The season opening event turned out to be one of the busiest events for me on the driving side but the most time was used on navigating for some superb vehicles. This event also turned out to be the one that would change our lives, as it became the event that we won our classes, this particular day will not be forgotten soon.
The day started of with the usual changing tires, doing the necessary setup work on the vehicles, entry and getting into the spirit of fun and competitive racing. This reminds me, I need to get a easier way of changing tires, maybe I’m just getting more and more lazy, but hell it aint fun anymore that I can promise you.
The day started of with Jan competing in Class C (FWD up to 1400cc) and me navigating for him, from the first run we knew this is going to be a special events, no driver errors and no navigation errors that I know of. Well so much happens in a car on this tight technical course that I would not be able to pickup all the mistakes. As the day went on Jan’s times improved to the point were he took victory in the class, his personal best to date, good work Jan, this sort of achievement just helps to built the confidence and make the whole experience more fun. Not that it is not fun, but you can also have more fun. Jan also competed in the single seater class that really helped him figuring out the correct lines which in my opinion was the needed boost to give him that all important first class win.
The bakkies first run with Jan besides me doing the navigating turned out to be the second best time of the day. Normally the first run is used to get used to the track conditions and learn the lines. The second round was about 1sec down on
the first run, tire pressures was crucial on the day, to soft and the rubber flex to much, to hard and the grip is down on the tight stuff, on the 3rd run we got it right and was the best time for the day. The whole day it was a battle to keep ahead of Anton Smit with his Toyota 4AGE powered bakkie. Luckily for me, my 3rd run was good enough to keep me ahead of Anton to give me my 1st Class win with a total time of only 0.33 sec faster for the day. On another note, do not go racing with a cellphone in the glove box, on my 4th run accelerating hard towards a pavement the low battery warning went of and we had quite
a laugh, the time for the 4th run reflected that if you’re distracted, you will lose time.
The rest of the day was used to navigate for Kobus Wilson Snr in his sideways BMW 535i and Nissan Skyline GTX fitted with a Ford V8, navigating int these sideways beasts was almost as good as winning my first Class win. Navigating for new comer and friend Riaan Snijman in his self build Lotus 7 kit kar fitted with a very nice Ford Kent machine took the edge of thinking what to do to keep ahead of Anton. This was the weirdest car to navigate for yet, it is so loud it is almost impossible to look at the road and also talking in the direction of the driver.
More photos of the day: 3rd Fairbridge Mall Gymkhana Photos
Photos from www.wbmk.co.za
What a assume day it turned out to be for racing, the night before when me and Jan walked and learned the track the wind was hauling. The sky was clear and not a single cloud in the air that would spoil our day of fun and some serious racing.
At the end of the day, this event turned out to be one of my best to date. Everything just went good, excellent navigating from Jan, 50% of my achievement on the day could be contributed to his excellent navigating skills, the other 40% went to the excellent setup on the suspension that kept me and “Einstein” awake way past our bed time the weeks before the event. The other 10% went to our support group of friends, I was just there to hang on for dear live as the bakkie was picking up inside wheels
left right and center threw the fast passed corners of Mykonos.
Just to give you an idea, the rear suspension on the bakkie was stripped and re assembled 3 times in a weeks time before this event, after each practice session it was stripped and tuned. On the Golf a lot also changed before the event. A set of coil overs for the front and rear was imported. I also made a front lower strut brace to stiffen things up a little more. The coil overs was fitted and I can promise you, this is what VW needed to do to all Golf’s, these coil overs transformed this car from cheap transport to something you can actually give to your children to get to school and back. On the downside, it is just a little bit on the hard
side for every day driving, but a absolute pleasure to drive from a handling aspect. I truly believe Jan is as excited as I am about the future of this vehicle.
Luckily for us, the previous night all our friends started to chip in and we made short work of prepping the vehicles for the following days racing, tires, camber etc was done in record time and a lot of laughter provided by Mr. Colbrin. This gave as the opportunity to use all of our time before the action started to concentrate on getting the track correct.
The day turned out to be very tough on me physically, having to drive my own vehicle, navigate for Jan and Kobus Wilson with the very rapid Nissan 1400 bakkie asked me to navigate for him in the bakkie and his sisters Golf. But it was worth it, never have I enjoyed a day of racing more than this.
The times looked good for the bakkie and on the Golf, with each round and the confidence growing, the times came down, which is good on Mykonos as this is the one event that could catch you out faster than you think with all the side walks and fences. We struggled a lot with the Golf’s setup, especially in the rear department, with the beast breaking away on hard cornering, Isak van Zyl from Dynotech was kind enough to lend Jan a set of semi slicks to use on the rear, which made a huge difference. This meant Jan had to jump on his piggy bank to get some money for a set before the next event. Jan was able to place to place the Golf just out of a top 10 position. The second outing for Jan and the Golf, a very good result, keep up the good work.
