thought that the race car had reached the limit of what I
was prepared to do with development but earlier this I met
year a New Zealand driver that had bought an Australian
928 that had been set up for the track with Rex Broadbent
doing the suspension work.
He said that his car on the track
was very well behaved but when he gave me the spring
rates he used I thought he was having me on.
I was busy with Targa and recovering
from putting my fingers and thumb in a 928 radiator fan
(believe me its not recommended) I didn't take his
comments seriously .. until recently. There
are some general rules of thumb and guidelines with spring
rates that have evolved by trial and error over the years.
These settings meant the rule book had to be thrown away
and logic suspended to try them.
Anyway we gradually worked in small
steps towards the Kiwis advise and the last race meeting
was the first chance I had to try them out in race
conditions. I didn't get a chance to fit good rubber, or
replace the badly worn brake pads and had no testing time
in the car at all.
Qualifying on the track was frustrating
to say the least. Somehow the rev limiter had slipped
while the car was stored (the spring had stretched in the
distributor) and kept cutting in at 5900rpm. The engine
felt down on power and as a result I was having to short
change about 1000rpm early. Even so and much to my
surprise the 928's handling with the new setup felt really
To say I was TOTALLY GOB SMACKED
when I picked up my lap times from race control is the
understatement of the year.
The race organisers had put my category,
'Historic Production Sports Cars' in with the Group N cars
(historic touring cars). We were mixed in with the very
quick XU1s, Camaros, Falcon GT's and Mini Cooper S etc. On
practice times I placed 3rd with a quickest lap of 70.24
seconds behind two seriously modified and very very quick
Torana XU1s and in front of a very quick 5.7ltr Camaro.
My time was 2.3 seconds quicker
than the car had ever gone.
At this point it certainly looked as
though I could break my lap record in the race for Group S
cars. The first race I started third on the grid but four
seconds and eleven grid places in front of the next Group
S car a very quick Alfa GTV driven by Nick Rhihimtulla. In
race traffic I managed a fourth with the Camaro deciding
to find a couple of seconds a lap, leaving me for dead on
the straights and doing a best lap of 70.44 seconds
setting a new Group S lap record.
Race two was a handicap race but still
managed to lower the lap record to 70.18 seconds.
Struggling to find power, in race three the car started to
miss badly (928s do not like sitting in a shed for 6
months) and would not rev over 4500rpm. I brought it in
after the first lap and parked it.
We discovered that the coil and ignition
system were breaking down as well as the rev limiter. The
lack of spark was causing the reduction in power. We have
fixed the problem and will race again at the end of August
if we can (as we hope to) get another full second plus on
We will build a race motor for the car
(it currently has a stock standard 4.5ltr 10:1 compression
ratio in it at the moment) and prepare the car for a
campaign on the East Coast next year in group S historic
production sports car races.
If our lap times are reproduced on the
Eastern states tracks the car will be a front running car
All the best and I've still got a
very stupid grin on my face - Glyn Crimp