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Jerry Mahony

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Jerry

 

Thanks for that reply and giving us all an insight into the sad demise of the " real group A  cars "

Isnt it a real shame that polotics and money got in the way of the best era of BTCC .

I quess just like everything in life there is always a plan to line somones pocket and sod what effect it has on anyone else

 

Regards our heroes , I think your quick to forget that yourself and other drivers of the day are our heroes , When i met Mike newman and asked him to sign a few pictures for me , he was a little taken back that i wanted him to sign pictures for me , He said " i was just a lucky fella who had the chance to drive race cars at the weekend "  But i dont think most of you guys understand the follwing those days had and how important yourselfs and the cars were / are

Never again will we see such seat of your pants racing with cars far to fast for there chassies

Its great to see pictures and hear stories for them times as it tells the real tales not the " bullshit " we hear on most websites

Keep up the great work Jerry

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for the lenghty explanation Jerry. I saw the last group a years on Eurosport here in the Netherlands. But the BTCC got very populair in the 90s over here. One thing you said never cought my eye but now you mention it you are absolutely right. Overtaking with 2 litre cars could only happen with a nudge. Not so much on drivers quality. The Aussies did way better with their V8, the formula still runs today and is still very good te watch!

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What you have to remember Roy is that we are all biased on this site, most of us are true 'petrol heads' and as such we are all real lovers of big horse power. I could never get a hard-on over a Honda Type R, nothing wrong with them, its just for me a car has to have 'grunt' to cut the mustard. But tastes have changed and know one can argue with the fact that the current BTCC format is very popular, I guess if you are a Type R or similar enthusiast then the series has what you are looking for. I raced a Holden V8 in the 1987 TT, it was my first experience of a Group A car and it was just fantastic, I swear that the noise of that V8 blasting away under the bonnet was worth a second a lap!! There is a picture of that car somewhere on the internet. I also loved the events then for their international attraction, to have so many drivers from all over the world come to compete at Silverstone was just fantastic and just to qualify and compete, was such a privilege and experience.

I spoke to my old mate Robb Gravett last week, he had been interviewed by Steve Rider on the BTCC program 2 weeks ago, apparently he is thinking of making a comeback. I couldn't resist texting him a few comments. '' Are they going to offer you disabled parking'' ''Can you get Yoko's to fit on your mobility scooter'' '' Apparently you are 35 again, that means you won the Championship when you were 4''  '' Will there be a special class for pensioners'' and so on!

Anyway those comments spurred him in to giving me a call and we had a good chat and laugh, that is the thing with those guys I used to race against, after 30 odd years we can pick the phone up and talk to each other like yesterday. I hadn't seen Robb since Smithy's funeral a year or so ago and that was not the time for laughing and joking so it was good to have a catch-up. For those of you who are interested, there is an article on Robb in this months Octane magazine, also a really good write-up on restoring WWII Hurricanes by my old team mate Mark Hales.

Picture 1 is of the much muted Ascar series, Vic Lee and I bought a couple of cars in 2000 and were going to run them in the new series, one to be driven by Neil Cunningham (pictured sitting on the right) Vic and I are on the left, no cowboy jokes please! I managed to get a really good sponsorship deal for the cars as you can see and the series was hyped to be really good, but as is frequently the case the promoter of the series ran out of money before the start of the season. It did subsequently get off the ground a year or so later but we had sold the cars by then. I did drive one of the cars at Croft and they were seriously fast a kind of de-tuned Nascar I think, V8 brutes of course!

The second picture is at Silverstone with one of the Trackstar cars behind, probably Smithy.

Third picture winning laurels, looks like Brands, no idea which race!

Fourth picture Willhire 24hour race Snetterton probably 1988 with Mercedes Cosworth in close company, the Merc was muted to win on reliability but in reality was about 3 seconds a lap slower than the Cossy.

 

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Would love to have been tagged into those text messages with Robb,,, lol

 

About time there was a reunion for all the 87 / 88 /89 / 90 BTCC boys

Im trying to sort a stand at the Autosport show at the NEC in January next year as its the 30th birthday for the rs500 , so i hope to have a stand with many of the original cars and drivers

You must be involved Jerry ??

 

 

Edited to say ,,, Yee haa ,,

 

Lol

 

 

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Some really good stuff in this thread Jerry - Like so many others, I'm really grateful that you've taken time out to write about your Gp.A experiences, particularly as they are unfiltered, and tell it how it was from the point of view of someone who was in the thick of it at the time. Along with many others on here, I've been lucky to have had the opportunity to speak with a few people from the Gp.A RS500 days over the years, and they all agree it was a fantastic era for touring car racing.

