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CCC
February 1995
CCC February 1995
Steve Broughton and CCC's Steve Bennett share more than their initials. They've both got Vauxhall powered Westfields, only Broughton's is better than Bennett's. What's more, the other SB is planning on entering the CCC Speed Championship. As our SB will explain - we're not happy..
 
I'm not sure I like Steve Broughton. Steve, you see, has built this here rather rapido Westfield. It's got a Vauxhall 16-valve engine under the cover and lots of techno stuff like carbon fibre, and a set of those racer-lookalike TSW Evo alloys.

Sounds familiar doesn't it? In fact it sounds a bit like a Westfield that's very close to my heart.. like my Westfield in fact. Yes my Westfield with the Vauxhall 16-valve engine, the techno stuff like carbon fibre, and a set of those racer-lookalike TSW Evo alloys. I mean he's even got the same initials as me.

Ok, so it could all have been coincidence, the workings of a like-minded petrol head. But no, get this: this Broughton character is entering this car in the CCC/BARC Sprint and Hillclimb Championship in...wait for it, Class 9. Yes that's the same class that I compete in, the same class that Editor Fryatt and his Zetec Caterham compete in. Is this guy trying to wind us up or what? Oh yeah, and what's more he's got one of his mates to come along as well. His mate works for a top F1 team (and I mean top) and he's also got a Vauxhall Westfield with loads of trick bits. What's going on?

I'll tell you what's going on, we're going to get our asses whipped, that's what's going on. This Westy is seriously, seriously quick and Steve knows how to drive it. Not that any of this should come as a great surprise. Steve Broughton, you see is actually Steve Brougton Developments or SB Developments for short (or even SBD if you want to get very short). Steve builds some serious Vauxhall 16-valve engines and this Westfield is, if you like, a rolling advert for his company. And yes he's been threatening us with it for ages. Still at least he had the decency to let us have a squirt in it, no doubt just to freak us out!

SBD Westfield 1995 This is a kicking machine, surely the quickest Westfield this side of the factory's own V8 and certainly one the quickest cars I have experienced. But then, given Steve's vocation in life, I guess it should be. Steve has built a no-holds-barred 260bhp engine for this car, that features just about every trick bit going. And then some. That's 260bhp in a Westfield that weighs about 500kg. Mmm..explosive!

Specification time. Starting from the bottom, a standard crank is utilised with modified standard rods (60g lighter) and uprated rod bolts, attached to which are forged Omega race pistons. Sitting on top of this lot is the power producing bit. The head, polished and ported, features Group A valves - 230 inlet/220 exhaust -with double valve springs. Steve describes it as a small port head for good torque characteristics. Naturally he uses his own SBD cams with, in this instance. 11mm of lift. Surprisingly Steve has been able to retain the standard hydraulic lifters. We say surprisingly because it is generally accepted that with this amount of lift and power, the valves will float. Steve has been continuously upping the power on his engines, and retaining the hydraulic lifters, to see what he can get away with. This is the maximum so far.

Fuelling is by injection (see, copying me again). Steve is a big fan of accurate fuel supply and ignition control and the system on this Westfield is about as state of the art as you can get. Four separate throttle bodies bolt directly on to the head. These taper from 48mm to 42mm to increase gas speed and torque. Likewise for torque the injectors are positioned close to head. For 260+bhp a second set of injectors could be fitted. A three-drive MBE management unit controls the ignition and fuelling. Look carefully and you will see that each plug has its own separate coil just like an F1 engine, and ensuring that each plug gets a good whack of the spark. Peak power, then, is 260bhp at a relatively unstressed 7600rpm.

The exhaust system has been developed by Steve exclusively for Vauxhall Westfield applications. Instead of exiting at ground level, necessitating a rather convoluted route for the manifold pipes, the system exits through the top of the engine cover so the pipes have straight run before dropping down into the side pipe. Steve actually dyno'd several aftermarket systems before designing his own and reckons that it is worth a good few bhp. It had better be 'cos I'm gonna buy a system off him!

A Quaife four-speed, straight-cut 'box transmits the power to a modified Sierra 4x4 diff, running a 4.4:1 ratio for serious acceleration. The clutch has been developed with Helix and features a full alloy cover with six steel legs and twin Kelvar plates to prevent wear. The diff hangs in the middle of Westfield's excellent independent rear end, finally putting the power down through those aforementioned TSW Evo wheels and Bridgestone RE71 tyres (for road use, not track).