The first event were the bakkie did not suffer from excessive wheel spin, due partly to the layout of the track, the full slicks in front, semi’s at the back , the suspension and experience starting to kick in, why only now, but yes, it takes some time to learn this sort of thing under the conditions. When the final round arrived we already knew we have the 3rd place in Class F sealed, we approached the starting line, not knowing if we are going to attack or just drive to finish, with all the nerves settled we pulled away, what a lap, it was hard, smooth and very fast, until we came out of a sweeping left hand corner and just heard a sound like spanners falling around in the back of the bakkie. We took the caution decision to retire the from the round. It ended being a wheel spacer that snapped. The bakkie performed very well against vehicles with 1600 motors, limited slip diffs, etc. Our best time was only 0.30sec slower than these vehicles.
Thanks to everyone that provided a hand, some advice, a cold-drink when we needed it the most.
A special thanks need to go out to my Father that attended the event, without you, I would not be the owner of this bakkie and to “Einstein” for all the hard work when the garage doors close and Autocad is fired up.
We look forward to the return of Ruan and the very quick Ford Escort for the next event at Flamingos Langebaan, Saturday 28 November.
What a event this turned out to be, not only the fun part of racing the Bakkie and the Golf but the planning, building of it to. Me and Ruan learned the hard way to not work on vehicles the week before a event, everything should be done and tested a week before
the event, but NO, this time I ignored my own advice and did a lot of work in the week before the event.
All started with the new front suspension the bakkie received a week or two earlier, we struggled with front end grip, once that was sorted it resulted in either the driver or navigator on the other one’s lap or a face against a window, the standard seat and seat belts just wasn’t up to the task to keep occupants in there place to concentrate at the job at hand.
On Friday, the day before the event, Jan and I drove threw to Worcester, finalized all the paper work and learned the track, after that we where buy until 12 o’clock the evening adding another 25mm of height to the seats to allow me a better view of obstacles around the nose of the bakkie.
The day kicked of with everything on time and running very nicely, the bakkie went out first and I felt very unsure about the rear stepping out with the slicks on the very nice tarmac. After the run I did not know what to do, drive it harder, softer, I was lost. The golf came out a few minutes after me, Jan drove some good lines for a person that was competing in his first ever gymkhana,
not making one mistake on the route, always the first objective for a new person in the sport. He had a lot of trouble with shifting from 2nd to 1st.
The day continued without any problems, this was the first time that I navigated for a front wheel drive vehicle, and boy I can tell you one thing, I was scared shiitless when we entered a few of the corners on normal street tires, we actually hit the tarmac with the outer lip of the wheels, leaving some nice fresh marks on the alloys. I was just reminded why we spend a lot of money on good racing tires and try to get rid of body roll, it is just not fun hanging on when you need to concentrate on driving or navigating. After the first run with the Golf, it was decided that a the poor little Golf need at least 2 Semi Slicks in front, that will help a lot with traction and confidence.
After the second rounds was done, we where informed that there is only time for a third, automatically this meant that the last round was the most important one, and indeed it turned out to be exactly that, The bakkie had to get a time in the 1m 6sec bracket to finalize a 3rd place. I was so excited as this would have been my first 3rd place. As I completed the run I knew the time was good, but then, I stopped 20mm to far and received a 10sec penalty and lost 3rd and had to settle for 4th place in my class. Jan finished the day with a 5sec improvement from his first run to his last one, indicating that he learned heaps on the day.
Lessons learned: Always compete against your own abilities and never against other people or there times. Mistakes are way to easy to make.
Please feel free to have a look at a in car lap of the bakkie going around the route. Link
Ruan indicated that he will be present at the next event in Langebaan @ Mykonos Casino as he is deprived of the smell of racing in Zambia. We look forward to the event and hope that all will be in order to make it a very memorable event for us.
ery/main.php?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=684&g2_GALLERYSID=TMP_SESSION_ID_DI_NOISSES_PMT” alt=”DatsunCoilOver089″ width=”307″ height=”230″ />Just have a look at these. They are an absolute blast to drive with, but do believe me, it took way more time than needed to plan and source the correct parts for the build, in fact the build went off without a hint of trouble.
All parts where sourced from local RSA suppliers, in my opinion this was the hardest part of the whole build, especially the shocks.
The biggest success to the build can be coupled to good planning. My biggest single piece of advice to anyone that plans on a build like this, spend a lot of time on the planning, it makes life easier.
- Datsun B140 LDV original
- Volkswagen Rabbit Shock Cartridge Inserts
- 250lbs x 8inch Race Springs
- Thread Tubes
- Retaining nuts and cap
- 14mm Rose Joints
Have a look at some of the images – Datsun Coil Over Build
Keep an eye out for a complete HOWTO on building a set of coil over's. The HOWTO will be based on the set in question, but will
be easily adobtable to other makes of vehicles with good planning and some forward thinking added to the mix.
