Here’s the next chapter of Peter Pentell’s incredible Supra-powered Lancia build, as told by the builder himself. Take it away, Peter! – Mike
Hello everyone. For those of you who read the last write-up on how LaSupra was made, you might remember that I finished up sending the car body off to paint. So now we jump into the fun part for every car builder out there – the result that shows all the hours you spent building and prepping. PE-WE Billlackering looked after the paintwork and they did a great job of it. Because the Lancia is an Italian car we decided to go for the most suitable colour – Ferrari Formula 1 Red. But I also wanted to have something that you don´t see every day, so we decided to lay a matte clear coat over the top.
The body itself is just bolted on the frame so reassembly is quite easy. Just drop it over the frame, bolt it on and start putting back on all the parts. The assembly of the fenders and spoilers is a quick job, but all the small details take a lot of time.
Also, it was at this time that I was originally contacted by Speedhunters asking for a photoshoot when the car was done. I already had the time schedule in my mind to be ready for Gatebil Mantorp in Sweden, so of course I said yes! That was three weeks away from this point, so now I realised that I had to hurry. I spent 95 percent of my free time in the workshop doing assembly and building. The other five percent went to eating and sleeping.
The exhaust system is mounted inside the right-side pod and I was afraid the heat might be too much for the parts around it, even if though I had heat protection on all of them. After the first real test laps at Gatebil it felt like the car was on fire when I returned into the pits. Smoke was coming out from everywhere. Luckily it was only all the heat protection ‘baking’, and after the first hour of running the smoke was getting less and less.
Although most of the parts had been assembled before the car got painted, there were lots of things to do afterwards. Like sealing between the frame and bodywork in case of a cockpit fire after a crash. To achieve this I made a number of panels stretching from rear to the front in 1mm thick aluminum, which totally seals it off. Some people have thought all these panels were made in carbon fiber, but the budget wasn’t there to make it that way, so I just used 3D carbon vinyl to get a nice looking interior and eliminate any reflections from the sunlight inside of the car. Perhaps in the future I’ll make it in real carbon, but time will tell.
Here you can also see the gas tanks I made of aluminium – one for each side with built-in back traps and foam-filled to keep the fuel as steady as possible. I also placed a small catch tank to ensure I always have fuel to the engine even during high g-force loads. A Bosch 044 fuel pump is delivering fuel for the catch tank and an Aeromotive 1000 pump keeps the engine pleased. The system itself is good for more power than I actually use, so it’s not at the limit.
To get the car approved for racing there were some rules I had to stick to, and if we go beyond the roll cage and seats there are some other things that are needed too. Here you can see the main power circuit breaker. The positive and negative cables goes through this one and if something happens, I just hit a button on the panel and the car will die. Also, the same function is able to be made from the outside of the car if any safety staff needs to shut off the car after a crash or something similar. And to prevent getting shorter legs if the clutch or flywheel fails, there’s an explosion carpet wrapped around the gearbox.Ready for action
Now it was starting to look like it supposed to! I’m sure many people that saw this picture thought the car was almost done. But as everyone who has built a car will most likely agree, the first step is to get the basic pieces like the fenders, bumpers and hood on. This goes quick and shows a nice result, but it’s after this that the real work takes place. All the details take time. Hour after hour passes by and most people have a hard time seeing all the work. But in the end you are building it for yourself so it’s important that you are 100 percent pleased afterwards.
To get the car to stop and hopefully always stop when needed, it’s important to keep the temperature of the brakes under control to prevent fading. Here you can see the brake cooling coming from the front spoiler. Because I needed to remove the front when loading the car on the trailer, I made a fixed solution for the hose that’s docking onto the front section. A similar solution in the rear gets its air from the NACA-style ducts behind the doors. This was only supposed to be a test prototype but it got stuck and wasn’t changed until recently.
Finally, most of the car was assembled and now on the to-do list was, windows, striping and some electrical work before the big day of debut. Time was running out so I called in some help. It didn’t take long before there was multiple people helping with all the last parts so we could meet the deadline.
In the last week before the Speedhunters photoshoot I was working abroad so my friends helped me out a lot during these days. When I got back home the car was standing in the garage fully striped and almost ready for the big day. The last parts and details were installed the night before and around 5.00am in the morning I tried to start it the first time after reassembling it. It ran!
It was ready and just in time, so we loaded it up on the trailer with my friend’s S2000. Looking at this picture now it doesn’t seem possible to get it up there, but thanks to the ability to quickly remove the front bumper and splitter for loading, it’s actually rather easy.
Finally we set off towards the small track in Eskilstuna to meet the guys from Speedhunters for the photo session. And what a nice day it had become. Sure, the weather wasn’t really on our side during the morning with a bit of rain, but with a bunch of cool cars there it didn’t matter. And before we took off towards Gatebil Mantorp we got the chance to see Mad Mike tearing up the track in his RX-8. What an epic day!
Because the car had just been finished the night before we didn’t have time to tune it. But during the weekend at Gatebil I was lucky to have Richard Cornacchini from SMR on site to sort it all out. We ended up with lots of small issues that needed to be solved and a massive water overheating problem that haunted me during the most of the year.
After the article came out on Speedhunters I was contacted by Rod and he asked me if I would like to join them during Gatebil Rudskogen in Norway. Before I had even read the whole mail from him I just replied, yes! I’d like to be able to describe that weekend with one word, but I really can’t… Even if the car wasn’t performing as it should, the weekend together with the Speedhunters crew was still like a three-day long dream you don’t want to wake up from. And to be up close with Mad Mike and Fredric Aasbø and see what they can do with their cars really opened my eyes to drifting. To be honest, until that weekend I hadn’t spent much time looking at drifting, but when I saw these guys on the track with a whole bunch of really good drifters, it really changed me. Sure, I will keep doing time attack and circuit track racing, but you do start to think… Should I try to build a drift car to see what it’s like to go sideways? It sure would be fun to try it out one day, so you never know!
The weekend was over way too quick and it was time to wrap it up. Even though I was tired after three long days in the sun and a boiling hot car and little sleep, I still wished that we weren’t going home. I wanted to go towards the next track to have another epic weekend!
After spending the winter in the workshop fine tuning the car I am looking forward to the start of the 2014 season. Stay tuned too, because over Easter I’ll unveiling a new look at the Elmia Car show in Sweden. See you soon, both online and at the track!