Parts Department - changes to cars and some 35 year old "news"
'Return of the Jedi' or “On the Cam”
2010 will see the return of Worcester-based former 1200 class champion Arty Cameron. He started racing in Mono as a teenager, and at 23 he’s still one of our youngest members, not to say one of the most enthusiastic. Regular Startline readers may remember that he contested the Thruxton event last year and impressed many with his turn of speed until a mechanical problem sidelined him.
He's been out of the seat for four years due to lack of a racing budget. He's not been totally away from the paddock because he's been supporting Kat Impey. He's also spent a lot of time making his Jedi Mk4 more competitive by fitting a more powerful engine – the Yamaha R1 which the papers tell us produces 185bhp. The car weighs 320kg giving a power to weight ratio of 580bhp per ton. We don’t often talk about performance figures on Startline, but in this case Arty has given them as 0-60mph in 3 seconds and a top speed of 155mph. It’s always useful to remember that the cars we see racing every few weeks have a performance up to 150mph which will thrash most roadgoing supercars which can cost ten times as much.
The installation of the engine and rebuilding of the car itself took approximately six weeks around his work commitments. The chassis had to be altered to fit the different mountings and a new exhaust had to be made to suit. Bodywork upgrades were next and then a full rub down and respray in what we've described previously as “Renault F1 Blue”. The wiring had to be redone by Track Electronics of Norwich, modern road car and bike looms being notoriously sensitive to seemingly irrelevant sensors and facilities being disconnected.
Arty has tried the car out and is very pleased with the result. He's hoping to do a full season and is likely to be a front runner. He's asked us to mention that the car is unsponsored and that his phone number is 07877 827109.
A Loyal Reynard Customer
Adrian Reynard would be delighted to hear that Lenny Coleman, who previously has been seen in a classic Vauxhall Lotus, has "gone carbon" and acquired the always immaculate and always quick Reynard 883 from Tristan Cliffe. Thanks to the wonderful new Racing Exposure online magazine started by Andrew Cliffe we have a picture of Lenny testing, and the information that the car is ex-Rickard Rydell. Naturally this gives the all-too-rare excuse to show a racing Volvo Estate as driven by the speedy Scandinavian in the BTCC in 1994.
More Reynard News - and some confusion!
Reynard rarely made ugly cars and the 903 was one of the prettiest. So it was good news when we heard that Andy Woolley and Mark Smith's European Aviation 903 is back on its wheels after Andy's bad shunt at Snetterton in 2008. The pair will share the car again, which leads to one of the most complicated explanations in recent years. The Mark Smith who will be driving the 903 isn't the same as the Mark Smith who's been competing in Mono in a Formula Renault Tatuus. But you probably knew that. However, there's also a Mark Smith who competes in the British Sprint Championship in a Gould-modified ex-European Aviation Reynard 903, sister car of Andy and Mark's. He's no relation either. And there was also a Mark Smith who raced a Ginetta G17 Formula Ford, amongst other places at Lydden Hill. That one IS the Mark who shares with Andy! To complicate things still further, I recall that the Mono circuit 903 is ex-sprinter Steve Wilkinson, so by rights should be a speed events car. I believe hillclimb champion Martin Groves also comes into the Reynard equation somewhere.
So that's all clear then. We may run a short exam at the AGM, probably hosted by the TV character on the right.
AUTOSPORT. JANUARY 3 1974 MONOPOSTO FORMULA
We are indebted to Ferrari hillclimb ace and long time admirer of club single seaters Christian Mineeff who has searched his Autosport stack for this seasonal survey from 1974. It sounds as though there was a bit of controversy that year and that Brian Jordan, who we were pleased to welcome to the 50th anniversary "do" at Rockingham, read the regs in a Chapman-esque way, finding the advantage that nobody else did. Our picture (left) is of Brian, said to be in a Brabham, in 1972.
Another driver mentioned is Welshman John Davies. I wondered whether he's the same John Davies that hillclimbed a Brabham in the 1980's. A website says he won the TF3 championship in 1993 in an Argo JM6.
So here's the article, and it's good that the opening paragraph is still true:
"Other formulae come and go but the Monoposto Formula seems to go on in its own quiet way for ever. There is no great song and dance about the regulations. Usually the drivers are all in it for fun; and yet the racing is fast and close without being inordinately expensive.
Two things changed in 1973. First, the championship was sponsored by Sta-Power additives and, secondly, there was a fuss about the regs. It seemed they had been too loosely drawn as regards over-boring the 1600 cc engines and the championship winner revealed when it was all over that he had been running a specially built “oversize" engine instead of a re-bored one as the regs intended. In the end Brian Jordan, a long time supporter of Monoposto racing, was allowed to keep his title and the loophole has been closed. Jordan's car was a Nike but looked very much like a Brabham, which has become the most popular production car in this class of racing which permits proprietary chassis built before the end of September 1968 but encourages one-offs of any age. The fastest Brabham, a BT18, belonged to 1972 champion Trevor Scarratt but he punctuated his season with two serious accidents from which he recovered fully to continue his winning ways. Another rapid BTI8 belonged to John Boughton while Welshman John Davies, who has raced everything from BTl8s in their F3 heyday to an Aston Martin' DBR1, acquired the ex-Paul Weldon BTl5 and showed a lot of speed among the regulars like Brian Colvin's Merlyn Mk 10, Alan Bailie's Viking (runner-up to Jordan), and Brian Toft's front-engined Anco. The 1-litre class has almost fallen into disuse, thanks to a points scoring system which does not differentiate between the classes. Ken Crook came out of retirement with his ex-F3 Lotus 41C, exactly as it was when last raced by him in the 1-litre formula, and was fast but greater consistency was shown by the Brabham BT18 of Graham Bowskill."
Champion 1001 to 1600 cc: Trevor Scarratt.
Throttle Body First
The first 2 litre to surface with a race injection system is, probably unsurprisingly, Tristan Cliffe's Dallara 397. This makes the prospect of Brands all the more mouthwatering as there can be no doubt that with Tristan out for a championship, Mono returnee Mark Harrison, who is due to be driving the yellow Harrison Dallara, will be out to spoil his fun. Add in Jeremy Timms, who may still be in his 397 having not sold it over the winter as was rumoured, and we could be in for a memorable race
Words by Tony Cotton. Pics by Andrew Cliffe, Nigel Bland, 4hero, Arty Cameron, Alan Putt, internet.