The 5th Glomix Bricks and Blocks Langebaan Gymkhana started of on the wrong foot.
It all started while we were packing and getting ready on Friday afternoon just before we left for Langebaan. We fired up the Escort to for a fill up with fuel for the
journey, she is particularly thirsty at about 7km/1lt, all of a sudden we noticed that the motor is not performing as should be. After a while of searching for the possible culprit we ended up pulling the wiring harness and noticed that this fixed the problem, so we had a loose wire somewhere between the ECU and the supporting wires. Unfortunately we did not have time to fix the loose wire as night fall was approaching and we still had to get to Langebaan and setup tent.
We set of on our little trip, Ruan in front and me at the back, this was the first time that the bakkie's new motor was going to be driven further than 10km non stop, my eyes where fixed to the heat gauge and oil light. Just as we got out of the city Ruan phoned and told me to move to the front as his wipers is not working. After the laughter passed, I moved to the front to clear the road for Ruan to follow (Some reasons why a dedicated street legal racing car should be towed and not driven).
After arrival at Lientjiesklip, we where greeted with a coldish wind and a bunch of rain clouds, we quickly started setting up our camping site before it started to rain. We quickly gathered that the more you setup camp the faster and easier it gets. The two of us got in the bakkie and drove down to Flamingos where we did our race entry and was provided with the route layout for the next days racing.
After the battle with the previous nights rain, we made a early start to the day and moved down to Flamingos where the days racing would take place. It quickly became apparent that the new camber/caster plates fitted to the escort does help a lot with camber and caster, but is not that good for shocks, after some further investigation it was apparent that the shocks are bottoming out. We raised the front suspension to overcome this for the day. At a later stage we fixed this by getting a new pair of gas charged shocks machined down the top to allow us more or less 50mm more travel, just what we needed if the suspension is set for lower 13″
The bakkie proved to be a new beast to master with the modifications done to the motor, it even excited me so much that on my first run I forgot the track and my hands was so busy keeping the rear in place that I even forgot to listen to my navigator, stupid me, but it just goes to show, you need to know your vehicle. On the other hand, Ruan piloted
the Escort very good and was actually listening to me in the navigator seat as he made no mistakes. It went very well, until the last run, we made some huge mistakes and decided to burn some rubber.
After the days racing we ended 3rd with the Escort and 5th with the bakkie in class F.
To add to all that had us uncomfortable for the weekend, we had to inform the organizers of the Gymkhana's that this was the last event in which Ruan and the Escort will be competing for the next 20 months. This is due to work commitments, Ruan will be stationary in Zambia for the period of 20 months. It is just not feasible to travel from Zambia to RSA every month, so he made a decision to return to the sport when he is back.
I would just like to take the time congratulate him for the excellent results he achieved with the Escort and being a good friend, navigator and good racing partner. We are waiting on your return.
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It is a sad sad day to see a FWD vehicle on this site, but we have to be smart about it, they are fast and a lot of fun to drive, even if I have to admit this myself. On the other hand, even if it is just to comfort all the egos of the RWD drivers out there, these FWD drive vehicles is for the newer generation and those that can't handle a real man
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RWD will you stay close to our hearts and always try to stick a pole in the FWD vehicles.
Personally I feel for the FWD drivers, they chose the easy route and will never know what it feels like driving a fun car.
Ok Ok, enough of this mocking. Jan we hope all the best to you, when we started out at the beginning of the year it was mind blowing, from the first entry that we heard you need to walk the track to learn it, well, personally I do not see a problem with that, but when you need to walk that
track 5 times with bare feet it starts hurting. We learned a lot of this sport, not only racing, but ourselves and the vehicles, the endless hours spend planning, researching and time in the garage.
I hope we will be able to assist, share our experience and help you and your vehicle to perform to it's best – all in good time. I'll start searching for a few good modifications.
Jan will also be my new navigator, I'm pretty sure Jan will be as clear as Ruan, but Louder will not heard, as I have the tendency to
be on the deaf side from time to time.
Congrats on your vehicle and the addition to Team Race-tech.co.za I can promise you, you will have fun and never be able to get enough.
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The suspension modifications made on the bakkie, really started kicking in and the results were immediately visible by the times and the stance of the bakkie in sharp hard corners. Understeer, front-end grip and roll was a lot better. On every real wheel drive vehicle in the sport, I will recommend dual anti roll bars in the front – Thanks Pieter Ludick. After two runs in the escort, it was identified that the escort is in serious need of anti tramp bars in the rear,
also something I will keep in mind for the bakkie. Rear tramp became a problem after the cement surface started drying. The strange thing about cement is, rubber doesn’t stick to it, it rather forms a rubber dust than leaving marks.
