FORD CAPRI - SIDEWAYS
MODELO REAL : FORD CAPRI ZACKSPEED G.5 SPA DRM 1980
By the time this car was released, Ford was looking for a way to increse its presence in tourism car races, and Group 5 give them the oportunity to do so.
I have often been criticised for elevating to the higuest to drivers like Harald Ertl, but sincerely I do not care. I consider this man to be a hero of the motor racing, one of those singular drivers, even when he had not been remarkable in a category like Formula 1.
Let us briefly sum his career up:
He began in the Formula V, where he obtained 6 wins with a private Astro Vau. In 1970 he took part in several races, but in 1971 he changed to the tourism races, where he obtained a third place in Monza. The following year he moved to the BMW Alpine Team, being four times so close to the podium. He remained in these categories until 1975, obtaining sponsorization (Warsteiner) and money which enables him to access to the Formula 1.
He would do it as part of the Hesketh team, (in the same year as James Hunt), with his new version of the 308 car, and with the unique feature that he was sponsorized. This team took part in 3 races (Germany, Austria and Italy) and his best positions were the 8th place in Germany, the 9th place in Italy and a withdrawal in Austria, his country.
In 1976 the results in Hesketh were disheartening, and maybe the most notable and highlighted fact was helping Niki Lauda to get out of his burning Ferrari in the Germany G.P.
In 1977, the results were worse for Hesketh, breaking or not achieving the classification, what made Earl to leave the team. Later he chose the Ensign team, but the results were even worse. After that he tried to make the German team ATS to get qualified in any G.P, but unfortunately he did not succeed.
Our bearded friend then decided to come back to the D.R.M., just when the category had changed to Group 5
In 1977 he drived a Celica LB Turbo that Schnitzer Motorsport had prepared for him. Schnitzer came back to BMW in 1978, maintaining the services of Ertl, who achieved 5 of 11 possible wins before the final test, in one of the circuits that he ruled, Nurburgring.
Despite the title, Harald decided to move to the Zakspeed team, where they were brewing the powerful Ford Capri. With this car he would win some race, but the withdrawals were also quite frecuent. In 1980 he won in Monza, with a model being reproduced faithfully by Sideways.
Many of you might be wonderingr whether there'll be any differences between the Capri and the Mustang models. Let's ckeck it.
I am not going to be the one to find out that Sideways is nowadays one of the best brands in the slot cars. But surely I have to pay homage to its finishings. Every feature is pure poetry of esthetics, every matt, every brigthness,every grille, the wheels , every detail in the real model is faithfully reflected in the car. I checked several liverings, the black Wurth, the Sachs and the Jagermeister… and the final result is flawless in all of them. The model is not new, but it is really worth to pay attention to it again.
The truth is that this test caused me a real problem, because I had to face several issues, some of them inherent to the brand. It really hurts me to make a little criticism to the slot brand which has given me a lot of joy in these last months, but the thing is that I had bought 2 flexi chassis (of the new blue ones), and I had to make use of an old black chassis, courtesy of my good friend Omar Sobral. After straightening, sanding, polishing the holes for the slinging screws, it seems that we could get a drivable car. But undoubtedly, it took me time to be convinced because the benchmarks of the car seem a priori to be optimum, even to make it comparable to a M1 by Scaleauto or to Sideways.
Unfortunately, that is far from being the case, and we should have to set limits to its possibilities.
The car has a serious handicap, its little 'waistline' located over the tyres, what makes very difficult to find a match of wheels/ motor mount, which fits in the model. If we choose the grey motor mount, and assemble wheels of 16,5 or 16,9, the wheels are going to touch with the body shell. For this reason the car makes strange movements and has an erratic behaviour. Besides Sideways surely realized of this fact at any time, and added to the body shell some small tads which lift the chassis on the back. This could be a solution to gain height, but what actually happens is that the back chassis is very weak (particularly the flexi one), and the chassis gets blendt, what makes it to touch with the rails of the track, not getting the corresponding grip.
