2010 SVRA at the 12-Hours of Sebring

Where do I start! Pete Brock of BRE fame, who ran the Factory Datsun Trans-Am Team in the early ‘70s, stopped by with his wife, Gayle. They were very supportive of our effort, spent a long time with us and gave us some pointers. We had some unexpected problems on track with systems that had not been touched since we got the car. These problems are a testament of how much development a new racecar requires.

Problem #1: Gear selection has been a problem and has gotten worse. We suspect it may be costing several seconds per lap. We expect to have the direct drive Option 1 F5C71B gearbox for the Mitty at Road Atlanta at the end of April. The new gearbox has some history; more on this later.

Problem #2: An apparent failure of the distributor shaft bushing allowed the shaft to wobble, causing damage to the Pertronix unit; we came in the pits in the 1/2-hour race and DNF with a lap to go. This was very unfortunate, as we were having a good run with Orie Voightmann in another Datsun 510. We had meant to rework the failed distributor prior to to this event, but ran out of time. A spare distributor, a points unit borrowed from my street 510 wagon that was back in Miami, got us going for the parade laps when the only issue was the difficulty in shifting gears.

Back to the gearbox. The direct drive gearbox is another component we have wanted to install at first opportunity. That opportunity has come, since we’re not going back on track with the worn roadster box. Anyway, the new gearbox had not been tested and, when none other than Bob Leitzinger had his own gearbox fail during practice, we offered ours, and a propeller shaft that goes with it, so he could finish the weekend. We were very happy to be able to help him get back on the track and, since we knew he would not abuse the unit, also felt it was an excellent opportunity to test our new box. Bob went on track the next day for the 1-hour enduro and took our class win with our gearbox! Then, during the Friday 1/2-hour race as we came into the pits a lap from the finish due to our distributor problem, Bob also came in just in front of us … The borrowed gearbox would not go into 5th, and he decided not to risk further damage. Bob wanted to pay for the repairs, but we declined his generosity knowing it wasn’t his fault. We’re glad that this had happened before we fitted it to our car.

The direct drive gearbox was purchased from a supplier in California; after waiting almost 10 months for it to be overhauled, it lasted for only two track outings. We are repairing it ourselves this time.

I have been attending Sebring as a spectator since 1982, and the rest of the team (my two sons) since they were 8 or 9 years old. We have always had a great time, but this time as competitors was the best of all — in spite of all the work during the evenings to get the car back on track.

Thanks to all the dozens of people that visited and chatted with us.

Oh, and how could I forget. We signed our first autograph! See you at the Mitty.

A big thanks to Kim & Bobby, also to Jame for the photos.

3 comments to 2010 SVRA at the 12-Hours of Sebring

  • I enjoyed hanging out and talking with ya’ll. I am very inspired to restore my dads car now. I hope I am racing at Sebring next year in my 510. I’ll see ya’ll at the races.

  • Nestor Moya

    Randee —

    We’re so glad you guys stopped by. We appreciated Jim’s help during our distributor dilemma.
    Nice photos of your past racing experiences. Sure hope you can get that 510 on track soon. It would be a blast to have a bunch of 510s together at future events.
    Keep us posted on its progress; we’d enjoy seeing its development.

  • […] Updates Photos from our 2010 SVRA at the 12-Hours of Sebring event have been posted. Also a few photos of our Mitty 2010 event have been […]

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