Tag Archives: HSCC

HSCC International Trophy – Silverstone

Now celebrating it’s 50th anniversary the Historic Sports Car Club organised a two day International Trophy meeting at Silverstone last weekend of which I popped along to the second.

Jaguar E-type_7278sc

The first race of the day was led by the #91 Jaguar E-Type shared by Julian Thomas an Calum Lockie for opening 13 laps of the Turnkey GT and Sports Car Cup, but they lost ground on the driver change which happened as the course was under a full course caution that became a red flag after three further laps leaving the #75 AC Cobra 289 shared by Leo Voyazides and Andy Wolfe that had been running in the top six to inherit the win.

Formula Junior_7318sc

Sam Wilson in his #53 Lotus 20/22 led the 2nd Formula Junior race of the weekend from start to finish five cars held second place over the 9 lap race with Andrew Hibberd’s red #79 Lotus 22, seen in fourth above securing the spot with two laps to go, a late charge from James Murray secured third in his Lola.

Michael Lyons, McLaren M26, HSCC International Trophy, Silverstone

James Hunt won the International Championship twice when the British Racing Drivers Club organised the event with Hesketh in 1974 and McLaren in his 1976 championship winning year, last weekend Michael Lyons, seen above, drove a 1977 spec McLaren M26 to an easy victory in International Trophy ahead of Andrew Smith’s Gunston liveried March 79B.

Lola T282, Voyazides-Wolfe, HSCC International Trophy, Silverstone

Leo Voyazides and James Wolfe had to work a little harder, than Micheal, in their 1973 Jean-Louis Lafosse / Reine Wisell Gitanes liveried Lola T282 to get the better of the #19 Simon Watson and Andrew Kirkaldy Chevron B19 and the third place #60 Chevron B26 driven by John Burton in the 50 minute Pre 80 Endurance race.

Historic Formula 3, HSCC International Trophy, Silverstone

After several successful seasons running a Cooper in Formula Junior Jon Milicevic has switched to driving the #14 Brabham BT21B in Formula 3 and looks to continue his winning ways, having passed the Micheal Hibberd’s #25 Brabham on the opening lap he retained the lead to the end to finish ahead of Simon Archer’s #22 March 703 which worked it’s way up from 5th at the end of the opening lap.

Guards Trophy, HSCC International Trophy, Silverstone

George Tizzard’s persistence chasing down, the out of shot, #4 pole sitting Chevron B8 shared by Sandy Watson and Martin O’Connell was rewarded when he took the lead in the HSCC Guards Trophy 2 laps from home driving the #2 Gulf liveried Lenham Spyder.

Ford Falcon, Leo Voyazides, HSCC International Trophy, Silverstone

Leo Voyazides took a fairly easy victory third victory of the day with a solo drive in his Ford Falcon in the HSCC ByBox Historic Touring Car Championship beating the Ford Mustang driven by Warren Biggs by 14 seconds from pole position.

HSCC Historic Formula Ford 2000, HSCC International Trophy, Silverstone

In the final race of the day Ian Pearson won the HSCC Formula 2000 race from pole in his #9 Van Diemen RF83 while Andrew Park had to battle back to second in his white #27 Reynard SF81 after giving the place up to the #87 Reynard SF79 driven by Nelson Rowe and #33 Van Diemen RF82 of Marc Mercer on the opening lap.

Thanks for joining me on this International Trophy edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me for the next Packard edition soon. Don’t forget to come back now !


Testing Testing – Castle Combe

On my day off yesterday I headed over to the Atwell Wilson Museum in Calne, and taking the scenic route I happened by Castle Combe where pre season testing was under way, I couldn’t resist the allure of the sight of racing cars in action so stopped off to see what was going on.

Vauxhall Tigra, Oliver Bull, Castle Combe,

About to leave the paddock above is 2015 Castle Combe Sports & GT Champion Oliver Bull in his Fleuertation Flowers of Bristol Vauxhall Tigra in preparation of his campaign to defend his title which starts at the Howard’s Day meeting on Easter Monday March the 28th.

Haggispeed Mk9b, Tony Harman, Castle Combe,

Bob Haggis Le Seur is believed to have built around seventeen cars which included a couple of Hillman Imps and most notably Haggispeed Clubmans cars the series of which went up to Mk 10, I believe the Mk9b above has been owned and driven by Tony Harman since 2001 in the HSCC Classic Clubmans series, the HSCC will be holding a two day meeting at Castle Combe on April 16/17.

