Rewiring ….. and one week to go to another double race …..

Hi, the wiring kit Annalie ordered for Fossa arrived and the installation process started. Initially I wanted to retain the old wiring harness for reference purposes, removing this as a unit was proving rather difficult to impossible without removing the roll cage and the roof lining. The removal of the old cabling showed many more prior damaged cables and testing the ignition switch gave intermittant contact. Maybe this last short circuit was the final straw. Another two days was wasted attempting to follow that route for installation an alternative was going to be the only option. The quality of the kit seems extremely good ….. The supplier in South Africa was very helpfull in attempts to resolve some issues and some had to be resolved diy. Then there is still one or two circuits that does not seem to work, maybe it is just that I am not an auto electrician.

Fossa Ford Anglia, the chaos starts

Fossa Ford Anglia, the chaos starts

Well days later everything that I need and more is working.

Fossa Ford Anglia, once again ready for action

Fossa Ford Anglia, once again ready for action

Sometimes Fossa Ford Anglia just demand attention, a while back we discovered that her Weber carburettors are not fully opening and to scratch that from the to do list we looked at improving the setup to discover the cable frayed with only one strand hanging on … Well all done and Fossa sounds mean …. Only remaining issue is the wheel alignment I wanted to have done, the opportunity for that lost due to a call out for work due to an unacceptable lack of communication and ……

29 September, Historic Tour, round 6, Zwartkops Raceway. We have entered two events again, the Pre66 Legends Little Giants and the Pursuit race …… Let’s try for another second and not to break out in the Pursuit race 😉

See you there!!

Dezzi Raceway, 11 August 2018 …. Fun, fun, success, fire and failure

Annalie and I head down to Oslo Beach the afternoon of the eighth. We reach our primary target, the Shelley Beach NSRI station at about 19h30 with our 4.0 Ford Ranger proving up to the task, though rather thirsty. Thursday morning we head to Dezzi Raceway to drop Fossa Ford Anglia off and then head to our family “down under’s” home for a visit. Then book in at our accommodation in Oslo beach and a short visit to the Indian Ocean beach. A shower, something to eat and a welcome bed.

Friday morning we head to a wettish Dezzi Raceway, do the documentation and scrutineering thing. In the weeks leading up to the event I study our own video footage, a drawing and the Google earth image. I do my best to look at every corner, every possible marker trusting that some of them will still be there. Fossa’s Kent engine sounds mean and I want to improve our previous best lap time with Fossa. We run three practice sessions with varying wet to drying conditions. Not ideal for a heat cycle on her new semi-slicks. Something on Fossa’s suspension / steering does not quite feel right.

Dezzi Raceway, Friday, 1/08/2018. Fossa Ford Anglia

Dezzi Raceway, Friday, 10/08/2018. Fossa Ford Anglia

Saturday morning, 11 August, we are at a cold dry trackside with my brother Jacques as pitcrew at six bells. Final preperations, tire pressures adjusted, wheel nuts torqued, oil level confirmed, fuel touched up ….. It is time for qualifying. Fossa’s tires moan much to easy. Clive Winterstein is here with his Porsche 356 and we will somebody to race.

Fossa Ford Anglia exit corner two Pic: Annalie

Fossa Ford Anglia exit corner two Pic: Annalie

Last year we ran a best of 1:43.945 during qualifying in Fossa and a 1:39.254 in the borrowed Dart, target set.

Race one, we exit the pit, complete the short circuit to the pit straight for positioning. Another run on the short circuit behind the pace car and he pulls off the track.

Lap 1: We are released, Les in his MG has a slow pull away with Fossa and Clive’s Porsche cluttering into turn one. Into corner two Clive is on my left side, corner three and then there is some separation as Fossa goes out front. The whole time I have the Porsche breathing down my neck. 2:05.520

Clive's Porsche challenging Fossa Ford Anglia Pic:Annalie

Clive’s Porsche challenging Fossa Ford Anglia Pic:Annalie

Lap 2: Corner one, Clive pass and pulls ahead. Into two Fossa squeezes through and once again takes the lead. The track has quite a few what I would probably call compound corners, in what could possibly be said to be corner six, I notice Clive’s interesting line running wide. In all my “studying” this corner was one of my biggest challenges as it had me in second gear last year, running the corner wide makes third gear a reasonable option. I still catch a glimpse of Les in his MG out front every now and then. 1:42.298