Although it was sad to see the RS500s go, we mustn't forget that Gp.A was really all about modified versions of cars you could buy and by 1990, the old three-door Sierra shape hadn't been sold for some years and thus wasn't representative of what was available in the showrooms of the day. As most manufacturers (BMW aside) moved to front-wheel drive cars, that's the way the series had to go and with more and more backing coming in from Ford and GM it was only really going to go one way. A V8 formula like the one proposed by Rouse would have been great and kept the close racing - Shame it didn't happen, although I expect manufacturers weren't interested. (I spoke at length to him many years ago about it at the Autosport show where he had his Jaguar bodied prototype on display). The way DTM went with the multi-million pound hi-tech cars was probably overkill, but a balance between the two would have been great. Something not dissimilar to the V8 Supercars, but then again, how many RWD V8s are bought in the UK...? Sadly, the target for the marketing teams was the famous "Mondeo man" - Married, 2.4 kids and living in a 3-bed semi with a conservatory with a 4-pot Mondeo, so we got Mondeos...

Anyway, I digress. One day, I might even get my hands on a genuine Gp.A RS500. Have missed out so many times before that I'm permanently scarred from kicking myself. Please keep up the contributions Jerry, they are massively appreciated by all on here.

PS: Below is a photo of Ruedi Eggenberger with my road-going RS500 at the Eggenberger Motorsports workshop in Lyss, Switzerland - The last car that Ruedi worked on personally before he retired and sold the business. I was lucky to spend a few days chatting with him. A thoroughly nice bloke by all accounts.

PPS: Who ran the 206B for you...? Wasn't operated out of Thruxton by any chance...?

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27 minutes ago, RSRoy said:

Did you by chance got any interesting quotes of Rudi, Rupert?

Various anecdotes about his time running the RS500s at the time, but nothing really specific. He was an interesting guy, enthusiastic about the cars and clearly a very capable engineer. One interesting thing perhaps is that he was involved very early on in the definition of the specification of the future evolution variant of the Sierra RS Cosworth - What became the RS500 as we know it.

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Welcome back to the site Rupert

After reading your reply i have to say that you raise some great points

I quess the rs500 never really stood much chance as a long term project in BTCC due to ( as you pointed out ) the car was no longer a production car and so the point of developing it much further for the manufacturer was pointless , after all race cars are about selling cars in the dealerships , and if you cant buy the winning car its almost a complete waist of time and money throwing tens of thousands into race teams

With most manufacturers now going down the " front end scratter " route i quess it was obvious that BTCC was going to change in a big way .

Our passion for the rs500 and other late 80s Group A cars kind of blinkers us and we fail to see the bigger picture of what motorsport is really all about

The fustrations for us in the UK is seeing these great cars still being developed and winning races in most other parts of the world and yet the home of these legends saw them passed over  .

Imaging what may have been if the rs500 was raced 3 / 4 years earlier ??

 

 

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That was the point of the RAC Touring Car Committee in 89, it was the '2 Litre Formula' as it was called then that was the blue print for the way things are now. I went along with it and agreed it was probably the future but I didn't like it one bit. And I still believe the top formula in Saloon car racing should not be front wheel drive fart boxes! The public as a whole relate to the shape of the cars not what's going on under the bonnet or what type of suspension is strapped to it. That was what was so good about Andy's V8 idea, you basically package the same equipment in different bodies, but much faster, cars that move around, flames, lighting the rear tyres up at 120mph etc, etc. The motor manufacturers always try and get their way and then sod off out of the series at a moments notice, because they are run by accountants. Look at the BTCC in 1999 5 or 6 manufacturers left the series at the end of the year. How many properly funded 'works' entries are in the BTCC now, even with its popularity, none!! The series is popular because you have a load of drivers with fat cheque books, nothing wrong with that, but if you rely on the privateers, which historically the BTCC has always done lets have a formula that is exciting to watch and drive. The manufacturers did have proper 'works' teams in the Super Touring era of the late nineties and were spending big bucks to go racing, but then the Accountants pulled the plug, so you are left again with the privateers who are the ones who are always the backbone of the series. Try and get an RS500 demonstration race put on at a BTCC meeting and Alan Gow would not have them anywhere near the place, he knows how good and exciting the public would find them and then they would have watch the buzz-box procession ! The historic Touring Cars used to run as a support race to the BTCC in the 90's, Lotus Cortinas, Fairlanes, MKII Jags, sideways fast and thrilling and they were really exciting, the crowd loved them, so much so that they weren't invited back!

Ask anyone in the know why the World Touring Car Championship was killed off at the end of 1987, I know as do a lot of people, but I can't put it on here, or I might be found floating in Rainham Marshes! It was too good, too entertaining and the public loved it, draw your own conclusions.

My point being that its good to give motor manufactures a profile and platform to show their wares, but never leave it to them to decide on the format and regs of a series, because they are fickle and unreliable.

