Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24FEATURE – PRE 2005 Well, having raced Cosworth’s for many years, it’s a fraction of the cost and the cars are far less hassle to work on and more reliable too, so that’s the short answer. Now for the longer winded version. First, the regulations are open to any cars manufactured between 1 January 1993 and 31 December 2004 and with a minimum production run of 5,000 being a requirement most “limited edition” specials are out of the equation. You then have three classes to choose from which are based around the original manufacturer’s horse power figures, and that dictates the class you’re in. So the starting point is to choose your car and for me, having driven a friend’s “race car” first the choice was simple, a Ford Puma 1.7 model, especially as I have owned two before. So why a Puma, well, for me: • I’m a Ford man so that’s the starting point; • It was cheap – I bought a road going car for £450 which included tax and a year’s MOT; • The standard car always handled well anyhow, so this would be a great starting point for a race car; and • There are plenty of spare parts and cars being broken which means replacement parts are cheap, and easy to get hold of. What have we done to the car? 1. The safety aspects The first thing to sort out is the roll cage and it’s not an area I was prepared to compromise on, so I had a cage welded into the car. Whilst this was certainly a more expensive option, I took the view that if I wanted to modify the car further down the line, the shell wouldn’t need any further work doing to it and so it kept options open. That said, having driven an identical car with a bolt in cage, the difference is minor although from looking at many photo’s over the last two years, my car is more prone to lifting an inside rear wheel in the corner, although that doesn’t make a difference to the lap times. Cost wise, you’d be looking at around £700 for the bolt in cage and around £1,200 for the welded in one. Once the cage is done, you then need to source the seat, harness, fire extinguisher etc etc and for something like the Pre 2005 championship, Ebay is a great source for finding second hand seats etc, although I’d purchase belts and extinguishers new for peace of mind. Again, sensible purchasing can keep costs down to a minimum here. 2. Engine modifications The regulations allow minimum modifications so you can look to get an increase of up to 10% over the manufacturers quoted figure, but that’s it. We have done “nothing whatsoever” to the engine, that’s right, nothing… We haven’t even changed the air filter! Why you may ask, well the simple answer is to keep costs down and if the engine does go bang, I can simply drop a direct replacement into the car and we are back out racing again, that’s why. Instead, we have opted for the options below to maximise performance. 3. Weight This is by far the cheapest and easiest way of making the car go faster and that it to remove excess weight wherever possible, as long as it’s within the regulations. Admittedly my car still retains air conditioning (which is brilliant on a hot day when sitting in the assembly area waiting to go out!!) but the point is you could remove things like this which will help get your car down to the minimum weight, and that costs nothing. 4. Tyres The championship tyre is Toyo 888’s so for the Puma, running 195x50x15 tyres, a set is approximately £340 and as long as you rotate the tyres, we go through 6 a season. So just how cheap is it to race in the Pre 2005 Production Touring Car Championship? By Jeff Windsor Pre 2005 20 Classic Touring Car Racing Club