Snetterton October 3rd
If you remember that is if you are one of the two people who read this, our last race was at Croft where I achieved a record for furthest travelled into a field and the car was wounded. Even on the radio it looked like an ugly duckling but whilst it will never be a swan I gave it the kiss of life once again.
The first thing I did was strip down the rear brakes and discovered that the off side brake shoe had disintegrated and caused the piston to escape fropm the brake cylinder and lose all the brake fluid, thus resulting in a loss of brakes and a change of underwear for yours truly. The front wing and bonnet were damaged and these were repaired by my friend Tomaz who used to work in a body shop.
A list of spare parts required was ordered from the MG B HIVE and BIGG RED BRAKES hoping that they would arrive on time. The B Hives parts arrived and the rear brakes were rebuilt. Big Redds arrived a day later and the front brake seals were rebuilt once again , this time though I was going to use Green Stuff brake pads instead of the exotic ones we usually use. Hopefully these would not melt the brake seals in the callipers. I burnt the midnight oil literally getting the car ready with the wing and bonnet returning Friday night.
A radiator grill was borrowed off our MG BGT and a front spoiler was brought back into service from a retirement in the garage loft Luckily I had a spare headlight cover hiding in the camper van that I could use. First thing on Saturday I went to BT Tyres to have my old tyres that had bald patches on them taken off and replaced with some tyres that I had dug out of my shed which did have some tread on. The rebuilding went on until about 1500 on the Saturday before we were due to race on the Sunday. Although we did ourselves no favours when bleeding the brakes,we let the fluid get that low it was sucking in air and we had to start the process once again. We then had to load everything up and start on our journey.
We arrived at about 1900 and for the first time we had no pit crew due to family commitments, would we survive ? We unloaded the car and started the generator, the generator is slightly noisy and probably counts as some sort of torture device but there is nothing in the rules about psychological warfare.
Sunday dawned dry, all the weather forecasts said it should be raining and we took the wet tyres off and fitted some tyres I had found in my shed but at least they had some tread on them unlike the ones I took off. We were racing in the MG CAR CLUB’s Four Hour handicap relay race and I was racing with instead of against Alan Bates, Steve Gregory, Steve Mckie, Ian Wright and Ian Witt.
We were being managed by Paul Goodman who had managed the team in the last three events or tried to.
I went out for practice and the tactics start now, we have a speed you are supposed to average but because of the traffic in practice you can't always meet it . Practice went ok no real dramas . The brakes did their job and didn't leak. They had been leaking like a government secrets committee.
We had our usual lecture by Uncle Ron just before had to race and as usual after this there was not a lot of time before I had to arrive in the assembly area before we were ready to race.
Just as everybody was in the assembly area it started to rain. I was lucky My tyres although old had some tread . Some of the other cars were on slicks with no tread this would be interesting.
Because there was no pressure on me I had a great start and gained a couple of places, at the first corner a couple of cars fell off and before long I was overtaking a lot of faster cars , only due to the weather . This had an effect on me though as well, going into the Bombhole I went in too quick and was spat out just having done a death or glory overtaking move on a MG midget. I did re overtake the Midget one lap later. Whilst I stayed out in the rain a lot of cars went in to change cars or tyres . We did make good progress thought before my stint was up. Because of the rain we were in touch with the leaders. I was signalled to return to the Pits and Ian Witt took over.
All the team did well and soon it was time for me to do my second stint. I checked the car over NO brake leaks, I just had to refuel it and do the usual checks.
I had fitted my wet tyres, that is tyres that have more tread than the the ones I found in the shed but I have not used them for three years. Would they work well? I would find out in a few minutes.
I went out fairly restrained to warm up my tyres and brakes. I have made the mistake in the past of trying to achieve too much with cold tyres and brakes and usually ended up in the kitty litter. The track was drying out but the tyres were in their element my times were going down and I was overtaking various cars possibly because they were on the wrong tyres . I didn't know how we were doing but looking t my watch I still had five minutes top go,when coming into the esses, I heard a light metal noise as if I had run over some metal. As I tried to shift to third gear it would not go in. It did eventually but it was like Mr Bean on his driving test I managed to get round. But it was hard to change gears. The noise from the gear box was getting worst and I decided that I would have to come in. Hopefully we would not lose position.
I stuck my hand out of the window to let them know I was coming in but I could see the chequered flag in front and all my problems were over . I crossed the line, the team thought that I was celebrating but I trying to tell them I was in trouble . I managed to make it to the pit lane but the car broke down and the marshals to whom I am grateful pushed me into the paddock.