Fossa Ford Anglia takes charge .. Pic: Annalie

Fossa Ford Anglia takes charge .. Pic: Annalie

Lap 3: For the rest of the race Clive’s Porsche say right on my tail, one mistake is all he is waiting for …… 1:41.356

Lap 4: 1:41.578

Lap 5: 1:42.860

Lap 6: We set our best lap with Fossa at 1:40.270

Lap 7: 1:41.087

Lap 8: 1:46.090. The way that some of the faster cars pass Fossa in the corners having us run off the track to avoid contact I can only accept that they do not like racing with the slower cars. Even when in a close race like this one I always race to accommodate them, even slowing down a touch to enable a hassle free pass and I would show them to pass giving extra space at the cost of our lap time when and where possible. Let’s face it, I love racing Fossa, it’s like racing your family sedan, if I had the finances I would be racing the best car ever made, a ’60’s Ford Mustang. Give enough rope, one day is one day …. will not be a laugh, but justified.

As I head through the primary pits Fossa starts spluttering, down the hill to ours, suddenly the cabin starts smelling of wires burning, then the smoke. I can only try to go through the narrow pit road and that with an oncoming marshal towing a recovered car, a spectator on a large bike has to stop in front of me, and wheel his bike reversing into a “parking” spot. Fossa dies, I get her to start again, the air inside unbreathable, I am waiting for the flames, I have to kill all the electrics. The marshal in the passing vehicle assists with a fire extinguisher. And we are blocking the incoming race cars.

Fossa is almost as white inside as outside. Jacques and myself attack the wiring issue finding and replacing damaged cables. Annalie does many trips uphill, um yes, to fetch pails of water, an attempt to remove the powder …. Eventually Fossa starts up, she is not as perky as she was, can only suspect the the battery may have suffered, every now and then her dash lights flicker …. Just in time ..

Race 2: As we head around the short circuit for positioning it is immediately clear that we did not find all the powder. The air moving around inside Fossa just release more and more powder. I discover my helmet visor lens rather scratched, the powder tastes awful and has an eye burning effect and Fossa is running as if she has a miss and she feels very loose …. After four laps I call it quits, no chance of challenging Clive and Fossa’s handling rather dangerous. Our best lap a 1:46.716

With Fossa’s bodywork in one piece and mechanics mostly working, she is able to drive onto her trailer which is first prize. Annalie and me spend Sunday on the beach, no whales captured on camera but a “school” of dolphins that took more than a half an hour to pass.

Back home. Fossa’s seats are removed followed by all other removable items. She is high pressure washed inside. Whether I got to all that powder … I have found the reason to her engine miss firing rather annoyed at the reason and the quick fix. With a wiring harness on route from the USA via a local supplier, next complete engine tests and an inspection of her oil .. An under side inspection shows nothing broken on any suspension or steering components. Will have to take her for wheel alignment maybe that results will point us in the right direction ..

On the 13th of October “Ford and Friends” will be visiting Dezzi Raceway. That could have been an awesome experience, Taking leave again and the financing putting it out of reach.

Dezzi Raceway is a track that seem hard on cars with quite a few running into the KZN veld, even one VW attempting the track on it’s roof. As per the latest news, the Historic Tour do not have an event on the calendar at Dezzi Raceway for 2019. Maybe, just maybe we will be included in an Extreme Festival. I have some unfinished business at Dezzi Raceway, I feel we can cut another three to four seconds …… and just how long we will be able to continue racing is unknown. Will also look at the Retro Racing calendar and negotiate joining them for a race 😉

In the meantime MSA and Redstar Raceway seem to have made peace or come to some sort of agreement and the Historic Tour will be returning there next year.

