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Tight Lines

From Italy to Buckminster
Franco Colla

Ciao to all readers, this time I would like to present to you a short report on my recent modelling experience in the U.K. It all started almost by chance a few months ago when my friend GianMauro Castagnetti asked me if I wanted to join him and Salvi Angeloni for a "trip" to Buckminster, a small town located about 200 km north of London. The dynamic couple had already planned another of their many trips to Albion well in advance for the vintage Tethercar race and the flea market scheduled for the following day. I have to admit I was a little hesitant but in the end I put my fears aside and we became a nice trio. Departure by car one morning in mid-October with GianMauro driving his comfortable car and Salvi as navigator, straight towards the Swiss border to then cross half of Europe trying to respect the roadmap defined with "Teutonic" precision as best as possible.

The passing of the many kilometres was broken up by stops for supplies and overnight stays, discussions about our hobbies and the beautiful panoramas that flowed from the windows of a car loaded with luggage and models did the rest, making the long journey more enjoyable. We crossed the English Channel admiring the White Cliffs of Dover from the ferry, and arrived at our destination as planned, in time not only to have a look at the quaint town of Grantham, but also to enjoy good food and local beer. Early the next morning we head towards the runway located within the BMFA airfield located about ten kilometres from our Motel in the charming Leicestershire countryside. The landscape is truly bucolic with green meadows and woods as far as the eye can see, the welcome from our fellow model makers is excellent and they all seem enthusiastic about our presence. Unfortunately we note here too a limited number of competitors, a dozen participants and about 20 models in all plus friends and other enthusiasts who form the public, it seems that the tethercar sector is suffering more than others from the general crisis in modelling.

We register for the event by paying the participation fee, easily passing the quick check of the models by the competition judge who also takes note of the characteristics. We lent a hand in positioning the tables, where to place the equipment and we check our models but since you also learn by copying …. we begin to look around and photograph other people's models, we still have time as there is a ban on starting the engines before 8:00. My model with the appearance of an ALFA ROMEO 158 is completely self-built including the 2.5 cc diesel biaxial engine, however I mount the cylinder/piston/head group of the PARRA T3 engine. GianMauro's is a faithful reproduction of the BOTTOM UP Oliver Tiger, as usual with excellent finishes, this model also has a home-built engine similar to mine and with an identical coupling. Salvi instead sports two models, for the race a Russian SCHOOL CAR with the original TEMP twinshaft 2.5 cc diesel engine and for pure pleasure also a beautiful AIRCAR built by Dante Tommasini starting from a speed model that belonged to Amato Prati and mounts a diesel ST X15 speed RV 2.5cc. At the stroke of 8:00 we are the first to start making a lot of noise with our mini racing cars and as in the worst forecasts, all three of us immediately begin to find more or less serious hitches, the temperature around 10°C unfortunately does not help the situation.

In any case, we have tools and spare parts available and it is precisely in these cases that the experience of GianMauro and Salvi is appreciated, which allows problems to be solved in time and the fear of making a fool of oneself a thing of the past. Let's finally get the ball rolling with test launches which fortunately can be done in large numbers, the time available is plentiful and helps us to refine the needle settings. The recently built track is really beautiful but it is not free from some flatness defects certainly due to settling of the ground. The competition begins with a precise list of competitors and when it's our turn we start to get serious, managing to perform good launches even if we still complain of problems with our shutdown devices caused by the undulations of the track. At the end of the race launches here are the results, the final ranking speaks for itself, we made no mistakes and we even managed to do well, all in all we can be satisfied and this is a further spur for future improvements.

The race day ended around mid-afternoon and since it was the last day of the 2022 season, it was followed by the awarding of the winners of the two distinct classifications, one relating to pure speed and the other relating to the beauty of the models. After such an intense day we preferred to retire early also because the next day our program included an early wake up call, the best deals are done in the early hours! So on Sunday morning all three of us find ourselves still a little asleep and in line with other cars waiting impatiently in front of the closed gate of the field for the market. At the opening we head towards the large structure used for the event, Salvi quickly puts all his merchandise on display and then immediately begins to wander around the other numerous stalls asking for information and prices. I had a limited budget and I'm happy to have finally found a MILLS 075 in excellent condition and price but I can testify that I have seen nothing short of wonderful models and engines that have been traded for very important figures.

The end of the day saw all three of us once again very satisfied with the purchases and after saying goodbye to the people and friends we had known such as John Goodall and Steve Betney (also very active on the online site onthewire.co.uk) we returned to the Motels tired,  aware that the next morning the departure for the long return trip was waiting for us. What can I add .... my first time in the UK, the phobia of the foreign language, the problems relating to the passport .... all magically overcome thanks to the excellent organization of GianMauro (but with the hand of his partner Paola!) and in the end it turned out to be a trip to remember and a wonderful experience …. to redo !!

Impressions of Monza
Philipp Meier

We decided to stay two days in Monza, the first time Janis and Laurin had travelled to a race in Italy. The hotel was close to the race track and was quite sufficient for the stay. During the weekend Peugeot was practicing with the Hyper Car 9X8, amazing every time the car went by. The boys were out on the track taking some videos and pictures of the car.

The result of the race can be seen on speedmodelcar.com and shows that good speeds can be reached on the track. Rain Teder won the race in class 1 with a new track record, the last lap was over 260 km/h. My run ended with an exploded piston and the 3.5 car went around. Unfortunately Janis' car flipped over and we decided not to race in the afternoon. Overall, the speeds were not that high, but the results list showed that the local racers know the track well. Florian Baumann  horsed all the cars in the afternoon because Claudio Griffanti had injured his shoulder. Fabio Melocchi achieved a personal best time with the old car of his late father. At the podium ceremony, Georgio Citterio spoke about the current situation of the Monza circuit and that this could be the last race. He told us that he would do everything possible to preserve the circuit.

The land where the circuit is located is being targeted by the Monza organization to build a new infrastructure building. This circumstance was also the reason why Lauri and Rain Teder participated in this race. I am looking forward to the fact that races can be held in the future and that many participants will take part in this great place of motorsport history.

The future of the track is still in doubt and the final meeting of the season was cancelled. However, the FEMA calendar for 2024 has meetings scheduled for the track, so there is hope?

Peter Rischer gallery

A selection of the many and varied cars and engines that Peter produced over his long career, which illustrate much lateral thinking and delving into whether 'it could be done'. Photos from OTW and by courtesy of Karsten Rischer.

5cc reed valve twin car

Two of Peter's supercharged motors
Power Valve motor 'All in one' unit

Unusual take on the tailskid ruling on this entirely home built car and engine

Wankel rotary engined car built by Peter with his friend and neighbour Dr Fabritius

Auto Union and an Oliver Spark ignition motor in this car