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..
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.
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.
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?
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!
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
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.
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.
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!
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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.
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!
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.......
CCC/BARC Speed Championship 1995 results were reported in the
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
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