Simon Gunson in his Ford Capri Perana Replica with a Class Win in Round 2
In South Africa during
the 1960s, Basil Green was earning himself a reputation for extracting major
performance gains from all kinds of cars but more particularly, Fords.
In 1969, Green got his
hands on one of the first MkI Ford Capris to arrive in South Africa. He
tossed out the V6 and fitted a 5.0-litre Mustang V8 engine, then up-rated
the gearbox, differential, suspension and brakes and named it the Ford Capri
Perana after the two engineers who helped him develop the car.
On the race track in
their home country, the Perana Capris demolished everything and 18 months later
they were banned from racing.
Today, the original
cars are a rare and expensive commodity but replicas are still competing in
various events around the globe.
In Australia, there
are just a handful of Capri Peranas but there is only one in WA and it is the
only one fitted with a wide-body kit.
Owner, Simon Gunson,
of Canning Vale, built the 1971 6.0-litre V8 replica two years ago to compete
in tarmac rallies in the classic car category.
Last week, he made his
first appearance for the season in the McRae Motorsport Rallysprints at Perth
Motorplex in Kwinana winning his class (Tarmac 2WD over 2000cc) and finishing
Gunson said that he
has only recently been in a position to get back into motor racing, after a
long absence, and wanted something that would stand out, be competitive and fun
“I have always been a
fan of the Ford Capri,” he said. “The kit car only weighs 1100kg and produces
500hp which means its competitive against more powerful, heavier cars like
Porsches and Toranas that compete in the Classic Car category.”
While it is a new car
it had to be built to 1971 specifications so the engine has a carburettor and
it has a live rear axle suspension.
Will White, driving a
2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX, was the overall round two winner of the
Rallysprint series, finishing ahead of Mark Greenham in a Mitsubishi Evo VII
and Jamie Lister in his 2000 Subaru Impreza WRX STi
Round Three will be
held at the Perth Motorplex on Thursday, January 23. Go to www.rallysprints.com.au for details.
The Rallysprint Series is a tarmac rally contested over five rounds between November and March. To enter, all you need is a road registered car that meets all the required safety standards for brakes, tyres and seat belts. The only additional equipment required is helmets for the driver and co-driver and a fire extinguisher. At only $175 per entry, it's great motorsport value with 4 runs over the 3.25 km Special Stage.