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Old 6th August 2010, 07:35   #1
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Default Motorsport mad, newbie from England

Hi!
I thought I'd check the site out after a friend told me about it. It looks like theres plenty of good reading to look at!

I guess a bit about myself is needed here..

My names Tom, I was born in and live in England. I've been into cars ever since I was old enough to walk into my uncles garage. I've worked as a mechanic in the past (amongst other things), I run my own business organising track days at race circuits and recently went back to uni as a mature student studying a BEng degree in Motorsport Technology to get some paper work to back up my previous experience and gain new skills.

I've worked with historic Formula 1 cars, spannered for race teams in a variety of different disciplines of motorsport and still help in race support / preperations for a TVR race team, a Toyota sprint car and Nippon challenge cars.

In addition to this I also make parts for the much underrated Cosworth BOA engine. I've worked on these engines for a few years now and although very different fromt he YB and DFV engines from the same manufacturer that I have worked on they have a lot of potential yet to be released. We have seen improvements from the 195 bhp stock to around 250 bhp in N/A form and over 550bhp with boosted applications. I've fitted them into everything from kit cars to Sierras and even Triumph Stags. In addition to the N/A engines I have also worked on converting a great many of these into single and twin turbo engines for customers and also for my own projects. Turbo conversions is something that really interests me as a hobby.

Over the years I have raced in many different club and national series. I used to rally Peugout 205 GTi's and also had some seriously quick road car 205's for racing that I built. I progressed onto some Sprint racing and road rallys, had a flirt with banger racing for a few years but injurys made me decide to stop that. I've made a full recovery now and will at some point return to the banger racing tracks again, although only for the occasional fun outing rather than entering series racing again.

Most recently I have turned my hand to drifting. I have always liked powersliding and doughnutting cars (its were I earned my nickname form friends) so it seemed a logical step. I packed up street drifting in 2008 after that had become my life in my spare time and concentrated on track drifting, gaining my Britsh Drift Championship semi pro competition license in the November of the same year. Since then I have continued to drift at track days and demo shows like Ultimate Street Car at Santa Pod but work and personal commitments have meant I havn't been able to do a full championship season yet. I do plan to in the next year or two though.

If i'm not with my family or working I spend all my spare time in the garage or at tracks and events. I do a lot of marshalling and also srutineer race bikes at events for the ACU. Sadly my bike riding days are over (made a promise not to ride them anymore when my daughter was born) but I don't have the heart to sell my bike after all the time and effort I put into it. Motorsport and cars / bikes / engine are more than just a job for me, they are my way of life!

Car wise I have a selection of Sierra's. A Mk1 3 door Cosworth that is my competition car for drifting, used to be my daily driver but now its track only. Currently under going a complete rebuild. A 4 door 2ltr daily driver, a 5 door 2ltr Pinto on bike carbs, mappable ignition ex street drifter and a 5 door demo car for my company with a V6 2.9 24v tuned Cosworth engine in (aka Pinky the charity fund raising car). I also have Bertie the Transit car transporter, thats currently a dieasl but will be having a Cosworth engine dropped into it in the near future but first I have to finish the twin turbo Cosworth engine in my P100 pickup truck. I'd post some pics up but they are all on photobucket and I noticed the rules said that they need to be uploaded to the site directly somehow. When I figure how to do it out i'll put some up.

Well thats enough about me! I look forward to reading through the site and seeing how you guys approach the tuning / racing industry in India.
Cheers
Tom
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Old 6th August 2010, 09:45   #2
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Hi Tom

Welcome aboard. Am glad you have gone through the rules. Which part of the UK are you from ?

I see you are a Cossie fan. I remember my business school director has an immaculate Cossie 4X4 which he drove like a hooligan. (he was 55 and on to his 3rd wife!).
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Old 6th August 2010, 14:11   #3
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That's an impressive profile, doughnutter. Great to have you with us.
Welcome to Team-BHP!!
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Old 6th August 2010, 16:43   #4
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Welcome abroad mate! My neighbour back in Surrey used to own a mint black Ford Sierra Cosworth till a few years ago. A nice old-school machine that never failed to get the attention of the young and old alike when it rumbled past our quiet housing estate.
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Old 6th August 2010, 18:47   #5
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Hey welcome Tom.
Quote:
Originally Posted by doughnutter View Post
Car wise I have a selection of Sierra's. A Mk1 3 door Cosworth that is my competition car for drifting, used to be my daily driver but now its track only. Currently under going a complete rebuild.
4wd? or is it converted to RWD for drifting. Would love to see pics.

Last edited by Mpower : 6th August 2010 at 21:05.
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Old 6th August 2010, 21:52   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
Hi Tom

Welcome aboard. Am glad you have gone through the rules. Which part of the UK are you from ?

