RAISING THE BAR – THORNLEY KELHAM ENTERS PARTNERSHIP WITH RACE TECHNIQUES

Award-winning classic and vintage car specialist Thornley Kelham has bolstered its engineering, machining and engine-building facility thanks to a new partnership with Race Techniques. With immediate effect, the Race Techniques team, equipment and tooling are under the same roof as Thornley Kelham, delivering customers a wider range of skills and experience for their restorations or engine rebuilds, including now providing ultimate specification high-performance road, race and rally power units.

Thornley Kelham, which won the Historic Motoring Awards ‘Restoration of the Year’ in 2019 for its ground-up restoration of an exceptionally rare Bizzarrini 5300 GT Strada, already provides discerning customers with full engine rebuilds and performance upgrades as typified by the bespoke limited edition Lancia Aurelia B20GT ‘Outlaw’ project, powered by a Flaminia 2.5-litre 3C engine, enlarged to 2.8 litres and fuel injected.

The Race Techniques partnership will unlock new levels of power, fuel efficiency and longevity for customers looking for the ultimate road or racing specification. Established locally to Thornley Kelham in the Cotswolds, Race Techniques has built an enviable reputation amongst its customers for delivering race-winning engines. The team now moves into Thornley Kelham’s premises, bringing with them decades of expertise and engine testing and development technology.

As an example, at the 2018 Le Mans Classic, three cars – two Invictas and a Lagonda – used Race Techniques’ engines and boasted the fastest speed of any cars in their class, producing double the output of the original engines. In 2010, the Ulster Grand Prix Lap Record was powered by a Race Techniques engine, and the winner of the 2011, 2012 and 2013 AMCA 250 British Motocross Championship was powered by a Race Techniques engine. These are just some of a string of successes stretching back to 1989.

The company’s Superflow 902 Dynamometer measures every aspect of an engine’s performance and can accommodate outputs as high as 1500bhp, 1000 ft/lbs of torque and 12,000rpm. Race Techniques’ Superflow SSF300E Flow Bench measures the precise quantity of air an engine cylinder can consume and expel. When Race Techniques was entrusted with developing a pair of original, exceptionally rare, Ferrari GTO cylinder heads to produce more power and torque, the flow bench proved essential in ensuring success.

Simon Thornley, co-founder of Thornley Kelham, said: “When Eddie Kidd jumped across The Great Wall of China on his Honda CR500 in 1993, when Gwyndaf Evans won his class on the RAC Rally in a Ford Escort RS 2000 in 1995 and when Richard Dodkins took the St Mary’s Trophy saloon car race at the first ever Goodwood Revival in his Morris Mini Cooper S in 1998, they all did so powered by an engine breathed on by Race Techniques. And again, when Michael Dunlop set a new Supersport lap record at Isle of Man TT on his Yamaha R6 in 2010, and when the fastest three cars in the Tier 1 class swept through the speed traps at the Le Mans Classic in 2018, they did so with Race Techniques engine power. 

“Race Techniques results speak for themselves but if any further validation were needed, the high-profile clients and companies the team have worked with – Cosworth, Ford Motor Company, Honda UK and Yamaha UK, to name but a few – do just that. We are excited to be working with them.”  

Customers at Thornley Kelham approaching a restoration or an engine rebuild will now essentially have the choice of a sympathetic original engine rebuild, a mildly upgraded build– or a fully-developed Race Techniques build, to the customer’s exact requirements.

Race Techniques Director and Founder, Mike Parry, said: “We have long admired the craftsmanship, passion and drive of our very close neighbours, Thornley Kelham. At Race Techniques we share their relentless attention to detail and so do our customers. With this new partnership, we have unlocked the services of a restoration business we truly trust for our customers, and we’re excited at the prospect of delivering bespoke engine builds for some of the most discerning customers and most spectacular cars in the world.”

