British V8 2007 Autocross and Weigh-In Results

British V8 2007 Autocross and Weigh-In Results

as published in British V8 Newsletter, Volume XV Issue 2, September 2007

compiled by: Curtis Jacobson

Carl Floyd TN 79 MGB Buick 215 35.2934.6734.7034.00  2327(591, 564, 574, 598)
Graeme Harvey ONT 80 MGB Rover 3.5 37.0536.5735.6435.57  2424(599, 659, 595, 570)
Cade Schafer MI 71 MGB Ford 302 39.80 *36.9837.1436.3036.75 2483(645, 686, 563, 589)
Bill Yobi OH 79 MGB Olds 215 38.7737.37+136.78   (not weighed)
Max Fulton NC ?? MGB MG 1800cc 37.2836.9236.93    (not weighed)
Scott Costanzo OH 68 MGB GM 3.4 V6 42.2240.3638.9139.8039.15 2113(542, 539, 513, 519)
Steve Carrick MI 74 MGB Ford 302       2209(593, 610, 507, 500)
Don Coleman MI 79 MGB Rover 4.9       2228(559, 580, 541, 547)
Don Nicholls ONT 77 MGB GM 3.4 V6 44.1442.1842.0642.6239.53 2246(571, 593, 552, 530)
Graham Creswick ONT 76 MGB Ford 302       2267(588, 617, 532, 530)
Peter Smith ONT 76 MGB Rover 3.5 44.2342.8241.93   2318(582, 576, 565, 595)
Dennis Williams OH 79 MGB Rover 3.5 40.11 *39.05 *40.68 *39.85 *  2348(577, 583, 586, 601)
Mikel Moor IN 78 MGB Buick 300 39.0138.2538.2839.94  2394(574, 593, 619, 607)
Martyn Harvey ONT 80 MGB Rover 3.5 47.04 *43.8340.7738.15 2424(599, 659, 595, 570)
Kevin Pesant ONT 79 MGB Rover 3.5       2426(633, 602, 566, 625)
Joe Schafer MI 71 MGB Ford 302 38.73 *40.0538.3738.08 2483(645, 686, 563, 589)
Jim Fisher OH 77 MGB Buick 215       2543(626, 608, 639, 671)
Les Matthews ONT 76 MGB Rover 3.5       2585(with driver)
Steve Ward TX 80 MGB GM LT1 44.0637.9439.7738.2738.85 2600(672, 730, 623, 575)
Pete Mantell IL 69 MGB Ford 302 38.0137.81    (not weighed)
Jim Blackwood KY 71 MGB Olds 215 58.8438.8437.83 *38.01 *40.19 (not weighed)
Kelly Stevenson TN 78 MGB Ford 302 67.8338.25    (not weighed)
Paul Schils WI 73 MGB-GT Buick 215       2308(555, 578, 584, 591)
Larry Shimp NJ 68 MGB-GT Ford 302 40.07 *58.48 *39.30  2440(610, 624, 607, 599)
Steve DeGroat GA 70 MGB-GT GM 3.1 V6       2444(589, 619, 608, 628)
Matt Kline OH 68 GT6 Ford 302 44.6348.8642.5544.0843.69 2490(662, 739, 589, 499)
Dan Blackwood KY 6? TR4A TR 2138cc 46.4543.5245.6642.5340.83  (not weighed)
Dale Knapke OH 72 TR6 Ford 2.3 I440.53 *41.4438.0638.2438.16 2393(576, 579, 608, 630)
Ted Lathrop MI 76 TR6 Chevy 350       2475(626, 607, 606, 638)
Les Shockey VA 69 TR6 Ford 408       2549(603, 651, 654, 640)
Ken Hiebert ONT 72 TR6 GM LT1 60.9941.5839.5639.2939.13 2769(666, 657, 702, 743)
Katie Ermakovich ONT 72 TR6 GM LT1 53.6548.8642.5544.0843.69 2769(666, 657, 702, 743)
Dave Massey MO 80 TR8 Rover 3.5       2565(711, 765, 543, 546)
Richard Moor IN 69 Avenger Buick 3.8 V6      2331(368, 449, 770, 746)

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Pete at Mantell Motorsport specializes in Ford V8 engine conversions for MGB, plus powder coating
Asterisks in the Auto-X results indicate off-course excursions, so those times don't count. Only one 1-second "cone" penalty was assessed all day. Some drivers took as many as seven runs, but I decided to only report the first five results UNLESS later scores were faster than earlier scores, in which case I discarded the less competitive results.

Different autocross lay-outs favor different vehicles and drivers. This course prominantly featured a fairly tight figure "8" plus a few more turns to get into and out of it... but no long stretches, no shalom, and no particularly narrow sections. Many drivers reported that they didn't use their brakes at all on-course, and most drivers did the course in just one or two gear shifts.

The conventional wisdom is that driver skill and tires are the two keys to autocross success. No doubt that's true. But in addition to being an excellent driver and also having sticky, shaved (but three year old) Toyo tires, I think our champion Carl Floyd is clever about physics too. Although other drivers have more powerful or lighter cars, Carl has carefully avoided adding weight to components that act as flywheels. He runs a lighter and smaller diameter clutch and pressure plate than most other V8 owners, and his flywheel has been lightened on a lathe. He also runs 14" wheels and tires where other guys have gone larger in diameter and width. Carl is an advocate of short-stroke engines because they rev more freely than comparably sized/spec'd longer-stroke engines. (With a stroke of just 2.80", the short stroke of the Buick/Old/Rover 215 was cutting-edge for its day.)

