After a couple of weeks of searching for a new shell for TTR002 car which takes so much time its unbelievable. A because I am fussy and B because I am tight. While its ideal to get another factory ZR 160 for spare parts and minimal swapping of parts they are a premium as they become rarer and combined with the fact I don’t want to be paying for paintwork as well as everything else. Therefore I decided my priority is about getting the right shell with minimal blemishes and rust rather than specifically a 160.
So after wasting time on two battered 160’s and a rolling Mk2 1.4 minus a front end we trip over an advert for a 52 plate 1.4 in Ascot with the classic HGF for £150. A trip out with my son William and its seems OK so its loaded up, there are a few subtle differences from a 160 car to a 105 and these I know from the conversions that used to be popular a few years ago. The front subframes are different so I have ordered the very front beam from eBay and inspection of the rear front frame will take place when I get it off. I have a Rover 25vi 1.8 to break and that’s the same so I have one if necessary.
The drive shafts are different, and in the smash at Snetterton the O/S/F one got ripped out and so again a suitable second hand one has been sourced.
I will start a page so you can follow the build of this second race car.
So finally after a couple of weeks I managed to find a few hours to take some damage out and inspect the car with a final viewing from a very good mate of mine who works for a large crash repair centre near me. Initially after removing the two headlights, radiator, o/s/f wing, o/s drive shaft, fan, bonnet and alternator it doesn’t look horrendous.
Unfortunately, with a trained eye and a little time its obvious the impact to the corner rather than head on has called time on the shell. The seam in the bulkhead behind the pedals has pushed apart, the top of the o/s/f suspension tower it pushed against the wiper motor and the inner wing is crumpled in several different directions. A pull would help but a new inner wing etc makes it just too much effort and money for a car of this age to that’s it she’s now an ex-race car, deceased and no more.
I would lie to say I am not gutted, my first try at building an MSA spec race car that won me the championship last year and had so much of my time ploughed into it is all I can think about. But hey, that’s Motorsport and its time to look for a new shell and use the lessons learned to build a new one. Fortunately the expensive race car bits are all OK, and its time to find a shell for TTR002. One question to solve now 160 or 170…..
The final race of the season turned into what could be the final race for the car now known as chassis TTR001. After coming back from Oulton Park, the car didn’t need and remedial work before Snetterton other than the usual check over. With Dad now back on board and the family coming up for the last two races of the season it was hopefully going to be a straight forward weekend especially with Snet being near to home.
Going into Snetterton the points for class D were interesting between Paul Bryson and I there were just two and with Martin Webber and Paul’s coming together at Oulton wrecking Paul’s car I know that second was achievable albeit not entirely the way one wanted to get second. John Gil was way off and challenging for the over all championship being the only other class D runner for Snetterton with Jonathan Harker pulling out after deciding to sell his ZR 160 are concentrate on his F and MGA.
Qualifying went well, 1 second off John’s pace and given the previous two races have been so poor in terms of pace especially in Quali I was pleased. I like the circuit and can really push the car so I was looking forward to the race and hopefully being competitive.
Race 1 and there is two green flag laps, the start I hesitate for some reason and then pull away at the rear of the grid. As I enter Riches corner at around 70Mph I see cars all over the lace and Mark Bellamy in his yellow ZR 170 facing me in the middle of the bend. Nowhere to go I hit him hard in the o/s/f and punt him off into the barrier. The car is reving at 6k so I kill the power switch and climb out.
That’s it race over and with a lot of cursing I get out and the Marshall team give Mark and I the once over and fortunately we are both OK, its red flag time and Mark and I retreat to inside barrier to discuss what happened. Mark had got clipped in the fallout of a spinning Robin Walker and I got caught up in the chaos – racing incident but I can see the car is wrecked and I’m gutted if I am honest.
After a few minutes I feel some pain in my lower back so its off to the medical centre in the course ambulance for a full and thorough check over. Nothing to worry about and I am discharged into my Wife Kelly’s care who looks more worried than I am.
The Scrutineers impound the car and check my helmet etc for damage. Both Mark and my cars are pretty wrecked so we enlist some willing help from the drivers still in Scrutineering and their associated teams to load the car on the trailer. A very fed up Sunday followed and I have to wait ten days for sometime to forensically inspect the car due to other commitments. Dad already thinks its game over for the car, but I am clinging on to the hope that a jig and new front panel and beam will be all that is needed. Massive thanks go to the Marshall’s, Scrutineers and Medical Crew at Snetterton for their help and assistance.