In the Beginning
The active involvement in motorsport began while I was working for Connaught Auto Electrical Services in East London. This started with the building of a Vauxhall Firenza named 'Sweet Sixteen' which was my first race car.
This was campaigned in the British Drag Racing Association Championships during the 1980's and early 90's. Being self prepared and run, this was continuously developed while competing in the Modified class.
The car was powered by a 2200cc Lotus engine developed to ultimately produce 400bhp when using Nitrous oxide injection. With sponsorship help from the Carburettor Centre where I would eventually work and constant development the result was track records at every track visited. This led to being 3 times National class champion. The best time achieved with this car was 10.32 seconds at 132mph for the standing 1/4 mile, which still stands today as one of the fastest times for a non-turbo 4 cylinder car.
The final season in Drag Racing was spent winning a 3rd championship with the Firenza, and also driving a Top Alcohol dragster for the Stones Drag Racing Team. The best time with the Top Alcohol car that year was 7.14 seconds at 178mph.
Retirement from Drag Racing as 3 times reigning champion meant more to play with road cars instead, and led to the building of an Opel Manta fitted with a 2700cc engine plus the required suspension and brake modifications.
In 1944 I sold my Manta road car to buy a 3-door Ford Sierra Cosworth which I wanted to modify for road use, and compete with in sprint racing at the weekends. The Cosworth engine was tuned to produce 440bhp and won every sprint race competed in, while a visit to the drag strip produced a best time of 13.1 seconds at 103mph for the standing 1/4 mile, using road tyres.
It was while sourcing and testing tuning parts to find the best available for the Cosworth, that I met Paul Bailey. Impressed by both his knowledge and quality of parts we agreed the Carburettor Centre should acts an agent for his products, which we have installed and tuned on many customers cars to date. With a full range of fabricated alloy tanks, and tuning packages available from 300bhp to 500+bhp the customer is always impressed with the improvements.
In 1996 the Sierra Cosworth was sold and a Nissan Skyline GTs-t was acquired. This was bought from the original owner who has brought it over from Japan and was an original 2 litre R32 model. This was modified with a change of exhaust and some tuning on the rolling road which gave an increase of 60bhp. The improvements made resulted in an impressive showing at a track day on the brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit against a modified R33 GTR. After selling this several others were bought in the following years for general road use including 4-door models, 2-door non-turbo GTs's and several GTs-t's, I always keep a GTs-t or GTs for general commuting usage.
In 1998 the Carburettor Centre was taken over in partnership with a friend, and an R32 GTR was bought to act as a project car. Having been brought in from New Zealand as a standard engine car with a few suspension parts fitted, it was initially modified for fast road use to produce 350bhp
As this acted as a project vehicle for the business, it underwent constant development for use as a drag racing and circuit car. The engine was continually developed leading to the ultimate configurations giving 1000+ BHP with the suspensions, chassis and brakes being developed alongside these modifications to cope with the increases obtained.
The year 2000 brought further change as the Carburettor Centre evolved in RK Tuning, offering a variety of products and services for the performance enthusiast, specialising in the Skyline range.