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Old Formula Vees - Group V in Australia


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#1551 Jacer

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 20:38

John, were there significant changes to the rules in the day?

Tyre rules I know did change from time to time, but I always understood there was no real difference in the car-building rules at least until 1983.

The coming of a lot of flow-bench work in the nineties did make some difference in power, of course. But I always thought it was without rule changes.

Rumours of the leading cars all having 1:1 top gears were there from time to time, of course...

It's hard to draw a line in the sand mechanically for vees until maybe 1991 when the 1 untouched component rules changed to minimum weights. The first Rennmax mk2 was 1975 and the first NG Elfin was 1976. They influenced a change in shape form the original type of cars also introduced the remote mounted steering box forward of the 'H' beam on a bracket and in the NG's case the zero bump steer trailing arm rears.They were both changes that seemed to be a ' line in the sand' that changed they way new cars were built. 10 years also was a good even number. Around 1987 the first of the 'skinny' cars were built on mass with the Elfin Crusader, the Jabiru came around the same time also. Bringing a cut off or 31/12/85 for VB seemed to be another 10 year block but make another line in the sand and cut off the skinny cars form historic racing.

There probably is a need for a review to see if a VC is justified or not. It's 31 years ago now and those cars are more relative to historic racing then current. There have been rumblings that some HFVAA people may feel and introduction of VC would possibly devalue some of the VA cars. Of course convincing the Historic commission would be another thing as well. 



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#1552 nim38

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 22:01

Ray David has summed it up to a tee so I need not add anymore apart from saying that the first group VA took 5 years to get through CAMS



#1553 Jacer

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 23:36

It's hard to draw a line in the sand mechanically for vees until maybe 1991 when the 1 untouched component rules changed to minimum weights. The first Rennmax mk2 was 1975 and the first NG Elfin was 1976. They influenced a change in shape form the original type of cars also introduced the remote mounted steering box forward of the 'H' beam on a bracket and in the NG's case the zero bump steer trailing arm rears.They were both changes that seemed to be a ' line in the sand' that changed they way new cars were built. 10 years also was a good even number. Around 1987 the first of the 'skinny' cars were built on mass with the Elfin Crusader, the Jabiru came around the same time also. Bringing a cut off or 31/12/85 for VB seemed to be another 10 year block but make another line in the sand and cut off the skinny cars form historic racing.

There probably is a need for a review to see if a VC is justified or not. It's 31 years ago now and those cars are more relative to historic racing then current. There have been rumblings that some HFVAA people may feel and introduction of VC would possibly devalue some of the VA cars. Of course convincing the Historic commission would be another thing as well. 

The flow bench arrived for main stream Vee use in about 1983. Chris Lewis who imported the Predator P3 from the states brought in a superflow 110 roughly the same time. I started my involvement with Dynamic Flow which was Chris and brother in law Chad Hartup in 1987. I was on the front row with Chris at Amaroo and couldn't get past Chris's thing for about 7 laps even with a tow. I eventually passed him in the loop by lightly dabbing the brakes just after the first apex, steering left and accelerating and passing before the second apex. Anyone who has raced a vee at Amaroo will know how slow the lead car is to be able to do that. Anyway I had maybe 3 to 4 car lengths out of stop go but by the time I got to the kink in the straight Chris drove around the outside of me and was 3 car lengths in front by the loop! Needless to say my first phone call made on Monday night was to Chad, never really looked back. The bench had so much negative stuff circulated about it but it was really a cost saver. Instead of building an engine with all the bits that looked right you could actually check that they were before you assembled anything.



#1554 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 00:25

I do recall there was a change in carburettor or distributor allowance or similar, right? Because of deterioration of supplies of original pieces IIRC...

The mention of the 'skinny cars'... does that mean the rule relating to body width has changed? That was a part of the design of the first of the Mk 2 Rennmaxes and meant the lower body had to change when Bob removed the 'ears' from the cars.

Otherwise, I can see good sense in those cut-off dates.




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Edited by Ray Bell, 22 January 2016 - 00:30.


#1555 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 00:29

Originally posted by Jacer
The flow bench arrived for main stream Vee use in about 1983......

.....it was really a cost saver. Instead of building an engine with all the bits that looked right you could actually check that they were before you assembled anything.


Yes, I would agree with that reasoning...

The irony of unlocking horsepower that people had been looking for for many years is quite outstanding really.

