Alex Zeller Race Report – Toyo Tires Formula 1600

They say a bad day at the track is better than a good day at the office… they are correct. After more than 2 years out of the drivers’ seat, my return to the track was not without its challenges. We entered the practice day with a fresh engine, a car that hadn’t turned a wheel since 2018, new spec Toyo tire, and a driver that was quite rusty. So, I was expecting a few challenges during the Friday test day… I did not expect to spend most of my test day troubleshooting various interrelated issues with the carburetor. However, despite all those issues I rediscovered that driving a race car is still bloody FUN!

Unfortunately, the issues with the carburetor persisted throughout Saturday (Practice, Qualifying, and Race 1). Yet we still we managed to nurse the car home, bedding in the motor in the process. In the end the simple little Weber carburetor required a rebuild and re-adjustment of the floats to get it running right – and not like a piece of agricultural equipment…

Alex Zeller at CTMP
Alex Zeller at CTMP. Photo and copyright by Richard Coburn.

I woke up on Sunday with some renewed optimism and the hope that I could finally relax and just focus on driving without the distractions of mechanical issues. Fortunately, the racing gods tired of trying annoying me and car ran really well. I had some good battles with fellow OSCC racer, Mark MacDonald and finished each race smiling. I was still 3-4 seconds a lap slower than I had been 2 years ago, but all things considered I was still satisfied with the day. Most importantly, I was reminded how much fun it was to drive a race car at speed – despite the occasional technical challenges, it still beats the day-to-day stresses of work.

I’m not sure when I’ll be on track again, but it won’t be a 2 year wait that’s for sure! Over the coming months I intend to turn my attention to a very special vintage race car project – more on that in the future.

All the best, Alex Zeller

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