Ferrari 360, TBC, Castle Combe,

Just as I started making my way round the track it started to rain and so many of the cars immediately headed for the pits including the unmarked Ferrari 360 above, the driver of which is unknown to me as is the series in which the car might run, if you know please do not hesitate to chime in below.

Ginetta G16, George Douglas, Castle Combe,

In his time Mobile Windscreens proprietor and HSCC Guards Trophy competitor George Douglas has run a variety of special saloons and GT’s with exotic chassis including a Hillman Imp, Skoda and Ginetta G12, above he is seen diving into the pits in his slick shod Ginetta G16 as the heavens open.

Van Diemen RF00, Roger Orgee, Castle Combe,

I’ll try not to snigger at all the shenanigans going on in Formula One at the moment with the drivers unanimously requesting some one take control, as I have been saying for along time Formula One could do worse than come up with a 600hp version of Formula Ford 1600 on similarly skinny all weather tyres, if it was really interested in entertaining spectators, above 2015 Castle Combe FF1600 Roger Orgee spray’s the cobwebs out of his championship winning Van Diemen RF00.

Peugeot 106 GTi, Geoffrey Ryall, Castle Combe,

Geoffrey Ryall appeared to be having great fun in his #29 Peugeot 106 GTi with which he competes in Class C of the Castle Combe Saloon Car Championship.

Neil Harris, Nemesis Prototype, Castle Combe,

Seen setting sail for The Esses above is Castle Combe Sports Racing Series competitor Neil Harris in his #15 Nemesis Prototype.

Mini Miglia, Shayne Deegan, Castle Combe,

At the end of last year 2014 and 2015 Demon Tweeks 720 Stockhatch Championship winner Shayne Deegan switched from his Citroën Saxo to a Mini Miglia run by Peter Baldwin for the three race 50 Plate Triple Shoutout at Snetterton which he also won, Shayne who I believe is seen exploring the outer limits of Quarry above, won the #50 for 2016 the 50th Anniversary year of the Mini 7 club which runs the Mini Miglia Championship.

Reynard SF78, Graham Ridgeway, Castle Combe,

HSCC Formula 2000 competitor Graham Ridgeway is seen splashing towards Avon rise in his 1978 Reynard SF78, which he shares with Jennifer Ridgeway, above.

Nike Mk6, Peter Hannam, Castle Combe,

Back in the paddock Peter Hannam consults before adjust his shock absorbers on his 1970 Nike Mk 6 HSCC Formula Ford challenger for which he needed no tools beyond his fingers.

Wishing all GALPOT readers all the best for the 2016 Racing Season ahead, looks like my work schedule might allow me to kick my season off at the 24 Endurance race for Touring cars at Silverstone on April 2nd / 3rd.

Thanks for joining me on this “Testing Testing” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for Americana Thursday. Don’t forget to come back now !


Grand Finals – Castle Combe

On Saturday I popped along to Castle Combe for the Grand Finals meeting where the sun was trying in vain to dissipate the clouds, but the fine quality of the racing made up for it’s inadequacies.

Reynard/Fisher Spectrum/Moyers, FF1600, Castle Combe

The afternoons racing got off to a scintillating start with the Drive Soutwest and Empire EV Castle Combe Formula Ford 1600, Kent engines, Championship, in which Josh Fisher starting from third on the grid in his 1989 #81 Reynard engaged in a thrilling battle with pole sitter Michael Moyers driving the #125 Spectrum 11c that was twenty years younger than the Reynard.

Josh took the lead on lap six, relinquished it for the next two laps before grabbing it for good on lap 9, Josh is seen above exceeding track limits as he takes the flag after 15 thrilling laps by just 0.212 of a second from Michael, Roger Orgee clinched the championship, 41 years after his farther Roger Snr, won the same championship at he same track, with a third place finish.

BMW 320i, Swaffer, Wileman, Palmer, Davison, Castle Combe

The penultimate round of the Toyo Tyres Production BMW championship saw Gary Feakin and Harry Goodman storm away from the rest and leaving the #145 of Matthew Swaffer, #131 of Matthew Wileman, #8 of Mark Palmer and #17 driven by William Davison to squabble over the final place on the podium in another entertaining race.

