Hi folks, I'm in the process of building a 1968 coupe to compete in Time Attack events at Castrol Raceway in Alberta, Canada this summer and I thought some of you would be interested in following the build. Thanks, I look forward to your comments!
Last edited by jeffreycustoms; 04-18-2014 at 12:34 AM.
Over the long Calgary winter I cleaned her up as best I could. She wasn’t pretty but by the time the snow had melted I’d finished the basics to get it back on the road. New shocks with stiffer springs front and rear, lights all working, and registered in Alberta.
And this is when my project took a crazy turn. I decided to race it.
In the spring of 2011 I registered for a two-day racing school at Race City Speedway in Calgary so that I could get my competition license. I showed up in my beater Mustang and the organizers were not amused.
At the end of the second day we were given some solo practice time on the track. I still remember the feeling of it, just me and the open track, the summer air and the beautiful sound of that old V8 rushing through the windows.
And I was getting the hang of it - hitting the apex…
I signed up for the 2011 Calgary Sports Car Club Time Attack race series and had a 6-point roll bar welded in before the first event. I also had a local shop install long-tube Hooker headers and a Flowmaster exhaust to get some more power from the stock 289 V8. Loved the headers and the exhaust but got ripped off by the garage who did the work - I was so pissed I decided to do everything I could myself from then on.
Time Attack is a great racing format for all types of cars. We had about 25 cars running in 3 different run groups. Each track session is 20 minutes and the goal is to log your fastest lap while competing against similarly classed cars. We ran sessions all day long which meant that we had roughly 2 hours of track time at each event.
Here's my 68 Mustang at my first Time Attack event at Race City Speedway in Calgary. You'll notice that I'm racing on replica Firestone Wide Ovals - they didn't last long on the track!
The Mustang ran well the first Time Attack event. I completely destroyed the replica bias-ply tires and it started overheating by the end of the day but it ran the whole event without major problems. Pretty remarkable for a virtually stock 40+ year old car…
After destroying the replica Firestone Wide Ovals at the first track session I raced a couple of events on Cooper Cobra radials but they were hopeless on the track. I couldn’t find any 15” performance tires with the sidewall height I was looking for until I found that Hoosier made 15” vintage race tires in the sizes originally used on the racing Mustangs in 1967-68 - they’re great looking period-correct race tires. I had them mounted on lightweight Bassett steel wheels, 7” width on the front, 8” rear.
The soft compound Hoosier racing tires (#44286 front/44306 rear) made a massive difference on the track - I couldn’t believe how much grip I had going into the corners and I dropped over two seconds from my previous lap times.
This is how I drove to the track - the rear race tires and my tools were in the trunk and the front tires filled up the passenger side.