#1556 nim38

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 00:46

Ray David can correct me if I am wrong but yes some time i the 80,s things like Bosch 009 dissy s external oil coolers and remoute moumnted oil filters and sump extensions and gutting the generator and running 12 volt systems where allowed and all these where added to Histroic Vee as they where not a a performance gain but a safety and reliability gain.

There where other things that where just over looked like with the Va cars the original rules stated that the rear suspension was to be coil over shocks that must maintain the weight of the rear of the car but when camber compensating bars where used they held the weight and not the coil over shocks so most people took to the coils with and oxy to take out the spring but as the rules never changed they where known as dummy springs as they did very little if anything.

If you want to chat more on this call me 0407503950 or 02 96742087 leave a message and I will call you back but there are many many things that where not written in the rules that where just accepted



#1557 Jacer

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 01:30

I do recall there was a change in carburettor or distributor allowance or similar, right? Because of deterioration of supplies of original pieces IIRC...

The mention of the 'skinny cars'... does that mean the rule relating to body width has changed? That was a part of the design of the first of the Mk 2 Rennmaxes and meant the lower body had to change when Bob removed the 'ears' from the cars.

Otherwise, I can see good sense in those cut-off dates.




.

carburetor has pretty much remained the same I think, I cant say what pre 70 stuff was. Various tidy ups of thing regarding carburetors have taken place. It's always a problem when something is std but std has about 6 different castings! Maybe the thing relating to Distributors could be the allowance of the 009, not sure of it's timeframe. the Dissy of choice before that I think was from a 50's Kombi!

Yes the ears became winglets which became little mouldings in some cases. Greg do you still have the Jabiru?. You could attest to how ridiculous things had become. The cars became narrower but the winglets became wider.I think the 860mm became 600 sometime in the early 2000's as what constituted a piece of bodywork was becoming ridiculous.



#1558 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 02:29

I seem to recall something, a distributor or carby, was coming from Brazil...

And then there was the night Frank Burke realised his performance problems were that the distributor had even spacing of the lobes for each cylinder.

#1559 nim38

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 02:50

Ray before you post things it may be a good idea to understand the mechanics of formula vee.

All 009 dissy s have lobes spaced evenly the early VW dissy had No3 lobe retarded as the oil cooler was mounted in the fan housing and blocked cooling of No 3 & 4 more 3 So Franks performance problem was not related to this fact but more to a doggy dissy from Brazil which there where many

Call me



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#1560 GMACKIE

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 03:32

carburetor has pretty much remained the same I think, I cant say what pre 70 stuff was. Various tidy ups of thing regarding carburetors have taken place. It's always a problem when something is std but std has about 6 different castings! Maybe the thing relating to Distributors could be the allowance of the 009, not sure of it's timeframe. the Dissy of choice before that I think was from a 50's Kombi!

Yes the ears became winglets which became little mouldings in some cases. Greg do you still have the Jabiru?. You could attest to how ridiculous things had become. The cars became narrower but the winglets became wider.I think the 860mm became 600 sometime in the early 2000's as what constituted a piece of bodywork was becoming ridiculous.

Yes, David, I still have the Jabiru...and the cars did become narrower. The trouble is I became wider. :rolleyes: Bernie removed one of the Jabiru's winglets, when he stuck his wheel into the side of my car at Wakefield Park last year. It's now fixed.

 

The early distributors - we did use the Kombi 'mechanical' advance one - did not have no.3 retarded lobe, John. I fitted deflectors inside the fan housing to 'even up' the air flow, so that no.3 cylinder ran at the same temp. as the others.



#1561 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 05:24

Ray David can correct me if I am wrong but yes some time i the 80,s things like Bosch 009 dissy s external oil coolers and remoute moumnted oil filters and sump extensions and gutting the generator and running 12 volt systems where allowed and all these where added to Histroic Vee as they where not a a performance gain but a safety and reliability gain.

There where other things that where just over looked like with the Va cars the original rules stated that the rear suspension was to be coil over shocks that must maintain the weight of the rear of the car but when camber compensating bars where used they held the weight and not the coil over shocks so most people took to the coils with and oxy to take out the spring but as the rules never changed they where known as dummy springs as they did very little if anything.

If you want to chat more on this call me 0407503950 or 02 96742087 leave a message and I will call you back but there are many many things that where not written in the rules that where just accepted

I dont know much about Vees but remote mounting the cooler and filter will give performance and if done properly way increased reliability. Sump extensions ditto. While I agree with these things strictly they , again, are not historic.