Carl Floyd graciously invited some of his rivals to try out his car on the course - just for fun. Out of respect for his need to drive home, probably none of them drove it at "ten tenths". The results were as follows: Bill Yobi 34.82s, Graeme Harvey 35.48s, and Max Fulton 36.56s. I'm not certain, but I suspect the 35.75 time shown above for Cade Schafer's last run might actually have reflected Cade driving Carl's car.

Steve Carrick
A very skilled and accomplished driver himself, Steve Carrick was heroically self-sacrificing to sit
out there in the scorching heat - minding the timing equipment - all day long. What a great guy!

Auto-X Champion Carl Floyd
Auto-X Champion Carl Floyd preparing a demonstration for me (in the car) and Bill Yobi (outside).
On this run, he didn't once touch the brake or the clutch pedal. Later he shaved 0.7 seconds,
possibly by ejecting ballast (i.e. ME) and/or by driving the course in second gear instead of first.

Carl Floyd MGB
Carl Floyd made scoring Fastest-Time-of-Day ("FTD") look deceptively easy in his 1979 MGB.

Graeme Harvey MGB
Our second quickest driver - Rookie-of-the-Year Graeme Harvey - preparing to shock and awe.

Cade Schafer MGB
With his pop's Ford powered 1971 MGB, Cade Schafer was our third fastest driver.

Bill Yobi MGB
With his Oldsmobile 215 powered 1979 MGBB, Bill Yobi was our fourth quickest finisher.

Scott Costanzo MGB
Scott Costanzo's 3.4L V6 powered 1968 MGB was the lightest car we weighed - just 2113 pounds! (wet)

Don Nicholls MGB
Don Nicholls' 3.4L V6 powered 1977 MGB is another very lightweight car at just 2246 pounds. (wet)

KatieErmakovich TR6
Crowd favorite Katie Ermakovich piloted Ken Hiebert's LT1-TR6 through the course.

Mikel Moor MGB
Mikel Moor's Buick 300 powered torque-monster was due for new tires... so he really tore up the old ones!

Pete Mantell MGB
Pete Mantell was cursed by electronic ignition demons, but still managed to deliver some very quick times.

Jim Blackwood MGB
From what I heard, Jim Blackwood's supercharged 1971 MGB provided the most thrilling joy rides.

Dan Blackwood TR4a
Dan Blackwood's handsome TR4A looks to be an excellent candidate for an engine swap - and wider tires!

Larry Shimp MGBGT
Larry Shimp utilized the course and timing equipment to test and refine suspension settings.

Dale Knapke TR6
Dale Knapke's turbo-SVO TR6 is very fast. If the course had featured a longer straight-away...

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The Weighing of Participant's Cars

Many thanks are due to Pete Mantell for providing accurate scales for the convenience of meet participants!

When reading the "Weight" columns of the table above, please note that the vehicle weights reported here AREN'T ADJUSTED for fuel, etc. They simply show the weights of cars as driven onto the scales. Don't try to read too much into these numbers. ALL of the cars would have been lighter if fuel had been removed from them. Many of the cars were carrying luggage, tool kits, spare parts, or coolers/beverages. Most of the cars were weighed both with and without drivers in them. The with-driver weights are available to anyone who wants to phone me. I omitted these weights from the table because I thought it more interesting to display autocross and weight stats side-by-side.

With those disclaimers out of the way, it's still reasonable to observe that:
    1) some of the cars were very impressively lightweight! (Congratulations to Scott, Steve, and Don!)
    2) it's wrong to generalize that a Ford V8 powered MGB must necessarily be a heavier or less well-balanced than...
    3) two of the four lightest cars weighed were V6 powered MGBs.
    4) there's wide variation in static weight balance between cars (front-to-rear and right-to-left too).

Looking over the specs of these cars, which are mostly available elsewhere on this website, this author has observed that many people who uprate their engine feel either tempted or obliged to proportionally uprate other components too. It can take real discipline to keep these cars light, if that's recognized as a priority.

Pete Mantell's Intercomp Racing Products E-Z Weigh Scales
Pete Mantell's Intercomp Racing Products E-Z Weigh Scales

Pete Mantell weighs Kevin Pesant's 79 MGB V8
Pete Mantell weighs Kevin Pesant's handsome white 79 MGB V8.

Peter Smith's MGB is pulling onto the Longacre scales
Pulling onto the scales here, Peter Smith's macho black MGB-V8... with Huffaker flares!

Don Nicholls' MGB V6 being weighed
Don Nicholls' shiny blue MGB V6 being weighed. Fellow V6-er Scott Costanzo looks on.

Disclaimer: This page was researched and written by Curtis Jacobson. Views expressed are those of the author, and are provided without warrantee or guarantee. Apply at your own risk.

Photos by Brian Kraus (action shots), Curtis Jacobson (still shots), and Ken Hiebert (photos of Graeme and Katie) for The British V8 Newsletter. All rights reserved.

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