Tag Archives: Suzuki

Torrential Drizzle – Odyssey Battery MSA Rally Cross Pembrey

May 1st dawned overcast as I headed down to Pembrey for the third round of the Odyssey Battery MSA Rally Cross Championship, by the time I got there the drizzle was approaching torrential helping to prepare the track for a full day’s entertainment that was scheduled to include no less than 52 starts.

Ford Fiesta, Kevin Procter, Odyssey Battery, MSA Rally Cross Championship, Pembrey

Ford Fiesta driver Kevin Procter seen taking the inside line above, out fumbled his rivals to win the Supercar class.

Suzuki Swift, Tom Llewellin, Odyssey Battery, MSA Rally Cross Championship, Pembrey

Rally Cross debutante Tom Llewellin is seen leading his rivals in the Junior class for Suzuki Swift 1300’s, after finishing second in his first heat Tom led the final from start to finish.

Peugeot 206, Guy  Corner, Odyssey Battery, MSA Rally Cross Championship, Pembrey

Guy Corner is seen above making a splash, in his Peugeot 206 above, on his way to victory in the Super National Class.

Citroën C2, Phil Chicken, Odyssey Battery, MSA Rally Cross Championship, Pembrey

The Super 1600 class was won by Phil Chicken in his #62 Citroën C2 beating the #72 Suzuki Swift driven by Tristan Ovenden.

Citroën Saxo, Graham Rumsey, Odyssey Battery, MSA Rally Cross Championship, Pembrey

Graham Rumsey saw off four Polish challengers to win the Hot Hatch class in his #45 Citroën Saxo beating 2nd place finisher Tomasz Wielgosz in his #1 Peugeot 106 and 3rd place finisher Robert Potyra in his #18 Saxo.

BMW Mini Cooper S, Keifer Hudson, Odyssey Battery, MSA Rally Cross Championship, Pembrey

After getting liberally caked in mud by his fellow competitors in the 1st qualifier for the BMW Mini class Kiefer Hudson seen above, jet washed his #53 Mini down and came back to win the final.

Swift Sport Championship, Odyssey Battery, MSA Rally Cross Championship, Pembrey

The Swift Sport Class final had not one, but four starts after first Aiden Hills rolled his car, then Jeff Hankin followed suit on the second attempt, on the third attempt Bradley Durdin backed into the barriers and finally Nathan Heathcote completed 3 laps in his #55 Swift ahead of Chris Woollett in the #7.

RX 150, Chrissy Palmer, Odyssey Battery, MSA Rally Cross Championship, Pembrey

Chrissy Palmer held off two generations of Llewellin in the Honda Fireblade powered Rage RX150 final beating the younger Ben in the green #7 above and Dad double British Rally Champion David who put on a notably spectacular display in his white example.

Porsche 911, Barry Stewart, Odyssey Battery, MSA Rally Cross Championship, Pembrey

Regular readers might remember the last time I saw Barry Stewart’s spectacular Porsche 911 was at the Brighton Speed Trails a couple of years ago, above Barry is seen leading the field on his way to a win in the Retro class ahead of the Metro 6R4 driven by Rob Gibson and Rear Wheel Drive Ford Escort Mk III driven by Ray Morgan.

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


Classic Competition Cars – Classic Motor Show NEC Birmingham

Today’s blog is all about some of the classic competition vehicles at last weekends Classic Motor Show at the NEC in Birmingham.

Rosemary Smith,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

A couple of weeks ago I went to a talk at which Rosemary Smith, winner of the 1965 Tulip Rally driving the Hillamn Imp above, was to be the guest of honour, unfortunatley she had a fall and so could not make it so it was great to see her on her feet again at the Classic Motor Show despite the fact that some of her bones were still on the mend.

MG B Roadster,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Rosemary drove a Ford Cortina Lotus on the 1968 London to Sydney Rally and finished 48th six places behind Jean Denton who drove the MGB GT Roadster seen above in need of some tlc, who finished 42nd.

Discovery Beetle,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Among the taller vehicles at the show was the road legal Gulf liveried Discovery Beetle, above, built on a shortened 1996 Land Rover Discovery chassis and fitted with a 300 TDi which being lighter and more aerodynamic than a standard Discovey goes well on the road and is perfect for off road trials.