When the dust settled William finished third behind Harry but ahead of Matthew Wileman, Rob Cooper and Mark while Matthew Saffer retired the #145, Gary’s win sealed the championship in his favour with one round, run later in the afternoon, to go.

Spire GT3, Tim Gray, Castle Combe

Nottingham’s Tim Gray drove his #96 Spire GT3 to set a pole time for the Castle Combe Sports Racing Series race over three and a half seconds ahead of fellow front row starter Robert Gillman in his #66 Radical Prosport.

It was hardly surprising there for that the closest anyone got to Tim was on the warm up lap when the race ended Robert was 53 seconds ahead of the #12 Radical SR4 driven by Darcey Smith who remained the only unlapped runner, hopefully next year Simon Tilling might bring his Radical out to play in what could be a competitive series.

Audi Hutchings, Volkswagen Scaramanga, Castle Combe

Dave Scaramanga, driving the #6 Volkswagen Scirocco from 9th on the grid, accepted some responsibility for killing Tony Hutchings opportunity to clinch the Class A title of the On Pole Castle Combe Saloon Car Championship after a coming together with the #33 Audi TT a couple of hundred yards after the photo above was taken, leaving Gary Prebble to win the class championship unchallenged in his SEAT Leon 20V T.

Earlier in the race Dave missed the same Bobbies chicane where he came together with Tony on the penultimate lap, after 19 years of trying Mark Wyatt secured his first championship with his class B Vauxhall Astra.

Brabham Thompson, March Armer, Castle Combe

Like Dave Scaramanga, Simon Armer also misjudged Bobbies chicane on the opening lap of the first of two HSCC Historic Formula 3 Races, Simon driving the #22 March 703 is seen making up time as he looks to deprive the #65 Brabham BT21 driven by Peter Thompson of the second place on lap 3 on his way to victory.

Legendary club motorsports journalist and racer Marcus Pye in the commentary box informed us that the Simon’s March belonged to Tom Walkinshaw, who went on to found Tom Walkinshaw Racing with which he won the 1984 European Touring Car Championship at the wheel of a TWR Jaguar before taking Jaguar back to Le Mans in 1986 which resulted in wins for the marque in 1988 and 1990.

Spectrum/Moyers, Reynard/Fisher, FF1600, Castle Combe

The Formula Ford boys made a second appearance at the meeting for the non championship Formula Ford Carnival which again saw a close battle between Michael Moyers and Josh Fisher, this time Michael did not give an inch and won the 15 lap adrenaline rush by less than a second, for his two entertaining drives in such an ancient machine Josh quite rightly won the man of the meeting award.

Ginetta Krayem, Mazda Putt, Castle Combe

Bristol’s Oliver Bull driving a Ford powered Vauxhall Tigra Silhouette in class B of the Avatar Sports Cars Castle Combe Sports and GT Championship managed to secure the overall title with an incident free drive to second overall from pole. Claimants for the win included Barry Squibb who took the lead on the opening lap only to retire his fire belching Mitsubishi Evo on lap 3 which handed the lead to the fearsome 7 litre / 427 cui V8 powered Zilla Killa Mazda RX7 driven by Steve Putt who started second on the grid.

4th place starter David Krayem, driving a 3.5 litre / 213 cui V8 powered Ginetta G50 is seen above at Quarry having just taken the lead, which he held until the end of the race, from Steve with three laps to go.

BMW 320i, Feakins, Goodman, Wileman, Davison, Castle Combe

Gary Feakin #2, Harry Goodman #4 and William Davison #17 again deprived Matthew Wileman of a podium as they finished the second Toyo Tyres Production BMW championship in the same order as the first, Matthew held third place in the #131 until lap 5 before giving way to the William in another event full of close racing through out the field.

March 703, Simon Armer, Castle Combe, Castle Combe

Simon Armer made no mistakes in the second HSCC Formula 3 race in which he smoked the field and led from start to finish to win by just over 3 seconds, although the finishing order with Peter Thompson and Michael Scott finishing second and third the battle was never certain until the checkered flag was shown.

