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‘BUSA TURBO MINI IS THIS THE

FASTEST MINI IN THE WORLD?

NOW WITH ADDED TRACK DRIVER

TRACK TESTED: THE LATEST Z-CARS MONTE-CARLO PUT THROUGH ITS PACES AROUND ONE OF THE QUICKEST CIRCUITS IN THE UK…

PLUS…

MEGA TYRE GUIDE: ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR PREPARING YOUR TYRES FOR THE TRACK & TESTS ON THE LATEST TYRE MONITOR SYSTEMS

WORLD EXCLUSIVE: DRIVEN

NEW RADICAL SR8 ENTRY FOR LE MANS IS CLOSER THAN EVER

JULY 2008 ISSUE 51 £3.99


This is just a very small selection of the thousands of products we stock. Whatever your requirement our 35 sales staff will be only too pleased to offer expert advice.

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Massive Range Of Tyres

HUGE RANGE OF ENGINE & COOLANT ACCESSORIES

NOW!

Huge Range Of Wheels

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TYRES Road, trackday and competition tyres available in a wide range of sizes and compounds. From gravel tyres to racing slicks, we have large stocks available for immediate despatch. WHEELS Aluminium or magnesium wheels suitable for either road/trackday or competition use. Performance Superlites from £64.77 each Team Dynamics Pro Race 1.2 from £95.23 each Speedline 7x15 Type 2118 gravel wheel £123.38 each Compomotive MO 5 spoke from £125.11 each

Sound Barrier Silencer .29

£52

EXHAUSTS Mild or stainless steel exhaust systems and manifolds available for many applications. Full range of universal competition silencers, exhaust tubes, bends and DIY manifold build kits.

Huge Range Of Exhaust

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NOISE REDUCTION Struggling to meet circuit noise restrictions? We have the answer, whether your trying to reduce air intake or exhaust noise. Jetex decibel inserts from £6.22 Supertrap clamp on series silencers from £51.59

0845 330 4728

WHEEL, TYRES AND EXHAUST SALES HOTLINE 0845 calls charged at local rate

Performance Friction Direct Drive™ System from (each)

Brise Alternators from .70

£192

EBC Brake pads Front Green Red - £77.46 £42.22 £47.29 £35.09 £43.57 £39.21 £56.64 £63.12 - £72.62 - £108.32 £42.22 £47.29 £36.59 £40.98 £64.14 £68.15 - £67.89 £48.43 £54.26 £49.09 £54.99 £46.21 £53.93 -

£198 AIR FILTERS Massive range of universal cones, domed air filters and ram pipe socks. Pipercross 600 series cold air box kits reduce both air intake temperature and noise levels. Available with REV LIMITERS AND SHIFT LIGHTS either 75mm or 100mm air Omex Shift Light Pro £93.99 intake ducting. Omex Speed System combines a K&N Bolt On rev limiter and shift light in a single Filters from compact unit from £117.49 £34.95 Armtech coil mounted rev limiter £91.64 Samco coolant hose kits from £49.87 Exhaust wrap 1” x 50’ reduces heat radiation £37.29 Cool tape self adhesive 3 £21.15 1 /8” x 15’

£23.34

Pacet Club Fan Kits from .75

£101

FAN KITS 7 x 11” to 16 x 11” blades in either pull or blow. Redline Water Wetter .69

£11

EBC Blackdiamond Discs (F) Discs (F) (Pair) (Pair) £167.01 £220.54 £137.24 £112.29 £94.40 £98.45 £137.24 £105.82 £167.01 £149.70 £179.12 £143.87 £215.42 £184.47 £288.04 £244.31 £137.24 £112.29 £137.24 £112.29 £168.65 £155.55 £176.65 £164.74 £94.40 £107.98 £137.24 £116.63 £137.24 £109.71 £137.24 £120.97

£49.29

CLUTCHES Helix Group N clutch kits available with organic or cerametallic plates. Mitsubishi Evo 7 from £530.09 Honda civic Type R from £344.92 Renault Clio 172 from £337.01 Quartermaster V-Drive and Pro Series motorsport clutches available in 5.5” or 7.25” from £247.09 AP Racing sintered and cerametallic race clutches. Huge range available Please call Quaife ATB differentials from £499.37

TTV Lightweight Billet Steel Flywheels from .75

£199

A SMALL SELECTION FROM OUR SUSPENSION RANGE - CALL

£17

TRACKDAY ESSENTIALS

£104

Castrol SRF

BRAKE FLUIDS AP Racing AP600 500ml £14.48 AP Racing PRF600 500ml £16.63 Automec silicone 1litre £31.14

AVO dampers, available with steel or aluminium body, single or double adjustable with a choice of bush or spherical bearing mounts. Telescopic dampers from £58.75 each. Coilovers from £76.37.

