Forrest Lodge near Dumfries, Scotland hosted a packed entry of 45 cars for last November’s Borders Hill Rally including five Wildcat 200s of varying specification, making their presence felt right from the start. Because of the rally’s compact location and lack of road liaison sections, it proved a big hit with the competitors and service crews alike and the dry cold conditions really helped with the event creating a great atmosphere all around the pit area. Although Richard Kershaw took top honours, the Qt Services Wildcat Trophy went to Ian Carson who came home 7th in his rear-engined Chevy powered Wildcat 200. Two others were not so lucky – newcomer Greg Morris in his Max Traction supported Wildcat rolled on Stage 6, day two, only to be collected by another competitor when upside down, while Andy Graham had a major off when running in 4th overall. Testament to the strength of the cars’ build, neither drivers nor co-drivers were hurt in the incidents.
Dave Marsh, boss of Qt Services was on hand at the rally to offer technical support and encouragement to his pride of Wildcats: “I was really pleased to see how the new boys, Mike Bain and Greg Morris fared. They had the speed and temperament and I’m sure it will only be a matter of time before they are running at the front.”
The two day event is run on private ground over mostly graded tracks over the weekend of November 28th/29th, with the second day being somewhat tougher than the first as some stages had taken some punishment, having been run the day before. Organisation by the dedicated team at the Scottish Hill Rally Club (www.scottish-hillrally.co.uk) was very professional, in spite of some tricky stage conditions. “This is always a great event and the organisers do a fantastic job,” says Marsh,”and it’s one I can’t wait to see a Wildcat take top spot.”
?Qt Services is a company well established in the off road competition market. Formed in 1996, it is run by enthusiasts for enthusiasts who are able to offer a range of specialist products for both the standard and competition off road vehicle. Many of the products in their range are designed and manufactured in house and have been extensively tested at national competition level enabling customers to benefit from the increased reliability and performance which it brings. Just over 18 months ago, Qt purchased the rights to the Wildcat brand from Bowler Offroad and are now the sole manufacturers of the Wildcat and distributors of an extensive range of dedicated parts. Qt have also embarked on an intensive development programme for the Wildcat, the results of which are being brought through to market now.
The New Wildcat
?The new car features many upgrades from the previous version to improve its performance and is performing well in competition. Central to this is the all new Jaguar V8 engine which has given a significant increase in power and a much wider and flatter torque curve. This has vastly improved the car’s driveability. Coupled to the engine is the newly developed close ratio, straight cut gearbox which is matched to engine characteristics. Revisions have also been made to the steering with a new quick ratio steering box requiring less input resistance making the car easier to control over the long Rally Raid stages. The new car also features 60mm Donerre lithium fast rebound dampers which vastly improve traction and control; the Qt-designed mountings for the coil over shock absorbers were developed in conjunction with Donerre.