Ginetta Kraymen, Audi Hall, Castle Combe

Finally the Castle Combe Sports and GT’s came out to play with the Castle Combe Saloons for a bit of end of term fun, Steve Hall in the #19 Audi TT starting from 5th on the grid made the move on David Kraymen seen above as they approach the The Esses stick and led the opening lap before relinquishing the lead back to David who won the race by 2.5 seconds from the Audi with Adam Prebbles steel bodied Rover Tomcat a highly entertaining 3rd ahead of the Audi TT driven by Tony Hutchings.

With another full day of motorsport planned in Wales for the following day I declined the kind invitation to all to attend a party at the Strawford Centre where no doubt a good time was had by all.

Thanks for joining me on this “Grand Finals” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a Plymouth. Don’t forget to come back now !


Ian’s Great Escape – Oulton Park Gold Cup

At the weekend I took a break from attending the Gold Cup on Monday as in recent years and went on the Sunday, my decision was influenced by slightly larger grids for the races and slightly better weather, I was rewarded with a short lie in and a great day’s racing which kicked off when Tim Murray and I visited the press office where we were greeted with a warm welcome and great cup of coffee by friends made over several years on The Nostalgia Forum.

Morgan, Kivlochan, Ginetta, Ward Booth, Lotus, Barter, Ginetta Boland, Gold Cup, Oulton Park,

After a quick visit of the pit area we made our way to Deer Leap for the 10 lap Oni Plc Historic Road Sports race which was led on the opening lap by front row starter Kevin Kivlochan in the #98 Morgan Plus 8 seen above already in second place on lap two. Pole starter Julian Barter driving the #51 Lotus Elan S4 completed the opening lap in 4th but recovered to relieve the races second leader Roger Waite in another Lotus Elan on lap 5, the red #32 Ginetta G4 driven by Patrick Ward Booth finished 3rd ahead of Kevin’s Morgan and the blue #27 Ginetta G4 driven by Dave Boland.

Lightening Envoyette, Peter Moreton, Lotus 22 Andy Hibberd, Gold Cup, Oulton Park,

We moved to the inside of Lodge for the next couple of races. Above Peter Moreton had an electric opening lap in the first of the two Silverline Historic Formula Junior races leading the field from 4th on the grid in his #75 Lightening Envoyette, front row starter Andrew Hibberd in the #179 Lotus 22 completed the opening lap in third and is seen above lining up to relieve Peter of the lead for good at the end of lap 3, John Fyda driving a Brabham BT6 finished second ahead of Peter with less than 6 seconds covering the top three after 20 mins of close racing.

TVR Griffith, Gardner/Cox, Mike Whitaker, Gold Cup, Oulton Park,

Mike Gardiner and Dave Cox qualified their #77 TVR Griffith on pole for the HSCC Guards Trophy supported by Dunlop Tyres GT Race but there was no stopping Mike Whitaker in the similar #46 TVR seen above about to take the lead at the end of the 2nd lap which he would hold onto until pitting on lap 11 handing over the lead to the similarly Ford 289 powered AC Cobra driven by Robert Bremner. After the pit stops had cycled through Mike Whitaker led until the end of the race ahead of the Gardiner / Cox TVR and Robert in the over steering (loose) AC.

Brabham BT21, March 703 Simon Armer, Gold Cup, Oulton Park,

By the end of the 40 min GT race Tim and I had made our way over to the inside of Old Hall from whence we watched the start of the first of two The Cubicle Centre Historic Formula 3 races. Fourth place starter Steve Seaman in his #26 Brabham BT21 nipped through to lead the opening 4 laps of this race from pole man Simon Armer driving the #22 March 703 who is seen above about to pass Steve to claim the lead which he held onto to take the flag a gnats over 17 seconds ahead of Micheal Scott’s Brabham BT28. Steve came home forth behind clear championship leader Leif Bosson driving another Brabham BT28.

Chevron B37, Neil Glover, March 742, Mark Dwyer, Gold Cup, Oulton Park,

One of the highlights of the weekend was seeing Neil Glover driving the one off 5 litre / 302 cui 1976 Chevron, celebrating it’s fiftieth anniversary this year, B37 F5000 car which he qualified second for the first of the weekends Derek Bell Trophy races behind the 2 litre / 122 cui 1974 March 742 Formula 2 car driven by Mark Dwyer. Neil snatched the lead for the opening 3 laps of the race with Mark snapping at his heals in the nimble March who finally grabbed the lead on the third lap and pulled out a nearly six second advantage when a major incident between Denton’s and Cascades required the red flag to be shown on the 8th lap.