In overall it was
the best day for the Bakkie so far, 5th in Class F, we knocked 1sec of the times from our competitors, just by fiddling with a few suspension settings.
The Escort won the class on the last run of the day, after a few changes to the driving style and lines. Huge horsepower isn’t all that is needed in this sport. The perfect line, amount of braking before and in mid corner, amount of throttle exciting a corner and suspension is what is important.
Thanks to everyone that helped with the vehicles for the event and on the day, we appreciate it.
Just to set the record straight, Ruan job well done, not even a grinder and a hammer would make it look like this.
On our last run at the 22nd Casino Mykonos Langebaan Gymkhana, we entered the last sector of the
route, just as we came around a right hand turn, we just here this loud clap following with a few of these *&%#, we retired.
We new it wasn’t clutch, so it had to be more to the rear. After pushing it back to the pits, we jacket it up and started praying that it was the diff inner and
not a side shaft. Tuesday we stripped it, luckily for us it is the planetary & sun gears that just decided 2.0lt Zetec power was enough. Bugger, and I thought a set of throttles and decent cams will make it more interesting. Luckily not side shafts, as that would mean more machining to get the disc brakes to fit new side shafts.
We sourced a donor diff on Tuesday afternoon even before we new what exactly it is.
The Escort will be up and running over the weekend.
A great day of racing in general @ 22nd Casino Mykonos Langebaan Gymkhana on 18 April 2009
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This must be the best event so far, all our expectations were thrown out the door at arrival to the track on Friday evening at early entry. We where so scared of the rumored paving’s that everyone told us about.
What, we thought to ourselves, if your are competing for a decent time and not there to be a showoff the paving’s isn’t that bad. Obviously from time to time an honest accident from pushing to hard does happen, but hey, isn’t that what racing is about.
Our first few runs went quite well, learning all the correct lines with the bakkie following with the escort. We played around with tire pressures, stiffness of the bakkies rear suspension, while improving our times on each run. I must admit, Ruan is starting to get to grips with the Escort, I honestly believe that the car was driving Ruan around until our 3rd run in it on Saturday, Ruan proved, that he is in control of it and have learned it’s tricks. On the 4th run he was really giving the car a bit of
it’s own medicine, locking up brakes, sliding it towards the paving on hard braking, on exits of corners drifting it towards tires.
On the navigation side of things, we had times in the bakkie that there were more confusion than actual facts about the correct routes, but we pulled thru and only had one very badly driven line due my fault and not his, but, the rest of the factual confusion came from his side. A phrase in Ruan’s words: “Ek moet aan my navigasie werk”.
We learned a few valuable lessons on this event, the bakkie needs more work than we thought, the idea
from day one with it was to use it as a vehicle to learn the track better, but hey, we all want to go faster as this kind of motorsport is starting to grow on us. The bakkie will need a lot of work on the front suspension, fitting a set of kick ass semi slicks isn’t the answer. Camber, Caster, bigger anti roll/sway bars, stiffer springs this is what help times. As the Escort is living prove of it. Not even a bigger engine will help, if you can’t get that power to the ground or carry that speed thru a corner, you wasted your money. This goes for the escort to, it needs a Limited Slip Differential or a torsion diff badly. We are confident that this vehicle has not shown its full potential.
We will be doing our home work on getting the bakkies front suspension in shape and drool about a Quaife for the escort. Anyone wanting to donate one, get in touch we will drink your beer and place your own stickers on our vehicles.
One the last run with the escort, just as we entered stage 4 of the route we heard this loud clap, peep peep peep, something is @%$#&^, was the only thing that you would have heard in the cockpit. Just as we exit a right hand corner and where at full throttle the differential gave in. Well as they say, something has to give. But still what a disappointment to a otherwise perfect day.
We will be taking it apart int he week to figure out what was the weakest link in it, we suspect a spirale gear. Welding on leaf spring also proven a very bad idea, as the bakkie broke one on Sunday afternoon as we arrived back in Cape Town. Never will we weld on tempered steel again.
Thanks to all our friends that helped make this day a success, without your effort this wouldn’t be possible.
This will be the home of Racing Technologies.
A thought that came to mind a few months ago while spending some time on one of my friends and racing partner’s very neat Ford Escort MK II.
We have spend countless hours working on this car to get
it were it is today, in short it went through a transformation stage of starting of as the normal run around for the family to a dream of a young man. I want a racing car, not the normal fast street car, but a decent racing car that still had that classic feel to it. That is all for know, you’ll see and here a lot of this little vehicle in the articles to come.
Our biggest challenge with building this vehicle is and
will be sourcing of parts and new ideas in
the local South African market.
And this is were the idea of the site came from, maybe just maybe we can help someone out there with some thought or an idea to what will help your little project there in the back of the garage that is waiting for some very very expensive parts from the UK or just some local knowledge gathered around a racing track or at a braai.