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 ……
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, 😉
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.
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!
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.
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 ………
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.