So this is where it all began, I bought this Saxo back on 1st November 2014. The car started life with me, as a low mile, pretty much mint condition Saxo vts. My intention when buying the car was to use it as a track day car only but after getting out a few times on track and working on it and improving it, it was excitingly obvious that this car could be competitive in a race series!
I was a complete novice to the race scene. I always had an interest in cars in my teens and like many others, life got in the way and fast cars were replaced by family-friendly people carriers. As life settled down (and a brief fling with golf didn't work out) I needed a hobby. Keeping my eye on the usual car selling sites I spotted the little saxo and it ticked all the boxes; light weight, fast, nimble and now pretty rare.
I knew when buying the car that it needed lots of work to transform it from a road going car to a track car but I was determined that this project would be done on a shoestring budget. I think that is why I was put off Motorsport for so many years thinking it was expensive and out of my reach but being hands on and doing the work myself (with help and advice from friends and the friendly Motorsport community) it was surprisingly do-able, as hobbies go. Affordable race championships, like Future Classics, sponsered by MicksGarage
, certainly help and hopefully will attract other novices.
In 2015 I competed in a time attack event where the car did really well with a 1st, a 2nd and 3rd place in class and also competing in some rally sprints with the RSA. The best result I achieved was 5th in class out of 26 cars and 32nd place overall (out of 130 cars) at the RSA sprint in Mondello.
As the year came to an end I was approached by the guys who run the Future Classics Championship who were tempting me to race the car in their series. After researching the regulations and what was required to enter the class I found that the Saxo was in production in 1995. I just had to convert it back to the phase one front end to keep it looking retro and away we go.
The car has taken many forms since I bought it in late 2014 but it's next phase is a full front end rebuild paint job and new livery kit by 99redballoons.ie
There are a few jobs going on at the moment - The front end rebuild is under way. Picture below shows a mock up to see what I can cut away to stop air restriction and save weight.
Also another big job going on is my gearbox rebuild. I'm fitting a 4.54 final drive into my vts box as I have been running on a 1.1 Saxo box for most of the year. This should really help the car stay more in the power.
The gearbox is now finished. This was my first time to work on gearbox internals so fingers crossed it works!
The plan is for the new sticker kit to be mostly day glow yellow as it has always been but in the style below.
At the moment the car is running at 140bhp and 168nm torque which is more than enough for the moment. It's lapping the international in 2.07s with out of date 2nd hand ADO8 tyres so it should be competitive for the series.
Below is pretty much a full spec of the car pre-Future Classics 2016,
- Light weight fly wheel
- Light weight crank pulley
- AP Race clutch
- Vts gearbox with 4.54 FD
- OMP strut brace upper
- Custom strut brace lower
- OMP quick shifter
- Cup car cams
- Super sprint 4-2-1 manifold
- Super sprint decat straight through pipe
- Kamracing back box
- Custom induction kit with Rip speed filter
- Front Koni adjustable shocks
- 60 mm lowering springs
- Rear Bilstein group N shocks with dropped torsion bar
- Solid mount rear comp axel on alloy mounts
- Custom polypenco wishbone bushings
- Poly engine and box mounts
- Poly exhaust rubbers
- Quick release front bumper
- 283mm grooved discs and Gti6 calipers
- Front Carbon Lorraine dc5 pads
- Rear EBC yellow stuff pads
- Goodridge braided brake lines
- Polycarbonate windows
- Yokohama AD08 tyres all round
- C5 light weight steelies
- Sparco evo seat
- Sparco steering wheel with sparco quick release
- Sparco bolt in cage
- Schroth Racing 6 point harness
- Power steering Delete
- ICV delete and throttle body rebore
Below is my custom wishbone and lower brace setup. Doing the work myself saved me about €300 (material cost approx €40) Just goes to show what can be done on a small budget!