Jerry Mahony

Sr. Member
  • Content count

    134
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    2

Everything posted by Jerry Mahony

  1. Yes sorry, can't be very helpful with this one. I was trying to identify the circuit by the surface but no go, what I can say is that it is definitely 1988 and after round 3 as my new open face helmet is on the roof. There is someone standing at the back of the car but I can't see who that is either. Note aluminium strut brace and roll cage, the shell was twisting towards the end of the season, cracking 3 windscreens, even though it was seam welded. Not sure those extra vents where the side lights should have been were legal either !!!!
  2. Hi Guys As I have managed to finally master how to scan and load photos I thought I would start a separate thread for the pictures I am going to load. That way they will not get lost in the 'body' of the site. From being on this site from time to time over the last 2/3 years it is clear that most of the followers want to see pictures of the cars from back in the day. I have quite a large collection of pictures, most of which have not been seen before. I have started scanning these into my computer and it is my intention to start posting these on this site where I am sure they will be appreciated. I am not going to put them all on at once but will do it over a period of months as I load them, as there are an awful lot ! They are not all of my car(s) racing, but some are related pictures around the paddock etc that you all hopefully may find interesting. Where possible I will try and give some background to the picture(s) if I can remember, as I know a lot of you like the stories that go with the pictures. I have also over the last few months found the unseen footage of the 88 BTCC that did not make it on to the TV or the end of season season review , that was financed by Kaliber. It is my intention to get the footage taken off VHS and digitalised, from where I should be able to put it on You Tube and supply links. I have also found the original film that Firestone did, although this is not strictly RS500 it is Sierra Cosworth and was professionally made. As far as I am aware this may be the only copy left and there is certainly nothing anywhere on the net. The first two pictures are of the 89 BTCC car, the first one taken at the chicane at Thruxton, I am being chased by Sean Walker and Chris Hodgetts. I don't really remember this race, unlike the 88 Thruxton races which were epic battles. The second picture is obviously at Silverstone on the GP circuit at the old Bridge corner. I don't think this is the Grand Prix meeting as there are not enough people in the background ! However in the other race I did have a battle with Karl Jones and at the end of the race with Smithy. You will note on the first picture I was running Dunlop tyres but on the second Pirelli, I switched mid-way through the season in a desperate bid to find more performance (which I did not). The car looks great in both these shots, the 89 livery was a lot more balanced.
  3. Hi Guys Just thought I would let you know that the May edition of Motorsport has an interview with Steve Soper and Andy Rouse, 4 page spread celebrating 30 years of RS500. They also have Texaco cars on the front cover. Rightly they have decided that the RS500 is the best racing car ever (I've been saying that for 30 years)! Get yourself down to the newsagent and get a copy, its a keeper. Here's a bit of a teaser for you that cropped up recently, how many drivers won a BTCC race in an RS500, I got it wrong, and lost money on the wager! See how many of you get it right, oh and I want names please. Answers on a post.................please! Jerry
  4. You got it, Robb won Brands with Smithy. Pete Halls 87 car was converted to RS500 spec over the winter of 87/88. I nearly bought it off him to do the last round of 87 and it was Pete Hall who talked me into doing Group A for 88. I had already had a run in a Holden Commodore in the 87 TT at Silverstone, with two grumpy Belgians, remember it was a round of the WTCC then. Robb went on to drive Pete Halls car in a few rounds of the 88 championship after Pete had frightened himself at the wet Oulton race in 88! I'm not kidding, he gave up after that. Jerry
  5. Well done Andy you got 10 but there are 11, not quite full points, but I am deducting a point for putting an 'e' in my name ! Pete Hall won a race in 87 in a Cosworth not RS 500. Who can come up with the last name? I originally got 10, I forgot about Tiff Needell. Ford credits me with the first win in an RS500 in the BTCC, but Grahame Goode claims the first win in an RS500 from the season before at Donington, he did win but it was a Cosworth. Jerry
  6. Sorry it's a 15 page article not 4 page. Senior moment! Jerry
  7. Ok So let's see who is who in this photo definitely an 89 picture. Looks like I am standing behind Roger, next to another mechanic who looks like he is having trouble keeping awake (must be my driving !). The guy standing on the drivers side dressed in the blue jumper and jeans is Vic, Andy Rouses engine man, he built all the Rouse team car engines and also mine, clever guy, not sure of his surname. The guy just in front of Vic is Dougie Dowson, Roger's brother and the guy in the glasses is Alan, he was number 1 on my car, a very quiet guy, but a great mechanic and fabricator. The one with his back to us is Phil Overall, he worked for TWR as well and was part-time for us. I have no idea who the guy is in the red and blue at the back of the car, could have just been a spectator who came in and his friend maybe took the picture.
