Aug 25, 2000 update to the Triumph Spitfire (Ro-Spit) project car

Busy Busy

Our Ro-Spit has been quite busy lately, racing at the Beech Mountain Hill Climb, where it was the fourth fastest car overall. More recently, it ran at the July 29 Belle Chere street autocross in downtown Asheville, N.C.

At Belle Chere, the fastest time of day before the Mod cars ran was a 37.0 set by Rob Faulkner in Rob Hauser’s new Boxster S.

When it came time to run the Mods and Prepareds, the heavens opened up for a brief shower. An FTD would be difficult to obtain in the rain. After Steve Eckerich took two messy runs on the rain-soaked course and ran into cone troubles, it was up to co-driver Tim Suddard to save the day.

His first run was a very promising 37.3, but missed a gate and turned it into a DNF. On his second run, Suddard felt confident that he could save the day for Team GRM, as the streets were quickly drying and he had the course figured out.

But alas, it was not to be, as after making a very quick run down the course, the right axle snapped when he pinned the throttle for the return run. Our first failure with the Ro-Spit and DNF were at hand. This is the first thing that had broken on the Ro-Spit since we began running the car early last year.

As it turns out, the repair was simple, and Steve Eckerich could see where he had taken too much off the weld when he turned the axles down for the second shot at making our earlier transverse leaf rear suspension work. Now that we have gone to a true coil-over set up, the axle could be built back up and welded even better. This should eradicate this problem.

Unfortunately, this incident brought out the realities of developing a race car. In the early days we had less power, way less suspension, and less traction. As we continue to tune the engine, develop the chassis, and add ever bigger and stickier tires and wheels we will find the weak links.

The Spit took a trip down to see Stu and Geoff at BSI Racing for a complete alignment. All of the assembly and disassembly meant that we needed to make sure that the wheels were still pointed in the right direction! A quick adjustment here and there, and we were out of Stu’s hair.

Overall, we are very happy with our little project. The car turns heads wherever it goes and is just incredibly fast to drive. Our next step is to continue to develop the car and run it when ever we can. In addition, KSpeed is looking for wider rims for us from Panasport so that we can properly harness the horsepower on the track.

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