A quick anwser to Rupert yes I did keep my Jetranger at Thruxton for a few years, it was maintained by Heliwork there, I also had it at Air Hanson for a year. I did my training in 1985 at Thruxton with Hugh Coulqahoun and Harry Knapp, more recent line checks with Ian Shoebury, but as you probably know all of those guys are dead now, killed in helicopter accidents over the years. Someone asked me the other day if I still fly, when I told them that I hadn't flown a helicopter for 10 years they were amazed and asked me why. I just said it is not a thing for old men to do, because they bite! When I was younger and racing I was pretty sharp and used to fly every day, doing some pretty brainless things as well, but now older, slower reflexes and a bit of a scaredy cat is not something I want to do. 

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The very same is also happening today Jerry

 

The rs500s have been " outed " from the latest historic series

I had a little ( Heated ) debate with one of the big wigs involved in the new series and he couldn't give even a half decent reason why the rs500 is the only group A car that is not eligable for the series

Behind the scene it has been said that " the bloody rs500s will win everything and take the attention away from every other car "

What a complete joke ,, its also well known that one of the money men in that series drives a M3 , and doesnt want to be beaten in his class ( even tho his car is actually a super tourer not a group A m3 )

It would seem that if you cant win then you flex you wallet and have a very shallow victory by simply removing the competition

Will racing ever be a fair fight ,, lol ,,

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I don't even think the rs500 will win everything out right. People who own the cars don't usually run 550 bhp to keep the costs a bit down. And for example the m3 is a way better handeling car, thuis easier to drive. And with less power advantage the rs500 will have a tough job beating them.

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Thanks Paul for the welcome and Jerry for your comprehensive and interesting reply - both much appreciated.

Jerry - I see your point about BTCC being "disposable" for the manufacturers - If they want to be in it, then they're in to the tune of very big money and when they feel they no longer need to be there, they will pull out at the drop of a hat leaving the privateers to hold the series together. What a shame. Thanks also for the info on the Jet Ranger. Great bit of kit...!

Shame that the RS500s are again being given the cold shoulder Paul. This doesn't surprise me at all. Despite the aura of historics being a gentleman's series, it's still ultra-competitive and just as bent as any other form of the sport, sadly...

RSRoy has a good point, but these days it's quite feasible to reliably run an RS500 road car at 500bhp, so the race cars would be no problem. I can see how it might go though - We'll start to find cars running modern closed loop management systems encased in the old Zytek box, roller bearing turbos and multi-way adjustable Ohlins at four grand per corner and then all of a sudden it gets very expensive and all but the wealthiest get forced out. Ultimately, despite the somewhat agricultural engineering when compared to an M3, an RS500 will still destroy an M3 with equivalent modern kit on board.

 

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Rupert

The problem is that the historic series demand you run the cars as period , ( up to 1990 regs ) and altho there are a few rs500s running some modern changes , these have been " overlooked " due to not wanting to stop them running . BUT , if there was to be a complete group A grid then this would change and the cars would have to be as period

 

I did talk with the powers that be about allowing modern managmant etc , as this is a way to try and save engines etc , and its more than certain some modern changes will happen , but you also have to remember there are those ( me inc ) that would like to take part but cant afford to rebuild my car with all the latest modern gear

Its hard to get this right , as im sure it was back in the day

 

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Some good points there Paul - I fully agree that until we get to full grids then (within reason), non-period specifications can be overlooked. If you look at the "modern" historics running at Goodwood and such, their performance is massively superior to back in the day as they run modern rubber, modern shocks and modern brakes. Back in the day the big Camaros and Galaxies and such would be whipped by the Lotus Cortinas because the former would eat their tyres and brakes. Nowadays, they win almost everything and it's not representative of what it was. That said, if the option was this or no historics at all due to unavailability of old style consumables then I'm all for modernising it a bit.

In my view, in terms of the RS500, conversion to a modern ECU is cheap insurance. Dropping £1k on an ECU and another £500 having it dialled in to properly control the fuelling and boost would be top of my list - As you say, just to protect the engine. £1500 or so vs. a very big bill and unavailability of parts if you start melting Gp.A pistons or heaven forbid put a rod through the side of the block. The alternative is to run a very safe map with plenty of fuel and moderate boost. It's a balancing act I suppose.

As you can imagine, it comes back to the issue of wanting to win and money - The "Gp.A" super tourer you mention is case in point. If you want to squeeze your very late and technically non Gp.A spec E30 past the scrutineers then don't throw your toys out the pram when someone turns up with a 1992 spec DJR or Seton Sierra running fat 18" rubber, trick dampers and a 650bhp quali motor...

I'd be interested to hear what excuses you're getting for not allowing the Sierras. Frankly "They'll win everything" is not a justifiable reason. They won everything back in the day so it's historically correct...!

Again, all my humble opinion. I'll shut up now as I don't want to detract from Jerry's thread...!

