MOTOR SPORT being an important historical reference source. JW’s ill-informed assertion that “Nobody, particularly in the parochial world of the TR Register, gave much thought to the winning potential of the TR7 in V8 guise” (Track Test, February 1993) should not pass uncorrected.
In 1977, for the inaugural TR Register Sprint, at Goodwood, members had already shoehorned 2.5-litre Daimler, three-litre Triumph and 3.5 litre Rover V8s into various TRs, so many of us were well aware of V8 potential.
In 1978 Tony Pond’s rallying success in the TR7 V8 merited a full-page feature in the club’s newsletter.
In 1979, the TR7 V8 and TR8 featured at Donington’s TR International weekend, with factory support. TR Register members in general took at least a passing interest in the V8’s rallying prowess, and Bob Tullius’s racing successes in the United States.
In 1980, the TR Register came to the aid of ADA and Janspeed, reviving the TR7 V8 project as co-entrant for the Le Mans 24 Hours. The sole British production-based entry failed to qualify, but not through lack of effort or potential, just a shortage of finance.
In 1981, Tony Johnstone’s TR8 became the fastest sprinting TR in the TR Register standard category.
In 1982, Mark Spencer became the Register’s fastest sprint/hillclimb competitor in his TR7 V8.
All of this occurred before the TR race championship had even started!
Since then, V8-powered TR7s and TR8s have achieved numerous successes in TR Register race and sprint/ hillclimb championships alike.
All praise is due to Mick Richards for his splendid race championship victories but, as a modest and sporting champion, he would be the last man to claim undue credit. Mick is far from being the first Register competitor to appreciate or exploit the potential of the TR7 V8/TR8, and the inherent chassis and suspension shortcomings of the TR7/8 in standard form have been well-known for the past 15 years. As championship technical regulations evolve, so do the permissible solutions to such longstanding deficiencies!
As for ‘parochial’ . . The successes of competitors such as Mike Hughes, Darryl Uprichard and Reg Woodcock (to name but three) over the years, in numerous championships, disprove such a fatuous remark.
Perhaps, by using the adjective parochial, JW refers to the TR Register’s traditional absence of cheating, lying, protesting, knocking each other off or employing lawyers in order to ‘win’, concepts which might be difficult for many some competitors and journalists to comprehend, but to which TR owners are rather attached.
It’s called motorsport.
Alec J Pringle, Mere, Wiltshire.