Race Techniques’ Full List of Achievements:

  • 1993 Eddie Kidd beats Robbie Knievel in The Daredevil Duel motorcycle jump-off in the USA. Kidd also jumped The Great Wall of China on the bike.  Kidd’s bike was tuned by Race Techniques. Honda CR500cc bike.
  • 1994 Gwyndaf Evans 7th overall RAC Rally GB, 1st in 2 litre GP N class. Race Techniques developed the cylinder heads for Ford via Mountune. Ford Escort RS 2000 GP ‘N’
  • 1994 Richard Dodkins sets fastest lap of the combined Nordschliefe and full GP track by a Historic Racing Mini. 11 minutes 45 seconds. Morris Mini Cooper S 1293cc
  • 1995 Gwyndaf Evans 6th overall RAC Rally GB, 1st in class again, same car. Ford Escort RS 2000 Group ‘N’.
  • 1997 Every Formula 400 Lap Record in the country except Oulton Park, achieved by Paul Everett, as well as British Formula 400 Champions with the Yamaha FZR400 RRSP bike.
  • 1998 Richard Dodkins wins the St Mary’s Saloon Car race outright at the first Goodwood Revival meeting. Also set the fastest lap and lapped Tiff Needell who drove a 4.2 litre Jaguar. Richard drove a 1293cc Morris Mini Cooper S.
  • 2000-2003 Simon Andrews competes in British Supersport championships. Multiple Pole positions, with a finish in 3rd position in the championship, on a Yamaha R6 600cc. Andrews also competed in selected World Championships on a Honda Fireblade 954cc bike.
  • 2003 Phase One Endurance won the F.I.M World Endurance Championship. Suzuki GSXR 1000 K2 bike.
  • 2004 Race Techniques ran official Yamaha UK entry in British Supersport as Piranha Racing for the manufacturer, as well as the three main road races, Northwest 200, Isle of Man TT, Ulster Grand Prix. Yamaha R6 600cc and Yamaha R1 1000cc bikes.
  • 2004 Andrews wins Moto GP support race at British Grand Prix. Yamaha R6 600cc bike.
  • 2004 James Ellison wins British Superbike ‘Cup’ Championship. Yamaha R1 1000 cc bike.
  • 2004 Ellison beats Factory Ducati rider and that year’s World Champion, James Toseland, at Brands Hatch on a privateer Yamaha. He finished as the top British rider, beating multiple Works teams. Yamaha R1 1000cc bike. Engine tuned, developed and calibrated by Race Techniques.
  • 2004 Oli Poyser wins British and World Legends championships. Yamaha FJ 1100 bike engined car, 1100cc.
  • 2005 Race Techniques develop Ferrari 250 GTO LM cylinder heads for GTO Engineering. Ferrari 250 GTO LM, 3 litre V12. The heads are subsequently scanned and used for new versions of this ultra rare engine.
  • 2005 Jason Griffiths finishes second in the Supersport TT Yamaha R6 600cc bike.
  • 2006 Jason Griffiths finishes third in the Supersport TT Yamaha R6 600cc bike.
  • 2006 Piranha Racing again run by Race Techniques for Yamaha UK. Yamaha R6 600cc bike.
  • 2006 Darran Lindsey wins Irish Road Races on a Honda CBR600. Honda CBR 600 RR bike.
  • 2007 Connor Cummins races for Millsport on R6 and R1 Yamahas in Irish Road Races and the Isle of Man TT.
  • 2008 Michael Dunlop wins multiple Irish Road Races on an R6 Yamaha
  • 2008 Martin Finnegan races Millsport R6 and R1 Yamahas.
  • 2008 Alistair Seeley finishes in second place at the North West 200 Supersport races 1 and 2. Yamaha R6 600cc bike.
  • 2008 Adrian Archibald races R6 Yamaha 600cc bike in Irish Road Races.
  • 2009 Michael Dunlop wins his first TT with an R6 Yamaha.
  • 2009 Race Techniques’ engines fill 8 out of the top 10 at the North West 200 Supersport race. All Yamaha R6 600cc bikes.
  • 2009 Phase One endurance, Suzuka 8 Hour race in Japan. Yamaha R1 1000cc bike.
  • 2009 Cosworth commissioned Race Techniques to develop Superbike ‘Kits’. Kawasaki ZX 10R and Yamaha cross-plane R1 1000cc bikes.