Cooper Daimler T87,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Having acquired a 1966 Cooper T81 formula one car and fitted it with a 7.2 litre / 440 cui wedge engine for hill climbing Martin Brain acquired a 1967 Cooper T87 Formula 2 chassis and had it fitted with a 2.5 litre / 152 cui Daimler hemi V8, more commonly found in the SP250 and V8 250 Daimler models, for hill climbing on tracks with tighter corners. The car was rescued from a Swedish Museum in 2011 by Gillian Goldsmith better known as a successful equestrian and car racer Gillian Fortescue-Thomas who has since competed with the Cooper Daimler as has her daughter Samantha.

Gould NME GR61X,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Powered by a 650 hp Nicholson McLaren Engines (NME) 3.5 litre / 213 cui development of the Cosworth HB Indy car engine the Gould NME GR61X is the most successful car ever to compete in British Hill Climbing with Scott Moran claiming 133 wins and Roger Moran claiming a further 16 and Alex Summers 8 since the cars first appearance in April 2005.

Empire Wraith,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Successful Trike hill climber and Empire Racing Cars founder Bill Chaplin called Dutch born Formula One aerodynamicist Willem Toet, most recently at Sauber, to work on the Empire Wraith hill climb challenger which is powered by a 180hp Suzuki GSR K8 motor. This example built at the Empire factory in Stathe Somerset in 2013 is the first of three built to date and is driven by Clive Austin and Chris Aspinall.

Healey Westland,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

In 1948 Donald Healey and Geoffrey Healey drove the Healey Westland above to a ninth place finish on the Mille Miglia, the following year Tommy Wisdom and Geoffrey finished 10th in the same event in the same car.

Marcos Prototype,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

By 1959 former de Haviland aircraft engineer Frank Costin had a CV that included designing the Vanwall Grand Prix challenger that won the inaugural World Constructors Championship in 1958 and subsequent demand for his attention included that of Jem Marsh with whom he founded Marcos Engineering in Dolgellau, North Wales. The prototype Marcos, using the same plywood construction techniques de Haviland used to build the Mosquito fighter bomber the Vampire jet fighter, built in 1959 powered by a Ford 100E engine is seen above awaiting some well earned tlc having disappeared in Lincoln for many years.

Italia 2000GT,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Only 329 Italia 2000 GT’s were built by Vignale and in 1996 Jorg Von Appen had #210, one of five Italia’s he owned converted to race spec to take part in the TR Race series, it survived four races and was recently purchased by the proprietor of Patterson’s Original Pickles.

Porsche 904 Carrera GTS,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

After withdrawing from Formula One at the end of 1962 Porsche built their first tube framed fiberglass bodied sports car which would culminate in the development of the 917 and later 936 models, originally known as the 904 Porsche badged the car Carrera GTS in deference to Peugeot’s ‘digit “0” digit’ numbering system. The GTS seen here was I believe used in competition by Claude Barbier and possibly later by Cyr Febbrairo.

BMW GTP,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

No doubt much to the annoyance of Formula Ring Meister Bernie Ecclestone the manufacturer who supplied the engines for his Formula One Brabham team split it’s efforts in 1986 between Formula One and the IMSA GTP series and invested in four March 86G chassis and fitted them with a 2 litre / 122 cui version of the BMW engine that had powered Nelson Piquet to the World Championship in 1983. A BMW GTP was driven to it’s only victory by Davy Jones and John Andretti in the Watkins Glen 500, while the Brabham BMW team scored on 2 championship points in the worst season for the team up to that time.

Eagle HF89,  Classic Motorshow, NEC, Birmingham

Dan Gurney’s All American Racers graduated to the IMSA GTP class in 1989, after claiming the driver’s and constructors’ championships in the GTO division Chris Cord in 1987, the teams all new HF89 was designed by Ron Hopkins and Hiro Fujimori and the following year Argentina’s Juan Manuel Fangio II drove HF89’s to three victories in the Topeka 300, Sears Point 300 with Rocky Moran and Del Mar Fairgrounds Road Circuit in November 1990.

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


Three Rotor Wankel – Mazda 757 #003

For 1986 the Lucky Strike sponsored Mazdaspeed team employed Nigel Stroud to design a new challenger for Le Mans which was to compete in the IMSA GTP class with a new 3 rotor type 13G Wankel rotary engine rated at 1962 cc / 119 cui.

Three 757 chassis were built #001 was given it’s debut at Suzuka in April 1986 where Yoshimi Katayama, Youjirou Terada and Takashi Yorino finished 6th from 12th on the grid.

#90 URD  David Mercer, Jens Winther, #201 Mazda David Kennedy, Takashi Yorino,  Kouros 1000 Kms Silverstone,

Chassis #002 and today’s featured #003 got their first runs in the Kouros 1000 Kms at Silverstone where Yoshimi Katayama and Youjirou Terada finished 13th overall and first in GTP with chassis #002.