Ian Ashley, Derek Bell Trophy, Gold Cup, Oulton Park,

5th place starter 67 year old former Grand Prix driver Ian Ashley driving the #188 Lola T300 Formula 5000 car came down the chute between Denton’s and Cascades for the 8th time in 4th place behind the Clubmans Mallock driven by Mike Charteris when he came across a hapless lapped Brian Cullen driving a 1970 1600 cc Formula 2 spec #18 Crosslé 19F. Just after the Denton’s right hand kink Ian clipped the left rear wheel of the Crosslé with his right front and went flying down the track until his rear end hit the retaining barriers which sent the car into a barrel roll before landing on it’s right side and then came to rest miraculously the right way up. Fortunately Ian was able to release himself from the remains of his Lola unaided and gave spectators a thumbs up to a good dose of applause, neither driver suffered any injury that I know of.

 Jaguar E-type, Micheal Wilkinson, Gold Cup, Oulton Park,

After the dramatic low’s and high’s of the incident the 40 min Jaguar Heritage race passed by in relative tranquility. The third place starting #50 E-type of Michael Wilkinson and John Bussel took over a commanding lead with 6 laps to go, when Martin O’Connel’s pole winning E-type retired 1 lap after his compulsory pit stop, to finish over a minuet and a half clear of Paul Castaldini who was just third placed pairing of Dave Coyne and Robert Gate who made it an all E-type podium as several of the cars struggled to the end with smoking brakes, exhausts and or transmissions.

Lenham P69 Waggitt/Needham, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

Normal service returned with the Guards Trophy supported by Dunlop Tyres Sports Racing cars race. On the opening lap 5th place starter Jon Waggitt was the man on the move with the #33 Lenham P69 seen here followed by the pole sitting and eventual winning #18 Elva Mk 7, driven by Maxim Bartel and Callum Grant, ready to pounce by the front row starting #6 Chevron B6 driven by Nick Thompson and Sean McClurg. Jon kept the lead for all of two laps before the #18 reasserted qualifying form and went on to win the 40 min race by over 8 seconds from the #33 Lenham that Jon shared with Peter Needham that finished a further 5 seconds ahead of the Chevron B8 driven by Charles Allison. In the back ground seventh place starter Marcus Mussa spins his #88 McLaren Elva M1B going into the Hislops chicane.

70's Road Sports, Gold Cup, Oulton Park

The 20 min 70’s Road Sports Bob Trotter Celebration Race may have been shorter than some, but provided the most closely contested victory as second place starter Jim Dean made the running over the first five laps in his little green #72 Lotus Europa, eventual winner, by just .089 of a second, was Charles Barter whose powerful blue #24 Datsun 240Z started 3rd but had to take to the escape road going into Hislops on the opening lap in order to avoid the spinning 5th place starting Lotus Elan driven by Iain Daniels. Jim finished 2nd just under 5 seconds ahead of the light green #1 TVR Tuscan driven by Peter Shaw.

March 703, Simon Armer, Gold Cup, Oulton Park,

The starting grid for the second Cubicle Centre Historic Formula 3 race was exactly the same as the first, unusually the finishing order of the first race played no part in the starting order for the second, once again it was third place starter Steve Seaman in the Brabham BT21 who went into the lead on the opening lap, but this time he held onto it until lap 6 before a determined Simon Armer found away past for the final two laps of the race which he finished just over half a second ahead of Steve and nearly 8 seconds ahead of Michael Scott.

Historic Formula Junior, Gold Cup, Oulton Park,

The grid for the final race of the day, second Silverline Historic Formula Junior race was determined by the finishing order of Junior race one, but pole sitter Andrew Hibberd finished the opening lap in third as the electric Peter Moreton again led with John Fyda between them. Andrew is seen above having just taken the lead from Peter who was demoted to third as John followed Andrew to take second on lap 3. The order remained the same until the end of the race with the top three again finishing less than six seconds apart with plenty of entertaining battles through the field to keep the results uncertain until the very end of a great day’s racing.

Thanks for joining me on this “Ian’s Great Escape” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be visiting the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. Don’t forget to come back now !