  8. Hi Paul It goes without saying that I was more than a little surprised when I got your text yesterday morning with the enclosed photos. It is great that you have managed to find and buy the old girl and I know that she will be restored to a very high standard over the next year or two, I can’t wait to see the finished result. I have enclosed a couple of pictures from back in the day which may be on the website anyway, the first picture shows the car part built and the second the finished product. The car was primarily used for display at any of Evans Halshaws 9 RS dealerships, part of my contract with them was that I would do a Q & A session at each dealership through the season and the car was normally put on display in their showroom a week prior to these evenings, these were usually well attended and always over-ran their time slot. It was not possible to take the race car to the dealerships due to the frequency of the races, testing etc. The car originally was a 2 year old 1600GL 3 door Sierra that was stripped and converted by Roger and the guys at the workshop, they did the whole job in 3 weeks!! There were many wind-ups with this car as well when we first had it and took it to the races. We particularly wound up Smithy with it as I had told him it was a qualifying car with a special bored out 2.5 litre engine!! Robb of course knew I was on a wind up, but Mike was on full cry for a couple of days. It still had the original 1600 Pinto engine so would not have pulled the skin off a rice pudding. Jerry
  9. By the way it happened in 1989, I didn't say that above! Just in case you think I still wear night shirts!
  10. Hi Andy I actually caught two guys trying to take my RS500 in the middle of the night. I was staying in the Travelodge in the Service Area on the M5 near Birmingham, can't remember the name. I very nearly didn't stay there because I was worried about the car being nicked but I managed to park it close(ish) to my bedroom window. Sure enough come 2-30 am I heard the alarm going off and jumped out of bed, I looked out of the window and saw the drivers door was open and the bonnet was up. I ran out of the room in my nightshirt.....yes nightshirt!!! and ran down the corridor to the front door, which you normally pushed to open, but un-be known to me they locked it at midnight, so instead of the door opening I bounced of it and landed in a heap, I jumped up twisted the lock and let myself outside, I ran out into the car park and over towards the car, I could hear the engine cranking over. One of the idiots looked up and heard me shouting and running towards them, he was on his toes but the second guy continued to crank the engine which would not fire, for reasons I will go into in a moment. Anyway I got to the car and got hold of this 'Asian' gentleman who seemed to be more frightened than me ! As I grabbed hold of him I glanced in the car and could not believe the state of it, all the plastic steering column cover was broken as was the steering lock, I froze in horror and the P.ki managed to wriggle out of my grip and escaped. I could not believe the damage these two idiots had done to my car, all the wiring was ripped out from the alarm under the bonnet which they had managed to disable,but they could not get the car going as whenever I left that car anywhere I would always open the tailgate, unscrew the thumb screw that secures the trim panel on the inside of the rear panel and behind there is a snap connector,if you undo the snap connector it stops the power to the fuel pump and that was the easiest way to stop your car from being nicked. Someone called the Police and they arrived within 15 minutes (it was faster then) they seemed amused that I was standing in the car park in a nightshirt and bare feet, I could not get back in the Travelodge because the door had swung shut and locked itself. Anyway once I had got back in the Travelodge I called Brooklyn Ford they had an all night recovery service who came and took the car away on a transporter an hour later. Brooklyn Ford ran Chris Hodgetts RS500 in the BTCC, they dropped me up a loan car off in the morning and did a fantastic job repairing my car and delivered it back to Silverstone 4 days later as good as new. That is the one and only time I had the RS 500 (nearly) nicked and I was amazed just how much damage they had done to the car in just 2 or 3 minutes, I was one of the lucky ones. Jerry
  11. Hi Andy Yes, guilty as charged guv'nor. It was an old episode from a couple of years ago, I sold that business at the end of 2015. Well spotted!!! Jerry
  12. Ah well, memory's not what it was you know !
  13. I am pretty sure that the car Andy did the French series with Ferte in was a LHD car that he built ???? Unless anyone knows better.