Longacre Tyre Pressure Gauge .97

Headrest camcorder mount £46.55 20L Jerry can

Davis Craig Electric Water Pumps from .58

Pipercross 600 Series Cold Air Box Kits .99

£146

Tank tape, range of colours. CVL Octane 50mm x 50m £7.68 Booster 500ml Sparco Club open face £9.24 helmet £69.00

£50.72

£55

BRAKES High performance and race developed high friction brake pads designed for trackday and competition use. A wide variety of discs in grooved or drilled options for most applications. Pedal boxes supplied complete with master cylinders, balance bar and all fitting hardware. Prices from £248.80

BMW M3 E36 CITROEN Saxo VTR/VTS FORD Escort Mk2 FORD Fiesta XR2i FORD Focus ST170 02FORD Sierra Cosworth HONDA Civic Type-R MITSUBISHI Evo 6/7 PEUGEOT 106 GTi PEUGEOT 205/309 GTi RENAULT Clio 172/182 SUBARU Impreza VAUXHALL Corsa VAUXHALL Astra Mk3 GSi VW Golf GTi Mk2 VW Golf GTi Mk3

£162.15

CAMSHAFTS Full range of camshafts, camshaft kits, valve springs and lightweight vernier pulleys available. Please call.

Hydraulic Handbrake .88

Mintex Brake pads Front M1144 M1155 £85.41 £98.23 £77.83 £104.39 £49.26 £64.54 £56.80 £104.40 £61.47 £104.39 £76.40 £104.39 £114.83 £114.83 £77.83 £104.39 £54.86 £104.39 £104.30 £104.39 £93.96 £115.80 £68.00 £78.19 £68.00 £78.19 £62.87 £78.19 £62.87 £78.19

Vibra-Tecnics Race Engineered Engine Mounts from

Goodridge Brake Line Kits from .22

£215.00

Ferodo Brake pads Front DS2500 DS3000 £99.72 £113.42 £62.41 £97.22 £67.23 £74.25 £64.53 £72.46 £119.06 £137.51 £69.81 £83.34 £80.62 £93.08 £158.99 £174.22 £62.41 £97.21 £64.40 £69.44 £98.16 £115.73 £102.22 £119.44 £62.05 £91.66 £88.56 £116.23 £80.62 £101.85 £80.62 £101.85

Brise Competition Starter Motors from

BMW M3 E36 CITROEN Saxo VTR/VTS FORD Escort Mk2 FORD Fiesta XR2i FORD Sierra Cosworth MAZDA MX5 PEUGEOT 306 XSi PEUGEOT 205/309 GTi RENAULT Clio 172/182 SUBARU Impreza VAUXHALL Corsa VW Golf GTi Mk2 VW Golf GTi Mk3

Spax Adjustable Dampers Front Rear each from each from £88.11 £76.36 £99.86 £64.61 £105.74 £93.99 £111.61 £70.49 £82.24 £82.24 - £70.49 £111.61 £70.49 £152.74 £76.36 £123.36 £64.61 £89.99 £76.36 £111.61 £76.36

Koni Sport Dampers Front Rear each from each from £137.03 £77.49 £108.68 £73.71 £87.88 £106.23 £108.68 £64.26 £120.96 £120.96 £106.79 £81.27 £122.85 £59.53 £120.96 £101.12 £151.20 £151.20 £106.79 £67.10 £122.85 £67.10 £127.58 £67.10

Avo Adjustable Dampers Front Rear each from each from £101.17 £61.69 £101.17 £52.88 £101.17 £104.87 £86.10 £61.69 £92.53 £92.53 £101.17 £61.69 £101.17 £61.69 £101.17 £61.69 £101.17 £86.36 £101.17 £86.36

OMP Strut Braces from .25

£17

Coilovers from

£76.37 KW car specific coilover kits

from £450.00


Sparco Pro Jet from .25

OMP Veloce .30

£187

Arai GP-5K from .58

£112

OMP Montecarlo .49

£527

Sparco Top Driver High .94

£95

Alpinestars Tech 1-T .95

£109

£119

Sparco Flash .34

Bell K1 Sport SV from .00

£313

£47

Shock Doctor Helmet Drier System from

DON’T WORRY! If you feel that you have not chosen the most suitable size of helmet, Demon Tweeks will arrange free collection and re-delivery of a more suitably sized helmet (UK only).

