BARGAIN BASEMENT ST - Building a budget race car

BARGAIN BASEMENT ST - Building a budget race car

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SparrowHawk

Original Poster:

84 posts

120 months

Friday 15th October 2021
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Thanks @Megaflow that makes a lot of sense. You're right, even when the P/S fluid is bubbling up it should still not be leaking out of the bottle and all over the aux belts! We have the relocation kit fitted now anyhow, and there have been no leaks since.

@indigorallye this is a really good point. I spent most of the season with CMMC and in their regs I think it does state that you're not allowed to change the outline of the car or make significant alternations to the body. I'm currently thinking that an air scoop / duct fitted to a side window will do the job. We currently only have polycarbonate door windows, so perhaps its time to upgrade the 3 rear windows too.

@topcat1 & @Silver Smudger thanks for the encouragement. It took longer than anticipated, but we got there in the end.

Our final round of the season was with Modified Fords at Snetterton, so I might do a quick write up and end of season wrap-up about how the car has been and what's next.

SparrowHawk

Original Poster:

84 posts

120 months

Wednesday 27th October 2021
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SNETTERTON - FINAL RACE MEETING OF SEASON

We were very pleased to finally get out on track with the BRSCC Modified Fords in October at Snetterton circuit.

It was a patchy weekend of mixed weather and mixed results. But it was cracking fun, and thoroughly enjoyable.

In addition to the qualifying session and 2 x 15min races, the series organiser had also secured us a third race on the Sunday afternoon. So it was great to head up for a full weekend of racing, knowing I’d get 4 sessions out on track.

The Fiesta was packed full with wet wheels, tools, lots of spare fuel, and I set off on Friday evening for my hotel near Snett.



Friday night was interesting!! After rocking up at the local Premier Inn I found that !SOMEONE! had booked my two-night stay on the wrong weekend. Due to it being race weekend, the hotel was fully booked! If that doesn’t go down as a rookie-error then I don’t know what does.



I’ve really enjoyed doing the occasional solo race weekend this year. Driving the race car to the circuit and getting by with the minimum supplies over the weekend (whatever will fit in the car). But it does mean when you make a mistake like this you don’t even have a van to sleep in!



A quick pop to 24Hr Tesco at 11pm for some extra camping gear, and I made my way to the circuit to set up a tent in the dark, on the concrete. Again, the glamour of budget club racing.

Saturday was great fun. It was awesome waking up to find so many beautiful Fords of all eras cramming every inch of the Paddock - as well as our friends from CMMC and what seemed like about 1,000 Caterhams!

Qualifying was about going slow and reminding myself how the 300 circuit flowed. It’s a fun track. The lack of elevation changes does make the 200 configuration fairly boring in my opinion, but the infield section of the 300 is really technical and offers plenty of challenge.



The Modified Fords are a quick grid of cars. The sheer number of cars on track was amazing, with some epic Mk1 Escorts, Sierra Cosworths, and several absolutely rapid Mk6 Fiestas for us to try to keep up with.

The car felt fine, but I took it easy in quali and it showed on the time sheet. We were the slowest of the Fiestas, with some of the fastest cars miles up the road 10 seconds a lap quicker. I knew I was going slow but I didn’t think it was that slow!



Race 1 on Saturday afternoon was fairly eventful at the start. We had a mega getaway and overtook something like 5 cars in the opening couple of corners. Our road-based tyres are pretty grippy straight off the bat, whereas a large portion of the grid ahead of us were running racing slicks that take time to warm up.

I’ve got some nice screen grabs of the days Racing that I’ll try to edit into something that can be shared here. And will come back to edit this post and complete the write up of the weekend l’s racing soon.




shalmaneser

5,293 posts

172 months

Wednesday 27th October 2021
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this was a fun read, looking forward to the next installment!

drmotorsport

543 posts

220 months

Thursday 28th October 2021
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Only just found this thread, but interesting reading and reminds me of where I was 20 years ago! Great racing with you at Snetterton and hope we can have another go next season smile

Feel free to DM me on Insta if you have any random racing/Fiesta questions.

Cheers
Dom

r235ban

16 posts

21 months

Monday 15th November 2021
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Really enjoyed reading this, looks like you where spotted this weekend biggrin

https://youtu.be/HdAqMDFluHY?t=2m33s

indigorallye

545 posts

202 months

Monday 15th November 2021
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I think Rod Birley commented on that 'moment' in his post-race interview.

