room when as I pass the pit entry Fossa’s engine starts making a noise and I have to start slowing down. I pull of on an escape road and head for the trailer park. Despite that, we run a best ever 2:26.745 on that final lap. Really disappointed as it was serious fun and there was a next target just around the corner.

Fossa Ford Anglia in action 2, Pic: Kerry Hughes

Fossa Ford Anglia in action 2, Pic: Kerry Hughes

Oh well, we start loading all the equipment once again with some Alfa help! Fossa is loaded on the trailer and then …..

…… gentleman comes walking towards us. He hands us a shoebox, nogal a Nike box. Now if that was just a weird gentleman, that could have raised some questions and sure we drive and race Ford’s, does not mean we walk that often.. But this gentleman is Philip Pritchard, and the box contain no shoes ………

A pretty pair, Weber 40 DCOE's

A pretty pair, Weber 40 DCOE’s

That set some new targets. need to see if I can somehow accommodate this pair of Weber 40DCOE’s. Fossa’s existing clutch and master cylinders are in the way of a standard setup. Will look into some sort of angled approach for now. But first a more known procedure, pull her engine and see what went haywire …..

Would like a session on track in December, other than that our next race will be 30 & 31 January 2015.

Passion for Speed 2015

Passion for Speed 2015

Greetings …………

Racing and wedding, 8 November 2014 ……..

Howdy all, nope I am not Texan, neither do I smoke ’em …… Our final race for 2015 have arrived …. and ……

Our previous post told you all about a valve dropping into the cylinder …. Well this time around the valve broke off at the last ridge for the collets. The cylinder head has one mark on the inlet port which can be smoothed out in five minutes. All that is needed to make that operational is a valve, but I will look at replacing all and one of the other collets broke in half.

The pistons was a different story. Without x-raying there is no certain way to determine the real condition of the number one piston, I tried some Rocol crack detection and that shows up a nice red line ….. Not willing to chance a failure the hunt for pistons started. I can place a long list of dealers phoned to source them. In the end a Facebook friend found some. These were in fact found at one of SA’s big engine part suppliers on a national network of which I phoned the local branch to be told they do not have any? – The other branch had three sets in stock and with the AX block build in mind I purchased two sets!

Having a spare flywheel I thought, time for an experiment. Took one in for some slimming and in one week it permanently lost two kilogrammes! No time or funds for balancing, we mounted it on our drill with a my S4 and a vibration application took it for a spin. It proved quite stable throughout all speeds up to the drills maximum of 2900rpm. Just for interest sake I put our previously balanced flywheel on our “highly specialized” apparatus. Now image a loose flywheel spinning at a centre speed of 2900rpm and a bunch of vicious ring gear teeth at circumference speed spinning in front of you. You take your “balanced” flywheel to approximately 2000rpmand having that LOOSE fly wheel shaking and hopping around? If that is the case, I suspect we will be better off “unbalanced”?

Last weekend we stripped the Kent engine done to the bone and rebuilt doing the final assembly on Tuesday fitting the cylinder head birthday present received from Gary Stacey in May. Then the starting. I made sure everything was lined up to the degree and she would not start ….. recharge battery, try, recharge battery and try …. On Friday afternoon went back to basics, checked the positioning of the distributor in relation to the timing marks, cam position

AND FOUND IT 100% LINED UP, 180° OUT!!!!!

Needless to say the Kent engine kicked into life five minutes later. It is not very often that I wanted to kick myself, this was one of those moments!

With our strict policy of spares before groceries, Fossa is sounding better than ever! HELLO KYALAMI !!!!!!! There is one more change I want to do before our first race in 2015, more about that later. Fossa is ready to shake and bake!

* 8 November is not going to be without it’s challenges. Run in Fossa during qualifying. The year has fifty two weeks, we race club races on seven to eight of those. And we have the wedding of ex-team members on one of those weekends. Take Fossa to the track, documentation, scrutineering, do qualifying, race one, go to the wedding scheduled for eleven o’clock midway through, back to the track for race two ……. and we are minus Chris, “The Roach” staying behind to manage background music at the wedding.

Our estimated PROVISIONAL program for 8 November ….

Qualifying: 08H40

Wedding starts: 11H00

Race one: 11H50

End of race one: 12H15, head to wedding venue when everything on Fossa is ready for race two, get dressed, ETA 12H45

Race two: 15H35, to accommodate, leave wedding at 14H45, track ETA 15H10 get dressed, Fossa final touches and RACE!!!!!!!

See you at Kyalami !!!!!!!

Tyres are tyres are tyres ……

…. or is it?

July 2012. Our first race. Early days sure. Not exactly running the lap times we are achieving now …. A variety of reasons, lack of testing, uncertainty of our racing future and suitability of Fossa and her preparation …..  finances … We entered the race using the tyres that we bought Fossa on, General 175/70 R13’s. The weekend before we attended our very first run at a Super Trax Day at the Zwartkops raceway. Our times as newbies were around 1:48’s. Race day proved the times in the same range. Being new and after some experience we were regular visitors at the Super Trax Days. Our second race at Midvaal ….. and we finished the season on those Generals. Excluding our racing endeavours we completed more than two hundred laps around Zwartkops on those tyres. Despite that those tyres are still used as backup tyres for our Cortina with approximately 50% life remaining.

December 2012 we wanted to test the semi slick “advantage” and Annalie bought our first set of semi slicks, Yokohama 185/60 13’s. There was definitely a difference and the additional confidence in the semi slicks helped us along to improved lap times. In this year we were also very regular visitors to Super Trax Days. We also competed in all the seasons racing at Zwartkops Raceway, Midvaal Raceway and Kyalami. At the end of our season the Yokohama’s was doubtful for a complete 2014 season and we started looking for replacements.

With finances being an issue we shop around, strangely all we seem to find is a set of Dunlop Durezza ********* 175/60 13’s. Sure, there have been some improvements to our setup. Will that ever be final? Nothing new since our first race. We experience a serious drop in visits to Super Trax Days, mainly due to finances also supposedly reducing wear on our tyres …. We attend all local races with quite a few engine failures early in the season resulting in reduced track time. In July it is very clear that two of the Dunlop’s are at end of life. The other two can only be saved as backup with at the most one race left in them.

Our options ……. ok, option. Replaced the failed Dunlop’s with our used Yokohama’s. We have since raced at an Extreme Festival and our recent race at Zwartkops Raceway bettering our best lap times at both events, now topping 01:26.89. The Yokohama’s are fine for our next race at Kyalami and I feel confident for our planned demo day at Midvaal Raceway late December.

I have had both brands on “should have brought a boat” days and dry days, hot days and cold days. Despite the Yokohama’s being 185’s and the Dunlop’s 175’s, comparing the wear the Dunlop’s should still have lasted the season. With the Yokohama’s being slightly wider it can be expected that the wider surface would aquaplane easier, this is not the case. The traction in the wet offered by the Yokohama’s is very surprising and confidence boosting. Ask any spectator on corners five and six at Zwartkops Raceway if I have been easy on the Yokohama’s or Fossa …… They make a beautiful melody! Sure there is always a chance of a slip up, but that will be be more due to lack of concentration or mechanical failure than the Yokohama’s.

We are now shopping for our next tyres. Yes, we got new Yokohama’s!

Fossa Ford Anglia's shoes for 2015

Fossa Ford Anglia’s shoes for 2015