I also notice the 'modern' wheels on most too. Better and stronger and  readily available but not true period. That does show, anyone who has watched Vees in the dim dark ages will realise that.

Probably not the relocated cooler and filters unless they are mechanical minded.



#1562 nim38

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 05:39

Ray The amount of performance increase ( if there is any) is nothing as to the extra weight added by fitting them and as FV has a min weight ????????? but the reliability  is increased 5 fold



#1563 GMACKIE

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 06:02

The tiny original VW oil pump, without external filter or cooler used very little HP. My engine [built by Jack Bono] lasted nearly 2 years without touching it, except for tappet adjustments. Oil change after practice, and race days. Oil pressure on the straight was 20 PSI, with 20 grade oil. Too scared to look at the gauge any other time.  ;)



#1564 MPC78

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 06:53

That's all fascinating. So many tweaks and envelope pushing required to run at the front.

As regards the potential for Group VC getting off the ground it would appear it would need a concerted effort by a number of like minded people over an extended period of time to ever get up.

#1565 pmccurdy

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 23:27

The tiny original VW oil pump, without external filter or cooler used very little HP. My engine [built by Jack Bono] lasted nearly 2 years without touching it, except for tappet adjustments. Oil change after practice, and race days. Oil pressure on the straight was 20 PSI, with 20 grade oil. Too scared to look at the gauge any other time.  ;)



#1566 Jacer

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 23:39

Yes, David, I still have the Jabiru...and the cars did become narrower. The trouble is I became wider. :rolleyes: Bernie removed one of the Jabiru's winglets, when he stuck his wheel into the side of my car at Wakefield Park last year. It's now fixed.

 

The early distributors - we did use the Kombi 'mechanical' advance one - did not have no.3 retarded lobe, John. I fitted deflectors inside the fan housing to 'even up' the air flow, so that no.3 cylinder ran at the same temp. as the others.

I had a customer with a Jabiru. Length was my problem, fitting 6ft 2 1/2 in. Whenever I had to dyno I had to wedge myself half way up the seat back and change gears with the opposite hand to the shift. I wouldn't consider trying to get in with the body on



#1567 pmccurdy

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 23:40

My mate and I knowing nothing about engines refreshed ours once a year. We did attempt to "cc" the heads about the same. Like you I did regular oil change and tappets. The only hint on "performance" I got was to run the generator belt really loose ! I think the only problem we had in 3yrs was one burnt valve (maybe because of loose fan belt). For me , wheel alignment and handling generally gave the most improvement. For what it's worth :)

#1568 GMACKIE

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Posted 22 January 2016 - 23:54

It's worth quite a lot, Paul. :wave: Agree with your comment on 'wheel alignment' etc. One thing that is often overlooked is driving technique.There were 3 things I tried not to do when racing a Vee, as they tend to slow you down ! :-

 

Take the right foot off the accelerator pedal.

Turn the steering wheel.

Touch the brake pedal.



#1569 E1pix

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Posted 23 January 2016 - 03:00

I have a potentially-silly question... in karting, I learned very early on that mashing the go pedal a second or two before the green -- while riding the brake -- was a distinct launch advantage when the green flag falls. No chance for throttle delay, loaded-up plugs, whatever... instead the plugs are cleaned and lifting off the brake is easy to do quickly.

Does that work in a Vee?

Edit: Greg, I only gave you a Like on your prior post because there's not a "Love this post" option. :-)

Edited by E1pix, 23 January 2016 - 03:05.


#1570 DanTra2858

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Posted 23 January 2016 - 03:04

Hey Mackie were you sucidial 🤔in your younger days.

#1571 GMACKIE

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Posted 23 January 2016 - 03:44

Don't know about that, Daniel  ;) ...however, I did take Jack Bono's [excellent] advice, when I complained that the Elfin seemed slow. "Learn how to drive it" he told me.



#1572 MPC78

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Posted 23 January 2016 - 04:03

Don't know about that, Daniel  ;) ...however, I did take Jack Bono's [excellent] advice, when I complained that the Elfin seemed slow. "Learn how to drive it" he told me.