Cheers,

Rup

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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.

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On ‎23‎/‎03‎/‎2016 at 3:22 PM, Jerry Mahony said:

Yes, Andy definitely liked his cars set up like that, he liked the cars to basically under-steer on turn-in and then balance the car by inducing throttle over-steer. You can't argue with this because his results speak for themselves but under-steer puts excessive heat in the tyres and then inducing over-steer with the throttle is heating the backs up as well. The thinking being that for a sprint race this makes the car faster. Obviously the Eggenberger cars did the WTC & ETC which were all long distance races so you could not really run your car as stiff as a board and hope to finish. 

The thing is you could set up Andys cars to be soft but a lot of it was what the driver preferred.The Aussies may have initially taken the set-up info from Andy but could have gone their own way at some point. I did not reaslly know anyone from over there at that time.

Now the DJ cars they ran on different tyres again, they were ran on Japanese  Dunlop's which I think were 18 inch and were a radial and far superior to the UK Dunlop's, that I ran. At that time my tyres were made at Fort Dunlop in Birmingham and we could'nt get the Japanese Dunlops, I think my tyres were 17's as well. They were certainly cross plys and not radials.

The best tyres by a million miles were the Yokohamas that Gravett and Smith ran in 89/90, these were light years ahead of anything else available in the UK. When Vic Lee set up his BMW team in 1990 he just went to Italy and bought a whole load of Yokohama's from Bigazzi, it was only Robb and Mike who told everyone else that they were not available to anyone in the UK and guess what? We were all stupid enough to bevel them, in reality anyone of us could have gone overseas and bought those tyres. We were all so gullible in those days! More sporting, or at least supposed to be.

Sorry, forgot to put some pictures up.

First one is 89 Silverstone and I guess number 2 is as well, the third picture is of the 87 car (prod saloon) this car was sold to Japan at the end of 1987. The fourth shot is of the last corner, last lap of round 5 at Thruxton, I had just got past Mike Newman and was trying to get past Karl on the run to the flag, but the track was damp and we were on slicks and I nearly put it in the wall, but got the car back together and just crossed the line to take third ahead of Mike, it got me an action replay on Grandstand (only one of the year in the series)!!!

 

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Hi Jerry, just reading through your great right up on here, if the yokohama tyre's were so much better, how come more people didn't use them? or was a deal done with a particular tyre supplier at start of the season??

 

Thanks Paul.

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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.  

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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.

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On ‎18‎/‎04‎/‎2016 at 5:51 PM, RS 500 Registrar said:

Rupert

The problem is that the historic series demand you run the cars as period , ( up to 1990 regs ) and altho there are a few rs500s running some modern changes , these have been " overlooked " due to not wanting to stop them running . BUT , if there was to be a complete group A grid then this would change and the cars would have to be as period

 

I did talk with the powers that be about allowing modern managmant etc , as this is a way to try and save engines etc , and its more than certain some modern changes will happen , but you also have to remember there are those ( me inc ) that would like to take part but cant afford to rebuild my car with all the latest modern gear

Its hard to get this right , as im sure it was back in the day

 

As you say, not wanting to hijack Jerry's awesome thread and pics but its seems absolutely ridiculous that 500's are excluded form historics over there. Cossys & RS500's are the meaty part of group A!        I guarantee the weight of poplarity will mean its only a matter of time before the spectators will demand their inclusion. In the meantime Paul & others keep up the lobbying and pressure as this is how it will happen. There are emore and more cars getting into the hands of guys that want to race them. Also if you organise the appearances and increased presence on track of the cars the punters will be 'oh these are awesome to see,as they are the real cars' etc. The self interested stake holders will have to relent to popularity, but only if you can raise the profile. Even try to organise a 'display/parade' at a big race meeting as it sounds like you are. Maybe a thread for the guys that intend to race and will support the effort?

The updated ECU thing was the same here as people were leaving cars in sheds rather than detonating engines with an ECU that has less power than a calculator. My Caltex ran with a 'srewdriver' Motec that has only 5 fuel adjustment settings. More recently over here we have allowed an updated ECU but restricted to only the number of controls the car had oriinlly. ie. fuel, boost, timing, Air/fuel/O2 etc. So you arent allowed to hook up  'bug on the windscreen compensation sensor'. Seems a pretty good balance between reliabiltiy and originality?. One can only imagine what a rs500 would be like if given to a top race team and applied all the modern electronics...>:D

I heard wispers of control fuel coming in also that may help kerb the costs as $9 /litre fuel isnt in evreyones budget!

Maintain the rage Paul, and please keep the stories flowng Jerry as we are all enjoying them immensly!

Ben

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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.

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I used to own the Kaliber press car Jerry, nice piece of history, had all the team history paperwork with it, the car is now in the usa, with a 500bhp engine, used as a track car. ;D

 

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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.

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