Cast Iron, Glassfibre And Marine Ply – Marcos 1800 GT

To create the sensation of the 1964 Racing Car Show, Marcos kept faith with the marine ply chassis construction method espoused by former de Haviland aero engineer Frank Costin, glueing no fewer than 386 pieces of marine ply together which were then bonded to a glass fiber body to end up with a strong and above all light monocoque chassis.

Marcos 1800 GT, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

Marcos turned to Volvo for a supply of cast iron block B18 engines, more commonly found in the Volvo’s P1800 Coupé, with either four speed or five speed manual gearboxes fitted.

Marcos 1800 GT, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

At the rear the first 33 1800 GT’s were fitted de Dion suspension, which was dropped in favour of a cheaper Ford live axle for the remaining 73 1800 GT’s that were built up until 1966.

Marcos 1800 GT, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

The scintillating glass fibre body was the work of the Adams brothers Denis and Peter, featuring a forward hinging front to ease access to the engine.

Marcos 1800 GT, Andrew Smith, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

With 96hp the 1800 GT could accelerate from rest to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 116 mph, however a works entry for Jem Marsh, John Quick and Peter Taggart at Le Mans in 1968 with a slightly larger B20 motor still failed to qualify.

Marcos 1800 GT, Andrew Smith, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

Despite it’s enthusiastic reception the car proved to be an expensive slow seller, it was not very profitable even after the live axle, which helped drop the price from £1500 to £1340, was adopted.

Marcos 1800 GT, Silverstone Classic, Press Day,

In 1966 the 1800 GT gave way to Ford and Triumph powered models, but today the 1800 GT, such as the example raced by Andrew and Tom Smith seen in these pictures at the recent Silverstone Classic Press Day, is a more highly prized vehicle because it is the last Adams bodied Marcos legible to be driven in Historic Sports Car Club (HSCC) events.

Thanks for joining me on this “Cast Iron, Glassfibre And Marine Ply” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a convertible Citroën. Don’t forget to come back now !


Chevrola – Race Retro 2015

A couple of weeks ago I found myself at the wheel of a seventeen seat minibus full with friends and acquaintances from the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club headed for Race Retro at Stoneleigh Park.

Cooper Mk V, Race Retro, Stoneleigh,

One of the racing highlights of my 2014 season was the 500cc Formula 3 race at the Autumn Classic meeting at Castle Combe the series with cars like the 1951 Cooper Mk V above, will be returning to Castle Combe on Saturday October 3rd, more dates can be found under “Circuits” on this link.

Lola T332, Race Retro, Stoneleigh,

Like 500cc Formula 3 the sound of old skool Formula 5000 cars is not to be missed the ex Chuck Jones 1974 Lola T332 belonging to Steve Farthing should be out at some of the HSCC events on this link follow the column DBT, for details on the seven Derek Bell Trophy events.

Chevron B1, Race Retro, Stoneleigh,

Chevron is celebrating it’s 50th Anniversary this year above the 1965 Chevron B1 was designed to beat the ubiquitous Lotus Seven in ‘Clubmans’ events. Current custodians of the Chevron marque Helen Bashford-Malkie & Vin Malkie announced at Race Retro that they will be working with Lola Heritage to supply parts for the rival brand which dates back to 1958.

Steady Special, Race Retro, Stoneleigh,

MotorSport Magazine unveiled the recently restored Steady Special based on a 1934 V8 powered Lancia Astura modified by Ronald “Steady” Barker for VSCC competition after the ’39/’45 war.

Datsun 240Z, Race Retro, Stoneleigh

As ever there was a selection of rally cars in the shed next to the exhibition halls, while I was admiring this 1972 Datsun 240Z a chap in a wheel chair came flying over asking if it was one of the 77 “real” Samuri 240Z’s prepared by Spike Anderson of Samuri Conversions at Silvestone. I never did find out if the the car above was “real”, but it turned out that the enthusiastic chap in the wheel chair was the “real” Win Percy who drove Samuri 240Z’s and later Samuri Celica’s to many race victories back the mid 1970’s.

Leyton House CG901, Race Retro, Stoneleigh,

Vintage Racecar Magazine always seems to pull a cool Formula One Car out of the hat for this event and this year they brought along the 1990 Leyton House CG901 chassis #003 which Ivan Capelli drove to a season best 2nd place finish in the 1990 French Grand Prix. The car was designed by Adrian Newey who the following year helped design the 1992 World Championship winning FW14 model and most recently designed the Red Bulls with which Sebastian Vettel has won four consecutive World Championships.