Alpinestars Tech 1-Z .95

£74

£69.91

Sparco Sprint .50

Alpinestars GP-1 .95

£253

£399

OMP First

£248.94

Sabelt Professional 4 Point from .71

£128

Cobra Monaco .63

Sparco Rev Plus .10

£111

£295

Module Suit Care Kit .50

OMP Speed .38

£70

Clubman Harnesses Sabelt 3 Point from £46.10 OMP 4 Point from £45.24 Professional Harnesses Sabelt 6 Point from £139.47 Willans 4 Point from £126.42 Recaro Profi SP-G OMP TR-S Kirkey alloy Momo Model 26 .85

£127

250-290mm

from from

£479.99 £116.92 £109.24

RACEWEAR - HUGE RANGE AVAILABLE - CALL Stack Clubman Tachometer .07

£222

Steel, fibreglass or composite seats available. FIA approved.

Sparco Deep Dish .44

OMP Rally

£119.97

£119

350mm

350mm

£34

Quick Release Steering Mechanism from .00

£94

Fastime 10 Stopwatch .48

Why not visit our 10,000sq ft showroom facility on Wrexham Industrial Estate? OPEN 8.30am - 5.30pm MONDAY TO SATURDAY.

£39

DT T200 Lap Timer .22

£134

Racepax G2X GPS Datalogger/Display

£640.37 Car specific boss kits available to suit a wide variety of applications. Please call.

SPA Clubman Plumbed In .43

£121

EXTINGUISHERS OMP 2.8L Mechanical system for single seater £260.25 Lifeline Rally package including 2.25L plumbed and 1.75L handheld £275.07

Varley Red Top Batteries from .04

£111

DASH DISPLAYS, DATALOGGERS AND TIMING STACK ST700 dash display Race Technology DL1 Advanced data logger Master Switch Kit FIA Type .73

£22

£410.07 £586.32

Intercom E-Z Weigh Scales

£916.50

COMPUTER SCALES Longacre Accuset model £1044.69

FOR MORE COMPETITION PREPARATION - CALL

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75 Ash Road South, Wrexham Ind. Est., Wrexham, North Wales LL13 9UG

SALES HOTLINE 0845 calls charged at local rate

OMP Saxo 10 point bolt in £377.00 Corsa 10 point bolt in £377.00 Golf Mk2 6 point bolt in £422.00 SPARCO Impreza Turbo Multi point weld in £522.00 Focus -02 6 point bolt in £427.00 BMW E30 10 point bolt in £552.00

CUSTOM CAGES Escort Mk2 CDS multipoint weld in £699.12 Corsa 93-00 CDS multipoint weld in £655.65 Mitsubishi Evo9 T45 2006 International weld in £1092.75 Impreza Turbo -98 CDS International GrpN weld in £658.00

0845 330 4715

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Stores located in London & Silverstone

Mail Order: 0844 880 1750 Lines open from 8:30am until 6:00pm Monday to Friday and 8:30am until 4:00pm on Saturdays. All prices exclude VAT


It’s absolutely brutal, yet still completely driveable - Paul Cowland on driving Tracktive’s Scooby

Warm Ups

Contents

FEATURES 19 650BHP SUBARU IMPREZA Tracktive’s ‘mule’ is seriously track ready and houses an interesting Sequen Shifter

50 PROJECT GTI The Golf GTi is an old pro now, yet there’s always room for improvement…

26 *COVER* Z-CARS MONTE CARLO With the Fastest Mini in the World race on its way soon, we test a possible winner…

57 TRACK DRIVER We introduce you to our new track day section of TRC; Track Driver

33 *TYRE CARE* TYRESURE We test a tyre pressure monitor system (TPMS) and discover a real gem

58 INDUSTRY TECH Why Diesel cars are the future of track days and how Audi is leading the trend

38 *TYRE CARE* TYRE PREPARATION If you can’t afford the fancy gizmo’s here’s our ultimate tyre pressure guide

