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  • Writer's picturetony reardon

Team ORA Sport achieves top 10 finish with the Lightning.

Competing at Grafton Sporting Car Club (GSCC) Hillclimb saw Team ORA Sport post personal best runs in Lightning on Saturday and Sunday’s rounds.

The competition in the 3J class which is full of production cars from International Motor Groups around the world. The top cars have limited slip differentials, traction control and ABS giving them a huge advantage. There are also 2.0 litre and 1.6 litre twin cam cars, all with EFI. The ORA Sport Lightning has none of the driver aids and has a simple 1.6 litre single cam engine, with a twin choke, single carburettor, built in 1975. Yes – it has been race-built and weighs in at around 700kg, but the brakes are standard single pot disc front and drum rear, and the suspension is non-adjustable. The shocks and springs have been uprated and Lightning sits much lower than streetcar ride height.

So it’s not a level playing field and this isn’t am apples to apples comparison. Here at ORA Sport we don’t complain. We get out there and do our best remembering what Ora stands for – Overall Race Attitude – and we push Lightning to its very limits.

Round 1 of the championship was a shakedown for team ORA and Lightning did a great job, with plenty of driver feedback. Most of the feedback was “Lightning needs new tires!”. Fair enough as the ones used for round one were over 10 years old! Basically - racing with zero grip. Best time posted was 60.11 placing 10th in class. Not too bad for first run.

Rounds 2 and 3 were over one weekend and with new rubber all round a very different feel was noticed instantly. Lightning was very sensitive to tire pressures and did very well with controlled sliding around corners where needed. Unfortunately timing system breakdowns on round 2 missed Team ORA Sports best run of the day in which Lightning posed a 58.96. An earlier run of the day of 60.11 was the only time posted officially putting Lightning in 11th place.

Round 3 on Sunday with slightly warmer weather mean the track warmed up quicker, Team ORA and Lightning were ready for a charge. A quick first run saw a 58.93 posted and a second run of 58.56 and 5th place showed that the Team ORA Lightning was dialled in. After lunch a personal best time of 57.93 and 7th place overall was locked in for the final run.

A brilliant result for Team ORA Lightning being the first single cam, single carb car home and the only 1600 single cam in the top 10.

Round 5 in June is a round of the state championship so lets find out how Team Ora and Lightning do against some of the heavy hitting cars in the class.

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