  14. Hi Paul Yes, this is a picture taken at the 88 TT hence the number. I have written about this race on the site somewhere before so don't want to repeat myself. It was a great race won by AR but only after DJR broke down having blown everyone else into the weeds! Incidentally I was sitting at home last weekend watching the TV when my mobile rang, it was an old friend of mine (Dave Coyne) who was driving Andy’s Cam Shipping RS500 at the Silverstone Classic. Dave usually drove single seaters back in the day rather than saloons and was mighty quick, he still is by all accounts! Dave races historic’s now with a lot of success and wanted to ask me some questions about how the RS500 should handle and feel. I think they had a misfire during qualifying and as I did not hear anymore, assumed that he did not finish the race. It also gave me a chance to have a chat to Andy whom I have talked to on this site. Dave was actually in the 1987 or 88 TT driving an M3, I’m not sure if he finished or not, my memory of him during qualifying in the wet (87???) is coming round Copse and seeing him firmly imbedded in the gravel! He was blindingly fast then but crazy. I still won’t get in a road car with him!!! He frightens the life out of me. I remember he was racing me home very late one night from The Pantiles ( a club in Bagshot) he was in a Saab Turbo and I was in my RS500, he overtook me going into the Jolly Farmer roundabout on the way to Camberley, I recall thinking at the time how impressed I was that he could carry so much speed into the roundabout, he did get round but was on his roof when he came out the other side! He wasn’t hurt but the car was totalled. Another time we were testing at Silverstone on a really cold day in February, I was in the RS500 and Dave was testing a Formula 3000 car (F2). At the end of the day I jumped into the Jet Ranger to fly home, as I was approaching the Chilterns over Long Crendon I ran into a snow blizzard, a big no, no in a helicopter. I did an emergency landing in a field that was full of sheep, the farmer was not impressed! I called Dave who was driving back and he came and collected me in a Merc 2.3 16valve, he terrified me all the way back home, I was definitely 10 years older when he dropped me off. I picked the Jet Ranger up 4 days later after the snow had cleared, the sheep seemed none the worse for the experience, unlike me after my ride with Coyne!
  15. Hi Andy The first shot is Oulton Park, I guess round 2 in 88, probably the first lap or two, as I got past Laurance on lap 2 or 3 at Lodge, you can see from this picture that his car is under-steering wide, he had a problem getting heat into his tyres on the warm-up lap, if you remember he spun off at Silverstone round 1. You really had to work the Pirelli's on the warm up lap to get heat into them, he got on top of this after this race. It was also damp that day and then subsequently rained and we were all on slicks (nightmare). Peter Hall frightened himself so much in that race that he gave up racing his RS500 after that and Robb took it over for a few races ( a deal brokered by me). Pete Hall was 50 then and quite a good friend of mine ( it was Pete who talked me into entering the BTCC at the end of 1987). Ironically Tim Harvey, who raced a Rover in the BTCC in 1987, tried to talk me out of entering the BTCC saying I wasn't experienced enough to handle setting up a BTCC car with all the variables. He was right to a certain extent, but I learnt quickly! The second picture is taken at Thruxton again I think early 88, I'm not sure what happened to Laurance in that race but I know I finished 3rd. Thruxton was another 'big balls' circuit in an RS500, they were just so fast round the back of the circuit and if you were 'on it' they moved around a lot. Thruxton was my favourite circuit and I had set a new lap record there in my Firestone car a couple of weeks before the BTCC race. But the Firestone car at Thruxton in no way prepared me for the out and out speed of the RS500 round there, particularly the bucking bronco ride that the Dunlop cross ply tyres that I was running then, gave you. I remember after the first 3 laps I did in the RS500 I came in to the pits and said to Dowson F.....g H..l that's madness! Of course I did get over my initial shock at the high speeds and every race became a tyre preservation exercise, go to hard at the start and your front left tyre would overheat and blow, caused by the excessive under-steer all the cars had round the back of the circuit. I think the radials (Pirelli's) gave a better ride but had the same overheating problems. The Rouse 'kit cars' particularly had this problem because of their skate board like suspension. Steve Soper won the race on Pirellis without a tyre change as the Egganberger chassis was easier on its tyres.
