It’s been a busy few weeks for me recently, and there’s been lots going on. For starters, I’ve been lucky enough to fulfil a life-long dream when one of my childhood heroes, RS500 legend Klaus Niedzwiedz, actually drove my Ringshausen/Lui RS500 at Nurburgring in the Oldtimer Grand Prix! That was a weekend I shall never forget! From there, I’ve also been helping support the Benson & Hedges car as it competed in various events across Europe, including the Silverstone Classic.

All of which meant that even if my Caltex car was ready, I’d be unlikely to find the time to actually race it anyway. So, rather than rush things for this year I took the decision to postpone things for 2019, and aim to have the car fully race-ready for the first event of 2020. This would also give me some testing time to iron out any wrinkles before we hit the track in anger in Spring.

But just because we’ve not got a race deadline to meet, it doesn’t mean we can relax – the pressure is still on to get the Caltex car finished and ready to take to the track later this year for some valuable testing.

So, in between juggling a few other projects, we’ve been cracking on and actually still managed to hit a major milestone with the Caltex car recently – it now runs! The last update showed how we’d managed to get all the coolers in place, and with the engine (and transmission) all buttoned-up and water/oil tight we were able to press ahead with fitting all the other ancillaries, pipework, and other bits and pieces required to get the YB running. One of the most major of those pieces was the P8 ECU and wiring loom. We’ve gone with the P8 as it’s the most powerful of the original Cosworth Weber/Marelli systems, and allows us to run stuff like wasted spark and lambda control to aid reliability on race day. Ultimately, I’d like to fit something like the Life Racing ECU to offer full control over everything in the future, but for now, and to get the car up and running and able to complete a few shakedown tests, the P8 will be more than up to the task. Who knows, maybe Santa will bring me a Life Racing ECU in a couple of months!?

With the ECU and wiring all neatly in place, it was time for the moment of truth. No matter how many times you fit an engine, there’s always something really exciting and nervy when it comes to firing it up for the very first time. Thankfully we didn’t encounter any issues at all, and the YB burst into life and purred like a kitten! Relief!

That means, with one major milestone ticked-off the to-do list, we’re on the home straight. All that’s left now is to finish a few bits on the inside, including making a firewall panel for the recently fitted fuel system, and then install the pedal box, brake lines, and get the brakes all bled. I’m hoping to have those bits sorted in the next couple of weeks, so by the next update the car might even be ready for a geo setup and its maiden track session. Fingers crossed…