Thanks for joining me on this “Chevrola” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Tuning Options – Lotus 26R #26-R-20

The Lotus 26, designed by Ron Hickman of Black and Decker Workmate fame, was first shown to the public in October 1962 with the more familiar Elan name. The Elan was Lotus second attempt at making a primarily road vehicle after the all fiberglass unitary bodied Elite, which had proved too expensive for Lotus to manufacture and make a financial return.

Unlike the unitary bodied Elite the Elan’s fiberglass body was mounted on a ‘steel backbone chassis’ a variation on an idea which can be traced back at least to Rover in 1903 and was subsequently examined and or used by among others Morgan (1910), Tatra (1923) who still use the idea on their contemporary heavy military vehicles, Joseph Ganze’s Adler MaiKaefër (1931), Porsche Type 12 (1931) that with Tatra patents and under Ganzes influence became the VW Type 1 (1938), Skoda 420 Popular (1934), Mercedes Benz 170V (1935) and 170 H (1936), MG R-Type (1935), the Polish PZInz 403 Lux-Sport (1937), Clisby Special (1952), fiberglass bodied TVR MK1 / Grantura (1958), Alpine A108 (1959) that evolved into the fiberglass bodied Alpine A110 (1961) and Triumph Herald (1959), a design which was used to form the basic Vitesse (1962), Spitfire (1962) and GT6 (1966) backbone chassis.

Mounted in the, fabricated from sheet steel, back bone chassis was a 1558cc / 96 cui 4 cylinder iron block aluminium head Lotus Twin cam engine, which was matched with independent suspension and disc brakes on all for wheels. The Elan was sold with either soft or removable hard tops. Soon after becoming available racing teams turned their attentions to preparing the nimble Elan for racing with the likes of Lotus works driver Jim Clark, Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart all competing in privately entered Lotus Elan’s.

Lotus 26R

For 1964 Colin Chapman incorporated many of the ideas learned from the Elan privateers into the 26R built specially for racing, such as the example of Tony Thompson seen at Cadwell Park back in 1989 above, of which 97 were built in 2 distinct series between 1964 and 1966.

The hard top roadster only 26R was around 200lbs lighter that the original Elan, had revised suspension and could be ordered with either Cosworth or BRM tuning package for the Lotus Twin Cam motor, whose 116E block can be traced back to the Ford Consul Capri. Legend has it that the best tuning option was the Cosworth block matched with a BRM head, though I cannot rationalize why this might be the case nor have I substantiated this, if you know please do not hesitate to chime in below.

John Miles is credited with being the most successful 26R driver ‘in period’ clocking up 15 wins for the Willment team to secure the 1966 Autosport Championship. It is thought that 97 26R’s were built and supplied either complete or in tax saving kit form between 1964 and 1966.

Race preparation expert and Lotus aficionado Tony Thompson was in the middle of forth and final HSCC Classic & Sports Car championship wining season when I took these photo’s at Cadwell Park where he dominated the race. Tony possibly lays claim to being the most successful R26 exponent in historic events having used this same #26-R-20 chassis to win the HSCC championship from ’85-’87 and finished runner up in ’88/’90/’91 and 1993 before turning his attentions to racing a Formula Junior Lotus 27 in which he won the FIA Formula Junior championships 1996 to 1998 inclusive !

Thanks to Ray Bell, Pete Taylor, Tim Murray, Steve Holter, Roger Lund, David McKinney, willga, AAGR, David Birchall, JtP1, cheapracer, Greg Mackie, Geoff Butcher, Lee Nicole, johnny yuma, Catlina Park, 312f1, and Karl Ludwigsen who kindly responses to the ‘Backbone’ thread at The Nostalgia Forum and helped identify some of the vehicles with backbone chassis prior to the advent of the Elan.

Further thanks to David Birchall, Edward Fitzgerald, Pete Taylor and ‘the Oracle’ for identifying Tony’s chassis number and clearing up a few other aspects of Elan identification.

Thanks on this ‘Tuning Options’ edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’, I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a unique Bristol. Don’t forget to come back now !