2016 has been a very good year for Induction Technology Group – the ITG supported Subaru Impreza has gained recognition too. The Class B13 rally car has been hurled through tarmac stages across the length and breadth of the UK, including the slippery Welsh military ranges of Epynt and the unforgiving narrow lanes of the Isle of Man.
ITG general Manager, Richard Clews, scored a giant killing 2nd overall position on the Manx National Rally. To simply finish the event with the car in one piece is a challenge in itself. The closed island roads are narrow, twisty and notoriously difficult to read – the navigator (Carl Williamson) the softly spoken, calm, unsung hero of the team.
The ITG Impreza completed the 2016 MSA Asphalt Championship, 1st in class and 3rd overall. Considering some competitors drove ex-World Rally Championship vehicles worth in excess of £200,000 it’s an exceptional result from the lesser powered entrant.
Richard was recently interviewed by Pacenotes Rally Magazine:
“I started driving when I was about 11. My father was interested in rallying so he took me off the beaten track. He was sponsored by Mitsubishi and he used to get off-road vehicles so he let me drive the odd time. When you live in Coventry, you’re in the middle of a town so it was difficult. I wasn’t out driving around fields every day.”
First road car?
“It was a Mini. I’ve always been wheeling and dealing in cars, and I used to buy and sell lots of Minis.”
How did you become interested in motorsport?
“My father was a good road rally driver, competing in a Twin Cam Mk1 Escort back in the Motoring News days. Because he was interested in it, I became interested too. If you’re around cars and rallying, you just get the bug for it.”
What was your first event?
“I didn’t start competing until 2000 but I always had a keen interest in cars. When I went to a Mini show, I got chatting to Trevor Godwin who started telling me about rallying. I had a Mini so I thought I’d give it a go. I started building it into a rally car around March in 1999.”
How did you progress from there?
“Since then I’ve rallied a bit of everything, although I’ve always had either front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive cars. I’ve had a Peugeot 106, Ford Fiesta ST, Renault Clio 197 and the Subaru Impreza.”
“This year has been my best achievement in motorsport because I finished third overall in the MSA Asphalt Championship. Everything just clicked together this year. I had a very good co-driver, a great car provided by Geoff Jones Motorsport who put a nice tarmac car together for us. In previous years, I’ve won the my class 10 times across four different classes – in B10, N3, N4 and B13.”
Low points of 2016?
“The low points are always trying to find the budget for the next event! Rallying is the most fantastic sport in the world but unless you’re very wealthy, it can eat you out of house and home. Every year my rally championship gets a little bit better as I piece together slightly better deals. The more money you have, the more you spend, whether it’s on better tyres, a better gearbox or a better engine.”
High points of 2016?
“Second overall was my best ever overall result on a National Championship round which we managed to achieve at the last rally of the year – the Cheviot Stages. We’ve regularly managed to beat some of the World Rally Car drivers and sometimes the R5 drivers too. The results are a credit to my co-driver and the car itself.”
Plans for the future?
“I’m going to make some improvements to the car. We’re going to switch the H-pattern gearbox to a Samsonas sequential supplied by Clark Motorsport and we’re also swapping to some EXE-TC tarmac dampers. So those two items will go some way to moving us closer to the front of the pack.”
Anything else you want to say?
“Thanks to everyone who has helped. Geoff Jones Motorsport built the car and ITG has helped me run the car.
Graham Sweet of GT Motorsport also provided us with a purpose built engine this year. We went from a standard engine out of an STI Spec C to a proper built engine. It’s the first year that I’ve had an engine built for me and it was awesome.”
ITG have re-engineered one of the most popular Maxogen induction kits for the Mk7 Ford Fiesta. The latest design incorporates a one-piece construction air filter, offering lower weight and increased airflow – proving the best can always get better!
Another addition to the range is a 13mm breather, (a suitable replacement for a crankcase breather), small – but perfectly formed.
As part of ITG’s continual improvement programme we have identified a number of manufacturing processes where we feel a substantial benefit can be achieved. (Primarily but not limited to the Megaflow and Maxogen range of filters).
The Megaflow filters have been traditionally more costly with the popular “S” dome style. We have now purchased tooling to create a durable Nylon reinforced plastic cage to replace the Stainless steel mesh. As you will see from the 2017 price list the std height filter costs have reduced significantly making this the more cost effective choice. Any bespoke height/Custom-fit “S” filters will retain the Stainless mesh construction which will reflect in the price.
We have achieved a similar benefit with the Maxogen range. The standard straight sided filters that are not currently supported with an internal cage mechanism will be discontinued and replaced with a cone shaped filter with a Durable nylon reinforced cage. The old style straight sided filter will now only be available by special order.
Our Pro-filter range has also seen significant improvement. We have used an independent filter testing laboratory to ensure we are producing the best quality foam filters with a new style elastomer seal section. Despite these benefits the Pro-Filter price list will remain the same for 2017. There have been a number of additions to the application list which will be updated in due course.
Finally we would invite all our dealers to look at our new web site and encourage you to utilise the much improved Pro-Filter finder. The whole website has been improved to provide a better user experience. The Customfit section will now provide support to both dealer and end user. It has been designed to try and answer most frequently asked questions, before dealers are contacted.
ITG Christmas shutdown – the factory will be closed from Friday 23rd December, returning Tuesday 3rd January 2017.
A huge thank you to all who supported us throughout 2016, have a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
See you again, in 2017...