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by Karl Peskett

Skelta is not exactly a household name, but the Australian designed and built race-car-for-the-road is the brainchild of race driver Ray Vandersee, based in Queensland. Originally starting with a Lotus 7 Clubman, Vandersee tweaked and altered the car until he felt it was competitive. The truth is he was never quite satisfied, and therefore began work on making his own sports car, the Skelta G-Force.

Having used Targa Tasmania, Targa New Zealand and the Mt Buller Sprint as his own testing ground, this week his creation has been given the thumbs up by five times Irish Tarmac Rally Champion Eugene Donnelly and his highly-renowned engineering partner of 20 years, Derek McGeehan.

A G-Force has been shipped to the UK to be prepared for Matt Cummings of Stratton Motor Company as a circuit racer, and was displayed at Autosport International, a race car show in Birmingham, England. Unfortunately for the Aussie creator, the weather was against them during the test. However, Donnelly was positive in his appraisal.

“The test was unavoidably subjective as the car was not fully set up for our type of stages and the weather was very poor,” said Donnelly. “However, I must say the Skelta impressed me and I feel it could readily be made competitive.

“Its supercharged Honda engine is incredibly responsive and the car is very well balanced. The combination makes for a very agile machine. I see no reason why converting it to full rally specification should in any way blunt its obvious abilities. The car is quick by any standards and I much enjoyed driving it, and would be delighted to see a version developed to compete over here – I think it could do very well.”

Vandersee noted that the car was designed for one purpose – Targa Tasmania -which meant the Irish roads weren’t exactly complimentary. However the feedback from Donnelly and McGeehan will be used to alter the car’s potential and further its development.

“We have a lot on our plate at the moment, as both the G-Force and the open-topped Spyder created a lot of interest at Autosport International”, said Vandersee. “We are also busy finalising our 2010 racing plans. However, the car was born to rally and if the opportunity arises to get one into tarmac rallying in Ireland, or anywhere else in Europe, we’d certainly be very interested.”

Skelta’s competitive success can be gleaned from the 2009 results below:

  • Gatton Sprints – 1st, 2nd & 3rd in class and in the Sports Car Championship. 2nd Outright
  • Targa Tasmania – 1st in class, 8th Outright
  • Mt Cootha Classic Hillclimb – 1st in class, 3rd Outright
  • Mt Stuart Tarmac Rally – 1st in class, 1st Outright
  • Leyburn Sprints – 1st & 2nd in class, 2nd Outright
  • Pittsworth Sprints – 1st in class, 4th Outright
  • Oakey Sprints – 1st & 2nd in class, 1st & 2nd in Sportscar Championship, 1st Outright, 1st in top 10 shootout.



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