From Across The Pond
Good to read of your interest in our racing over this side of the "pond;" and I noted your comments about how our cars are built so rigid.
Going back to the early '50s when stock racing started in the UK, most tracks were based on our speedway (bike racing) dirt tracks, which are small and tight ovals with very little, if any, banking. Initially, our cars were real heavy-duty. It changed somewhat when a team of racers came over from the USA and introduced us to your lighter weight specials.
Basically, your guys drove around our heavy weights and left us in the dirt. At one time there was the possibility of our racing having a permanent connection with NASCAR but the decision over here was to keep our racing full contact, and that's the way it has stayed.
We now have some purpose-built cars racing tarmac (asphalt) ovals but these were built to similar size and specs as the dirt speedway tracks. So, due to the size and nature of our tracks plus control on tires, maximum speeds are way down on your "big" tracks, and to us, 360 yards is a big track!
So, with tight, flat bends, our average speed is a fraction of what you get on your tracks, more like an average of 45 mph with max of 75 mph. Our rules require head-and-neck restraints in the new car I have been building. I've also included a full containment seat and we have substantial plated rollcages.
We can also run an open engine spec just restricted by CI block, two valves/cylinder, carbs only, and using pump fuel (max 101-octane) because there's no point in going too far with power as there's a limit of what the tracks and tires will take. We use a reliable 600- to 650-bhp without having to go to high revs and lightweight or exotic engine parts.
Because of the restricted speeds, our chassis are built to take the hits but bumper bracings are designed to give before damaging the chassis and can be adjusted to suit the driver. In our racing, drivers are graded on a monthly basis and a reverse grid system is used with the higher point scorers starting at the back which makes for entertaining racing. So, we don't have to devise ways to restrict engine power, we just race on small, tight tracks.
I too wait for my copy of Circle Track to arrive to keep up with things and pick out the sections that will assist in our racing. Keep up the good work.
Yours in sport,
Thanks for the information. It's always good to hear from racers in other parts of the world. When it all comes down to it, we're all racers at heart and can relate to each other on that basis. It's good to hear that the head-and-neck restraints are mandatory. You're well ahead of us in that department.
As is evident in racing we see on the smaller tracks here, speed is relative. Seventy-five mph on a quarter-mile track is just as fast as 120 on a half-mile track, relatively speaking. And, because of gearing for smaller tracks, getting to the top speed happens so much faster.
I've seen video of some of your racing and it definitely creates excitement and action. Just as it is here, setup is paramount and the ones who are setup right usually are around at the end of the race to take the checkered flag.