A couple of weeks ago, we had the Super Car Thailand race meeting at the Bira circuit. After a week of rainstorms, Thomas Raldorf in the 4WD Subaru was on his knees praying for rain to help him get in front of the big V8 Ford Falcons from New Zealand. Unfortunately for Thomas he was praying to the wrongs gods!
In the Saturday race, the massive grunt from 6 liters of Aussie V8 was just too much, and although a strong third, it would need mechanical disaster to get the Subaru in front. For a moment it looked as if prayers were being answered when the Dwayne Carter Falcon delaminated a tyre, ending his race, but then mechanical disaster struck the Subaru, with the cam belt coming off and the inlet and exhaust valves crossing their legs, forcing Raldorf’s retirement. Craig Corliss in the Falcon left being an easy winner.
Thunder from Down-under Corliss V8 Falcon. (Photo by Martin Bilsborrow)
On the Sunday, Thomas Raldorf was sent to the rear of the grid, after changing the cylinder head on the Subaru on the Saturday night. This was a ‘new’ rule applied at 11 a.m. race day. A decision that the FIA would have been proud of after the last minute blown exhaust nonsense at Silverstone the week before. Rule changes can apparently happen at will.
Sunday was also very hot, with no sign of rain. In the race, the Dwayne Carter Falcon hit the front and looked to be running away with the race, but behind him there was a very fiery battle going on between Nattavude (Toyota Team), Aki (Porsche) and Raldorf who had pulled right up on the leaders.
Hot Subaru. (Photo by Martin Bilsborrow)
In rapid succession, all three cars caught fire, with Nattavude breaking the record for a cross-track sprint away from the car, while the rescue crew were running in the other direction. Raldorf’s was merely a breather pipe which had melted, whilst the Porsche suffered a fire in the fuel cell area in the front of the car.
Adding to the list or retirements, the Corliss Falcon broke a differential, as did the Carter Falcon, but it managed to finish. The Robinson V8 BMW retired with a dramatic spin to the outfield, performing a mid-air pirouette to end up facing the wrong direction. There were more, and it became a little difficult to work out who was actually leading; however, the ‘Retro’ B-Quik Porsche 944 of Henk Kiks showed its ultra-reliability, finishing fourth, and proving the old adage, “To finish first, first you have to finish!” The other Retro car entered was the DX of Mark Titterington which frightened itself so much on the Saturday, it wouldn’t come out to play on the Sunday!