2013 was deemed to be a good year for the team. Two Rotors were used in competition and both picked up prizes. The 30th "Rotor Racing" party was well supported and the booklet describing some of the teams exploits was well received. Where to next was the big question because there are no big Rotor dates this year. The team are getting on and all the travelling was catching up on those involved, so the decision was made to compete closer to home. This meant that the Rotor JT7 Sports 2000 was surplus to requirements as the S2000 championship involves lots of travelling and so was sold. Also gone are the S2 spares and the van and trailer. Another package of equipment was also moved on to make a bit of space in the workshop. Our initial thought was to use another Rotor JT7 ( despite the first car being designed and built in 1994) in sprints and hillclimbs but we passed on that when fate played its hand. We spotted a bike engine package for sale and decided to go for it. A quick measure suggested that it would fit in a JT7 chassis with a bit of fabricating but the Yellow JT7 that was used on the hills did really well but suffered from serious weight distribution problems. This was down to packaging 100kg of dead weight in the driving seat. This was cured on the S2000 car by offsetting the driver mass by placing the radiator, battery, extinguisher etc opposite the driver on the other side of the centre line. It worked well but on the hillclimb/sprint car we could never get it balanced. The upshot was that the team thought it would make sense if we addressed all the issues and built a new car. The decision was made to build a new chassis for 2014. It would incorporate all the ideas gathered during 2013 and would run in sports libre. As is the way with Rotor racing Graham did a quick sketch to show to the rest of the team before finding an old bit of foam block to build the shape of the bodywork. Initial calculations suggested that it should work so more detailed drawings were done.
Fate is a strange thing. Graham got a random email telling him what was happening in Scottish Motorsport in 2014. Among the items that caught his eye was the fact that the Scottish BMW Cup was going to stand alone races. Previously they were a class in the Scottish Sports and saloons and in amongst much faster machinery where, to be frank, they were nothing more than mobile chicanes. The suggestion was that it had taken off and numbers were so high that the Scottish Motor Racing Club had decided to promote a series for those cars. The cars are BMW E36 318ti Compacts and have been developed by the organisers of the series in England to a standard where costs are kept low but the fun factor is kept high. The whole ethos of the championship is about having fun and this did appeal to Graham and the team.
A quick look on the internet suggested that a standard car could be bought for not much money and that the conversion to race car was quick and easily done. The first car to appear in an ebay search was Dakar yellow in colour (the same as the teams old M3) and was in Scunthorpe. It was soon decided that the car was too expensive and too far away to be a realistic option. Later that week a message arrived from E Bay to say “suggested items for you” and there it was, another Dakar yellow 318ti. When Graham looked it up it was at a much lower price, had 2 hours to the auction ended and was located in Carnwath which is not that far away. Graham put a bid in and left it at that. It was a Thursday night and the team had assembled at the workshop for the usual work party. The idea was mentioned in passing to those present and the suggestion was that it was a good idea andt would keep us racing while the new Rotor hillclimb car was built. The next morning it was discovered that Rotor Racing were the proud owners of a Dakar yellow compact. Grahams winning bid was £1 higher than the previous bid and so for not much money a donor car had been found. With 5 weeks to the first round and a big birthday for Graham in the middle of the timescale it was all hands to the pumps. Initially the car did not look to bad but the teams experience with the E30 M3 suggested that all the rubber undercoating had to be removed to makes sure there was no corrosion. Everything was going well until the rubber coating was removed from the last corner and as it came off so did a large section of rusty steel. Not the end of the world and not bad for a 14 year old car. It was soon repaired and the team set about the rest of the strip and rebuild. There was no time to strip it to a bare shell so the team decided to work round the engine and box. All the suspension components were removed and refurbished. The mandatory parts were ordered and the other bits needed sourced. Things were going well but time was short. Soon parts started arriving and the car was re-assembled. The rollcage was a bit difficult to fit and not the best of designs because it was mounted close to the drivers feet. It was a tight fit but went in after a bit of a struggle due to Safety Devices taking the easy option and supplying only a general fitting guide. The dash has to be cut and this would be easy if a template was supplied but again they failed to supply one. Bit by bit the car started to come together but time was against the team.