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Navigator James Ford will rejoin Russell Dixon in the Peugeot 306 F2 kit car for the 2014 Rally of Canberra. Dixon successfully contested a number of events in the 2013 NSW Rally Championship with navigator Ray Baker, but will be re-joined by Ford to contest the revamped NSW Rally Championship in 2014.

 

A rare car, the 306 kit car was built in 1996 from a factory shell and Peugeot Sport F2 factory ‘kit’. It contested a number of European and WRC events through the 1996 – 1999 seasons before being mothballed in Australia for more than 12 years. Dixon resurrected the 306 last year, and he and Ford are looking forward to increased speed this season.

The 306 Maxi was an iconic rally car through the 1990’s. The last generation of which gave the 4WD WRC cars a real hurry up on tarmac. Dixon’s 306 now has a series 1 full specification Maxi Group A engine, although for longevity the team has reduced the stratospheric rev limit from 10,000 to a much more manageable 8500.

"We have spoken in depth with the engine builders in the UK," Dixon said. "The Peugeot engines are very reliable but at 10,000 rpm the race life is limited to around 20 hours. By retuning it to 8500rpm, engine life extends many times this amount.

"We really learnt a huge amount in 2013 about running the 306. It’s a really beautiful piece of kit, but was configured all wrong for Australian rally conditions," Dixon added.

"The original suspension was configured for tarmac and although we ran reasonably well in 2013, we have made leaps and bounds in drivability for this year."

Over the last few months the car has been stripped and prepared for 2014. Peugeot specialist Andrew Nichols has developed and prepared the car and a full rebuild of the suspension was carried out at MCA.

"Credit must go to both Murray (MCA) and Andrew in assisting with the car. As an ex-factory ‘kit’ car every element is often not as straight forward as you might consider. MCA have down a brilliant job in rebuilding the suspension and this has really changed the drivability of the car."

Whilst still retaining the memorable green, yellow and purple paint scheme, the 306 should show its true colours and memorable sound in the forests around Canberra in early March.

 

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