Joe Macari and his team are going to be working through the night after a less than successful test session for the all-Ferrari Lavant Cup today. Not that they’ve exactly been strangers to working through the night just recently anyway.
The 500 TRC that they have brought to Revival has recently undergone an engine change from its original 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine to a period V12. The car belongs to one of Macari’s clients, and he planned the conversion from the outset. ‘It’s how one of the cars in period was converted, and we managed to find a 1961 Testa Rossa engine,’ says Joe.
Delays on the supply of parts, however, meant the engine wasn’t ready until the Monday before Revival. The team worked through the night all week and the conversion was complete at 7pm last night. Teething problems in today’s practice were almost inevitable.
And so it proved. It was fine for the first lap, but on the second, the car started blowing oil out of its breathers. So the team will be heading back home to the workshop tonight to create a new breathing system in order to enter the race tomorrow. Joe is pragmatic about the situation: ‘We’ll try our best tonight and start on the back of the grid tomorrow and if it’s running OK we’ll try to make up as many places as we can.’
Joe has taken a break from racing for a few years, his most recent competition being in GT racing, including an outing at Le Mans. The 500 TRC is quite a different world, and one that he’ll now have to get to grips with in the race. ‘I was still being a bit ginger with the car today, so it was hard to get a feel for it. It’s the first car I’ve ever raced on drum brakes, so it’s a little scary,’ says Joe. The extra 100bhp brought by the V12 (now around 300bhp) will only exacerbate that!
Let’s hope tonight’s efforts in the workshop are fruitful for the team.
Photography: Pete Summers