Porsche Club GB Hillclimb Series 2017
November 5th 2017
Phil Is Also A Very Good Friend Of 911box Ltd
A Bit Of History On Phil And Connaught Competition Engines.
Connaught Competition Engines - Specialists in Race Engines
Established in February 1985, Newington based Connaught Competition Engines has built up an enviable track record within motorsport. Proprietor Phil Price graduated with an IMech Tech from a tool making apprenticeship with the Ministry of Defence and worked for six years with Minister Racing Engines before setting up on his own.
In its first year of operation, Connaught's Atlantic BDA powered Steve Holland's GRD to the Lydden-based Formula Libre Championship. With a move to new premises after that first year, the company based its output on Formula Ford engines and rapidly established a reputation for championship winning Ford Kent units which continues to this day, particularly in Historic racing.
The company's work has since diversified to encompass an ever widening range of competition engines including the ever-popular Ford Twin-cams and BDAs, plus specialist development units such as Renault, Alfa Romeo, and a number of Japanese engines – including motorcycle units.
The company's Superflow SF871 dynamometer, which can accept engine speeds up to 12,000 rpm and power outputs up to 1500 bhp, enables full build, development and power output documentation of larger engines too, such as for example a 5-litre Ford Boss 302 V8, a Ford Cologne Weslake V6 and a range of Judd and Cosworth ex. F1 V8 units for hillclimbing, sprinting and Thoroughbred GP racing with Classic Team Lotus.
Historic racing forms an important part of Connaught's customer base, with Ford Twincam, BDA (and derivatives) and Hart units much in demand. The company has also built successful engines from an earlier era such as Coventry Climax FW and FPF, Ford SCA and FVA units. All these engines are fully run in and set up on our dynamometer, if required, before delivery.
Connaught Competition Engines' work is not confined to engines however. Using our extensive workshop facilities, a full race preparation service is also available. This wide range of activity necessitated a move in early 2004 to much larger premises (3,500 sq. ft.) in Wormdale Farm, close to the original Newington site.
Connaught has also acquired full manufacturing rights for the WARRIOR (see Warrior page) 16-valve twincam Ford Pinto-based units, much in demand for historic rallying since their adoption by Holbay. These Ford Pinto-based engines are available from 1600cc to 2.5 litres, with 300 bhp and 220 lb. ft of torque supplied by the bigger units.
Connaught moved into 2005 with larger premises, an expanding customer base and an ever widening range of activities while maintaining its reputation as a builder of winning race engines. "We go with the flow", says proprietor Phil Price. "Our reputation is such that we don't really need to advertise extensively. Our results speak for themselves and enquiries are coming in from worldwide."
Well the first round of the 2017 Porsche Club GB Hillclimb Series took place on 22nd/23rd April at Wiscombe Park in Devon. Phil was present for his first attempt in this series. His first run at the hill on Sunday was really good for his first time but he felt he could go faster. Run 2 was better to start but Phil just put a wheel on the grass which was a bit hairy and slowed that run down. Then run 3 arrived and Phil suddenly developed a little turbo lag out of the slow corners so some investigation work was carried out to fix this for the 4th and final run. This was met with a bit of bad luck when phil caught a sandbag which had been dislodged from one of the walls which resulted in him running of track which ended the run. For Phil's first attempt at this series and a venue he had never been to before he came home in a very creditable 6th Place. "WELL DONE PHIL". Next round is 20th/21st May at Loton Park where Phil has been before so should be quick.
Round Two took place at Loton Park in Shropshire on 20th/21st May. Phil had the car running superbly but was a bit disappointed with his timed practice runs on Saturday as he was not quite as fast as on his previous trip to Loton Park a few years back. Sunday came and the weather was bright and sunny. Phil had a very brave attempt at the hill today but was still a little disappointed with himself. He's very hard on himself as this was a great attempt today. Next meeting next weekend at Gurston Down. GOOD LUCK PHIL.
Now we have round three at Phil's favorite venue Gurston Down in Broad Chalke in the County of Wiltshire.