That's great advice 😄

#1573 GMACKIE

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Posted 23 January 2016 - 04:26

Eric, i have never driven a kart, so all I can tell you is how my Vee launch went. When the flag drops, with at least 5000RPM up,dump the clutch and hold the accelerator hard down until a life-threatening situation arises. The car will absolutely leap away gradually gain speed at the same rate as the cars around you.



#1574 normv

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Posted 23 January 2016 - 06:11

That's all fascinating. So many tweaks and envelope pushing required to run at the front.

As regards the potential for Group VC getting off the ground it would appear it would need a concerted effort by a number of like minded people over an extended period of time to ever get up.

Whenever I see discussions about VC I  get very nervous. I encourage those who consider it a good option to look at what happened in Formula Ford With FC. The views expressed below are purely mine based on my observations with Formula Ford.

FA & FB had good fields and there were a variety of different historic models regularly being imported which further added to the variety of historic cars displayed(raced) , this resulted in Australia ending up with some historically significant FF’s racing here such as the first Lotus and Zink/Citation Formula Fords.

Since the introduction of FC the fields of FA &FB cars have almost been wiped out at most events.  Having driven both FA’s and FC’s I understand why if you want to be competitive. If you are good enough it can be done in a older car with a lot of work, but most of us aren’t that good. Given most people want the best chance of being up the front this is now in a FC.   Therefore there are no new FA cars being COD and most of those which have one already are already are parked or up for sale with little interest.  

Many involved in Historic FF now realise this problem  (and agree it was a mistake), they are now trying hard to get the Fa/Fb cars back with talk of their own events and other incentives,  but given the number of historic categories already result in them all not being able run at the same meeting so  I can’t see them getting 2 groups for FF.

Historic FV has made the old FV’s some what  desirable again and I am sure has resulted in a number being  rebuilt (saved) from just old frames laying around or reverted back to their origonal period specification as was done with David Cutts’s beautiful Spectre. And I am sure there will be many more to come as the category gets stronger and its own races.

VC  will and needs to happen in the distant future, however to do it anytime soon could result in the Va/Vb  period cars being unloved again and those not yet CoD being lost forever as everyone will want a Zero role rear trailing arm car.  

 When Fc does come yes the older cars with CoD’s may also loose value. In FA the values’s were quickly halved when FC was introduced, they are creaping back up as FC’s start becoming scarcer/ more expensive however there is a very small market to sell to, therefore rarely change hands. Whilst you don’t by race cars to make money, having 3 FA cars it did hurt a little.

As Formula Vee is now a recognised  historic category those, lets call them VC cars will  hopefully not be lost but they will be preserved by their current owners for the day when they do become historic eligible , Therefore there is no rush to bring in VC in my view.

Thanks for reading.



#1575 brucemoxon

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Posted 23 January 2016 - 08:19

It's worth quite a lot, Paul. :wave: Agree with your comment on 'wheel alignment' etc. One thing that is often overlooked is driving technique.There were 3 things I tried not to do when racing a Vee, as they tend to slow you down ! :-

 

Take the right foot off the accelerator pedal.

Turn the steering wheel.

Touch the brake pedal.

 

I had the same theory with rallying a Holden Gemini. I failed, but I kept it in mind.

 

 

 

Bruce Moxon



#1576 E1pix

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Posted 23 January 2016 - 14:50

Eric, i have never driven a kart, so all I can tell you is how my Vee launch went. When the flag drops, with at least 5000RPM up,dump the clutch and hold the accelerator hard down until a life-threatening situation arises. The car will absolutely leap away gradually gain speed at the same rate as the cars around you.

First, the crossed-out part nearly caused me a "personal" accident. But it was worth it, hilarious.

Sorry, I was talking about a rolling start and sense you weren't (?). Do you do standing starts down there?

#1577 GMACKIE

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Posted 23 January 2016 - 19:36

The 5000s have rolling starts. Nearly everything else is standing starts. That's in Historic racing, by the way. We even race in the rain, down here.  ;)



#1578 E1pix

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Posted 23 January 2016 - 21:20

We use wets too, of course, but only when a track also goes to the right. :-)