Next planned race, 29 September, Zwartkops Raceway. Cheers … :0


Midvaal Raceway, 7 July 2018 and another first for our depleted team

Up at 03:00, on the way at 04:15 ….. Using an alternative route to Midvaal Raceway Annalie and I arrive at 05:45. The Roach once again opting for lan games. It is dark and cold. With our next event about 700km away at the Dezzi Raceway we enter Pre66 Little Giants and for the first time, the Historic Pursuit series. The idea to enter two races at Dezzi’s and find our feet prior to an entry in both events down south. Unfortunately the Pursuit race in Oslo Beach will not be taking place this year.

Fossa Ford Anglia is unloaded, Unable to attend on Friday the rush for documentation, scrutineering and drivers briefing with our first qualification listed for 07:15 …… 30 events for the day on the programme, it is going to be a tight squeeze.

Qualify, Pre66 Little Giants, U2 and Sports and GT, listed for 07:15, our first view of Midvaal Raceway in an anti-clockwise direction. Track surface have been patched in places, still a very challenging circuit, a entire resurface would really make it a top track. We run a 1:33.140.

Qualify two, return to the pits to join the next outing, qualify for the Pursuit Race. This was actually a strange feeling, heading out and seeing all the guys warming up tires and Fossa already on excellent traction. We run a 1:32.805.

Race one, Pre66 Little Giants, U2 and Sports and GT. Racing to me is always racing and not qualifying ….. I am surprised to find three top class cars behind us as I expected a rather dull race as once again we are the only class C car entered. Yes, this does have us thinking. We are not about spend more on our Ford Anglia in an attempt to get more competitive and join class B or A. And I want to play same as everybody else … Well, two of the top cars clear us rather quickly as expected and the race challenge come from a rather unexpected field, a Pre90’s Porsche raced by Mark Saunders. Thanks, I had some sort of target, 😉 . We run a 1:30.037.

Pre66, Fossa Ford Anglia in action with the leading Porsche passing

Pre66, Fossa Ford Anglia in action with the leading Porsche passing

Race one, Pursuit Racing, We have one race break between the two. Time to check vitals and top up her fuel. We line up for our first Pursuit Race, once again we are on still warm tires. We depart 1.08 minutes after Robert Clark’s Citroen GS and a Mk1 Ford Escort separating us. Behind us in hot “pursuit” the gigantic Mercedes 0.08 seconds behind …. I had a good idea that we will break out and with that in the back my mind …. we break out. Catching up with the Escort and the Escort catching up with the Citroen we seem to reach the Citroen at about the same time just before the long straight I witness the Citroen’s break dances, or maybe brake dancing as the Escort pass and I have the straight to follow suit. Soon I have the Mercedes looking at catching a lift in Fossa’s boot, I just knew it would not fit and let him through. We finished second but both of us broke out.

With the South African winter sun getting ready to call it a night, some negotiations have us doing our remaining races in succession. Fossa’s fuel tank topped to the brim and I still wonder if she will finish both races on a tank as she seems to be rather heavy on juice ….

Race two, Pre66 Little Giants, U2 and Sports and GT. From the start it is me and Mark, the Porsche clearly enjoying more speed in the straights and Fossa getting closer in the corners. some corners hopping through others with a hint of oversteer. It can not be said that we did not try our best. This time around we do a best lap of 1:30.770.

Race two, Pursuit racing, head straight into the pits to line up, this time around we are following the Citroen and another Mk1 Ford Escort. This time round we pull away at 1.17 seconds after the Citroen. Things seem to be better balanced as we only start getting closer to the Citroen towards the end of the race and more cars catch up and pass which was my experience from watching the series as a spectator. Unfortunately I seem to have lost the lap time sheet. Thanks to the Pursuit Racing guys for the opportunity, 🙂 . I must admit the constant challenges of catching and being catched makes Pursuit Racing very tempting. By all means, anyone can win, whether I am up to the maths ….

I had four races to experience that left hand corner at the end of the main straight, what a feeling. I take my hat off to Fossa Ford Anglia’s resilience, the Kent engine worked very hard …

Fossa’s refusal to start had Annalie and others, (thanks!) push start a stubborn Ford to fire! With that her shoulders have left her in pain with limited arm movement.

Our next planned stop, Dezzi Raceway, 10 / 11 August, Fossa’s next visit to the Indian Ocean. To do list, oil and filter change. Investigate a fuel leak between the side drafts and the manifold …. ‘Till next time, cheers.