62 RADICAL SR8 The latest Radical SR8 is now one-step closer to Le Mans. John Hayman drives it

45 *TYRE CARE* BERU F1 TPMS We delve into the amazing and sophisticated Beru TPMS kit

71 TECHNIQUE - BRAKING TO WIN Roberto Giordanelli guides us through the best way to use our braking system

Inside…

Inside…

Audi has created a V12 165mm longer than the 4.2-litre V8 TDi yet developing 500bhp and 738lb ft - Keith Wood loves the new diesel Audi R8 5


www.whyarai.co.uk


Monitoring your tyres is normal as keeping tabs on your engine - Beru’s TPMS

RE TYRE CA 8 0 0 2 L A I C E P S

REGULARS 10 NEWS All the paddock gossip

100 NEW PRODUCTS Products to improve your car

15 THE HAYMANATOR John Hayman has gone Euro

106 NEXT MONTH What not to miss in the next edition

17 WOOD’S WORDS How a home track holds certain victory

109 *NEW* REVIEWS - BOOKS All the latest motorsport books reviewed

77 TRACK DAY DIARY *TD* You’llmost never miss a race event The comprehensive trackwith daythis list

113 *NEW* REVIEWS - DVDS Useful and entertaining DVDs reviewed

88 RACE REPORTS The latest TRC supported races

117 *NEW* REVIEWS - GADGETS Products to help you, as a driver, evolve

92 SUBSCRIPTIONS Don’t ever miss an issue

121 *NEW* TABLE OF TRUTH Every lap time from our test track

95 OUR CARS It’s not all happy days for Team TRC!

130 *NEW* THE SIN BIN Tales from the Clerk of the Course…

Warm Ups

Contents

RE TYRE CA 2008 L IA C E SP

RE TYRE CA SPECIAL 2008

Dry Nitrogen gas (N2) behaves in a more predictable manor with a consistent psi reading - Keith Wood reveals the tyre secrets of top teams

7


DIGITaL SERIES

Get off to a flying start with ‘SWIFT SHIFT FTG’ (DSS1) • Rev Limiter with Ultra-bright Up/Down Shift Light • Full Throttle Gear Change • Optional Rapid Start switch eliminates wheelspin • Dual rev limits with half speed set • Easy to fit on most single coil distributor systems • Twin coil version available ( DSS3 )

80mm x 55mm

Rapid Start switch (RS1)

Clutch trigger

Swift Shift FTG with Rapid Start as shown only £140.00 + VAT (s.r.p.) Also available:

Rev Master FTG (DRL3) All the features of the Swift Shift except for the shift lights. £115 + VAT (s.r.p.)

Available from all good dealers including: www.burtonpower.com Tel: 020 8518 9136 www. demon-tweeks.co.uk Tel: 0845 3306241 www.merlinmotorsport.co.uk Tel: 01249 782101 www.oreca.fr Tel: +33 (0)4 94 88 57 94 Made in the UK and distributed throughout the world by: 49/51 Tiverton Street, London SE1 6NZ U.K.

www.autocar-electrical.com


Check out the months track day listings over on page 77 - Says Lewis Hamilton (from Poole)

Warm Ups

irst Words

Contents

Its finally done it, the sun is out! Horaay, those early morning drives to the circuit are now in daylight…

July 2008 – Issue 51

D

uring the motor vehicle’s most troublesome times I have always been up-beat. Whether the car is being attacked and beaten to a pulp by the tree hugging hippies or our government - two of its most raucous bevy of critics - there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Although the majority of the disputes are unjustified and regularly don’t hold water the real reason to be chipper is the vast amount of escape open to us as motoring devotees. If you look back 20 years the scope for motor sport disciplines were as slim as the drainpipe jeans the mechanics were wearing in the circuit bars. Today we are spoilt with a vast amount of motor sport activities currently open to us. You can circuit race a Kart, a Formula Ford or a Fiesta, Sprint a Caterham, Hill Climb an Exige, Autocross a Mini, Rally an Escort, go Drag Racing in your Scooby or even Rallycross a Peugeot 205. Easier still, you could even enjoy a track day in your company car… On a serious note all of these categories and much, much more are within your grasp and all have had the bar lowered to make your participation as simple as taking a drive to the shopping centre. To make things even easier our sport’s governing body, the Motor Sport Association (MSA), has also just launched a brand new website to help people, maybe like you, become more informed about our vast array of classes. If this sounds like you then take our advice and click on www.gomotorsport.net and see for yourself just what you’re missing out on. Keith Wood, Editor

Team TRC

[ ? ?

