Paul and Julian Doroszczuk hope to resume their defence of their Protyre Motorsport UK Asphalt Rally Championship B11 class title on the Carryduff Forklift Down Rally (20 July), after damage done to their normally aspirated Cosworth engine isn’t as bad as first feared.
They thought that the head gasket had blown when a large cloud of white smoke suddenly appeared behind their Drockspeed Motorsport Ford Escort Mk2 on SS11 of the Masterpixel Media Manx National Rally. Having just rebuilt the engine, serious damage to the new and expensive bottom end would almost certainly force them out for the rest of the year.
However, upon their return home an internal camera inspection revealed a dropped valve had punched three holes in the top of a piston and broken through into the water jacket in the head casing.
“All may not be doom and gloom, as a ‘phone conversation with a very well respected engineer and engine builder stated that the crank is rarely damaged in his experience of similar incidents, therefore at worst we could be looking at one new piston and con-rod and a new head/top end which would reduce the rebuild costs, allowing us to possibly contest the Down Rally in Ireland in July,” reports Julian.
“This is dependent upon the full extent of the damage being assessed as quickly as possible, so it does mean more long hours for Paul in the garage – firstly removing and then stripping down the engine, for second time in three weeks!
“The only positive in all of this is that the latest Cosworth head designs from Ric Wood’s CNC Engineering concern are currently producing just over 300bhp in race trim for a genuine 2.0-litre, so as with the recent bottom end improvements the rebuilt engine could be more powerful and reliable than its predecessor.”