South African silhouette formula

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Sportscar Universe
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South African silhouette formula

Post by Sportscar Universe » Sat 09 May 2009, 09:02

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 the IMSA series, the Germans had the DRM series... The South Africans 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 motor (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)

I'm trying to collect information, photos, documents, private archives as well as press articles. So, does anybody know something about that unique series and those incredible and monstruous cars?

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ZA Perana
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Re: South African silhouette formula

Post by ZA Perana » Sat 09 May 2009, 19:52

Great post and welcome to the forum! The Chevair was from I know built from parts used in one of the Dealer Team Can Am cars, the motor was the same but instead had IDA Webers instead of the rochester carb.
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Gunter
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Re: South African silhouette formula

Post by Gunter » Sun 10 May 2009, 08:39

The Shearsby car was a 2 rotor engine cannot remember if it was a 12A or a 13B...whichever, it can only be 1308cc and not 2600cc.
The flat flare sides of the car was plywood! - i have a small a A4 poster of this stunning car.
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Killarney Racer
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Re: South African silhouette formula

Post by Killarney Racer » Sun 10 May 2009, 20:12

The Ferrari powered Fiat was built and raced by Basil van Rooyen. Dave Charlton had a brief race in the series, not sure in what but may have been a Mazda

Sportscar Universe
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Re: South African silhouette formula

Post by Sportscar Universe » Tue 12 May 2009, 21:10

my sources come from a french magazine which some information seem to be unreliable.

What can you tell me more about that championship? About cars? About races? About drivers?

Where can I find results of races?

Do some of you have old magazine with articles/reports of such that championship?

Gunter
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Re: South African silhouette formula

Post by Gunter » Tue 12 May 2009, 23:39

I can do one even better for you....PM me your e-mail address and i will send you Errol Shearsby e-mail! , i met up with him last year in OZ.
RACECAR spelt backwards spells RACECAR.....

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ZA Perana
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Re: South African silhouette formula

Post by ZA Perana » Wed 13 May 2009, 12:18

Sportscar Universe wrote:my sources come from a french magazine which some information seem to be unreliable.

What can you tell me more about that championship? About cars? About races? About drivers?

Where can I find results of races?

Do some of you have old magazine with articles/reports of such that championship?
You are not a journalist fishing for info for an article are you, because if you are I would hope this forum is given credit as a source...
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Sportscar Universe
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Re: South African silhouette formula

Post by Sportscar Universe » Thu 14 May 2009, 19:06

I'm not a journalist, just a real fan.

I've been rebuilding by own website (www.sportscaruniverse.com) for a little more than 1 year now.

That website is dedicated to both GT and Prototype race cars from past to present. More than 700 files (about GT, Group C, LMP, Silhouette, Daytona Prototype, CanAm... machines) were available. As it is currently under (re)construction, it is no longer available.

As I was looking my old magazines for information on the Lola T530 CanAm, I remember having found an article about that south african championship several years ago.

I decided then to learn more about it. Unfortunately, it's very difficult to find document, archives, race results and pics, that's why I post a topic on this forum.

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Killarney Racer
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Re: South African silhouette formula

Post by Killarney Racer » Thu 14 May 2009, 21:19

Even for us locally it is difficult to get any material from this series. I have a couple of pics that I took in 1979 and not much more. I previouly requested info and pictures on this forum and nothing was forthcoming.

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ZA Perana
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Re: South African silhouette formula

Post by ZA Perana » Fri 15 May 2009, 07:09

I will have a look around and see what I can find but agree that info is rather thin for this era.
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