Sunday 21 February 2021

Garage Door Specialist rebuilds Rallycross Car during Covid Lockdown

For the last five years garage door fitter Mark Finch, proprietor of Finch Fabrications has been living very much in the fast lane. 

After a high-speed roll at Lydden Hill in November last year Mark’s rallycross car was damaged beyond repair, so a new car had to be built. Racing in the national championship, the Retro class cars have to be pre 1991 and Mark drives a highly modified MK3 Ford Fiesta. 

Mark found a good replacement shell and after the steel fabrication was done, GRP and Kevlar panels were fixed to a skeleton of the new body shell, a roll cage was welded in and the usual safety items such as a racing seat, harness and a plumbed-in all important fire extinguisher was fitted. All the running gear from the old car was checked and replaced if necessary, including the cars heart, the Cosworth developed BDA engine.

Carrying out all the fabrication himself and working through the Covid lockdown on council contracts, Mark certainly kept busy. Using old skills from his engineering days and working out the best way to manufacture the body panels Mark found the learning curve was steep, but the results stunning.

Mark’s son is a Flight Officer in the RAF and supporting the charity RAFBF (The Royal Air Force Benevolent fund), Mark was invited to RAF Scampton where the 2020 Red arrows endorsed the car by signing the roof. 

Mark says: 
“To be invited onto the runway to see the jets land and park in front of you was an awesome experience and one that I’ll never forget. The way the guys present themselves shows they are truly at the top of their game, 80% ultimate fliers and 20% supermodels”. 
After a socially distanced chat with the pilots and a photoshoot the job was done.

Marks last weekend of racing for the season was held part daytime and part run under floodlights at Lydden Hill on 5th and 6th of December 2020. As the championship is classed as an “Elite” sport it meant that during lockdown the event was held without spectators.

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