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Old 4 Nov 2007, 17:07 (Ref:2059379)   #1
ralphspins
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Laser Formula Ford cars?

Hello everyone, i'm afraid its newbie with lots of questions time!

Does anyone know anything about the late 1980s FFord constructor Laser? My dad and i aquired a 1987 model a couple of years ago and have now started to get it out to play again (i missed the festival and WHT with a broken ankle, boo )

Anyway, all we have managed to find out is that they were produced from 1985 to 1987, that the late Peter Rogers finished 3rd in the '86 festival in one, and then possibly died driving an HD87 a year later (at donington?). We also know that the HD is Howard Drake, who was the designer, but that's it. Does anyone know anything more?!

Here are a couple of photos of it last summer when we were fitting some new bodywork that came with it. We also have the black set which is stickered up from its last use us a trackday car in Belgium.

Pretty, isn't it? Huge thanks in advance for any memories/history/comments/setup advice!


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Old 4 Nov 2007, 19:44 (Ref:2059508)   #2
Motorhead
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That is a very nice looking car . Looks a little like the 88 mondiales . Didnt Cliff Dempsey race one of those in the 80s?????
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Old 4 Nov 2007, 20:16 (Ref:2059535)   #3
Wayne Pearson
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Pete Rogers sadly lost his life in a Quest 87FF in an incident at Redgate Corner at Donington Park. He had previously made the Laser marque competitive in '86 with some mega drives in the HD86.
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Old 4 Nov 2007, 21:17 (Ref:2059582)   #4
johngee
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johngee has a real shot at the podium!johngee has a real shot at the podium!johngee has a real shot at the podium!johngee has a real shot at the podium!
I co-owned an HD86 in the late 80's/early 90's with Jeremy Batchelor and I believe it was the ex Pete Rogers car - it was finished in black when we bought it but we had it resprayed white as we did some PR/fundraising for Marie Curie Cancer Care (both Jeremy and I worked for them at the time) and we didn't think black was a very 'tactful' colour. Don't hold your breath but I may have some photos of it tucked away somewhere
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Old 4 Nov 2007, 21:22 (Ref:2059587)   #5
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Originally Posted by Motorhead
That is a very nice looking car . Looks a little like the 88 mondiales . Didnt Cliff Dempsey race one of those in the 80s?????
He did indeed. It was the last car he raced as I recall before turning to team ownership. It was a nice sleek car and Cliff pedalled it very quickly.
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Old 4 Nov 2007, 21:28 (Ref:2059594)   #6
chris1600
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There is a Laser HD87 raced at Combe by Iain Houston this year.

Other than that I don't know anything about them (sorry, thats not very informative is it)
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Old 4 Nov 2007, 23:06 (Ref:2059671)   #7
ralphspins
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I thought someone might know something . I didn't know there was one still racing - i have seen pictures of a yellow and blue one being used at sprints at Croft recently but not seen anything else.

Apparently there were 8 HD87s built, and one spare chassis. Ours is chassis #007. The black bodywork we have was originally bright red, the orange body that we got with it isnt quite complete and was unused.

It's a tight fit in the cockpit, i'm 5'10" and quite skinny and it fits me perfectly, but dad who is 6' and uh, better built, has to squeeze himself in. He has been doing borough19MC sprints in it (but he won't tell me where he's been classified and the results don't appear on the website......)
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Old 5 Nov 2007, 11:21 (Ref:2060024)   #8
JEB
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Howard Drake is still around, and can be found in the Dartford area.

Lasers are great little cars.
I almost bought an ex. Mark Marchant car several years ago (just before I bought the RF78), wish I hadn't changred my mind - although saying that, am pleased I bought the 78 !!

