There’s no other way of putting it. I’m back on the road to ruin! I was finding it impossible not to have at least a fledgling project on-the-go and had a few options:
- Another Locost racer
- A BMW powered kit car to race in the Welsh Saloons and Sports
- A RGB car
Well, I guess Fate played its hand; you remember Steve Hignett? Regular readers will remember Steve as being the chap (read Godsend) who helped me so much in progressing both the MNR build and the Locost refresh. Steve had been researching and scheming in preparation for his own lightweight bike-engined car for some time. In fact, he’d made a start on the chassis. Unfortunately for Steve, the prospect of a new baby (that’s obviously not the unfortunate part!!) on the way meant that his vision was unlikely to reach its full potential for a long while. However, he was keen to see his own design of chassis built and in use and hence he offered it to me.
It seemed like the push that I needed. I’d always wanted to race in RGB and this would give me the chance to do so. While common consensus suggests that a traditional 7-styled vehicle is at an (aerodynamic) disadvantage against some of the other cars, I’d never had an interest in full-bodied kit cars and as Steve’s car was a 7ish, everything seemed to make sense. Not wishing to make myself out to be some sort of idealistic zealot, but I also think the series could benefit from a few more shapes familiar to bike engined MK, Mac#1 and Locost owners.
So, on the basis of the picture below, a plan was hatched whereby the chassis and associated parts, including wishbones and rollcage would be completed and then put into storage awaiting my return from travelling.
In order to complete the chassis, Steve would require a list of parts so that the correct mountings could be fabricated. First job was to select an engine. Steve had originally planned to fit a ZX-12R which would have put me in Class A with the fastest machinery out there. I took the view that a Class B ZX-10R would be better for my purposes. This also worked well with the Freelander diff that Steve was planning to employ, giving a maximum speed of about 134mph, which should be about right.
Suspension will be double-unequal-length wishbones at each corner, using Sierra hubs at the rear and Cortina uprights at the front. While this build is not expected to be cheap, it is not a ‘money-no-object’ exercise either; hence the donor-sourced parts. In addition to the shape, we’re also departing from conventional wisdom with the reversing mechanism. Many have tried mechanical systems and have had issues. We are using the relatively new MNR reverse box. The issue for me is that if my storage remains the same or even similar to how it was this year with the Locost, it would be virtually impossible to manoeuvre the car towards the trailer and back into the garage on my own without a robust and reliable reverse. My experience of the starter-motor based electric systems is that they’re just not man-enough. One piece of encouragement is that Redback Racing are utilising the reverse box in Australia with no apparent issues. Fingers crossed!
So there we have it: a new project. I’ll explain a bit more about the spec and issues thus far next time. As I type this, the chassis is probably 4-8 weeks from being powdercoated