At this weekend’s Silverstone Classic, mountune Racing will return to the scene of its famous victory of Rob Gravett’s Sierra Cosworth RS500 over the Andy Rouse Engineering entered sister car in the 1990 Grand Prix support race. This time, however, mountune is working with the Kaliber sponsored ex-Rouse car which is being raced by Julian Thomas in the JET Super Touring Car Trophy.
Modern management systems and refined internals, including camshafts, pistons, rods, and a multi-layered steel head gasket mean that the YB engines of today can produce significantly more than their predecessors. mountune is running a reduced boost pressure to maintain an output of 550bhp, similar to the power available in 1990.
Looking back on the famous win over a quarter of a century ago, mountune founder, David Mountain commented “It’s certainly a strange feeling working with the old rival! Although the Silverstone Classic is a real celebration of historic motor racing so it doesn’t have quite the same pressure we were under in 1990. It is easy to forget how tough it was then, the rate of development was incredible and we were up against some really strong teams. It would be great to see a win for the Kaliber car at Silverstone Classic, which, after all these years is now powered by mountune.”
Alongside David, there are six current mountune employees who were at the company during the title fight of 1990. “If you think of the institutional memory we have here it is quite incredible,” continued Mountain “some of these guys have over thirty years’ experience working on YB engines, and are therefore the best in the business for building these engines, which is one reason why customers, both old and new, come to mountune.”
In recent years there has been a significant increase in demand for mountune’s YB engines, reflecting both the rise in popularity of classic motorsport and the recognition of the value of the company’s 30 years of experience with the design. Since its introduction, over 500 YBs have been through the mountune racing workshop. Still active today in the BTCC with Ford, mountune can now apply decades of experience combined with state of the art technology.
The Silverstone Classic is now one of the biggest events on the motorsport calendar and alongside the top-level racing, it serves as a reminder of a time when life was a little more relaxed. “We all got hyped up for the Grand Prix support race,” recalls David, “we had convinced ourselves that we needed a really powerful top-end engine and traded mid-range torque for a big number at 8,000 rpm which turned out to be a bit of a mistake. As the old saying goes, bhp sells engines, torque wins races. Long story short, we soon realised our error and after
we returned it to its original spec I remember going up and down the bypass on trade plates trying to set the boost up properly. Not sure that would happen today…”
The Silverstone Classic will take place from the 20 th -22 nd July at Silverstone Circuit in Northamptonshire.