Thanks to the FIFA World Cup things have been pretty quiet in the Times Racing camp since our last outing at Zwartkops on 29 May. Well, maybe just for me because the mechanics over at Race Prep have been busying themselves with sorting out the Mustang for our next showdown at Phakisa on 7 August. In fact yesterday I swung past the workshop to pay the guys a visit and found bits of my machine scattered all over the garage. Once over the shock of it all, I whipped out my camera and took a few pics to show you what the boys have been doing during our mid-season break.
1: Old wings off, new wings on:
As it’s my first racing season the two front wings have taken a little bit of a beating. Thankfully there have been no major dents but a minor skirmish with Paolo Cavalieri’s Chevrolet Chevelle and Mark du Toit’s Chevrolet Biscyane did leave a few unsightly dings up on the two front corners. The lightweight aluminium headlight surrounds were also bend out of shape on impact, so we’ve decided to replace them and the wings with brand new items ordered in fresh from the US of A. They’re about to be sent to the body-shop to be sprayed to hopefully the guys will have them fitted next week.
2: All-new brake discs
At the recent Times Racing readers’ day we held in May I managed to incinerate both my front brake discs and pads. In fact after coming in for a pit-stop they caught fire and sent bystanders packing as two massive plumes of smoke erupted from under each wheel-arch. My team-principal wasn’t to happy with this dramatic scene but, hey, two-hours of hot laps around Zwartkops Raceway will do this to a car. Anyway, with a new set of brake pads already installed we’ve decided to bolt on a pair of shiny new discs – essential if we’re aiming on maximizing our performance at the very fast and flowing Phakisa circuit.
3: A new old-school gearbox
This is a picture of the Mustang’s transmission tunnel. That bright square in the middle means that the old five-speed Tremac T-5 box has been binned (damn those pesky regulations) and the new old-school four-speed top-loader is about to be bolted in. Now in case you don’t know we’ve had to revert to a four-speed box because, technically speaking, that’s what the original Shelby GT-350s ran with back in the olden days.
4: Seeing the light with Perspex
If your eyes are any good you’ll be able to make out two very important items scribbled on the to-do list pasted above. The first is to finally get the windscreen wipers working (essential for the last few races held during the rainy season) and the second is to replace all the glass (barring the front windscreen of course) with lightweight Pespex. In case you haven’t noticed, the Mustang Fastback is home to a great deal of heavy ’60s crystalware and by substituting it with Perspex, we sould be able to shed a considerable amount of sprung weight.
5: Ram-Air assault
Inspired by the Ram-Air system fitted to Ben Morgenrood’s wickedly quick Trans-Am Mustang, Rod Hering and the rest of the Race Prep guys have been experimenting with a radical new induction system for use on my car. Last month they attached a prototype version to the engine and although it showed great results on the dynamometer, out on the track it just didn’t provide the same amount of response when initially coming onto the throttle. Needless to say version 2.0 is already on the drawing board, so hopefully it’ll be installed and sorted by the time we take to the track on the 7th.