Today we are spoilt with a vast amount of motor sport activities

Andrew Brown Director

John Hayman Special Correspondent

Roberto Giordanelli Euro Correspondent

Fancy a job? Advertisement Manager

Fancy a job? Art Director

Did we mention Andrew enjoys an Alfa Romeo or ten? His yard is over flowing and there’s also another one limping its way into submission…

Gets a soaking around at the Silverstone GP Circuit while piloting the massively impressive and new Radical SR8. See all the action on page 62

Lifts the lid on a few secrets normally reserved for his exclusive driver training days. This month (on page 71) it’s all about stopping effectively

Does working the action packed race environment of the TRC office sound like the ideal sales position? trc@motorshoot.com

Have you got what it takes to keep TRC looking fresh, funky but in keeping with its motorsport heritage? trc@motorshoot.com

Publishing Founding Directors: Keith Wood, Andrew Brown Printing & Distribution: Warners Group Publications Plc, West Street, Bourne, Lincolnshire, PE10 9PH Special thanks to: Mummy Brown, Mummy Wood, Paul Cowland, MotorSportVision, Dan Cartwright and Andy Dawson - we’ve seen the light… Enquiries Editorial: P1 Media Ltd, 194A Upper Richmond Road West, London, SW14 8AN Telephone: 020 8296 5467 Email: trc@motorshoot.com Website: www.trcmagazine.com Editorial Assistant: Jess Waluga Advertising Advertising Manager: It could be you? Telephone: 020 8296 5467 Email: steve@trcmagazine.com Subscriptions Telephone: 01778 392481 - Page 92 - Online: www.trcmagazine.com

Pit Stop © 2008 P1 Media Ltd ISSN:1742193 Track & Race Cars Magazine is published twelve times a year by P1 Media Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without prior written consent of the publishers is strictly prohibited. While every effort is made in compiling Track & Race Cars, the publishers cannot be held responsible for errors or omissions. All prices correct at time of going to press but subject to change. The publishers can not accept responsibility for any unsolicited materials. It is assumed that any images taken from sources which are widely distributed, such as the internet, are in the public domain. However, since such images are passed freely between sources such as websites, the original source is not always possible to trace. It is possible that copyrighted material has ended up being treated as public domain as a result. If you see a graphic or image in this publication which is not public domain please contact P1 Media Ltd. Readers are advised to pay by Credit Card when ordering goods off the advertising and editorial pages as they are regulated under Consumer Credit Act 1974, unlike debit or chargecards which are not. Independence Track & Race Cars Magazine is lovingly published every month by P1 Media Ltd for all owners, drivers and enthusiasts of track and race cars. It is entirely independent. And we speak as we find… The opinions of our contributors are not connected with P1 Media Ltd

Subscribe to TRC and save yourself some fuel money for the weekend’s blast - Andrew Brown’s inflation buster on page 92

9


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Photography: Dan ‘Sirrus’ Cartwright

SCOOBY

Tracktive Solution’s 650 BHP ‘mule’ provides the perfect test-bed for their latest weird and wonderful developments. Paul Cowland finds a whole new meaning to ‘taking your work home’…

I

don’t know about you, but I hate tests. From your school years onwards, the word ‘test’ usually spells impending doom. Spellings tests. Maths tests. For petrolheads, it’s usually even worse. Did you really look forward to your last MoT test? Didn’t think so… For one firm however, testing is a daily practice. One to be embraced - and often enjoyed. That firm is a relatively new Melton-based WRC tweakers, Tracktive Solutions. Created back in 2004 by straight-speaking Yorkshireman, Richard Bulmer (aided and abetted by co-director Gavin Beck and Technician Matty Bold) his engineering background at Toyota Team Europe meant that

everything - and I do mean everything - had to be tested before it goes on sale. Hence ‘Blue Thunder’ as it’s affectionately known, gracing the pages before you. This 2001 STi acts as the ultimate rolling office, testing facility and shakedown mule for whatever mad invention has popped into Richard’s head. On the day of our shoot it was running in rude health - at some 650bhp… Bulmer picks up the tale - ‘I’ve always worked the same way’ he explains, ‘I started as an engine builder for Skip Brown Cars (the fabled Peugeot rally outfit) and learned very early on that you don’t add a component to your build sheet until that part has been proven and checked… And then checked again.