The day started very well and at the end of the practice session there was just 0.25secs seperating the whole of Phil's class. As i say a great start to the weekend. Phil thought that he would be able to break the 100mph barrier through both speed traps on the Sunday race day.
Sunday came and the conditions had changed a bit so on went brand new tyres and a small change to the turbo boost. on the practice run Phil hit 94mph on the first speed trap and 100mph on the second, all was looking good.
Not so fast! on the first competitive run the new boost setup seemed to spike the controller and dumped all the power which saw phil hit the first speed trap at just 83mph the power came back and he hit the second trap at the 100mph but 2 seconds down.
On the last competitive run all was better and Phil hit the first trap at 96mph and half a second up. He came out of Ashes open left full chat in 1st gear changed up to second and BANG. Phil expected the worst and cruised to the finish.
Turns out that the front gearbox mounting bolt broke which made it jump out of gear. Lots of effort for not much return this weekend.
This had dropped Phil to 5th which is not quite where he wanted to be considering Gurston is his favorite Hill.
Phil will bounce back i'm sure when he gets to Shelsley Walshe on 3rd/4th June.
More news on Phil's progress soon
Round four was held at the Shelsly Walsh circuit in Worstershire. Phil felt very encouraged when he arrived here. He was sure he could manage at least a second place if if not better, but for some reason found his starts and times a bit down on what they should be. Phil could only manage third which was good but not what he expected but still finds himself third it the championship standings. When he arrived back at the workshop and investigated it was found that the clutch and flywheel were totally shot. A new clutch and flywheel is now on it,s way over from the states which Phil hopes will do a better job than the Sachs units he used before. The next round is at Epynt close to the Brecon Beacons. Phil will miss this event due to work commitments so will be back in action for round six at Prescott.
After missing round five the car was put back together with the new clutch and flywheel and Phil sets of for for round six at Precott in Gloucestershire. All good for a couple of runs and Bang the release bearing gives up. End of Phils weekend again. Too much power in this car me thinks.
So we'll see what happens for the next round at Harewood near Leeds.
Well here we go with round six at Harewood near Leeds. After pulling the power unit out yet again and replacing the release bearing along with new fork and clutch cable 1st gear was found to be broken. All this was on Thursday afternoon so another fix required before leaving for Harewood on Friday. Th trip to Harewood didn't go to plan either taking Phil seven and a half houres to cover the 200 miles as the A1 was closed so not a good start. The meeting went well with the car traveling home in one piece and no more breakages. Phil felt the new turbo was not quite doing enough but got him fifth place. Lets hope for more luck next meeting which is back to Wiscombe Park in Devon where the first meeting took place. GOOD LUCK PHIL.
Well Gurston Down is Phil's venue for the weekend 26th/27th August for another go at this famous hill. The car was looking good this weekend with hopefully all the previous gremlins ironed out. A nasty clip of the kerb into the Karousel loosened one of the headlights which then projected itself towards the Marshalls post but phil carried on to make a very respectable time this weekend and came away with 3rd place which also saw him take third place in the championship. With one more round to go Phil is hoping to finish at least third in the championship. GOOD LUCK IN THE FINAL ROUND PHIL.
Here we are at Loton Park on the weekend of 23rd/24th September for the last meeting of this season with Phil hoping he will finish the Championship in at least third place. If Phil had any luck at all this weekend it was only bad luck unfortunately and i really felt for him. The second practice of the weekend saw yet another gearbox failure when 1st gear broke leaving Phil with no alternative but to pack up the car and become a spectator for the rest of this weekend although i think he enjoyed a beer or two instead. That was his third place finish in the championship gone for this season. I'm sure he will be back next year with better luck. We are begining to think 'he' as in Connaught Competition Engines are extracting so much power from the engine that it is breaking all the parts they don't manufacture themselves which shows just how goodConnaught Race Engines really are. GOOD LUCK FOR NEXT SEASON PHIL FROM US ALL AT 911box Ltd.