SparrowHawk

Original Poster:

84 posts

120 months

Thursday 16th December 2021
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SNETTERTON - PART 2

My last post left off as we got started on Race 1 on the Saturday. We'd qualified near the very back of the impressive grid of cars, with a number of other Fiestas ahead of us, including 3 Mk6 ST's directly ahead of us on the grid. Plenty to chase after.

We got a great start, with loads of traction off the line. Heading up the start-straight and through Turn1 we went past at least 5 cars. Being brave on the straight I threaded the car between the Mk1 Escort ahead of me, and then went late on the brakes to get in front of the Fiesta in front of me. 'What a start', I thought to myself, 'we're going forwards here'!



Then reality bit. Round the Turn2 hairpin and up through Turn3, two of the cars I'd overtaken whistled past me! 'Oh, I see' I thought to myself. As we hammered down towards the heavy braking zone at Turn4 I again pulled level with the 2 cars ahead - where, to our horror, we found a red Fiesta parked broadside across the circuit, right on the apex. This was following some contact made with another car - and sent us all scattering in different directions to avoid a further collision.



After this I tried my best to cling onto the back of the Fiesta ST in front of me, and the surprisingly quick red Ford Puma. But I didn't have the pace and by the end of Lap1 they'd both pulled clear of me. As I came across the start/finish straight I lost out on another place as the Mk1 Escort I'd overtaken at the start also screamed past me. Perhaps this wasn't going to be my day after-all.

But what followed over the next few laps was an absolute hoot. Chris in the black Fiesta ST had sat patiently behind me for the first couple of laps, and soon made a move going into Turn1. I fought back at Turn2 and we were still battling going into Turns 3 & 4. This was great fun, as our cars are both built to 'CMMC TP Class' standard and so are very evenly matched.



We were then also joined by Dave in his rapid Mk5 Fiesta. He undertook me on the infield part of the circuit, leading to a last minute dive from me back up the inside at the final corner Murrays, after Coram. It was great fun battling it out in a little pack of Fiestas. But ultimately I was the slower driver/car and they both came out on top.



After a starting position of 26th on the grid, we finished the race in P22. Doesn't sound like a terrible result, but to be completely honest I was way off the pace. I don't know Snetterton that well, and I just didn't seem to have the knowledge of the in-field section to keep up with the other cars in my class. In addition, my car seemed to really struggle for grip; whether I was slightly over-driving or whether I'd got the setup wrong, other Fiestas seemed to be carrying a lot more speed than me in important corners and I was losing out.

I prayed for rain on Sunday - for Races 2 & 3.



Edited by SparrowHawk on Thursday 16th December 18:40

Andy888

695 posts

170 months

Tuesday 8th February
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Great thread, great read. Encouraging me to do the same with a Mini for a local Mini Rallysprint cup. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

shalmaneser

5,293 posts

172 months

Tuesday 8th February
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Please do keep this updated it's a very amusing read!

Cambs_Stuart

1,714 posts

61 months

Wednesday 9th February
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Absolutely brilliant thread. I've just read it from start to finish. Really, really enjoyed the build detail and race reports.



SparrowHawk

Original Poster:

84 posts

120 months

Thursday 10th March
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SNETTERTON - PART 3/3

Well it's been a while since I updated this thread. But I should really finish off the story of the 2021 season, and our journey of building a race car from scratch and going club racing with it.

And with the new season looming, I might even keep going with updates from 2022.

Snetterton was great fun, racing with the Modified Ford Series. The Saturday was tough, I felt like I was miles off the pace, but I got some good seat-time and spent the Saturday sessions 're-learning' the circuit.

Sunday morning came, and brought with it just what I needed. Rain!
Race 2 in the morning was.. well.. chaos!

After our not too awful Race1 finish, we were starting P22 out of 27 starters.



As the race started the circuit was covered in standing water, and the start quickly turned into a reactions-test for everyone on track. Cars seemed to be spinning everywhere, with so many drivers caught out wearing cold slick tyres on what was suddenly a very wet and slippery track.

