PERSPECTIVE ON THE PHILIP ISLAND 6 HOUR RELAY 2018 – Allan and David Richards

I have just read our beloved team manager’s article on the blog, so I won’t even attempt to write anything as elaborate as he.  Thanks Joel for saving me the trouble.

I will however try to write a little of our woes.

“To cut a long story short” as often the saying goes – After our engine disasters of last year, it was obvious that our engine would need to be rebuilt, that’s when the first problems arose;  Parts!

We have a Nissan SR 20 engine originally fitted to a Nissan S13 Sylvia rear wheel drive, when Mr Google is asked to give info on this engine, all we could get was specs of a CA 18 engine which was first fitted to this car later followed by the SR 20, the CA 18 of course if an entirely different animal and you wouldn’t believe how many different SR 20 derivatives there are, and they are all different.  We eventually gathered the parts together, the engine gasket kit being sourced from Queensland as an example.

David was finally able to down load the appropriate engine specs which were delightfully vague and lost a lot in the translation. In due course the engine was assembled complete with new modified camshafts, however when we couldn’t get it to run, professional help was enlisted.  Unfortunately things went from bad to worse and two weeks out from the event we had a “New rebuilt”  engine with a blown head gasket,  camshafts which weren’t correctly ground in the first place, and eight bent exhaust valves.

Long-time friend and Nissan Guru Dennis Cope came to our rescue, got the car running and dynoed  two days before the event.  Finally we are ready, we thought, as the car was washed polished and loaded onto the trailer. How wrong we were.

As my competition numbers happened to be on the car, I went out to practise first on Saturday morning. The car felt good, very responsive and early times were starting to look promising. Then disaster struck.  I didn’t see the hoard of black cats run across the track , but I did see the oil pressure gauge drop to an alarming 10 psi, so I switched the engine off and rolled to a stop, ironically just out of “Siberia” which is where the car stopped two years ago when the bottom radiator hose blew off the CA 16 engine.

As Joel reported in his article we took the Datsun home and returned on Sunday with my MG Midget, which was fun but slow, at least we didn’t break our lap times.

A big thank you to our long suffering team manager Joel, and rather than take any more space,  ditto to everyone else Joel thanked, without such a team effort this event just doesn’t happen.

Allan Richards.

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