The cars were always a tight fit, and yes, Cliff did used to drive one I think.
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Old 5 Nov 2007, 12:42 (Ref:2060092)   #9
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The yellow and blue one that you have seen sprinting is the same one that has appeared at Castle Combe a few times this year, driven by its current owner Iain Houston. He won the FF1600 class in the British Sprint Championship last year I believe. He bought the car from Shaun Macklin who used to sprint regularly in it with his father. A nice car, but as you say very tight....
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Old 6 Nov 2007, 12:24 (Ref:2061107)   #10
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Originally Posted by verglas
The yellow and blue one that you have seen sprinting is the same one that has appeared at Castle Combe a few times this year, driven by its current owner Iain Houston. He won the FF1600 class in the British Sprint Championship last year I believe. He bought the car from Shaun Macklin who used to sprint regularly in it with his father. A nice car, but as you say very tight....
Iain Houston's British Sprint Championship Formula Ford Category win was in 2005. Ian did a limited series of sprints with the car this year (2007) and won the David Render Trophy (which is awarded to the best performances in just 4 Nominated Rounds of the British Sprint Championship). I understand Iain will be concentrating on racing for 2008 which is a sad loss to the sprint scene.

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Old 6 Nov 2007, 16:50 (Ref:2061318)   #11
Triple J Motorsport
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Originally Posted by JEB
Howard Drake is still around, and can be found in the Dartford area.


Yes just up the road from Dartford Karting selling vans and trucks last time I saw him.

Last edited by Triple J Motorsport; 6 Nov 2007 at 16:53.
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Old 25 Sep 2010, 17:29 (Ref:2764442)   #12
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Howard lives in Hadlow Kent.
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Old 14 Oct 2010, 22:33 (Ref:2775149)   #13
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Hi Ralph

That's my old car! I bought it from Terry Keys motorsport at Silverstone back in 2000 (ish) when it was red - I paid £2500 for it with a motor that had snapped it's timing chain. I put it back together and had it painted BMW black as I worked for a main dealer at the time. I did quite a few sprints and hillclimbs in it until I ran into wheel bearing problems.

If I remember right, the hubs were Fiat Panda with Fiesta CV joints which is why the wheels are Weller 8 spoke rather than the typical control wheel. This was about 2003/4 when I px'd the car with Kevin Bulley of Jester Motorsport for a VD RF85. I cringe now when I think I let him give me £1500 in px... He sold the car on to Dirk Illegems in Belgium who seemed to spend a lot on it - He did tell me my original set-up was spot on after a track day at Zolder. I always found it a bit twitchy!

The Frosts stickers were from competing at Brighton Speed Trials and the "Reaction" stickers are a little company I ran making caster/camber gauges! The chassis plate 007 was made by me - the car never had a chassis number but the RAC logbook insisted it had one and I understood there were 7 HD85s, so that was what I chose.

Iain and I used to compare notes as his car had round suspension tubes where this one has the original aero tubing. He moved onto an RF89 after having some success at Coombe with his. I know Shaun pretty well, so he and his father, Jeff helped me set it up. It was seriously quick in a straight line as the frontal area is so small, but talk about a tight fit!

I hope you still have it after seeing this thread is 3 years old! If you want any old pics etc, please email me at andrew.mathis@hotmail.co.uk

Cheers
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Old 4 Apr 2012, 12:19 (Ref:3053405)   #14
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Laser HD85

Hi

I have just read the thread you started regarding Laser Fomula Ford.

I have the HD85 that Paul Rogers drove in the 1985 Formula Ford Festival, It’s the year that Johny Herbert won it and Damen Hill came 3rd. Peter Rogers driving my car won all his heats and was running forth until 3 laps from the finish in the final when Mark Blundell punted him off at Druids corner. I have raced the car a few times but not recently. Your car looks great in the pictures.

I have a copy of the 1985 Formula Ford festival on DVD so know the above to be true. I also have the original suspension jigs used by Howard Drake in the construction of my car.

Before I owned the car, Howard Drake, and a friend of mine (Alister) who knows him, came to where I used to work in Hailsham to set up my then managers (Dan Black) 'Elden' Formula Ford. Very nice bloke and really knew his stuff. Not sure where he is now or if he is still with us, but could try to find out if you would like.

I think you know as much as I do, but if I can assist further let me know.


Regards Keith.
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Old 18 Jan 2021, 11:13 (Ref:4029828)   #15
Astra 11
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Lazer FF

The thread on the Lazer FF and Howard Drake is now pretty old but I've only just joined this forum so am just picking up on it now.
If anyone is still interested Howard Drake is indeed still around, live and kicking and still in Kent.
I don't know too much about the Lazer history - except that Howard was the designer/manufacturer and that Peter Rogers had put it on the map - but if anyone wants any more detail I can ask Howard [a long time good friend] if he'll fill in the gaps.
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