David Kennedy and Takashi Yorino, seen battling with the #90 URD driven by David Mercer, Jens Winther above, came home 19th one spot behind and on the same lap as the #90 URD, both cars being 38 laps behind the winners Jaguar driven by Derek Warwick and Eddie Cheever.

#120 Mazda 757, David Kennedy, Mark Galvin, Pierre Dieudonné, 24 Heures du Mans, Le Mans,

Mazdaspeed took all three of it’s 757’s to Le Mans in 1986, but only used two of them in the race.

Both cars, #003 carrying the #120 race number driven by David Kennedy, Mark Galvin and Pierre Dieudonné and #002 carrying the #121 race number driven by Takashi Yorino, Youjirou Terada and Yoshimi Katayama were bought back to the pits at the end of the race after their gearboxes failed after completing 137 laps and 59 laps respectively.

#120 Mazda 757, David Kennedy, Mark Galvin, Pierre Dieudonné, 24 Heures du Mans, Le Mans,

The 757’s continued to be campaigned in Japan through 1986 where Yoshimi Katayama and Youjirou Terada scored a season high 4th in the 500 km race at Fuji in November.

Following a 1987 season high 4th place finish at the May Fuji 1000 kms for Takashi Yorino and David Kennedy Mazdaspeed returned to Le Mans with three cars one of which, #002, was retained as a spare.

#120 Mazda 757, David Kennedy, Mark Galvin, Pierre Dieudonné, 24 Heures du Mans, Le Mans,

#003 was renumbered possibly with a new chassis #103 and driven by the same David, Mark and Pierre trio as in 1986, but now carrying the #202 race number as seen below.

After starting 28th they finished the race in 7th place overall, first in IMSA, while the new sister chassis #104 carrying the #201 race number driven by the ’86 all Japanese trio of Yoshimi, Youjirou, and Takashi, retired with engine failure after completing just 34 laps.

#202 Mazda 757, David Kennedy, Mark Galvin, Pierre Dieudonné, 24 Heures du Mans, Le Mans,

On it’s return to Japan chassis #003/103 was acquired by Shizumatsu Racing who ran it in Japan during the 1988 and 1989 seasons for Syuuji Fujii, Terumitsu Fujieda, Tetsuji Shiratori, Kaoru Iida and Seisaku Suzuki whose best results were two sixth places during the 1989 season.

Pleasure Racing became the entrant of the car for it’s final season with the drivers Syuuji and Tetsuji being joined by Keiichi Mizutani for one event at Suzuka in September where they finished 14th from 18th on the grid.

Syuuji and Tetsuji rounded out today’s featured cars known career at Fuji in October 1990 with an 8th place finish from 18th on the grid, equaling the 1990 season high finish at the same track in July, from 16th on the grid, when Seisaku was also sharing the driving.

Thanks for joining me on this “Three Rotor Wankel” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looling at a short tailed Alpine. Don’t forget to come back now !


Jun Jeans – Mazda RX7 253i

Welcome to the first of 26 vehicles that will be featured this month that have either run at, or are of a type that have run in the Le Mans 24 Hour endurance race, I will be featuring these cars every day this month except Wednesday, there will be no prizes for guessing what the featured marque will be on Mazda Monday’s.

In 1979 Mazda ran a single Mazda RX7, also known as a 252i, at the fastest round about in the world for Tetsu Ikuzawa, Youjirou Terada and Claude Buchet but it failed to qualify with a best qualifying time of 4m 18.880 s.

The 252i is thought to have raced at Fuji on at least 3 occasions, but a class win in November ’79, for Youjirou Terada and Nico Nicole, is the only known result.

Mazda RX7, Silverstone 6 Hours,

Three years later today’s featured car the RX7 253i made it’s debut sans 252i type rear wing at the 1981 Silverstone 6 Hours, as seen in these photographs, where it was driven to a IMSA GTU class win and 8th place overall finish from 23rd on the grid by Youjirou Terada and Win Percy.

Youjirou and Win were joined by Hiroshi Fushida at Le Mans in 1981 where they out qualified a Domon sponsored sister car driven by Tom Walkinshaw, Pete Lovett and Tetsu Ikuzawa with a 49th best time of 4:04.790 against the 51st best time of 4:07.180 achieved by the Domon sponsored drivers.