I see you are a Cossie fan. I remember my business school director has an immaculate Cossie 4X4 which he drove like a hooligan. (he was 55 and on to his 3rd wife!).

Thanks for the welcome! Originally the London area but recently moved to the Midlands to concentrate on business.
Cossys tend to bring out the inner hooligan in a man!


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Originally Posted by ch.nathan View Post
That's an impressive profile, doughnutter. Great to have you with us.
Welcome to Team-BHP!!
Thanks for the welcome

Quote:
Originally Posted by coloneljasi View Post
Welcome abroad mate! My neighbour back in Surrey used to own a mint black Ford Sierra Cosworth till a few years ago. A nice old-school machine that never failed to get the attention of the young and old alike when it rumbled past our quiet housing estate.
Thanks for the welcome!

Yeah they do get a lot of attention, quite an iconic car. One of the main reasons for the huge increase in car crime and insurance rises back in the day! Dominated BTCC for years until they changed the rules and was certainly an outstanding car for the money in those days. I think most people look at a Cossie and instantly recognise thats its a capable car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
Hey welcome Tom.

4wd? or is it converted to RWD for drifting. Would love to see pics.
Hi, thanks for the welcome.

Mk1 3 doors cars were all RWD. The 4x4 didn't come until many years later in the 4 door Saphire body shell. I have considered changing it to 4x4 with a R33 Skyline gearbox. They can be switched from 100% rear to 50/50 4x4 with a switch so I could keep on drifting and when the mood takes swap into 4x4 for track / drag outings. Something that will happen one day but there plenty of jobs higher up the priority list at the moment


I'll have a look into how to put pictures up now.
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Old 7th August 2010, 08:56   #7
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England! Ah! the birthplace of Landrover.

Welcome aboard man. We can use some of your experience here. We were discussing aftermarket engine in a thread, and we realized the options are next to none. Cosworth has entered Indian market but still hibernating. I wonder who their customers are. They need a good marketing campaign.

You people from England are lucky. Look ate the Kit and engines that are available to fiddle with.
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Old 7th August 2010, 15:07   #8
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Which part of the Midlands? I grew up in the Black Forest area!
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Old 7th August 2010, 15:25   #9
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Welcome Tom ! You sure would enjoy your stay here, I lived for a while in Coventry and Birmingham pleasant memories I have of Midlands.

Interesting no Japs (Supra's, Silvia's, MR2's) in your collection ? Pls do post picture of your rides.
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Old 7th August 2010, 20:14   #10
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Thanks again for the warm welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SirAlec View Post
England! Ah! the birthplace of Landrover.

Welcome aboard man. We can use some of your experience here. We were discussing aftermarket engine in a thread, and we realized the options are next to none. Cosworth has entered Indian market but still hibernating. I wonder who their customers are. They need a good marketing campaign.

You people from England are lucky. Look ate the Kit and engines that are available to fiddle with.
I've had a quick look about but havn't seen the thread you mention, could you post a link up please? I'd be interested to have a read!

I wasn't aware that Cosworth had entered the Indian market but if they have I'm sure they will have a cute stratergy worked out. I know they are spending a lot of time developing parts for the JDM market these days. I will watch closely to see what happens!

We are incredibly lucky in the UK to have the diversity and availability of equipment and materials to work with. It certainly makes for a booming industry!

Landrover, indeed a very English institution! Never been keen on them myself. Had plenty of mates who like the mud racing / extreme driving but never got the bug myself. A friend did fit a 5.7 ltr V8 in a Landrover Chassis at the back and made one of those crazy mountain climber cars but apart from that I found it all a bit slow paced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
Which part of the Midlands? I grew up in the Black Forest area!
I'm in Derby area at the moment

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2theMax View Post
Welcome Tom ! You sure would enjoy your stay here, I lived for a while in Coventry and Birmingham pleasant memories I have of Midlands.

Interesting no Japs (Supra's, Silvia's, MR2's) in your collection ? Pls do post picture of your rides.
I've had Jap cars over the years, Supra's and Celica's, tuned for street racing when I was younger. Grew out of that scene a while back but I am on the lookout at the moment for a nice R32 Skyline for drifting but I'm not in a rush to find one and to find a good ones getting harder these days.


Few pictures of the cars....
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Old 7th August 2010, 23:08   #11
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A few pictures of the cars and in the case of the 5 door hatch, how it has changed over the last few years.
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Old 8th August 2010, 13:49   #12
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Man, you sure are motorsport mad!!

Here's the thread SirAlec mentioned : Cosworth comes to India

Got a tyre Q for you -- i seem to notice that a lot of (pro) drifters use tyres that are sometimes considered ultra-performance track tyres. Doesn't that make things harder for them in terms of braking traction etc? Any reason for the above?

cya around,
R
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Old 9th August 2010, 15:28   #13
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Interesting read, thanks R!