Tractivetive Solutions Scooby isn’t your standard test mule or Impreza…

When I formed Tracktive, I set out a very simple mission statement not to offer anything for sale unless I have personally road and dyno tested it. Often to the point of destruction! This car is simply the apparatus we contain those test parts in. Nothing more.’ These comforting words aside, the import STi is one of the tidiest ‘mules’ I’ve seen. The more observant amongst you may have spotted a ‘blob-eye’ front end on this 2001 ‘bug-eye’ car. A conversion apparently done over in Singapore where the car started its life. Bulmer acquired the car in a pretty, but basic state of tune some two years ago and set about using it as the ultimate proving tool for his work. Many of the components

19


Monte Carlo or Bust

Z Cars has done it again. Not content with the wildest Mini concept to grace the planet itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s created a monster of all Monte Carlos - featuring a Hayabusa turbo engine with 340bhp itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a proper bruiser. Keith Wood hangs on for dear life.

Photography: Chris & Andrew Brown

26


I

’m not the biggest fan of the Mini. Well, in the respect that I’m not a fan of any one car in particular - I enjoy driving and the thrill of driving. I couldn’t care less what the car underneath me actually is so long as it’s making my arms work, my behind twitch and my mouth smile from ear-to-ear - the fun I crave behind the wheel could be in a Citroen Saxo or a Porsche GT3, if it’s good fun then I’d happily continue to play until I’m told to stop. For me the Mini, in its classic format, for a number of reasons doesn’t quite float my boat. Yes it has a character, yes it’s a wonderful chassis and yes it has the kind of loyal following that requires it’s own niché title magazines and multitude of specialists. But there’s only so much the chassis can take. It’s a fact and for years the home grown revolution has created some wonderfully inspiring variations of the original Mini concept. I’m sure if you’re a Mini nut you don’t need me racking through the list of the landmark cars like the Vauxhall red top twin-cam conversions, the long nose Honda V-Tec

Z CARS MINI This is what the car originally looked like as it left the Z Cars factory (www. zcars.org.uk) before Victor and his crack team of vinyl sticker fitters got their sticky mits on it…

kits and, more recently, a whole host of rear-engine models from Z Cars. However these road based converted models has lead onto establishing some some of the most frightening space frame racing cars ever seen on our race tracks. I can vividly remember the variations of the front engined contraptions from Kent Auto Developments (KAD), many of which graced the many covers of the beloved Cars & Car Conversions and were all driven to the limits by Mini legend, Bill Sollis. These legends of the circuits (and hill climbs) were more silhouettes rather than Mini, a ‘step-back-andsquint’ resemblance of what was once the regular shape we’ve become accustomed to yet with a chassis developed for one purpose - going much, much quicker. Although the likes of KAD and UltraMini are still around today the space frame market - for those of us outside the compact Mini circle - seems to be dominated by the charismatic Chris Allanson and his East Yorkshire based company: Z Cars. His daft creations from steel shell

Minis to his own space frame design came about after the ex-bobby from East Yorkshire spent his years pounding around Autograss events (see page 130), knocking together his own racers kitted out with bike power, sometimes twice… During the early years as a driver he didn’t do too badly either, winning himself the National Championship trophy in 1993 and gaining a wealth of car setup knowledge in the process. It was the placement of bike engines in cars that help propel Allanson’s Z Cars to new heights, crafting road and race builds for customers. Of the 700 plus units produced it’s fair to say a large proportion were Mini shaped and easily the car we all associate with Z Cars. Things were kicked off with Z Cars relatively simple (in comparison to what it produces now…) rear subframe with suspension, bike power and chain driven drive shafts. This kit revolutionised the way bike engines were fitted into the back of cars and (although Z Cars has created front bike engine conversions) does away with the rear bulkhead and the rear seat squab completely, literally