During the opening couple of laps there were a number of incidents; cars spilling off the circuit, a couple of very unfortunate incidents of contact (very rare in the Modified Fords) and a couple of cars spinning on track and ending up facing the wrong way. I managed to avoid all of this, whilst picking off a number of places and making a couple of opportunist moves. The little Fiestas really inspire confidence in the wet - and so I decided to be brave and make hay while the sun did not shine.



My semi-slick road legal tyres were an absolute god send in these conditions. So despite the fact that most of the drivers in front of me were far more skilled/experienced than me, and in far quicker cars - I found myself climbing up the field. After starting near the back of the grid in P22 we found ourselves in P12 by mid-way through the race.

There was plenty of fun to be had mixing it with the other Fiestas on track, and trying hard to defend my track position, with the quicker cars eventually finding grip and coming past me again. The conditions began to change and a dry line began to appear, meaning the cars behind me on slicks came roaring past. There's nothing like a 500horsepower Cosworth storming past you in the wet, to wake you up!



We managed to cling on to P13 right up until the final lap - we were still there with just 0:53 seconds remaining on the clock. But on that final lap several cars finally came past us. Including the frustratingly fast red Puma of Team Hadfield. We again battled with Chris in his black Fiesta ST all the way to the line on the final lap, and just managed to remain in front as we crossed the finish line.

We eventually came home in P17 and admittedly that was pretty much the back of the field given the number of cars forced into retirement by the poor conditions. But all told, I'd say it was one of the most enjoyable races I've ever had. It had a bit of everything. And I'd been smiling from start to finish.



The final race was a slightly different story as the weather cleared up and Race 3 took place in perfect sunshine on a nice dry track. We started P16 out of 27 starters.

Very quickly in these conditions I found that (just like in Race 1 yesterday) I was off the pace. The other Fiestas soon disappeared off up the road, with me having the familiar experience of losing seconds to them in the in-field section of Snetterton. My car also felt like it was missing some power on the long back straight.

With one eye on my journey home (which the race car would be driving, on the road!) I eased the car home, finishing in P19 some way behind my closest rival.

What a great weekend it had been. I knew I'd definitely be back to race more with the BRSCC Modified Ford Series. The organisation was great, the social side of it was brilliant, the paddock was so friendly, and the racing was very fair. Racing on track with some of the most beautiful race cars in the country, was a real privilege.



Despite this meeting being our last planned race weekend of the season.. we decided we couldn't pass up the opportunity to race at our local circuit Brands Hatch at night time. So we signed up to the BRITCAR Into The Night race weekend in November to end our season in style. Update on that weekend also coming soon.



Edited by SparrowHawk on Thursday 10th March 12:56

SparrowHawk

Original Poster:

84 posts

120 months

Sunday 13th March
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FINAL RACE WEEKEND OF THE SEASON - BRITCAR INTO THE NIGHT

Although we'd intended to end our season at Snetterton, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to race at one of our favourite events on the calendar. Me and Dad have been attending race meetings at Brands Hatch since I was three-feet tall. The Britcar 'INTO THE NIGHT' race was often our final trip of the season. There's something about cars racing into the darkness, headlights on, that is just fantastic to watch. So having the chance to join the support races with CMMC was too good an opportunity to miss.



Qualifying and both races would all take place on Sunday. So we arrived at Brands on the Saturday evening.

We pitched up in the paddock with our good friends from the CMMC, Gideon and Nick. Both in Hondas. The CMMC offers a good mix of cars and a friendly relaxed atmosphere for the most part, its proper club level motorsport with no frills. It's been great having guys like these to learn from and hang out with at race weekends. The friends you meet in the paddock are a huge part of what racing is about for me.



Sunday morning was grey and damp. The skies didn't look like they would be clearing. So we sensed we had a wet day ahead of us. I've done plenty of track driving in the rain. But virtually none on a damp/greasy track. Qualifying in the morning was an eye-opener!!



I'd taken the executive decision on Friday that my Dad didn't need the brand new set of Dunlop Direzza semi-slick tyres that were currently on his Fiesta; so when he wasn't looking I stole them and put them on my race car. I figured that as this was the last weekend of the season and it was at our home circuit, I wanted the best possible chance of ending on a high - and so his sacrifice was worthwhile.

Excited to finally drive the car on a fresh set of 'proper' tyres I lined up for qualifying in the morning feeling super confident. As we entered the circuit it had just started to drizzle, a light but constant mist of rain descended on the circuit. "Won't bother me" I thought, "I've got a brand new set of tyres on".

