19 May 2010 - For immediate release
For more information, contact: John Dillon
Widget Rally Team
P. O. Box 1231
Thousand Oaks, CA 91358-0231
Widget web site: www.WidgetRacing.com
e-mail: John @ WidgetRacing.com
Colorado Springs, CO. Brian Scott (Pine, AZ), the Open 4WD champion driver in the 2008 U.S. Rally Championship series, plans to attack "The Mountain" with a classic 240Z historic rally car at the 88th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on 27 June 2010. He has been building the car for the last two years, making it as period correct as possible within the limits of the rules and the interest of safety and reliability.
With an incredible attention to detail, this car is a replica of the works 240Z campaigned by Rauno Aaltanen and Jean Todt in the early 1970s, right down to the color scheme and graphics.
"When the Z's first appeared on the rally circuit, their graceful lines and powerful engine impressed fans and competitors alike. Forty years later and this car is still turning heads!" he explained.
Datsun enjoyed a string of strong results during their early years, especially at events like the East African Safari Rally, which they won overall in 1971 (with a 1/2/7 finish) and 1973. They racked up several victories in the first few years of competition, racing against the likes of the Ford Escort and Mitsubishi Lancer. Footage of the car in action is still popular on web sites like YouTube and Z-Point.nl.
The paint scheme matches the 1972 Rallye Automobile de Monte-Carlo where Aaltonen and Todt finished third overall.
Scott's car started off as a 1971 street car, purchased from Roger Hull in Arizona, who used the car as a daily driver. After buying the car, Brian stripped it down to bare metal, built and installed an eight-point safety cage, painted it thoroughly inside and out, replaced the 2.4-liter stock engine with a 3.0-liter in-line 6-cylinder engine derived from a 280Z, then reassembled the entire car.
"Trying to shove 300 plus horsepower through the diff to the two rear wheels is a tricky proposition and difficult to make reliable, especially in sloppy conditions. The rear diff is one of the areas where I've strengthened the car. The other major change, outside of safety equipment, is to include a sequential gearbox."
Prior to Pike's Peak, the car will tackle the hills of Rally Tennessee (sanctioned by NASA), now the longest stage rally in the U.S. according to event organizers Amy Feistel and Anders Green.
Brian pointed out his reasons for traveling back east for the car's first rally. "I chose to debut the car in Linden [TN] because it's a paved rally with lots of stage miles, so I can really give the car a good shakedown. Besides John and I have run there a couple of times before, so we have an idea of what to expect and can focus instead on car development. I need to get used to a rear-drive machine at speed."
John Dillon (Thousand Oaks, CA) is Brian's codriver and has earned two U.S. national championships: the 2008 USRC Open 4WD codriver championship and the 2004 SCCA ProRally Open championship. He pointed out that "Brian has raced all kinds of vehicles including sprint cars, track cars, and all wheel drive and front wheel drive cars, but never a tail pusher like this. He plans to give himself and the fans a treat as he learns how to 'hang it all out' in the corners at Pikes Peak!"
Unlike his Subaru WRX STi rally car, the Datsun will not carry any modern sponsorship stickers. "Oh, sponsors are always welcome! But for this car, I want to keep it looking like it was when it first started rallying. We can offer plenty of other marketing opportunities for those companies that would like to be a part of this historic rally car effort."
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