  16. Hi Chaps 61, it just sounds so old, well I did get really drunk and had a great day with family and some friends, just about got over the hangover now. Thanks for your well wishes. To anwser your question yes I guess we were all quite close although one or two did not get on, Smithy and Tim and Robb and Tim, but I think that was just a bit of needle, as I have said on here before Tim was the quickest driver out of the younger drivers and certainly quicker than Robb and Smithy so there was always a little needle between them. I think with Tim and Smithy it went way back, certainly before I was around. Certainly I used to organise a lot of the 'shindigs' or get together's. We used to regularly frequent each others houses for lunch etc, most of the wives got on OK as well. But don't let that deceive you we were aggressively competitive on the track when racing. Paul if you are organising something for next year get the date and venue set and I will make sure I come along and I am sure I will be able to bring a couple of the chaps with me, the key is to get the date set early and let me know and I bully the others into coming! Sorry but I am really struggling on photos now, I have just about posted all the RS500 ones these are about the last of them now. There are a couple of black and whites taken at Silverstone in the 89 car and the third one must be a round 1, 88 picture holding a bottle of Kaliber....horrible non alcoholic stuff. There is also a couple of shots from 2001 when I used to drive the BTCC Safety Car with Vicky Butler Henderson taken at Oulton Park, that was an Audi RS4 and was seriously quick. I will see if there is anything else lying around.
  17. Yes some cake, now you know why I'm 20 stone! The Donington event that the cake was given I am pretty sure was the event that Win Percy and Alan Grice appeared with the Skyline. Win was a great driver who mostly raced abroad in the late 80's a bit like Steve Soper, and Alan Grice was a larger than life character that seem to emanate from down under. I have a feeling that they had done Bathurst together, may have even won it. But that Nissan really put the cat among the pigeons, again it did not have the grunt of the RS500 but it handled really well. There is some quite good footage of it at Donington in that two driver race (we blew up, again!!). Ultimately it ate its rear tyres as I think it was running on Dunlops, but certainly raised a few eyebrows on the day. I thank you for your messages of encouragement it is nice to know that so many of you appreciate my memories from the racing days. Out of respect to my long suffering wife I could never write a book, because you only get the family rated stories on here, but some of the funniest and outrageous stories are the X rated ones that sadly I could never put on here. Strangely as I write this on the 14th May we are on the eve of my 61st birthday, some 29 years after those pictures were taken and I can remember it like yesterday, but it would appear that my memory may be a little selective. Here’s another related story to amuse you. Back in 1989 a few of us thought it would be a good idea to buy Karts to train on in the week, six of us as I remember, Robb G, Tim H, Laurence B, Vic L, Robbie Stirling (sports car driver) and Me. Anyway I was tasked with buying these Karts, we had decided to buy new identical 100 National Formula Karts and Tim suggested I should visit a shop/manufacturer called Dartford Karting. I drove down to Dartford one day and found this 'shop', it was like a little corner sweet shop but full of Karting goodies. I was in there for about 5 minutes before the guy asked me if I needed some help to which I replied, yes, I would like 6 chassis, 12 engines, 72 wheels with slicks and 16 wheels with wets, 6 stands and so it went on this long list of stuff. The guy stopped me midway and asked me if I was taking the p.ss? I explained to him the situation, he obviously thought I was completely mad, but once I gave him a cheque in payment he seemed to cheer up a bit and take things a bit more seriously. I organised for him to take all the completed Karts to Tilbury kart track two weeks later where we would take delivery of them and he with a couple of his guys would help us to run the engines in, as they were two strokes they had to be run in carefully with various mixture adjustments over an hour and a half.. When I had ordered all the chassis I had specified different colours I remember mine was red, Tim’s was blue,Vic’s was white, and then I’m not sure who had what colour but I know there was a black one and a green one and a yellow one. We ran these machines in at Tilbury that day and then proceeded to race each other, you can only imagine the shenanigan’s that went on. There are two or three amusing stories that I can tell you about these Karts that were played with on a weekly basis, but one is as follows. Tim Harvey who was an ex-karter and from our prospective was obviously the guy to beat in these karts. The karts were all identical and ran on identical controlled tyres. I could just about hold on to the back of Tim if I got behind him but could not get past him. After running these things a few times Tim thought we should enter a proper race with them, I for one was not that keen on it, but the next thing I knew Tim had entered 4 of us for the next race meeting at Tilbury. We did not have the correct RAC racing licence for Karts, but in view of the level of the licence’s we had the RAC gave us dispensation to run. The word soon got round the Karting fraternity that these BTCC boys were going to do a race. I could see we were going to be in for it to the extent that I had a big target embroidered on the back of one of my race suits that I was going to wear on the day. Having been forced into doing this race, I announced to the others that if I was going to do the race I was going to do