What followed was the scariest and sketchiest 15 minutes I've ever spent in a race car.



It turns out that driving on a freshly moistened track covered in a film a rubber and grease, is about as easy as driving on black ice. My earlier confidence had evaporated before I'd made it round Paddock Hill bend for the first time. The car was squirming around underneath me, and hitting me with both oversteer through the faster corners and then understeer through the slower corners. It wasn't so much 'fun' as 'terrifying'.



When we came in from quali I was waffling on about how the new tyres were terrible, and we must have got the tyre pressures wrong, and we'd have to do something about the suspension setup, blah blah. I was so used to driving the car hard in the wet, that I just didn't realise how much harder it is to drive in less wet but more 'greasy' conditions. I was convinced I was the only one finding it that difficult to drive out there. But my more experienced friends around me explained that it wasn't the car and that everyone was in the same boat. It was a real eye opener, but great experience.

We qualified in P16 out of 22 cars. Not too awful, but there were 3 identical Fiesta STs racing today and we were last out of those 3 cars. So plenty of work to do in Race1 & Race2.

Race1 was wet! There was a lot of confusion in terms of race organisation. We were called early, but started late, we went out on track but were then called in again, some drivers were given the option to change to their wet tyres, other drivers (me included) were told we couldn't go and change to our wet tyres, and by the end of it some of us were a bit naffed off and just wanting to get the race started.

When we got underway it was great fun. The track was no longer so slippery and instead was just wet! Brands is always a challenging circuit in the rain, and I still haven't quite perfected the wet line. I know that in the wet there's much more grip to be found around the outside of Clearways (in my view the trickiest corner on the circuit), but I still haven't nailed the best line in other sections.



The Direzzas were a bit better than during quali, offering more predictable levels of grip, but there was enough standing water that I'd have much preferred to be on Uniroyal Rainsports. Either way we all had a great time out there and I think everyone survived the race with their cars in one piece, which is always a result when you're racing in the rain.

We'd started Race1 in P17 and after a good battle with our mate Chris in his black Fiesta we managed to get in front and finished in P16. We were second out of the 3 Fiestas. Our pal Ian was a few seconds up the road in P15 in his blue Fiesta, and his fastest lap was a full 2seconds quicker than my fastest lap which was very impressive on such a wet track. I'd have my work cut out to find that time in Race2!



Whilst we were focussing on our own race, the all-wheel-drive cars with more horsepower were coming up behind ready to lap us. Race leader Rod in his famous black Escort Cosworth really caught me out by appearing in my mirrors just at the moment I made a move to overtake Chris in front of me. Things could have ended up going very badly, as the rear of my car kicked out just as Rod was coming past me. But I was saved by the front-wheel drive as I kept my foot buried and the car pulled itself straight again. It was a hairy moment but I found myself ahead of Chris at the end of it and finished in P16 and second in class.



Race2 was brilliant. We had all sorts going on. Again it was soaking wet with rain still coming down. Driving in the rain as the darkness came in was something pretty special. I've been lucky enough to go and watch the Le Mans 24hours. And today, although I was only driving a little shopping trolley, and doing barely half the speed of a GT3 car, I still found myself imagining I was driving into the darkness at Le Mans. It was really really good fun.



The 3 Fiestas started P15, P16, P17. We were bunched up for much of the action. Ian was out front again in his Blue Fiesta. Chris was right on my tail from the word go and managed to make a good pass on me. It as a great race, with a thrilling ending.



There was some more chopping and changing of position as the circuit got darker and darker. As we entered the final lap I had Chris ahead of me, and he was chasing Ian in front of him. Coming down the hill towards Graham Hill bend I saw Ian run wide ahead of us (literally the only mistake he'd made all weekend) and as the blue Fiesta ran onto the grass, Chris dived up the inside with me hot on his heels. The rain was coming down hard and the spray was blinding.

Smelling the chance of an unlikely class win, with only a couple of corners remaining and the sky now completely dark, I went for my final opportunity at Clearways. I threw it up the inside of the black Fiesta in front of me and we both prayed for grip! Chris's car washed out slightly wide and left me just enough room to sneak past. I could see him putting on opposite lock as we pulled level mid-corner and it was only a great show of car control from him that kept us both facing in the right direction.