#1579 Predator10

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 22:00

Hi All

Having only just found this forum, thanks Dave for your kind comments on the Predator and flow testing. Perhaps it may be interesting  that in the 35 years since I built the  Predator under an arrangement with Precision Dynamics in Colorado USA , the car is now going to a new home in Victoria. The story on Flow Testing is an interesting one as certainly  Chad   and his "Dynamic Flow" business were certainly the first to flow test seriously Formula Vee components. We all knew  it was being done, but there were few Flowbenches in Australia at the time. During 1986 in a visit to the Predator guys in the USA I was fortunate to visit the Super Flow  premises in Colorado Springs  and in ordering the Super Flow110 E they gave me a days tuition....on NASCAR heads !!  When the bench arrived  back in Australia we  scrounged and bought every Solex 28 PCI carburettor and intake manifold we could find, and started a concerted search for the best one or components. Certain bodys , shafts, tops  flowed best so we were able to build a  superior composite article. We never ever bought the flowbench to sell parts commercially but only for personal use. Anyway as the Predator found its way to the front , people asked  why and the secret got out. At one stage we had over 100 junkyard carburettors in a pile on the floor. We also supplied chemically cleaned ie. etched and milled intake manifolds and ported cylinder heads.  After the  rush died down  a few years later Chad had built  253  composite carburettors , 168  intake manifolds, flow tested and updated countless induction systems   and I  delivered the 63rd pair of Vee cylinder heads only recently. Where they all are these days we have no idea. !

Although the induction system. carburettor ,manifold and heads were naturally the best available on the Predator , the aerodynamics of the car at the time were very exceptional. The Predator in the USA had set a new trap speed record  of 121.7 MPH at Road Atlanta and broken a 3 year old lap record with the driver Zan Smith. This was the stimulus for me to build this particular car from the factory blueprints.



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#1580 Ray Bell

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Posted 31 January 2016 - 23:02

Originally posted by Predator10
..... Where they all are these days we have no idea!


What generally happens to good stuff like this is:

1. Car changes hands.

2. New owner has a mate who can do a better job. Or maybe he can himself.

3. Good gear is removed and gets lost under a bench.

4. Car descends to back of grid.

5. New owner either pays someone else big bucks to get him flying or gives up in disgust. Always he complains about person selling car to him having removed good bits.

#1581 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 05:20

The 5000s have rolling starts. Nearly everything else is standing starts. That's in Historic racing, by the way. We even race in the rain, down here.  ;)

Historic 5000s have rolling starts. In period they had standing starts.

From what I see on TV,,, V8 Stupid Cars and their supports only race in the damp.. Because they seldom race on race tracks they cannot race in the wet as the puddles and white lines spit them off the track. That and over exuberance and lack of talent!

Club and State level though do race in the rain and drive accordingly.



#1582 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 05:27

Eric, i have never driven a kart, so all I can tell you is how my Vee launch went. When the flag drops, with at least 5000RPM up,dump the clutch and hold the accelerator hard down until a life-threatening situation arises. The car will absolutely leap away gradually gain speed at the same rate as the cars around you.

While I have driven a Vee I have never racestarted one. Nothing happens quickly, it though is all about momentum and drafting. 

Foreign to someone who raced a 6 litre Sports Sedan! Where I used to baulk those horrid noisy things and hair dryer things to make them lose their momentum.

In speedway trying to anticipate the green is usually the best way for a good start. There I was the little 3.3 six running against 6 litre engines. 



#1583 Predator10

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 05:37

Ray

Absolutely true.  Funny thing I rebuilt a carburettor  that was  Dynamic Flow one recently that was sold in 1987. Chad was meticulous with  stamp  numbering everything so the records showed the original purchaser and what pairings of top and base it should have had originally. This one now  had  been re assembled with different  components that were originally sold in  carburettors  to different states and now included other butchered up parts .



#1584 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 01 February 2016 - 12:39

What generally happens to good stuff like this is:

1. Car changes hands.

2. New owner has a mate who can do a better job. Or maybe he can himself.

3. Good gear is removed and gets lost under a bench.

4. Car descends to back of grid.

5. New owner either pays someone else big bucks to get him flying or gives up in disgust. Always he complains about person selling car to him having removed good bits.

Or new owner has no idea as a driver. yet alone preperation and car descends to the back of the grid rapidly, often never to be seen again. Or the car ends up For Sale and the original seller gets slammed for selling a shonky car.

THAT has happened often, even when the car is delivered direct to new owner and on several occasions I have felt sympathy. At least one of these has ended in court where the most expensive lawyer wins.

Most people that understand know that the correct prep is No1 and a good driver is then required.

I have seen this happen with all categories, even Pro ones. It has defenitly happened with Vees.