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.

Zwartkops raceway, Winter Trophy 09/06/2018

Annalie and me head out to Zwartkops Raceway on Friday morning. Our brand new 244 profile camshaft fitted, positive expectations.

Documentation and scrutineering completed and two practice stints remaining, we head out. Fossa feels good, it’s just as if she is being held back. We achieve a best lap of 01:27.715, a very good start to the weekend. Still the target, our best lap of 01:26.889 set in October 2014.

Post discussion with the other Anglia drivers and against some recommendations I go ahead and change the choke tubes by up-sizing one step. Stint two, Fossa feels even better, now breathing to about 7000 rpm and a new personal best of 1.26.222. We head home with questions of upsizing the choke tubes even further. The plan is to head track side early, do the swop, see what it does during qualifying and making a decision from there.

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The Roach opts-out in favour of video games. A young gent Jaco through a Ford Ranger group makes contact and utilize one ticket. Himself an oval track racer from Port Elizabeth, have a lot of idea’s … Well, we arrive track side shortly before 06:00. It is cold, very cold. The decision to upsize the choke tubes freezes right there. The entries from the Little Giants rather shocking with only twelve entries. We are going to race with the BIG V8’s of which there are only six entries.

Qualifying, 08H45. On our 8th lap we run a 1:26.360. Quite acceptable, must be honest on the quest for lap times I was hoping for better.

Race one, 10H54. Starting in position 17 with the two Alfa’s of Jaco (Class B) and Jaco Sr (Class C) Taylor in front of me and the Alfa of Louis Baartman (Class C) following I knew there will be no relaxation. For a short while I see flashes of the following yellow Alfa in my rear view mirror but a lap or so in I only needed to concentrate on the Alfa of Jaco Sr in front of me until the big V8’s come into play. Every corner I catch up to the Alfa, every straight he builds a gap just to have it close at the next corner until the final lap corner four, Jaco Sr’s Alfa rear end starts slipping out and he disappears in a cloud of dust to the inside of the track. I have open track in front of me to the chequered flag and a yet another new personal best of 1:25.116!

Fossa Ford Anglia surrounded by Alfa's

Fossa Ford Anglia surrounded by Alfa’s

Race two, 13H16. This time round we start in 16th position again surrounded by the Alfa’s, one in front and two to the back. Jaco Sr behind the Alfa of Louis, my expectation, Jaco Sr to pass Louis before the end of lap one and a race for the flag. This does however not happen and we are running solo. The V8’s catch up and just after the leading group pass at corner five to six Ben Morgenrood slides off to the inside of the track at corner seven. Two of the V8’s pass as we enter pit straight followed by Ben for the second time just before corner two. We finish with a best lap of 1:26.166.

We manage a first in class. We are doing our best to get Fossa Ford Anglia and myself in a position to get more play mates with the more regular guys and girl being classes A and B. The lower regular entries are make that task bigger. Sure we all have scenario’s which have one miss the odd race, but I do have to wonder why we have such small entries. Is it honestly the economy? Are there so many cars in need of repairs? Is there something happening that I am not aware off? We need competitors to fill the fields and produce more close races throughout all classes. It is more fun for the competitors and have a better chance in an entertainment world were we compete for spectators.

All in all, a nice event, thanks Zwartkops Raceway. Thank you Fossa Ford Anglia, our Tea-m Manager for your support in a beautiful new personal best as a birthday gift, thanks!!!!

As for our immediate future. Fossa Ford Anglia is in good condition and our next race should be 7July at the Midvaal Raceway, Historic Tour Round Four. Only items I would like to do is an oil and filter change, and further experimentation with the side draughts.

Till then, cheers 🙂