Neither 253i finished the race the Jun (Jeans not Speed Shop) sponsored car retired after completing 25 laps with a rear axle problem while the Donon sponsored car retired with a rotary engine problem.

Mazda RX7, Youjirou Terada / Win Percy, Silverstone 6 Hours,

253i’s were raced in Japan until 1986 by teams that included Kinomi Racing, Team Speed Shop Seven, Yours Sport, Alpha Cubic Racing Team, Mishima Auto Hanbai, Capris Enterprise,TRS Itabashi, Koyata Engei Racing and AMRC teams.

The best known results for the model are three second place overall finishes for Tony Trimmer and Nico Nicole at Suzuka in August 1981, at Fuji 1000kms in July 1982 for the Alpha Cubic Racing Team trio Chiyomi Totani, Kaoru Iida and Keiichi Suzuki and finally for the Aqua Motors Club No.3 drivers Chikage Oguchi and Takashi Yorino in the November 1982 Fuji 500 kms.

In 1982 Mazda built an even more radical body for a pair RX7 254i’s for Le Mans and got one of two cars entered to a 14th place finish at Le Mans with Youjirou, Takashi Yorino and Australian Allan Moffat sharing the driving.

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


The Great Western Sprint – Castle Combe

A couple of weeks ago I popped along to help out the Bristol Motor Club marshall there annual freeze fest better known as The Great Western Sprint at Castle Combe, mercifully it was a dry sunny day but as ever the persistent freezing wind out at Bobbies where I was stationed meant that humour had a very tough fight on it’s hands.

Ford Fiesta, Great Western Sprint, Castle Combe

My responsibilities precluded taking any photo’s of the action so here are a selection of arbitrary shots taken in the paddock shown in running order, first up from Abergavenny Martyn Davies’s Ford Fiesta with which he won the A1 Roadgoing class for cars with motors up to 1400 cc / 85.4 cui.

Suzuki Swift, Great Western Sprint, Castle Combe

Phil Tuckers 1989 Suzuki Swift, which finished second in class behind Martyn, caught my attention because the model was also sold as a Subaru Justy like the one Robert Solarski drove on the recent Tavern Motor Club Washingpool Farm Targa Rally.

Ford Escort Mexico, Great Western Sprint, Castle Combe

On my way over to Castle Combe I observed Rowland Turner was wearing ear protectors at the wheel of his 1975 Mk 1 Ford Escort as he made steady progress on the motorway, Rowland finished 8th in the up to 1800 cc / 109.8 cui class.

Audi S4, Great Western Sprint, Castle Combe

One of the more powerful cars in the paddock was Roger Banks’s Audi S4 powered by a twin turbo 4.2 litre / 256 cui 40 valve V8 said to produce over 700 hp. Roger recorded fastest time in his all wheel drive beast with a NASCAR sized rear spoiler in the C3 modified class on the practice run but broke down on his first timed run, leaving Keith Murray in his old school Audi 80 to take class spoils as he had done on this event in 2013.

Leastone F5, Great Western Sprint, Castle Combe

6th in the up to Racing Cars up to 1100cc / 67 cui E1 category was Nick Mizen in his Irish built Leastone F5 fitted with a 900cc / 54.9 cui Suzuki Motorcycle engine.

Jedi Mk 1, Great Western Sprint, Castle Combe

Martin Pickles qualified for the top 12 run offs and finished with 7th best time of the day with his 1 litre / 61 cui Jedi Mk1.

The larger engined Reynard DB Mk 1 shared by Mark Smith and Craig Sampson recorded first and second fastest times of the day respectively.

Thanks for joining me on this “The Great Western Sprint” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at a 1931 Chrysler. Don’t forget to come back now !


Purple Haze – Brighton Speed Trials

The the skeletal old pier at Brighton was shrouded by a sea haze as I enjoyed an excellent breakfast with local organic eggs at the Lucky Beach cafe on the beach front.

The purpose of my visit to Brighton was to see the 1/4 mile Brighton Speed Trials which earlier this year were saved, with the aid of some GALPOT readers who signed an e-petition organised by Brighton and Hove Motor Club.

Austin 1800 S, Brighton Speed Trials

Among the Brighton and Hove Motor Club members taking part was Andrew Atherton and his immaculate 1970 Austin 1800 S Mk II, also known as a Landcrab, who recorded a best time of 20.77 secs which translates to a final speed of at least 66.55 mph.

Plymouth Satellite, Cheng Lim, Brighton Speed Trials,

Surprisingly Cheng Lim could not better Andrew’s time in his similarly aged General Lim Plymouth Satellite who only managed a best time of 29.67 or 47.49 mph the slowest time of the day.