We hooked round onto the finish straight and all 3 Fiestas took the chequered flag, one after another in quick succession. We'd been third in class with just 4 corners to go - and crossed the finish line first in class. What a finale to our race weekend and to our season.



It had been a superb year of racing in our home-built car. Full of lessons learned and lots of fun had. We'd made some new pals, and even managed to come out of it with a number of class wins. I really couldn't fault our car and it felt like we'd achieved exactly what we'd hoped to when we started this journey a year ago.



We'd answered the question; can you build a car for £5k and go racing in it. The answer to that was yes. But the car had cost us more like £9k by the end of the season!!



But most importantly of all, me and Dad had spent some great time together messing about with cars. What more can you want?

Edited by SparrowHawk on Sunday 13th March 17:27

SparrowHawk

Original Poster:

84 posts

120 months

Thursday 17th March
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SCALEXTRIC SPONSORSHIP

I had a few people ask me at race meetings and on Instagram about the Scalextric sponsorship. So I thought I'd do brief summary of how that support came about and what the brand means to me.



When deciding to build a race car, sponsorship was pretty far from my mind. The intention was always to budget for the entire build myself, and to pay my own way with race entry fees and the myriad costs associated with going racing.

However, once the season got underway and the costs started mounting up, the original £5k build budget went well out of the window! I still had enough money to get myself on track, but it did get me thinking about pursuing some form of sponsorship either this season or for the following 2022 season (more on that later!).

At the same time, I had a nice message from someone at Scalextric about my build thread here on Pistonheads, and also a good conversation in-person at one of our race meetings during the season. The fact that our racing had started very much as a home-build project based on a father-son bond over motorsport, and the fact we were documenting our progress and sharing it with others, appealed to Scalextric.

So we agreed to run the Scalextric branding on our car for the season, in return for some support to keep us going. Scalextric were also sponsoring the BRSCC Modified Ford Series; and so they introduced us to Paul who runs the series, which is how we got to learn about the series that we would end up racing in towards the end of 2021.



The fact is, I've been a big fan of Scalextric since as far back as I can remember. My Dad had a huge collection of model cars when he was a young lad, back in the 60's and 70's. I was no different when I was growing up. One day I was rummaging around in the cellar of my Grandparents house and found a giant collection of old Corgi models, toy cars, and retro Scalextric. I couldn't believe my eyes, for a 7 year old lad it was like discovering a haul of pirate gold. I'd discovered my Dad's childhood collection, which he'd wisely kept hidden from me until I was old enough to appreciate it and not break it. This would have been in the early 90's.

My Dad and I then commandeered the cellar, just as he had when he was growing up in that same house decades before. Instead of my Dad playing for hours on his Scalextric while my Grandpa worked away at his workbench, it was now me crawling around on the floor building new track configurations and setting up grandstands of plastic spectators, and arranging our collection of Scalextric cars into pitlanes full of race teams, with my Dad watching on.

Memories of us playing for hours with those slot cars are some of the strongest memories I have from my childhood, and I'm sure many PH'ers will have similar memories that they treasure. So when I got talking to Scalextric about my own 'real' racing car I didn't take too much convincing to wear their colours on track.



It's not an exaggeration to say that Scalextric is what started my love of cars in the first place. It was the hours and hours spent racing slot cars with my Dad, which firmly established cars and racing as the main love in our lives, that would lead to us building a race car together all these years later.

With the journey from slot-car racing to real car racing now complete, I'm excited to see what else me and Dad can achieve together on track. I'm pleased to say that Scalextric will be continuing to support us into the new race season in 2022, and with whatever comes next on our racing journey.

Chunkychucky

4,999 posts

146 months

Friday 18th March
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Another enjoyable update to read, thanks for sharing - congrats on the 1st in Class results and also the sponsorship from Scalextric!

Look forward to reading what you guys get up to this season, best of luck cool

SparrowHawk

Original Poster:

84 posts

120 months

Tuesday 5th April
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2021 SEASON RE-CAP

So in conclusion to all the previous updates, here's a summary of our 2021 race season.

DEC 2020 - We bought the car as a standard road car, with a failed MOT, but in good overall condition and with surprisingly spotless bodywork, and a solid service history record.

JAN 2021 - Fixed up the car with everything it needed to be fully road-legal again, and got it through a fresh MOT. Then began stripping down the car, removing all the interior, and taking excess weight out of the car. Leaving a little bit of interior in the car - as we'd be driving it on the road to all race meetings!

