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The Rallycross Grand Prix. The Cars
British Rallycross Champion, Keith Ripp, has got a bit of a weight problem - at least, his two Auto Performance sponsored, Cosworth BDA engined Fiestas have. Chris Harvey investigates the Ripp-Plan diet
British Rallycross champion, Keith Ripp, says he's got his head together at last! After months deliberating what to do with his two Ford Fiestas, he has made up his mind: the 'old' one - the car with which he won both the 1981 and 1982 British Rallycross Championships overall, is going to get his 2-litre Cosworth BDA engine and the 'new' one will use the 1600 BDA. No matter that they are the other way round at the moment ... it was all the result of a bit of a mix-up!
'We had a heck of a shock when we had to have the 1600 (that's the old car) weighed at the Ingleminster circuit in Belgium last May,' says Keith. 'It came out at 735 kilos, which put it 60 kilos over the small capacity weight limit and only a couple under the larger class.'
Until then, Keith had fondly imagined he was keeping to his old policy of having a car as light as possible: less weight, by rule of thumb, is more or less equivalent to extra power. It also means that you can add ballast in desirable places if you are underweight, to give a better performance. Keith bolts his special cast lead ingots to the sumpguard of the Fiesta to keep the extra weight low . . . and to help keep the driven wheels on the ground......
Bottom-Left - Where the power comes from . . . the cylinder head face of a 1600 BDA being rebuilt by Nick Mason. Note the cutaway piston crowns.