Suspension. as you would expect, is rose-jointed throughout with front and rear anti-roll bars. Adjustable Spax shocks and springs supplied by Terry Nightingale Autocraft take care of damping. Suspension setting were also supplied by Terry while the set-up itself is by Steve's F1 engineer chum. Steve has also paid a lot of attention to weight distribution to get the chassis balance right. To this end the fuel tank has been centrally mounted at the rear, as has the battery and dry sump tank.

SBD Wesstfield 1995 2.0L Vauxhall engine
Detailing is just stunning for those of you that admire a well finished car. Inside is panelled with carbon fibre as is the rear cover which hides the battery, fuel tank and dry sump tank. Twin Kevlar seats accommodate driver and occasional passenger, and a rather neat finishing touch is the suede covered Momo wheel with its F1 style quick release. Squint down into the footwell and you will notice floor mounted titanium pedals. This Westfield is starting to make me feel jealous.

So the spec looks good, outstanding even, but what about the driving experience? Well perhaps we'll start with the passenger experience. It's fast, very fast in fact. Steve points it onto a decidedly damp Chobham test rack and then mashes the throttle. Wheelspin, traction, more wheelspin then quickly into second for more of the same. Into third and it's really starting to bite. Change to fourth at 8000rpm and things are going truly mental, not helped by the fact that Steve has yet to fit any sidescreens, so the cockpit has become rather turbulent and breathing is actually difficult! But Steve is pleased with the performance on this, the car's first real shakedown.

CCC February 1995 From the passenger seat I am actually impressed with the way the Westfield put its power down. Sure, first and second are tyre lighting gears, but then this thing is running a 4.4:1 diff ratio. At speed in third and fourth, though, powering out of corners and the Westfield really seems to dig in.

My turn. Sliding into the Kevlar seat I'm instantly reminded just how tight a standard-bodied Westfield is compared to my own wide-bodied version. Still, the lack of sidecreens means plenty of elbow room. floor-mounted pedals are always a bit tricky to the uninitiated, so I lurch off and trickle on to the rack gradually building up speed. Initial impression is of excellent low speed flexibility, but then that's not really what we want to know about is it?

Now my Vauxhall Westfield is pretty quick, but as regular readers will know it has been rather hampered by the standard Sierra 4x4, 3.4:1 diff ratio. Steve's car, with its super low diff, jumps on the power instantly. There's no messing, just instant acceleration and some rapid gear changing to keep up with the engine's impressive response. The acceleration really is quite breathtaking, but it does tend to tail off quite quickly because of the short, sharp gearing. At longer circuits like Castle Combe and Goodwood, I reckon it would be bouncing off the rev limiter.

A 4.1:1 ratio would probably be a good compromise. The 4.4:1 ratio would be blinding at a shorter venue like Curborough. Steve says he might have both. Flash git!

Talking of having both I'm sure I heard him mutter something about having two engines too. One for the power circuits and one for the shorter stuff. Surely Steve is taking things a bit far? Seriously though this engine, brilliant as it undoubtedly is, will be coming out to be replaced with something perhaps a little milder. Now we like the sound of that.

The gearshift, with its remote linkage, needs some sorting. Changing up the 'box is ok, but coming down is a bit hit or miss. The chassis set-up, meanwhile, felt spot on. It has that sort of precision that only a fully rose-jointed system can impart. Certainly this Westfield feels like a racer, while my car, with its Cortina uprights and ball joints, still has that semi-roadcar feel. Hell, Broughton's car has even got a flat bottom for ground effects. Doubtless another bright idea from that F1 engineer!

Having now driven this car, we're seriously considering changing the rules. How about no engine builders, or on one with the same initials as a CCC staff member? Perhaps I could bump him off and call myself Steve Bennett Developments, no one would know. No, no we welcome a bit of stern opposition in the CCC/BARC Speed Championship, honest. Now perhaps I could disguise a Williams FW14 to look like a Westfield, get Patrick Head in on the game.......


The CCC/BARC Speed Championship 1995 results were reported in the December issue.

'Steve Broughton clinched the Southern Championship in his awesome Vauxhall Westfield. Steve deserves further mention since he was running in the Sports Libre class against a bunch of clubman Mallocks. Watching him drive his zero downforce Westfield was always great entertainment'

CCC December 1995
 
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