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National novelties: Cheetah's bullet train plan and Image Cars reunion

From some intriguing planned upgrades to a rare Chevrolet to a special Sussex Formula Ford reunion, here are a few of the unusual stories from national motorsport this week

ALL STARS 58  Duncan PITTAWAY

Bullet Train Cheetah: Pittaway's upgrade

Duncan Pittaway is to explore uprating his rare Chevrolet Cheetah’s brakes with “the same material they use on Japan’s bullet trains” for 2024.

“Its drum brakes work fine while they last but we’re told the stuff they’ve got on the bullet trains could make them last longer,” said the 60-year-old Bristolian who, after an early charge to third place, retired from Sunday’s Historic Racing Drivers Club Allstars race at Silverstone following three spins caused by brake issues.

Pittaway’s Cheetah is the first of only 11 built by Bill Thomas to help Chevrolet beat Carroll Shelby’s Cobras and had not competed since the late 1960s before he acquired it in Arizona in 2015.

Special reunion: Image Race Cars

Key figures from Formula Ford constructor Image's history travelled from far and wide

Photo by: MAWP+SPORT

Key figures from Formula Ford constructor Image's history travelled from far and wide

Image Race Cars’ co-founder Alan Langridge and Goodwood era manager Robert Synge celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Formula Ford marque’s birth on Saturday in Tangmere, West Sussex, where the first chassis were made.

Maiden race winner Mike Wrigley, FF1 owners Mike ‘Fulmar’ Taylor and David Wigdor and later works drivers Frank Bayes and Anthony Reid were among 40 plus people at the convivial reunion.

Vicky Chandhok (Karun’s father), Paul Simpson and Anders Oberg made the longest pilgrimages to attend, from Madras, Cape Town and Sweden respectively.

Rare car: Fiat 128C

Colburn had to adapt to the Fiat being left-hand drive

Photo by: Mick Walker

Colburn had to adapt to the Fiat being left-hand drive

Richard Colburn gave his Westbourne Motorsport squad’s latest creation, a 1973 Fiat 128C originally built for hillclimbing in eastern Europe, its race debut in the Allstars race at Silverstone last weekend.

“It’s a work in progress – it’s got the wrong gear ratios but they are on order from Italy,” said Colburn. “It’s taken nearly two years to get it to this stage.

“Slightly odd for me, because I’m a bit older, is that – because it’s a left-hand-drive car – I sometimes go for the gear lever with my left hand!”

Westbourne fielded 17 cars across the HRDC races at Silverstone.

Three drivers, two cars, one race: Pall Mall Cup

'Canary' Cobra was one of two cars Montgomery, Sleep and Stretton shared at Silverstone

Photo by: Mick Walker

'Canary' Cobra was one of two cars Montgomery, Sleep and Stretton shared at Silverstone

Alex Montgomery, Nick Sleep and Martin Stretton pulled off the rare feat of racing two cars together in one race in the RAC Pall Mall Cup at Silverstone.

The trio’s distinctive ‘Hairy Canary’ Shelby Cobra (the driving order Sleep-Montgomery-Stretton) finished sixth overall. Close behind, there was an eighth-place result for their Lotus Elan 26R (Montgomery-Stretton-Sleep).

“We didn’t think it was too elaborate a plan – the five-minute pitstops gave us some flexibility,” explained Montgomery. “The difficult thing was adjusting immediately to the driving styles of the two cars.”

Pic of the week:

A dramatic clash between Richard Higgins (l) and Samuel Street in the Historic Final at the Formula Ford Festival

Photo by: Andy Mason

A dramatic clash between Richard Higgins (l) and Samuel Street in the Historic Final at the Formula Ford Festival

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