Requiem to a dead Datsun

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C.R.’s projected season of special and super saloon racing with a 240Z-engined Datsun 1200 Sunny Coupe came to a violent and premature end at Woodcote Corner on the Silverstone club circuit last month. The immaculate Grand Prix Models with Samuri Conversions car, named Sukati Samuel, didn’t take too kindly to losing the nearside rear wheel on the Woodcote apex on the first lap of this Tricentrol Super Saloon race. As the car went sideways, the errant wheel tucked itself under the car, acted as a launching ramp and fired 15 1/2-cwt. of road/race Datsun and Assistant Editor into the air. BARC marshal Bob Bigmead tells us the car rolled at least 4 1/2 times before coming to rest on the driver’s side on the grass just past the marshals’ post on the outside of Woodcote. We’re told the engine had caught fire in mid-flight, though the pilot wasn’t aware of it at the time, seeing only blurs of tarmac and Aley roll cage while contemplating his ultimate end. Marshals quickly extinguished the fire, while a totally unmarked C.R. scrambled through the empty windscreen aperture of the written-off Datsun. Thanks indeed to the efficient BARC marshals.

Untested, save for a tenth place after a spin on road tyres in a wet race at Mallory Park the previous week, memorable for total brake failure and a big moment at the Esses in practice, this mixture of heavy six-cylinder engine and short wheelbase handled appallingly. But if judged by the sheer hard work and midnight oil put into the project to date by Samuri’s Spike Anderson and his mate Graham Smart, who runs his own GDS Flame Spraying welding business in Brackley, the car would have been made to work in the end. With no finance left for a new shell, Sukati Samuri would seem to have met its end.

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