it properly and that meant taking my race truck, awning and motorhome along with my full BTCC race crew! The other guys thought that was a great idea and followed suit, so not only did the Arquati race artic arrive, but also the Labatts one, Vic Lee’s artic and John's who ran Robbie’s sports car. The team’s arrived at Tilbury really early in morning and set up, the only problem was with all our equipment, trucks and motorhomes in the paddock there was not any room for anyone else. It really, really, p.ssed off a lot of people, but we all thought it was hilarious. By this time I had bought another couple of engines and spare chassis etc which was set up for the wet. We went out for the first heat and the other karters were all over us like a rash, everyone was determined to beat these jumped up Touring Car guys. In the first race I was half way up the grid and the races were rolling starts as the karts were fixed drive. I managed to jump the start really well and got up to about third and was immediately black flagged, which I ignored! On the back straight a lap later someone came alongside me and punted me straight off, I rocketed across the damp grass at full speed and hit a fence with the kart wrapping itself round one of the posts. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, I thought it was hilarious but at the same time I had really bashed my shoulder and was in real pain. My mechanics ran over and lifted my kart up and took it back to the pits, it appeared to be bent like a banana. As I still had another heat to try and qualify for the final I told my mechanics to just take the engine off put it on the new chassis, and then put the bent chassis complete in the rubbish skip, it was done as a wind-up, but boy did it make people mad, nobody saw the funny side of my disposable Kart philosophy! Tim had done quite well in the 1st heat which did not go down well and it seemed that we were just making ourselves more unpopular by our lunatic behaviour. The Karters could not believe that we had just thrown out a complete chassis. I had my new chassis taken to the grid for my second heat, my shoulder was still painful but bearable. Tim and Vic were both well up the grid. So to the second rolling start, I stayed in position this time and once the flag dropped and I got to the first corner I knew I had a major problem, as I turned into the corner and braced myself against the wheel the pain in my shoulder was horrendous. I pulled into the pits and got out of the Kart, my racing was finished for the day. Tim went on to finish 3rd I think in the final and maintained the honour of the BTCC boys. For my part I went to the hospital on the way home and was x-rayed where it appeared I had broken my shoulder ! The postscript to this was that I had been more seriously injured in a tiny 100cc Kart than I had ever been in any of the proper high speed racing cars I raced, serves me right I here you say. Well we were never invited back to do another Kart race, Motoring News if I remember correctly did a piece on it that week which was abit of a blast. We continued with the Karts through the season and winter of 89/90. There are some really funny stories that happened with these wizzers. Including a midnight race on the road that involved a few of us! But that’s for another time. Sorry haven't got any pictures of the karts.
  18. I have found some pictures taken at Donington on May 15th 1988 which not only was a round of the BTCC but also happened to be my 33rd Birthday. Unbeknown to me the chaps had organised a massive cake to be baked in the shape of a Sierra (use your imagination please!) and this was presented to me on the grid, by Robb, Mike and 5 times Le Mans winner Derek Bell, it was a real cake. At the time some bright spark suggested that they should give me the bumps, with the end result that Robb pulled his back out! Albeit that I was somewhat lighter than I am now, I was still quite heavy and it became a bit of a workout for the guys to actually administer all 33 bumps, especially with the crowd in the background shouting out how unfit they were! The cake was subsequently taken to Nottingham Hospital where I presented it to the kids in the children’s ward, I spent the morning there with the kids some of whom were very ill. This whole charade was filmed by the BBC, including the bumps, but alas was yet another casualty of the cutting room floor when the end of season video was made. I suppose it was a publicity stunt really, I think Smithy was behind it, ever keen to promote the series, which he was massively good at and never really got any recognition for. It was another example of how friendly we all were, there was always some prank or stunt going on. At that time Robb was driving the ex Pete Hall car, a deal I helped broker for him. The money to fund the drive came from Shell who were very keen on Robb and were a big financial supporter of him through his career. You will see he is wearing a Shell Gemini race suit. I do believe that it was his Shell contacts that got him the drive in the DJR car at Bathurst in 1988. You will also notice from the pictures that I have not got my race suit on, I always used to take it off after I got out of the car and put ‘civvies’ on, albeit an embroidered Team shirt. The other guys used to laugh at me because I had three race suits and would always put on a clean (non sweaty) one every time I went out in the car and certainly did not follow the normal practice of strutting round the paddock in a racing suit. This caught on in 89 when Dave Brody made reference to this in his infamous TV rant with reference to ‘jumped-up Group N turkeys strutting round the paddock in their race suits with their fancy motorhomes’. I took comfort from the fact that I did not do any strutting round the paddock even if I did have a fancy motorhome!! There were less strutting BTCC drivers after that !