FEB 2021 - Started building it into a race car. Including working outside in the snow! Fitting new safety equipment, race wheels & tyres, handling upgrades, and started on tricky jobs such as electrical cut-off.

MAR 2021 - Drove the car from Kent up to Lincolnshire, to have a full roll-cage professionally fitted by JP Cages. Went back again to collect it a week later. Then continued adding final race parts such as the race seat, rain light, steering wheel etc.

APR 2021 - Took the car for its first track session and shakedown at Brands Hatch. Still on new standard OEM shock absorbers with Eibach springs. The car performed surprisingly well, handling much better than expected on its basic setup. We made the decision to enter the car into Round 1 of the CMMC Tin Tops at Lydden Hill.

APR 2021 - Round 1 of the CMMC @ Lydden Hill. We were absolutely thrilled with the performance of the car on its first race weekend. We were on the pace right away. After qualifying we were right up behind the other lead car in our class. In Race 1 we got in front on the first lap and held out until the race was stopped with 1 lap to go.. taking the class win in our first ever race! In Race 2 we just managed to remain in front despite an incredibly tight race all the way to the line, taking a second class win in our second ever race. Mega!

MAY 2021 - Round 2 of the CMMC @ Brands Hatch GP. The car was found out, for being noticeably slower on the GP circuit, due to its poor suspension setup. We were beaten fair and square by the other cars in our class. But still had a fantastic time racing on the iconic F1 circuit, and still had some great racing with some other cars in lower classes too.

JUNE 2021 - The coilover suspension finally showed up, and we fitted it ourselves. Probably the most rewarding job of the whole build process. We took the car to Kent Motorsport for proper race alignment and setup. The car was now officially 'finished'!

JULY 2021 - Round 3 of the CMMC @ CADWELL PARK. We came away with another 2 class wins! The circuit is amazing, and probably the most fun drive of the whole year. It was also a really serious test of the car, as the circuit is very technical - but also because its a long drive from Kent and the race car had to make that journey on the public roads!! But we made it there and back in one piece, and with some silverware.

AUG 2021 - Another trackday at Brands Hatch. Beautiful weather and a good chance to try out some different tyre and suspension settings. We had now really dialled the car in to suit my driving style, and to still be useable on the road.. not an easy task but it was working for us. We also secured support from Scalextric for the remainder of the season.

SEPT 2021 - Round 4 of the CMMC @ BRANDS HATCH. I sliced my hand open in the days before the race, and therefore had to miss the round at my home circuit! Woops!

AUG 2021 - Round 5 of the CMMC + MODIFIED FORDS @ SNETTERTON. We had a chance to race with the guys from Modified Fords at this round, and decided to try it out - as it looked like a great series and a potential option for us to race in that series next season. We had great fun racing with Modified Fords, and the mix of cars on track was incredible. We had a cracking race in the wet, putting in a very decent performance against some quicker cars. But our car just wasn't up to spec with a lot of the other cars in our class, and we were comprehensively beaten in the dry races. Brilliant fun though!

SEPT 2021 - Round 6 of the CMMC @ BRANDS HATCH. I did it again. I missed another round at my home circuit; again through sheer stupidity. I didn't get my race entry in on time, and when I submitted it was told it was too late as the race weekend was only 5 days away. Gutted!

OCT 2021 - Round 7 of the CMMC @ BRANDS HATCH + BRITCAR INTO THE NIGHT. Finally, we managed a round on our home circuit, Brands Indy. We have done so many thousands of laps here, it was so great to finally get to race our car here having messed up the previous 2 opportunities! We had a storming weekend, in a great battle with Chris & Ian in their near-identical Fiesta ST's. Ian won the first race, and we won the second race, at the last corner of the last lap of the season!

NOV 2021 - Final track day of the year. Brilliant end to a fantastic year of racing, getting the race car out on track at the same time as Dad in his other Fiesta track car. One of the highlights of the year, driving on track together in our home built cars.

DEC 2021 - New race car purchased....... and plans made for the 2022 race season........!






Duke Caboom

1,888 posts

176 months

Wednesday 6th April
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Well done on everything!

shalmaneser

5,293 posts

172 months

Wednesday 6th April
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SparrowHawk said:
2021 SEASON RE-CAP.....