27


RE TYRE CA 2008 L IA C E SP

S

ome of the common questions I’m often asked at race meetings are ‘what revs to use in order to achieve the best standing start’ and ‘what pressures to put in the tyres’. Both aren’t easy questions to answer and can be very closely guarded by those who are serious about winning. But for the track day market things are a lot more relaxed yet it still seems to be a subject commonly raised but without a suitable answer. To be fair, choosing the optimum tyre pressure figure for your car is never quite straightforward; there are just too many factors to take into consideration and, with the outcome critical to the overall chassis behaviour, important to get right. So answering such a question (or more often than not, a request) relies on many factors. The weight, style of car and ambient temperatures need to be established along with the tyre design and compound. However, the general rule-of-thumb for

the most effective tyre pressure is one that uses the ‘contact patch’ (the area of the tyre that makes contact with the track surface) correctly. Basically an under-inflated tyre will have a large contact patch but will not support the car well, while an over-inflated tyre will have a small contact patch and therefore not providing the maximum level of grip. Weight, aerodynamic aids and camber settings aside the different levels of tyre pressures loaded into your four corners will result in various rates of tyre wear across that contact patch. In fact the product loaded into you tyres is also now up for debate (especially after the Ferrari versus McLaren traumas last season…) making it another key factor into gaining the optimum tyre pressures. But lets not

get too ahead of the game, there’s the all important fitting and bedding in process to consider before even worrying about tyre temperatures.

FITTING With so many variables even the likes of BMW and Andy Priaulx struggle to find the perfect trye pressure

Fitting and balancing race tyres isn’t quite the same as regular road rubber and there are a few very handy hints to remember. Firstly always make sure the guys fitting the tyres are familiar with racing rubber and, more importantly, the wheels. Race wheels are specifically designed for race tyres (avoid cheap imitations) making it impossible to fit a race tyre without damaging the beads. The condition of the rims is also critical. Bent or buckled rims make sealing the tyre to them very difficult indeed while dirty and brake dust corroded examples

Do you know what tyre pressures to use for a track or race day? Keith Wood unravels the truths behind the apparent dark art…

TYRE PREP MODDLE CODDLE

TYRE CARE

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yres should be stored in a controlled environment with cool temperatures above 0˚C and in darkness. High temperature, direct sunlight, proximity to high voltage

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electric motors or welding equipment should be avoided if possible. Ideally when the car is back in the a garage keep it off the ground and release the pressure from the tyres. - KW


TYRE TECH hide away any hidden dangers like hairline cracks. One of the leading race tyre fitters, BMTR, comes across mangled and dirty wheels a lot and the managing director, Paul Smith, explains another problem, “Have you tried sticking a selfadhesive balance weight to a surface that obviously hasn’t been cleaned?” Fair comment, so have a bit of self-pride in your wheels and it’ll be more than just the tyre fitters you’ll be pleasing. Throughout my life in race cars, tyre fitters have always been at the track during the race weekend. You can buy directly off companies like BMTR (www.bmtr. co.uk) who also get commissioned by Avon to supply and fit race tyres during the race meetings as well as supplying a fantastic service of wheel fitting

Formula One engineers have more than tyre blankets - we all know they have moved on from air to nitrogen. Although now it’s HFC…

and balancing, more often the not during the practice days as well as the morning of the race. My advice is to make sure get the tyre order, fitting and balancing booked well in advance, just in case of complications. When it comes to the fitting of the tyres, you don’t need to worry about the pros, like BMTR, making mistakes. However, if you do choose somebody else to accomplish the work then it’s important to get the directional wheels fitted correctly. If they’re fixed wrongly then don’t run them in the opposite direction, as Paul explained, “There’s a loin in the thread and by running the tyre in the correct direction you are pushing this join together, rather than pulling it apart.

This is why fronts and rears rotate in different directions as the maximum torque applied to the tyre on the front is under braking, on the rear, under acceleration.”

02, N2 OR HFC? Another factor worth keeping on top of is new valves and dust caps. It seems silly but these two items are quite critical at keeping air inside the tyre – something you’ll want to be stable if you to get the tyres up to temperature in a controlled fashion. A good quality metal cap with a rubber seal is the best fitment and BMTR will always fit these as a matter of course. But before you worry about the air escaping the more important part is getting the air ‘in’ and for some top teams the inflation of the tyres doesn’t necessarily mean air. BMTR always recommends you inflate your tyres with clean, dry air as Paul explained, “This is vitally important as pressure maintenance when in use is much more difficult if the air in the tyre is

PARATION

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RE TYRE CA L SPECIA 2008

TPMS TEST

There must be a good reason why the elite are using Beru f1Systems DigiTyre TPMS, especially for the likes of class winning Scuderia Ecosse outfit (www.scuderiaecosse.com)? Maybe because it’s simply the best…

TPMS FOR THE PRO

Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems have been around for a while but only BERU F1’s design is being used by the best as Keith Wood discovered during a round of the FIA International GT Championship at Silverstone.