  19. Hi Carl Perhaps describing the Drury cars as ‘sheds’ was a little hard but compared to the main front running cars they were not in the same league. In fairness Donovan, Pinkney & O’Brien did not have proper budgets and Terry (Drury) was doing the best he could on the money available. Tim drove one of the cars in 88 and again it was not competitive except at Brands when he was second and the car was run on ‘rocket fuel’ for that event so they could run mega boost without detonating the engine. I’m not speaking out of turn here, Tim went past me to take second a lap or two from the end and the car was like a missile that day, he admitted afterwards that they had put ‘trick’ fuel in it to try and get a result. Tim was young and rightly was really reckoned by the establishment as an up and coming star, which he was, but the Drury car never really did him any favours. In my opinion Tim was the quickest driver out there during 88/89/90. When he did get a really good car in 1990 he still had to contend with Dunlop tyres, if you had put Tim in a Trakstar car with those Yoko's know one would have beaten him, Robb would never ever agree with that but its a fact. Actually to qualify that statement there was in my opinion one guy who was quicker than Tim and that was Steve Soper, he was actually the quickest and in opinion is one of the greatest all time Touring Car drivers. As far as I am aware the Drury cars were put together with a lot of rally parts, but they were also very messy and agricultural to look at, especially under the bonnet. As I have said before the Rouse, Goode and our car were really turned out like show cars and were absolutely immaculate, that theme ran through all the top teams, they were more like F1 teams in presentation and standard of preparation. The same can be said for Prodrive who ran Sytner and Smiths BMW’s in 88, again F1 standards. I had a bit to do with Terry Drury in 1987 as he built my original production saloon engines and in fairness to him we did not have that many that blew up (they were all letting go when the Cosworth first started racing in 1987). He built my 1987 Willhire 24 hour engine that very nearly won, Robb beat us by 29 seconds after 24 hours of racing! That engine certainly held together for 24 hours. Remember this was only three months after the first time they raced when the engines were blowing up in a 15 lap sprint race. Terry also started building the engines for the Firestone cars in 89, but our engine blew in the 88 Willhire 24 hour race which we were leading at the time, when Roger Dowson (who was absolutely furious that the engine had let go) stripped the engine he found one of the pistons was actually the wrong type, so the team moved to Mountune who built the engines for the remainder of the campaign. Terry was really silly because commercially the Firestone deal was a great one for him and he could have got a lot of spin-offs from it, but he made a bad decision and lost the deal. One incident involving those Drury BTCC cars always stays in my mind and that was at Oulton Park in 89, first round of the Championship and during one of the qualifying sessions I remember passing Dave Pinkney between Druids and Lodge, his car had packed up and he was trying desperately to push it back to the Pits before the end of the session, I passed him about three times before he finally collapsed on the grass totally exhausted, I’m not sure even if he qualified the car for that event. I mean they were still building the cars the night before qualifying and they were nowhere near ready. Don’t get me wrong, I would never knock a tryer, but the level of the BTCC then and the budget required to run one of the RS500’s was just mind blowing and in some ways a bottomless pit. That weekend alone in 1989 I blew 3 engines at £15k a piece that was £45K, well you could buy a small house for that then. You have to remember it does not sound that much now, but we are talking nearly 30 years ago. The cars chassis and engines were being developed weekly and you just needed so much money to keep on top of it, as I have said before we were usually testing 3 times a week, you couldn't run an engine for more than 6 hours ( if it lasted that long) without a rebuild, we kept 3 spare engines in the truck and one obviously in the car and the Drury cars along with Karl Jones just did not have the resources or budgets to compete at that level. I think Carl the fact that you even own an RS500 race car from that period is fantastic, if the Donovan car of 89 was in fact the Harvey car of 88 then you have a car was some significant provenance, because for sure it got 1 second place at Brands, I’m not sure it achieved much else that year but the Harvey connection, if it is that car is significant and will only help its value in years to come.
