A busy “weekend” for the tuxracing team ….
26/01/2017: We head out to Zwartkops Raceway arriving shortly before six am. Pit selected. Fossa is off loaded. Time for coffee. Then a BCET. Confused? A BCET is that famed bacon, cheese, egg and tomato toasted from the Aces Cafe! Documentation done. Scrutineering done. We hang around until our HTP is completed. Around mid-day we head out for some run in of Fossa’s engine. Engine feels powerful and smooth. A lap and a half later the alternator light starts flashing. Back in the pits we find the fan belt destroyed. The water pump pulley does not line up correctly. Fossa is stripped, ready for quick assembly. It is decided to pick up some fan belts on the way home and complete the repair in the morning.
27/01/2017: It is raining. By 07h00, Fossa is reassembled with her pulley and new fan belt in place. A cup of coffee made with our three-phase kettle. A three phase kettle is one that does not boil water in one go, this one needs three stages … And another BCET.
08h00, The first stint for the slower cars come up. The consensus seem it is too wet out there. We still have an engine to run in and we may have a wet race on race day, Fossa lines up all by herself … The track opens. It is a bit slippery but improves as Fossa circulates and after five or six laps Mike Briggs joins the fun. We complete seven laps when our time is up, the slickest corner being number five. Fossa holds out well, engine running good, temperature good, oil pressure good …. Later another stints goes smoothly.
Just after 13h00 our qualifying slot. On our second hot lap, exiting corner two, I apply the happy pedal to discover how Fossa will handle with three wheels as her left front hub breaks and Fossa make a trail of sparks to the side of the track.
The hunt for a suitable replacement hub is on. Word goes out, things do not look good. Internet research based on the part number indicate Ford Cortina Mk2 Gt or Lotus … A visit to the Zwartkops workshop may be promising, but these guys are also in progress with their qualifying sessions and with the quantity of cars under their command rather busy. It is decided to go home and see what configuration the rhino has fitted and then we would debate returning or leaving the work for the next day. Worst case scenario at least weld the broken hub to enable loading Fossa on her trailer.
Back home we strip Rhino’s hub. Her stub axle have a smaller diameter …. This is a no-go. Mixed feelings, can’t say disappointed, could have been worse. there may still be that odd chance we may succeed, the probability low though. I start to mentally prepare to play photographer.
28/01/2017: Up early. Brian Schussler will be arriving around five. There is still no helpful feedback with regards to any usable hub …. I decide to leave my race kit at home … Annalie, T-eam Manager suggest other wise, maybe another opportunity will show.
Track side pre 6am armed with our welded and assembled hub …. A short while later Gary Stacey arrives … We take a walk down to shed ons again and meet up with Peter Du Toit. Peter say we can strip his red Anglia for spares, Sorry, to me that is not an option. The chief mechanic promises to send one of their guys as soon as he arrives to go and look in a shed for a spare. By half past seven we are still waiting when Gary gets a brain wave, he might have what we need, just not sure of the sizes. After a few communications with his shop he has a Coastal Hire West Rand bakkie on route with the spares. While Gary is on track competing in the race that would have been our first race, the spares arrive and the “Roach” and Brian collect at the main gate ….. and I am waiting on glowing coals to see if it will fit …… The musketeers grab a lift with Danie from the Ford Anglia Club to speed up the delivery. I grab a bite of my BCET …..
The parts arrive, Bearing sizes match and without much further deliberation we start cleaning and assembling. Lionel and Michelle Da Silva pop in for a brief visit. Brian and the “Roach” pitch in.
The newly refurbished hub is fitted. The brake caliper is fitted to discover interference …. Gary jumps into action with a borrowed angle grinder applying some weight reduction ….. Forty five minutes before our next race and final opportunity, I pull Fossa out of the pits … a short drive around the pits indicate a bit of a pull to the one side …
On with the racing kit. We are going to try! Should Fossa provide bad feedback I will bring her in ….. We line up at the back ….
Video with insert courtesy, Michelle Da Silva
1:47.1162 – 1:31.8903 – 1:31.8164 – 1:29.0605 – 1:29.6906 – 1:29.4857 – 1;29.5068 – 1:28.453
I am happy with Fossa’s lap times considering she has just had major surgery!
See you at Zwartkops Raceway for the Historic Tour, 4 March 2017,