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Old 27 Apr 2000, 19:08 (Ref:2451)   #1
Sparky
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Ford are in trouble with their rivals for using 'flat-bottomed' cars in the first two rounds of the championship.
While undertrays are banned, Prodrive have interpreted the rules a different way and used a flattened exhaust system, catalitic converter and oil catch tank. This was done to increase rear-end grip and eliminate ill-handling.
Triple Eight, who prepare the Vectras, are said to be working flat out to prepare their cars to 'flat-bottom' spec for this weekends races at Thruxton.

Other teams are unhappy, but the BTCC tech chief Peter Riches has declared the Prodrive cars fully legal. He said that it's within the letter of the rules, if not the spirit.

Meanwhile, Ford have been doing rather well in the series so far, and even with the 'Success ballast', were almost 2mph faster than both Vauxhall and Honda. Could this aero advantage be their ace card?

Is it true that TOCA are reluctant to penalise Ford/Prodrive, simply because to do so would affect one third of the works cars on the grid? If half the teams in F1 were found to be using traction control last year, would that be reason to ignore it.

What do you say? Could this be almost as big as Alfa's 'Silverstone' aero-kitted 155's dominated way back when?
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Old 27 Apr 2000, 20:37 (Ref:2452)   #2
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Dunno but if the Swiss oaf wins another race I'm off to watch something else.
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Old 27 Apr 2000, 23:06 (Ref:2453)   #3
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Ford say that their system is legal, so does TOCA's technical bod. What was outlawed was a flat undertray with a venturi at the back.

Ford introduced this because it was the only way to get any grip at the back end on the Mondeo, remember how bad they were last year...

Vauxhall will catch up real quick, and as for Honda, they have a serious oversteer problem, so the last thing they want is more grip at the rear. Apart from which they have parted company with Fosstech, the people who build the cars.
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Old 27 Apr 2000, 23:40 (Ref:2455)   #4
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Invader, Is 'Swiss Oaf' anything like 'Swiss Loaf'?.. Or is that Swiss Roll? Oh no, that's a cake innit... Hey, let's hope the Swiss rolls! Ha ha! Oo-er where's me pills...
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Old 28 Apr 2000, 03:28 (Ref:2454)   #5
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Hmmm, Ford's interpretation of the rules sounds like Alfa's interpretation (aero aid) back in '93 and BMW's interpretation (of wheel well widening) back in '97? hmm, kinda makes me a little less impressed with Ford. =(

OTOH, everybody cheats--the successful ones just remain a secret! =)
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Old 28 Apr 2000, 21:02 (Ref:2456)   #6
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Blimey Sparky, you were concussed for longer than they thought
Vauxhall are busily flattening everything that will flatten before Thruxton including Yvan's hat.
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Old 28 Apr 2000, 23:33 (Ref:2457)   #7
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That's a coincedence actually, as in a recent interview Rickard was asked by a Swedish journalist what the reason was for the Ford's success this year. Rickard laughed and replied, "We cheated of course!" But he was only joking, he said the real reason was that they'd improved the engine in the winter.
I agree with Invader, if Menu wins another I'll have to get the old gun out and shoot his tyre... Hehehe...
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Old 29 Apr 2000, 14:49 (Ref:2458)   #8
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Wonder what they've done about the DGH?
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Old 29 Apr 2000, 15:33 (Ref:2459)   #9
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I expect they stiffened it up using the roll cage
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Old 29 Apr 2000, 17:12 (Ref:2460)   #10
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Hmmm,

Possibly...
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Old 29 Apr 2000, 19:10 (Ref:2461)   #11
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What about the DGH under Menu's nose??

Braces?
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Old 30 Apr 2000, 17:25 (Ref:2462)   #12
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Easy,

A clothes peg.
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Old 1 May 2000, 00:31 (Ref:2463)   #13
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Would that be a seamless T45 steel cross-braced clothes peg?
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Old 1 May 2000, 15:20 (Ref:2464)   #14
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Yeah, but they still need to TIG the connections.
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Old 4 May 2000, 23:50 (Ref:2465)   #15
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Ford and Vauxhall have been ordered to return their cars to pre-flat bottom spec.
Prodrive technical boss Dave Lapworth said the team agreed to the changes as "a gesture on our part to try and create a feeling of goodwill".

Interestingly, Alain Menu drove the revised Mondeo at Millbrook and reported no change in the car's handling!
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