  20. It’s been a couple of weeks since I put some pictures up, basically because I am just about coming to the end of what I have that you guys may find interesting. A lot of the remaining pictures I have are similar to previous ones, but I am assuming because they are ‘period’ shots that they may still be of interest. Today's pictures are varied, firstly a black and white of the 89 car at Silverstone. The second picture is of the T/saloon with Laurence driving at Oulton Park, can't really remember much about the race except that we did win. The third picture is the production Saloon in the paddock at Castle Coombe 1987, just about ready to go out and line up on the grid, you will notice that Laurence's car is behind and Smithy's behind him, Robb is the car in front that you can just see the back of. That would have been about my 5th race and I still had a black novice's cross on the back of the car, this used to rev up a lot of the established field whom I regularly beat! I was also on my second shell by then having totalled the car at Silverstone in my 3rd race, last lap, last corner going for second place.....it didn't work and I ended up in the sleepers with one very dead car! The final picture is another black and white shot of the 89 car from Silverstone. I'm struggling for stories at the moment, I know there is still a lot there buried deep, but if anyone wants to ask me any questions it may help jog my memory and pull some things of interest to the surface.
  21. Paul I think my old press car is in Mansfield, someone put a picture of it on here a year or two ago, looks like it was being stored in a workshop somewhere, which would make sense as the original 1600 Sierra was supplied by Evans Halshaw in that area I think. I wouldn't mind buying it back if anyone knows where it is, it would look quite good sitting in the showroom here.
  22. I have found a load of shots of the show car presumably just after it was built. This car was not only taken to the meetings but was also displayed in Evans Halshaws's various RS dealerships around the country. In those days not all Ford dealers could sell RS cars, in fact most Ford dealers were not RS dealers, I think Evans Halshaw had 9 right across the country, but had a total of 40 Ford dealerships. The customers who purchased the RS cars were very enthusiastic about the cars and the dealerships used to run a lot of events for their customers, this included motorsport evenings when the car (showcar) was on display and we would usually have a Q & A session. Sometimes we would take a Firestone car as well. The bonnet in the show car was always wired shut and the customers were told this was because the engine and everything under the bonnet was strictly private and we did not want any spies seeing what was going on under there! In reality it was because the engine was a 1600 pinto unit under the bonnet!!! But everyone believed what they were told and it added to the mystique of the car. Anyone really in the know could have looked underneath and would have seen standard-ish suspension. You may find this hard to believe that so-called knowledgeable people could be taken in like this, but that is because you are now 30 years into these cars and you all know them inside out, but back then they were a mystery to the common punter and were not generally known about. If anyone was caught crawling around under them they would be swiftly removed on race days, we like a lot of others did not allow cameras in our race awning which is probably why there is a shortage of under bonnet shots of the cars, this was only during 88 & 89, by 1990 the technical spec of each car builder was pretty much common knowledge. When I walked into DJ's garage at the 88 TT I was nearly force-ably removed until they realised that I had come in to have a chat and not spy on their car! Someone was asking me about tyre deals and contracts in this thread recently. When I changed to Pirelli in the second half of the season in 1989 I did a deal so I got all the tyres supplied free. This was worth a considerable amount of money due to the amount of tyres we used not only on race weekends but for testing as well. The way I got this deal was through Evans Halshaw and is a good example of how to 'network' through your main sponsors suppliers. Evans Halshaw was a big commercial truck supplier and sold a lot of new units per year, I found out that when they ordered a new truck chassis that they could specify which tyres were to be fitted to the new chassis. I spoke to the commercial arm of Pirrelli and asked them if they would provide me with free race tyres if I made sure every truck chassis that E/Halshaw ordered was ordered with Pirelli tyres. Although the race tyres were supplied from a different department of Pirelli the deal was basically struck, there were some number g/tees but I never paid for a single Pirelli tyre. Likewise you will see that Shell becomes visible on my car in 89. This was another deal done through Evan Halshaw whom had lube contracts through all their workshops across the country. When E/Hal came onboard in 1988 their Lube contract through-out the group was with Texaco. I spoke to the motorsport guy at Texaco, who's name I cannot remember now, but he did handle all their sponsorship deals including the Eggenberger cars, he said that because of that deal he could not channel any money my way, again there was a different department to deal with the dealers and although they said they could find the extra funds the motorsport arm of Texaco did not want the conflict. So we moved the Lube contract for all E/Halshaws workshops to Shell and I was given a 'kickback' in the form of sponsorship. Again this was funded by Shell retail division and not the motorsport division. We came very close to doing a deal with Q8 Oil at the beginning of 1988, so much so that I actually reserved number 8 with the RAC for the 88 car. We lost the deal because the marketing manager of Q8 spoke to somebody in 'the know' in motorsport who said that someone entering the BTCC with just a years experience of motorsport did not stand a chance, and also went so far as to say that it was very unlikely that I would even get an entry to the series! Class A was oversubscribed but as far as I am aware we were never on the chopping board, particularly as I was part funding the TV budget. The guy at Q8 must have had a problem explaining that one away.
