Midas Historic Tour, Round 5, 17 August, Kyalami ….

Good morning after ……… Quite a hectic day …

Arriving at the gate, security would not let us in. With a race car in tow, who or what did he think we were? Just towing a race car for the fun? To slow down the incredible 3.0 Liters of Ford Cortina? We went to a costume ball the previous night and forgot to remove our costumes? Our tickets are on the inside and we can not enter to fetch them … IDIOT! Serious lack of communication? Our qualifying is early and we go and line up in the pre-race paddock. We are then informed that we will be doing qualifying from pit lane and I take Fossa back to pit lane. At the entry point of pit lane, another bright spark security promptly stops me and informs me there is no parking in pit lane, dude, I am sitting in a race car, you have all seen Fossa, does she look like a casual go to the mall kinda car? If so we may need to change her appearance! Maybe put numbers on the door? That is only two of a few incidents.

Arriving at Kyalami before six does not secure you a stable parking spot in the pits on a busy day. With many of the competitors able to take their cars to the track for practice on Friday, we did not have a proper pit spot and resulted in us hanging around Fossa to move her around to accommodate other competitors going out to race and returning to their positions. It feels as if we did the same distance pushing Fossa in the pits as racing her around the track. Not a pleasurable experience. Post our second race Fossa is immediately taken to the car park and rigged for return.

Qualifying at Kyalami

Qualifying at Kyalami

Looking at the entries listed in the program, we are the only in our class. Very disappointing after our last race at Zwartkops Raceway. A new strategy to the race emerges, see how far I can take Fossa before the lapping by the enormous V8’s and rabid Alfa’s and Mini’s start.

At last! A pic of Fossa and Thomas Falkiner's 'Stang

At last! A pic of Fossa and Thomas Falkiner’s ‘Stang

The water temperature gauge in Fossa decides to strike. Ultimately risky business to race without that indication. I make a judgment call based on the temperatures the previous week at Zwartkops Raceway and the cool morning that the race is on and on the performance in the first heat I start the electric fan on lap 4 in the second heat for that little extra protection.

General report: With Fossa’s handling characteristics changed due to our changes made to the front suspension and the still relatively “unknown” Kyalami, I start off easy but very soon find that I am able to push Fossa to greater limits through corners. The event becomes a testing session testing limits within reason. At times I have Fossa hopping on all fours through selected corners. This may come in handy as we have another two races scheduled at Kyalami this season.

Times: Coming from previous events, 2:42.558 and 2:37.284, I think 2:30.325 is a welcome improvement and surprise!

Fossa caught by some of those rabid Alfa's

Fossa caught by some of those rabid Alfa’s

Fossa’s engine still has some issues with changes during a race with regards to the ranges she wants to be driven at, power ranges changing all the time. Suspect it is due to engine temperature changes. This is very worrisome as it happens so suddenly that while racing I am placed in a position of asking my self if I am pushing her too hard and will she hold. Funds are very limited and I do not want to rebuild her engine after every race as we work hard for a living and also need some time for resting.

Fossa @ Wesbank corner

Fossa @ Wesbank corner

After both racing sessions I exit Fossa drenched in sweat. It took a different level of concentration driving the limits, concentrating, watch the rear view mirrors and on the appearance of a rapidly approaching V8 try and plan the lapping point, can I make it to the next straight, yes/no, should I hug the corner or run wide ……… all good and well, stay on the racing line. I am running solo in my own hidden race against them. I really have nobody to win, just some track and car experience and they are in a sometimes too serious race to win, wise choice, get out of the way.

Sure, there is the Anglia run by Denzil Bhana. When running, a competitor to the V8’s on the short track, but Fossa is not on that level and the finances to get Fossa there and keep her there, even apparently with regards to suitable spares a challenge for Denzil, not in our scope. It seems it is a trend to have small entries in the “Little Giants” series at Kyalami and this does raise the question of stay or go. It is much more fun to race against someone.

Fossa in the final corner

Fossa in the final corner

Despite Fossa’s lack of performance and my lack of experience, Fossa once again had a big following of supporters, that is so cool! Annalie and Chris “The Roach” reporting spectators screaming for the White Anglia!

A big thanks to Bolt Stop popping in again!

We are in “negotiations” as I type with Steven Kernick of MG Youth Program FAME for a CLIFFHANGER at the next Kyalami event, Ford Anglia vs MGB GT! We will have all the spectators on their feet! LOL!

Trophy, 1st Class U

Trophy, 1st Class U

Domo Arigato