DEC 2021 - New race car purchased....... and plans made for the 2022 race season........!
What is this?! Hoping for a new build thread (or addition to this one...)

SparrowHawk

Original Poster:

84 posts

120 months

Wednesday 13th April
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PLANS FOR THE 2022 RACE SEASON

We knew we wanted to race again in 2022. We could either keep racing the car we've built, in the same series. Or we could look at stepping up into a slightly quicker car and moving into a new series.

The car we've built is perfect for what we did in 2021. Racing in a 'general' tin tops series. Competing in a class specifically designed for cars of that precise specification. It gave us a chance of podiums and class wins at every race meeting. It also didn't cost the earth.

What about continuing to build / modify the current car?

If we wanted to step into a more competitive series with faster cars, such as the Modified Ford Series or even the Fiesta Championship; then our car wasn't high enough spec to be truly competitive. We'd need to upgrade it significantly with mods such as the AST suspension (£4,000!), an LSD, strengthening the chassis, potentially upgrading the roll-cage, and also other upgrades like slick tyres etc.

That would be a very very expensive process - and ultimately not a wise decision. It would make far more financial sense to either continue racing the car as it was; or to invest in an already built, higher-spec car. Such as a BRSCC Fiesta Championship spec car.

We made a decision that if we could get the right Championship spec car at the right price, then we would go for it. Giving us the option to race in either the Modified Ford Series and be competitive in Class B.. or go big and compete for the ST150 class title in the BRSCC Fiesta Championship.

These cars go for as much as £15,000 so it was going to be a big investment. But some race-battered well-seasoned examples also come up for £8,000-10,000. So we spent the off-season on the look out for the right car, and went to view several during the Christmas break.



Having raced a Fiesta last season, I was keen to stay in one. We did look very closely at the Civic Cup. I once owned an old Civic EK9 track car (and ex-Civic Cup car actually) which I absolutely loved. But we decided that it made sense to stay in a Fiesta, for much the same reasons as why we'd chosen to build one last year. They are cheap to maintain, fix, and source parts for. They are bulletproof, and reliable. We know them.

So it was just a case of finding the right Fiesta to take us another step up the racing ladder.

SparrowHawk

Original Poster:

84 posts

120 months

Thursday 14th April
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NEW CAR !!!

So here she is, our trusty new steed for the 2022 season.

She is a BRSCC Fiesta Championship car.



It was built to the very stringent MSA regulations for the Fiesta 'Junior' Championship. This means it is the same spec as the 'Senior' car, but has the 'full-fat' roll-cage with additional bracing and gussets. The cage extends through the bulkhead and into the front turrets. It is a very serious cage, and a nice step up from the decent but 'club spec' cage we have in our silver car.



The other key aspect of this car is that it was build as a fully-fledged race car. Meaning it went back to bare metal before the build started. All panels were seam-welded (and I mean ALL panels, its mad how much seam-welding there actually is), and the car was then re-painted in Championship white.

The fundamental spec of the car (the bits I think are most important!) is as follows:

- Standard blue-printed engine (eg. no race cams or fancy ECU)
- Pumaspeed Championship spec ECU map
- Full Vortex exhaust system
- Seam-welded chassis
- AST 5300 3-way suspension
- Quaife ATB diff
- 15inch Team Dynamics wheels
- Slick tyres

The car certainly has more bells and whistles on it than that. But these are the fundamental aspects that make it a Championship spec car. There are several Fiesta race series, but these cars are the highest spec and therefore the quickest. In its current form, this car would not be eligible to race in the ST-XR Challenge, or the Scottish Fiesta championship for example, because the spec is too high.

We've made a few changes ahead of the new season. A couple of upgrades and a couple of parts swapped out. But this is pretty much the spec that we'll be running the car in for 2022.



The car went to Oulton Park for its first shake-down after we took delivery. Then we managed a test day at Brands Hatch before the season got underway.

In short, the car is rapid. The difference compared with our silver car is vast. The main difference being corner speed; its just epic. All we needed now was for the driver to improve, and learn how to pedal it quicker!!

We were over the moon with the new car and couldn't wait to get it on track for some proper racing.

cheeky_chops

1,469 posts

228 months

Monday 25th April
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just read it all - great thread, good luck for 2022 and keep it coming!

Whats happened to the old car?