  23. Sorry forgot the pictures! Picture 1,three wheels on my wagon, mad Mike bullying me again at Silverstone! Picture 2 is in the pits at Thruxton 1988, the BMW belonged to a chap called Peter Buxdorf who managed to shorten the car by 3 feet when he put it in the wall backwards, that was the last time we saw him. Picture 3 is T/saloon action probably at Oulton Park by the look of it. Fourth picture, yes, I did win races!!! This time in the Firestone Cossy, no idea where, must be 89 as I am a lot 'trimmer' than the picture in the pits in 88.
  24. Hi Paul Yes, people did do their tyre deals at the beginning of the year usually, but that was because the supplier needed to know how many tyres they would need to produce through the season. I don’t think in 1988 I had the option to use Pirelli’s because they did not have the capacity to supply everyone, I think that’s how I ended up with Dunlop. That all changed when I won the first round! I could have had Pirelli’s then but Dunlop offered me a quantity of free tyres per meeting so I stayed with them. I also wanted something different from everybody else, I think I was the only Sierra on Dunlop’s, Karl Jones was on Avon’s which were terrible, but I think he did that deal because they were free and he had a small budget. I guess with hindsight anyone could have gone abroad and got Yoko’s, but from my point of view I was new in motorsport, 1988 was only my second season of racing and I didn’t know anyone or have any contacts. Roger Dowson who ran my car did all that type of stuff, I just signed the cheques! No, in reality I was very, very busy with my business in Spain ( I was the importer for Sunseeker boats in Southern Spain) and used to fly backwards and forwards to Spain sometimes two or three times a week when we were testing and racing. I am surprised that Andy or GG did not go and buy some Yoko’s, they were available abroad in Europe at the time, when you think back it was kind of silly not to have made enquiries about them. The only thing I really only ever made enquiries about were engines, I did speak to Rudi Egganberger about supplying me engines, but he didn’t really have the capacity to supply us and he wanted 60K per engine!! An indication I suppose that he did not really want to supply us. When I look back there were many decisions I made and was party to that were kind of brainless, particularly as I was a successful businessman at the time. Certainly I did not apply the same degree of common sense and good decision making to my racing as I did in my business. Robb Gravett and Mike Smith made very sound 'business' decisions when they set up their team, their basic fundemental rule was not to do or buy anything that AR was in control of, that was a good rule to have if you were running in the BTCC, because, how can you race against someone who is supplying your engines/parts? For me their was no alternative, as I have said on here before he was the only one in 1988 who could build the RS500 engines that held together, most of the time!! But the down side was you did not get level 1 power.
  25. I didn't know they had banned the RS 500's from the historic series, that really is ridiculous, what on earth is going in in motor racing now? I remember looking at the lap times that the Super-Tourers were doing at the end of the 90's and they were going faster than we did anyway, but if you got in the lead with an RS500 you could probably make it very wide and slow into the corners and ruin the ST's momentum. I wonder how you can run a '' Historic Race Series'' and promptly ban the car that was one of the most important of its time, historically speaking. These pictures are going to run out soon so I am scraping the barrel a bit now. The first two are 88 Thruxton shots, has to be round 5 again as damage following punting Guy. The third picture is the 89 car I guess it must be Silverstone but not sure which corner, back end of the season as I am on Pirelli rubber, notice how much more camber the car is running now on the Pirelli's. Fourth picture is the Le Mans 24 hours 1990 taken on the Porsche Curves, the car was an ADA running V8 Cosworth power, 3.5 litres for qualifying and a 3.3 for the race. We lasted 16 hours before I went of early in the morning due to a broken rear wishbone, the car pulled 232mph in qualifying down the Mulsanne straight, the Jags were doing something over 250mph on the Mulsanne. In qualifying Jonathan Palmer was ahead of me in a Kremer 962 Porsche on the Mulsanne, his car took off and did three somersaults in the air and then landed in the trees, he was doing over 200mph when it took of and he only broke his thumb! It was an awesome race to have taken part in, but was pretty scary as you are doing over 200mph for 80% of the lap.