Before discovering such details, I had to make a lot of tests this last year… but the results were so poor that I did not consider useful to show the test. The 2 blue chassis bought were a failure, a real failure. They did not fit, involved a lot of work and their behaviour was not good. Fortunately I had an idea and asked Omar for his black chassis. I would like to take this opportunity to ask Sideways to choose its old black flexi line. These blue chassis have greater stiffness and they are very crooked or with the holes of the pins moved, even the holes for the motor mount… And in this way it is really difficult to obtain a decent performance. And it also requires the neccesary expertise to work on them without destroying the chassis, including the fact that very strict regulations forbide us to run with a limed chassis.
In adittion, I am going to make a complaint. Every time more we have to 'work' the manufacturers' parts to make them to function properly. I understand the fact of making one last dab, but crooked motor mounts, chassis really twisted, gears that do not engage with the pinion and the motor mount of the same manufacturer... This kind of things cannot be allowed, and I call on you to return all the defective goods received, it's not fair to have to fix our parts. I'm not talking only about Sideways, but in general about almost all of the brands.
Let's start with our issue. The time series are amazing, of course, the car is not running with its optimum performance, but it is drivable. Sideways is the typical brand to organize a mono branded cup changing only the front tyres and doing racing series. The behaviour is noble and the car flows naturally on the track. If you try only with a change of tyres and tilting in the body shell, the car is going really great. You seem to guess that it is going to have a great potential. Just a pity that the flat engines roll so badly even under vacuum. They offer an unusual resistance, I don't know what causes its running-in, but it is not good. Besides the gear is always worse with a flat engine.
Now we are going to prepare the car at the top competition level. The brands are good and it should be ok. In this last evaluation (I have to admit that this is the 6th one, it has been difficult to find the right balance), I made some small cuts in the chassis to avoid the body shell supports on the back to bend it. So now we have a chassis completely flat. I realized of that when I tried to alter just a little the shell body putting one Kilslot ring in the pin to be able to have bigger tyres in the car, but I found out that it bended the chassis because the back part is really soft. When I removed it, I could observe that the chassis remained crooked and I found it rather strange. I put the chassis on a table and it was completely flat, so I had to assemble everything again and when you put it on the shell body, it was bended and the suspension worked worse. I disassembled the back wheels to find out where it touched, and I discovered those little pins located in the shell body and the chassis (you can see them in the following pics).
I decided to cut the pins of the chassis and to do a small cleft on it, because it seemed much more complex to cut those of the shell body. In the end I solved the problem of the crooked chassis. There are no more touches with the rails of the track, but I have to choose one configuration to fix the problem of the touch with the shell body. I chose one black motor mount without offset by slot.it and wheel 15'8. I also choose the pinion of 12 teeth by MB Slot, made of steel, what provides me a perfect gear and the car is not sounding like a banger anymore. I am fed up with pinions having uneven behaviours or to have to depend on every manufacturing to know if they are good or not. I think MB could be the final solution! At last the car is going well, faces unenvenness without suffering and has a flawless behaviour, inherent to the best cars. Despite that, unfortunately it is not an unbeatable Group 5, but it is obvious that the M1 by Scaleauto is something exceptional.
RECOMMENDED MATERIAL FOR TUNNING
MOTOR MOUNT: CH61-hard motor mount 0.0
FRONT SUSPENSION: short wide head screws slot.it CH59 Largos- soft springs slot.it CH55A
BODYSHELL SCREWS: SC-5127 - screws.
FRONT TYRES: PA19 - 14.2 mm diameter x 8 mm width.
BACK TYRES: SC-4735 Spirits
BACK AXLE: steel 55mm Golden Treatment Black Arrow axle
FRONT AXLE: the original one.
MOTOR: Motor Speed 5 Ref: SP090005
SPACERS: SC-1120b - Separadores 1mm para Eje 3/32 en Bronce
BRAID: MB EXTRATHIN
FRONT WHEEL: SLOTING PLUS 15.9 OUT OF STOCK(ORIGINAL ONE IS PERFCTLY FUNCTIONAL)
Llanta trasera: SI-W15810215M -Magnesiium wheel 15.8x10
Modeling and great number of liverings.
Behaviour once tuned.
MB pinion+slot.it pinion.
Small mistake in the chasis.
Blue soft chasis, almost any of them works properly.
QCapri is not at 512's or M1 level.