Gigglepin owner Jim Marsden is piloting a completely revamped version of the previous Defender-based challenge truck that took on the King of the Hammers in 2013.
‘Last season we had a couple of events that didn’t turn out quite the way we wanted them to,’ says Jim, ‘so despite some serious enquiries for the car in its old form, we decided to totally repurpose it.’ The idea was to make it lighter, longer, more powerful and with a lower centre of gravity, to compete with the new breed of racers emerging across Europe and the US. So it’s now a 600hp V8 Chevy LS-engined, Fox-shock state of the art machine, dressed with Gigglepin’s finest in-house winches.
The new Richards chassis, despite being 4in longer than its predecessor (which was 100in), is actually 80kg lighter, and the Odyssey battery count has been dropped from three to two: thanks to some clever electrickery it’s able to run 24v without an extra alternator, giving further weight savings.
Then there are the Spidertrax axles, 17in Raceline wheels, Allisport radiators, and a prototype six-speed gearbox developed by Quaife… this new car means business.
It looks very much like a Defender, but somehow sleeker, squatter, more purposeful. On its first race at KOG, it immediately put its marker down with a sizzling prologue pole position some four seconds ahead of top buggy-driving Belgian competitor Axel Bürmann.
So what’s the next event, Jim? He smiles; ‘It has to be the awesome Breslau Rally. There’s nothing else quite like it, and we have some unfinished business there!’