Menzies’ Revised DJ Firestorm

Since it first appeared at Harewood in July 2009, the most exciting addition to the Unlimited Capacity class in years has been the DJ Firestorm of Scotsman Wallace Menzies. The car first ran with a fairly conventional aero pack, a 2.65 litre V8 Coworth XD powerplant and a distinct lack of bodywork ! Del Quigley and Andy Smith at DJ Racecars steadily developed the car through ’09 & ’10, but for 2011 they have forgotten all about steady development and have taken a massive leap.

Due to some unforeseen delays, not least of which was the engine being destroyed in a fire at a sub-contractor’s factory, the car made its first appearance of 2011 at Barbon Manor Hillclimb on Saturday. Whilst initially the car may look similar to the 2010 spec version, once you start looking closer there are an awful lot of detail changes.

The main issues with the 2010 spec car were power & downforce, and both of these areas have certainly been improved. First let’s look at the engine.

The 2009/10 engine was an ex. Champ Car Cosworth XD V8, which like all Champ Car engines of the period was a 2.65 litre purpose built V8 running on methanol with a single turbo-charger. In its day it would have produced over 900bhp and been used by the likes of Michael Andretti, Bobby Rahal & Adrian Fernandez. For the Firestorm however, the engine was re-worked by DJ with significant advice from Cosworth into a 2.65 litre normally aspirated petrol engine producing 522bhp and reving to 15,000rpm. This worked just fine on the hills, but to keep pace with the 3.5 litre NME V8s at the head of the field more was needed. This year the car has a 3.2 litre version with well over 600bhp available !

Next comes the aero side. Simon McBeath should be a familiar name to anyone with an interest in hillclimbing, he has worked with DJ for years and was brought in to assist with a trip to the MIRA wind tunnel at the back end of last year. This visit has resulted in a lot of detail changes. These changes include a new floor, a revised splitter, new rear wing, new endplates and (what we initially thought were the steps to the truck) an enormous double-layer front wing complete with bridge flaps!

These mods, plus Wallace’s undoubted driving talent, should allow this already competitive car to make a big step forward and maybe even challenge the all-conquering Gould-NME for overall honours.

Well done from us to all of the guys involved, let’s hope your hard work and innovation pay off!

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  1. [...] for any reason driver Wallace Menzies can’t hack the pace of his improved DJ Firestorm (see separate story), then DJ bosses Del Quigley and Andy Smith may be able to recruit from the next generation of [...]

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