Team Prepares Classic Rally Car for Competition Datsun 240Z To Debut at Rally Tennessee Pine, AZ. Brian Scott, the Widget Rally Team's championship-winning driver, plans to debut a "new" rally car at Rally Tennessee this coming May. Unlike the...
Team Prepares Classic Rally Car for Competition Datsun 240Z To Debut at Rally Tennessee
Pine, AZ. Brian Scott, the Widget Rally Team's championship-winning driver, plans to debut a "new" rally car at Rally Tennessee this coming May. Unlike the modern machine that carried him to a 2008 U.S. national championship (a 2005 Subaru WRX STi prepared by RaceTechnik), this "new" car is almost forty years old!
"I've raced sprint cars and track cars, all-wheel-drive and front-wheel-drive rally cars, so it's time I try a rally car with a classic drive train configuration: front engine, rear wheel drive."
240Z in process When people think of Datsun (and later Nissan) racing colors, they envision deep blue with red accents. When the 240Zs first started rallying, however, they wore a coat of red-almost-orange paint with black hood and accents. "I tried to match the original colors as closely as I could, considering that all I had to work with was a small collection of Japanese magazines from the period."
"Because of work and other commitments, we only got in one rally last season," noted codriver John Dillon (Thousand Oaks, CA). "We were leading the Idaho Rally last July when, on the last stage of the first day, we slid off the road and knocked down a 60' Douglas fir tree. Although we weren't hurt, the car needed a bit more repair than Brian first thought. He decided to focus instead on finishing the Z."
Unlike the Subie, Brian elected to do the bulk of the Z build himself, right down to cage. "I like working on cars, getting my hands dirty and watching a classic car taking shape and returning to its former glory. I'm at a time and place in my life where I have the luxury of home workshop and some free time, so why not take advantage of it to do something I really enjoy? Besides, when I've finished the car, I get to race it—how cool is that?!"
The team originally planned to debut the car at High Desert Trails in April 2010, competing in Historic and Group 2 classes. However, the launch date has been delayed slightly and shifted east, to the fast and exciting tarmac stages of Rally Tennessee in May. "We've always had a good time in Tennessee, even when we faced mechanical problems. More importantly, I really want to run Pike's Peak this year in the 240Z. Since the road to the top is almost completely paved, Rally Tennessee is a good shakedown for us."
"Leon and I won Pike's Peak in 2004," explained Dillon, "but back then the main road was only about one third paved. This year it'll be like a brand new circuit to me too!"
And what about the Subaru? "Oh, we're still gonna bring it out to play from time to time," laughs Scott. "It's simply too much fun not to drive!"