I think Cosworth may be looking at manufacturing in India initially rather than a market for their performance parts. I think they are still looking to sell mainly to OEM but I could be wrong!

Regarding your question on high quality track tyres on drift cars, well here goes...

When people are learning to drift they get through a great many tyres. Many choose to use tyres from srapyards / tyre bins outside garages etc etc. This way they don't have to pay anything to get them and have tyres that may well last a good few laps on their beginner circuits.

As their skill level progresses they will be able to tell the difference between the better tyres and the ones that are rubbish.

People will always try and put the best possible pair of tyres they have on the front wheels. This helps reduce understeer and makes for an easier car to control. In an ideal world you want the car to break away from traction smoothly and for that reason tyres with a similar grip level is desirable (we are starting to move away from the beginner zone now where any tyre was considered fine, or crap tyres with high pressures were used in low powered cars).

A nice set of tyres with similar or the same chariteristics front to back will transform the way the car drifts. It will feel much more controllable!

Now start upping the speeds and you need more turn in grip at higher speeds and in turn the rear has to remain balanced with the front. You can see why perormance tyres ar starting to et used more and more.

If we start to look at what a tyre needs to be able to do at this intermediate to advanced stage of drifting we will understand tyre choice a little better, so...

Tyres need to be firstly available in the size we need. Sounds obvious but its harder than you might think! I prefer 215/40/16 on my chosen wheel which is a Escort Cosworth 8 inch rim. This is not the most common size around! Others may prefer to use a 18 or 19 inch wheel on their drift car. Other guys may be using 14 or 15 inch wheels. I often recomemend for new drifters that 185/60/14 seems to be the most commone second hand tyre that you will find so it makes sense to use these for easy avilability of rubber! When you start increaseing sizes to larger and lower profiles you will find that the choices reduce and they tend to be higher performance tyres.

We want good grip, both front and rear ( even though the cars sliding its still gripping to an extent of we would have no control over it!). Add to this that we need something with a firm tyre wall to stop it deflecting on turn in and slides. We also want a tyre than generates maximum smoke, this tends to be the softer compounds. All these again push us towards the track day tyre market. When twin drifting you want good grip away off the line so again a good tyre is desirable.

A tyre can tick all the right boxes but there is one more key thing to look at now. Delamination.

Many tyes have problems when they are subjected to the extreme temperatures from drifting and will delaminate or the tyre traed will come off in chunks. These tyres are avoided!!

So we now start to look at whats available. The trackday tyres in the UK have several price ranges but i'd say that the 40 - 50 is the cheaper end of the market. You'll get Federal 595's here which are a great choice, also some Maxis tyres and of course the new kids on the block that are getting good feedback the Neuton tyres.

I usually go for Eagle F1's for my tyres if I can, a little more expensive at around 75 to 80 a corner but great tyres and I can pick them up locally secondhand cheap of free to I can practise on the same tyres as much as I want.

The range extends up towards and well over the 100 mark. Some people choose the better tyres from the Federal range here or even Toyos R888's for the front.

The real top end of the tyre market, eg the Dunlop track slicks etc are not commonly used in the drift championships as far as I know or have seen.

In general people will use whatever tyres that they have to use. Those with deep pockets or sponsors will usually have better tyres but they will still be wiling to go drifting on cheap tyres if they are free! Its all about what you have at the time available in budget, but ask any drifter and they would like to have a set of decent tyres.

Regarding breaking traction.... When most drift cars at competition use in the UK are going to be pushing at least 150 bhp in a featherweight shell, more commonly 200-300 bhp and in some cases up to 700bhp. Breaking traction is not an issue but maintaining control may well be!

This is not to say that big power is always required. The Sierra 5 door in the above pictures has only 91bhp at the rear wheels. By going in very fast, using weight transfer teqniques and never lifting off the accelrator you can still drift at fairly high speeds, although slightly less gripy tyres at the rear or higher tyre pressures may be desirable.


Heres one of the short videos we used for promoting our trackdays at Autosport International show last year. We borrowed Santa Pods demo Skyline to use for the day, you can see it starting the drift on the handbrake going into Gerrards corner at around 130 mph. Needless to say we used good tyres on that!



Any questions you may have just ask! I hope this helps!


And seeing as this is my introduction you'll all get to see me on the video if you watch it

Heres another video, this time with me driving the Cossy at Santa Pod on a little figure 8 track..


nice.flv video by SierraDoughnutter - Photobucket

And a few of the cars I used to work with and how we built / reproduced them...
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Old 9th August 2010, 15:53   #14
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A few of the cars in the workshop...
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Old 9th August 2010, 16:19   #15
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DN, Pls do open a new thread for Drifting. RWD's are a rarity here and most of the 4wd's are SUV's.

How's Drifting in FWD's, Is it drastically different in terms of technique ?
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