Porsche 911, Barry Stewart, Brighton Speed Trials,

At the sharper end of the field Barry Stewart managed to record 41st fastest time with a best 12.10 secs approx 112 mph in his Rallycross, off road competition, spec turbocharged Porsche 911.

Allard J2, Jim Tiller, Brighton Speed Trials,

Jim Tiller’s drag spec Allard J2 “The Old Fella” had the largest quoted engine size at 7342 cc / 448 cui but he could only record 14th best time at 10.62 seconds / 127 mph.

Force SR4, Rob Stevens, Brighton Speed Trials,

Like the slowest car the fastest car in the field was painted purple, but the competition Force SR4 powered by a 1300 cc / 79 cui turbocharged motor was driven by 2012 Brighton Speed Trials Winner Rob Stevens who recorded a best time of 9.87 seconds / 144 mph in the top six run off.

Suzuki Hyabusa Turbo, Craig Mallabone, Brighton Speed Trials,

Unsurprisingly 8 bikes managed a faster time than Rob with fastest being Craig Mallabone on his 1300 cc / 79 cui turbocharged Hayabusa powered Suzuki who recorded the only sub 9 second time of the day at 8.94 on his first timed run, seen above, at an astonishing 150.68 mph.

My thanks to those GALPOT readers who signed the Save Brighton Speed Trials e-petition without your support I would not have found myself writing this blog.

Thanks for joining me on this “Purple Haze” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres”, I hope you will join me again for a look at a proto Can Am car tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Brock’s Fantuzzi Body – de Tomaso Sports 5000 #P70-001

In 1965 Alejandro de Tomaso turned his attention to building a run of 50 sports racing cars, to be known as the Sport 5000 using the central backbone chassis architecture of his Vallelunga road car as a starting point.

de Tomaso Sport 5000, Modena

Photo Courtesy Bill Noon / Symbolic International.

He replaced the 100 hp 4 cylinder Ford Kent motor used in the road car with a 475 hp 4.7 litre / 289 Ford V8 sourced from Carroll Shelby of the type developed for the Cobra sports racing cars.

de Tomaso Sport 5000, Modena

Photo Courtesy Bill Noon / Symbolic International.

The open top aluminium body work was designed by Pete Brock, who was responsible for designing the Cobra Coupé bodywork for Carroll Shelby, a year earlier and crafted by Fantuzzi.

de Tomaso Sport 5000

Photo Courtesy Bill Noon / Symbolic International.

The cars first public appearances, with rear wheels covered, were in the 1965 Turin Motor Show and 1966 Modena Racing Car Show. Around this time Ghia had stepped in with some financial assistance and the car was known as the Ghia de Tomaso. In March 1966 Pierre Noblet, Franco Bernabei, Umberto Maglioli were entered to drive the car in the Sebring 12 Hours, but it failed to show up.

de Tomaso Sport 5000

Photo Courtesy Bill Noon / Symbolic International.

The Sport 5000 entry for the 1966 Le Mans 24 Hours was refused by organisers Automobile Club de l’Ouest, but in July 1966 Roberto Bussinello drove the Sport 5000, on it’s competition debut, in the Cuircuito del Mugello road race where the car retired on the opening, 66 km, lap.

Palm Springs Concours d'Elegance

The only Sport 5000 built at de Tomaso’s Modena factory would never race again, by this time Shelby had turned his attentions to the Ford GT40 programme and production of the Sport 5000 was put on indefinite ice.

Pete Brock used elements of the Sport 5000 design including the adjustable rear wing, in the Suzuki Hino race car, while de Tomaso used the strengthend chassis design in the Ford 289 and later 302 cui V8 powered de Tomaso Mangusta.

The unique Sport 5000, a contemporary of the Ford GT40 and Ferrari P3, did not surface again until after Alejandro de Tomaso died in 2004. In 2006 a second car was built known as a 70P using the original cars panels as a template for the copy.

Earlier this year the de Tomaso Sport 5000, which is now being offered for sale by Bill Noon’s Symbolic International, was seen, above, by Geoffrey Horton at Palm Springs Concours d’Elegance.

My thanks to Bill Noon at Symbolic International for sharing his photographs of the Sport 5000 and to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photograph too !

Thanks for joining me on this “Brock’s Fantuzzi Body” edition of Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at an American project that took Jaguar back to Le Mans in the mid 1980’s. Don’t forget to come back now !