  • 2009 Connor Cummins wins The Ulster Grand Prix ‘Dundrod 150’ breaking the Lap Record. Kawasaki ZX 10R 1000cc bike.
  • 2009 William Dunlop wins the second Supersport race at the Ulster Grand Prix. Yamaha R6 600cc bike.
  • 2010 Connor Cummins sets a new Superbike Lap Record at the TT, 131.551mph from a standing start using Cosworth/Race Techniques built MacAdoo Racing Kawasaki ZX10R 1000cc bike.
  • 2010 Michael Dunlop sets new Supersport Lap Record at the Isle of Man TT, 127.831 mph. Yamaha R6 600cc bike.
  • 2010 Michael Dunlop sets a new Lap Record at 128.6 mph, at The Ulster Grand Prix on a Yamaha R6 600cc bike. This stood for 5 years, despite being set in slightly damp conditions.
  • 2011 Endaf Owens wins Mini Miglia Championship with 198 points out of a possible 200. Worst position was one second place. Rover Mini 1293cc
  • 2011 Shane Holmes wins AMCA 250 British Motocross Championship. Yamaha YZ 250F bike.
  • 2012 Jack Cox wins AMCA 250 British Motocross Championship. Yamaha YZ 250F bike.
  • 2013 Jack Cox wins AMCA 250 British Motocross Championship. Yamaha YZ 250F bike.
  • 2014 Rupert Deeth wins Mini Miglia Championship. Rover Mini 1293cc car
  • Classic Le Mans, our first Invicta Type S 4.5 litre car records the highest top speeds in the Tier 1 class.
  • 2016 Two Invicta Type S 4.5 litre cars finished 5th and 6th in Tier 1. One car records the highest top speed during the day, the second repeats this feat during the night.
  • 2017 Honda RC161 Works 285cc bike cylinder head remanufacture from scratch. One of only three in the world remaining out of five made. Each valve is the size of a new five pence piece at 17mm.
  • 2017 Supercharged Amilcar engine complete rebuild and remanufacture undertaken. 2000cc AC six cylinder engine used in this example.
  • 2017 Rupert Deeth wins Mini Miglia Championship for the second time. Rover Mini 1293cc
  • 2018 Le Mans Classic has three entries with Race Techniques engines in Tier 1. Once again, the cars were the fastest through the speed traps. Two 4.5 litre Invicta Type S and one Lagonda ‘Team Car’ replica, 4.5 litre Meadows engines in all. Each produce around 200 hp, double the output of the original engines.

Founded in 2009, Thornley Kelham Ltd is a specialist in concours restoration, maintenance, servicing, rally preparation and support of iconic vintage and classic cars. From its Cotswold headquarters, the team of 36 manage, restore and prepare examples of collector cars for global concours and motorsport events from a state-of-the-art 32,000 sq/ft facility.

With in-house bodywork, paint, engine and fabrication shops, Thornley Kelham is widely regarded for the quality of its restorations of historically significant, often unique vehicles across a variety of marques including Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Lancia, Lamborghini, Mercedes-Benz, Rolls-Royce and Porsche as well as Amilcar, Bizzarrini and others.

Its prize-winning restorations are frequently shown at top-tier concours such as Pebble Beach, the ‘Royal Concours’ at Hampton Court Palace, Chantilly and Salon Privé, while a dedicated motorsport team supports clients at rally events worldwide including the Mille Miglia, Tour Auto, Targa Florio and Peking to Paris.

Thornley Kelham strives to create an enjoyable, informative and collaborative restoration process for the customer, with customer service as important as the restoration itself.

Thornley Kelham is also well known for the creation of the limited-edition, bespoke ‘Outlaw’ Lancia Aurelia B20GT project, details of which can be found at www.fuorilegge.co.uk.