Here’s the Pro package: the digital display unit, wheel sensor and valve plus the antenna. On the Scuderia Ecosse Ferrari the Beru fits four of the antennas into the arches for the most accurate of readings. For single seaters you can get away with just two

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THE FUTURE IS DIESEL? After last months report on Renaultsport’s wonderful Megane 175dCi it’s fair to say diesel technology is worth considering for the track day market especially when they come in the shape of the wonderful Audi R8 V12 TDi

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ack in 2007 Audi unveiled a six-litre V12 TDI engine to be used in the then Q7 TDI concept car. A year later and that same engine finds itself installed in the R8 sports car and has essentially turned the already nippy R8 into the road-going equivalent of the two-time Le Mans winning R10. Although it’s not officially a design program to commemorate Audi’s achievements as the first diesel racing car to claim a win in the Sebring 12 Hours and the Le Mans 24 hour (in 2006) it’s certainly a nod in appreciation of its V12 Diesel power-plant that helped claim those victories. Onboard the R10 the 5.5-litre all-

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aluminium bi-turbo 90 degree V12 features common rail direct injection of more than 1600bar (that is 23,206psi) and is regulated to 650bhp, something the original bi-turbo V8 engine Audi R8 race car proudly had in abundance - in fact unofficially it was known to have run at 660bhp at Le Mans. What the diesel had that the V8 petrol engine didn’t was torque - lots of it. Although the R10’s predecessor had around 550lb ft from 5000rpm it wasn’t the gargantuan 811lb ft between 3000 and 5000rpm helped along the way by the huge gale forced induction of the Garrett TR3076R turbochargers that were governed by the 40mm restrictors and limited to just

With the A8 4.2 TDi Quattro, Audi already builds one of the most powerful diesel cars in the world

2.94bar of boost (42.64psi). Just before Le Mans at the R10 presentation in Paris, Prof Dr Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG explained the decision to enter the then new Audi R10 in a diesel format, “With the A8 4.2 TDI Quattro, Audi already builds one of the most powerful diesel cars in the world. The Le Mans project will help our technicians to extract even more from TDI technology. Nowadays, every second Audi is delivered with a TDI engine. We expect that the percentage of diesel engines will be even larger in the future.” Two years later and Dr Winterkorn was right; not only has the Diesel industry grown,

www.trackdrivermag.com n July 2008


www.trackdrivermag.com

INDUSTRY TECH

so has the manufacturers confidence in working with the technology. In the present era of climate debate and CO2 emissions the technicians at Audi have today made steps in taking their R10 TDi race technology by transferring it into a prototype R8 in a bid to answer the burning question, ‘Must performance be a sin?’ If noise comes under this banner then the V12 engine in the R10 race car was amazingly quiet, it was barely more than whisper at Le Mans unlike the might of the heavy duty V8 Corvettes. The R10s were also notably more fuel economic and environmentally friendly to boot, featuring Shell V-Power Diesel that used a special synthetic fuel

July 2008 n www.trackdrivermag.com

technology created from natural gas created by a unique synthesis process from Shell to burn cleanly and more efficiently courtesy of its outstanding purity and cetane quality. Unfortunately the engine that looks to fit almost perfectly in the back of the R8 isn’t the same unit that powered Audi’s Le Mans winners. Gone is the lightweight aluminium block and in its place is the more durable Compacted Graphite Iron (CGI) unit as used by its current V6 and V8 TDi offerings. The Audi engineers have also brought the angle of vee to a

What the diesel had that the V8 petrol engine didn’t was torque lots of it

more narrow 60 degrees to create a very compact V12, only 165mm longer than the 4.2-litre V8 TDi yet developing 500bhp (which isn’t far off what the original R8 race cars were running when they were first launched) and an astonishing 738lb ft. This V12 TDI R8 resets the bar, and makes the high-revving 4.2-litre production R8 look somehow lesser, in fact the Lamborghini Gallardo (which shares its chassis with the Audi R8) will struggle to make a dent, even with the flashy paint, wild interior and V10 punch.

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July 2008 Preview