Motor Sport News - - Historics - By Paul Lawrence

Richard Tar­ling made an im­pres­sive his­toric Grand Prix de­but at Sil­ver­stone with a class win and 10th over­all in the one-off South African-built Assegai.

Tar­ling, once a ris­ing sin­gle­seater ace, is now a reg­u­lar FF1600 racer and was of­fered the chance to race the re­stored 1962 car by its cur­rent owner John Car­pen­ter.

The Sil­ver­stone Clas­sic week­end was only the car’s sec­ond event since be­ing re­stored by Iain Row­ley. The 1500cc Alfa Romeo-en­gined car was de­signed and built by Tony Kotze in 1962 for the Rand Grand Prix in Kyalami but failed to qual­ify.

“Es­sen­tially the car is very sim­i­lar to a clas­sic or his­toric Formula Ford,” said Tar­ling. “It’s got half the grip and twice the power; that’s how I ex­plain it. These tyres don’t re­ally have a lot of grip at all. The en­gine has around 160bhp but it’s very cammy so the power is all be­tween 5000-7500rpm. So you’ve got to keep it singing.

“The car han­dles re­ally well, con­sid­er­ing it’s an un­proven one-off and I was sur­prised it’s as good as it is. John, who owns it, is a fam­ily friend and needed a quick and ex­pe­ri­enced driver. He trusted me with the car and it is spe­cial to drive a car worth that much money af­ter an ex­ten­sive re­build and with a new en­gine and gear­box.”

Fuel pump fail­ure stopped the car on the fi­nal lap of the sec­ond race, but Tar­ling coasted to within yards of the flag and then pushed the car over the line.

Tar­ling took a class win in Assegai racer Tar­ling took win

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