Silhouette Racing in South Africa

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    Riaans

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    Join date : 2018-04-21

    Silhouette Racing in South Africa

    Post by Riaans on Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:23 am

    This is my first creation of a new topic....I hope I don't tread on any toes...

    I thought I should share this info.......

    South African Silhouette & Modified Saloon Racing History
    After a little more than two decades of mixed prototypes and GTs races, Endurance racing saw by mid 70s the advent to the silhouette formula.
    Europeans had the World Championship for Makes, the Americans had the IMSA series, the English people had the Modsports, the Germans had the DRM series... The South African had the Manufacturers Challenge Cars.

    Some famous drivers performed at the wheel of very special cars such as:

    a Fiat 131 with 550bhp mid positionned Ferrari turbocharged 2400cc V6 (Dave Charlton);
    a BMW 535, powered by a Group 5 Coupe 3.5 CSL 6 cylinders engine (Ian Scheckter);
    a Ford Escort fitted with a Ford-Weslake V6/3400cc (Sarel Van Der Merwe).

    Other less known drivers ran:

    an Opel Chevair powered by a four carburated Chevy V8/5000cc (Geoff Mortimer);
    an Opel Rekord with the same F5000 Chevy V8/5000cc than the Chevair (Willie Hepburn);
    a Mazda 323 built around a monocoque and fitted with an Escort Zakspeed suspension and powered by a 2600cc Mazda rotary engine (Errol Shearsby), later in the series fitted with a twin turbo!

    In 1978, the ill conceived Manufacturers Challenge series was announced aiming to attract all the South African motor manufacturers and to get the crowds back to racing this by allowing any engine within an automotive group, i.e. a Porsche engined VW or a Rover V8 powered Mini. Fiat decided to get Facetti in Italy to make a Fiat 131 with a turbo Ferrari 2.5l engine. Van Rooyen was contracted to drive it. The problem was with only 6 months to go to the first race, Facetti let them down, saying he could now only do the engine. Basil was asked if he could design and build the whole car within a budget. A deal was settled after Basil got the permission of the Board to build the car in the packaging factory tool room. He designed a tubular chassis with fibreglass replica bodywork, a novel De Dion rear axle, huge brakes and wheels, to handle the 600bhp Ferrari engine the first time he had designed a chassis from the ground up.
    The work had to be stopped at the dashboard – until the engine and gearbox arrived only 3 weeks before the first race. A last minute rush saw a semi finished but exciting Fiat on the start line. It proved faster than the 5L V8s first time out, until the Ferrari gearbox gave up. A magazine cutting about the third race reads “ …..van Rooyen in the Fiat 131 lived up to the promise by challenging then passing the roaring V8 Chevs. Neither Mortimer nor Hepburn could hold him off…”

    More info to follow....

    Riaans

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    Join date : 2018-04-21

    Re: Silhouette Racing in South Africa

    Post by Riaans on Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:54 am



    Last edited by Jempy on Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:50 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Made the picture visible here ...Jempy)

    Riaans

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    Join date : 2018-04-21

    Re: Silhouette Racing in South Africa

    Post by Riaans on Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:57 am





    Last edited by Jempy on Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:52 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Made the picture visible here ...Jempy)

    Riaans

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    Join date : 2018-04-21

    Re: Silhouette Racing in South Africa

    Post by Riaans on Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:00 am





    Last edited by Jempy on Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:53 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Made the picture visible here ...Jempy)

    Riaans

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    Join date : 2018-04-21

    Re: Silhouette Racing in South Africa

    Post by Riaans on Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:02 am




    Riaans

    Posts : 7
    Join date : 2018-04-21

    Re: Silhouette Racing in South Africa

    Post by Riaans on Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:11 am




    Last edited by Jempy on Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:55 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Made the picture visible here ...Jempy)
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    Jempy

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    Age : 67
    Location : Belgium ( Near Spa

    Re: Silhouette Racing in South Africa

    Post by Jempy on Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:03 am

    Hi Riaans

    Thanks for sharing those less known beautiful cars. cheers

    I took the liberty to edit your posts in order to make all pictures visible here.
    If you use the 'Host image' button here above ... after uploading your images you need to push the button "Insert all" when they were sent.

    If you use other links for pictures, choose button "Insert image" to paste the link and make them appear as pictures in your post.... that's better than a simple written link.

    cheers4


    _________________


    Jean-Pierre ... but Jempy is surely easier to pronounce ! lol!

    Riaans

    Posts : 7
    Join date : 2018-04-21

    Re: Silhouette Racing in South Africa

    Post by Riaans on Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:48 pm

    Thanks Jempy, it took me some time to come right. I will give it a try and post some more pictures later.
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    Dark Side

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    Join date : 2015-05-07
    Age : 21
    Location : Bucharest

    Re: Silhouette Racing in South Africa

    Post by Dark Side on Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:05 pm

    I love me some silhouette gr.5 esque machinery! Been looking at pictures of late 70s, early 80s kyalami 9hrs races watching for such cars!
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    joeschmoe

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    Re: Silhouette Racing in South Africa

    Post by joeschmoe on Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:09 pm

    There are some bad ass cars there!

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