We had won our class and finished second overall on handicap also we were the highest placed MG team.
The season is now over and this has been one of our best. Besides our success in the relay race we have finished 1st in class B and 3rd overall in the Cockshoot Cup championship.
Croft September 25th/26th
We travelled up to Croft near Darlington for the last two rounds of the Cockshoot Championship.
Unbeknown to me I had already won the class B for road going modified cars but I was joint equal first for the overall championship. I knew this would be hard to achive as the dreaded blue MG Midget of Sean Peters was due to race and I can't compete against it. Unless that is it broke down whilst Ian Wright the othe joint leader was quite likly to win both his races.
The brakes had once again been rebuilt ready for this race. The front off side caliper was leaking after the last race at Cadwell Park and new seals had been fitted. This year we have had a recurring problem with them with no solution as yet in sight as at Cadwell the rears started leaking in sympathy.
The day was cold and windy as we started our practice session I was one of the first out on to the track followed by Alan Bates in his MGB GT. I pulled away from Alan and thought I was going quite well until I was passed by you know who and David Colthard who was also in with a chance of winning the championship. Except for one moment where I out braked myself and nearly ended up in the kitty litter at Clervaux it was a fairly uneventful practice. I had qualified third overall and second in class.
We had several hours before the first race and we checked over the car for any leaks or other problems and none were found.
Soon though it was time to race, It was still cold but the rain that had threatened did not materialise after a green flag lap of trying frantically to get heat into the brakes and tyres I was on the grid.
As the lights went out I had a good start but was still passed by Alan Bates into the first corner . I slipstreamed him down the back straight and as we approached Tower corner for the first time I moved to the inside and out braked him into the corner. I was lying third now but the other two cars in front of me were pulling away. behind me though was the MG Midget of Paul Newton who was trying to pass me. On some of the corners I was faster and on others he was. Unfortunately we both tried to out brake each other going into Clervaux and we had a little kiss. I now have more Orange paint to add to the tyre marks on my body work. Whilst we were racing each other a MG ZR had caught us both up and first overtook Paul and on the penultimate lap me. I
I finished forth overall and second in class, the overall title was sliping away.
That night we had a splendid meal in the party in the paddock tent where Paul (burger boy) Tainton reverted to Salad boy ,only because his better half was with him we suspect
Sunday was once again cold and whilst we were checking the car over once again we noticed that the front caliper was leaking , we changed this with a spare one we had acquired , and once again bled all the brakes.
To win the championship I needed the cars of both Ian Wright and Sean to fall off big time, which I did not think would happen, and so I thought just go out and enjoy myself,
This enjoyment did not last long. Once again I tried to get heat into the tyres and brakes. The lights went out and I had a poor start losing two places but after the first corner I had caught up and going into Tower I was right behind the MG ZR of Dan Surridge but as I braked notthing happened and I struck the rear of his car knocking him out of the race. I had no brakes and flew off into a field and nearly into Darlington.
Needless to say that was the end of my race and championship hopes.
We put the car onto the trailer and started on the way home. It was discovered that one of the brake shoes had disentergrated causeing the brake cylinder to lose all its fluid.
Hopefully the car will be repaired for this weekend 3rd /4th October as we are racing at Snetterton in the four hour relay race.
Cadwell Park September 5th
We were racing at Cadwell Park 5th September and we had some success.
After the van destroyed its head on the return journey from Angelsey, this would be our first outing in it fitted with a new head and I even splashed out on a new radiator. We had tested it on the M6 near my house and I didn't think it was made to go so fast, obviously I wasn't speeding or doing anything illegal . Having had to work on the Saturday it was late afternoon when we departed Rugby and I wanted to arrive at Cadwell before sunset to walk the track.
The van was great, for once we didn't have to drive by the temperature gauge, and we surprised a lot of people with our turn of speed. We arrived before dark, the pit crew already having grabbed a plot for us in the paddock, we dumped the van and trailer leaving them to unload the race car and walked the track . We were accompanied by David Brooke who advised me of several different lines to take on the corners.
Next morning arrived too early for me but I had no time to hang about as I had to get the car scrutineered, we had a small problem as I left the car with the scrutineers whilst I signed on, unfortunately signing on took longer than I expected and I started to panic in case they found things they shouldn't.
I was first onto the track for practice, and I tried one or two of the racing lines that David had suggested and in some I felt comfortable but in others I did not. Except for one minor off track moment at the bottom of the Gooseneck . I felt pleased with the session and I had qualified 3rd overall and second in class behind you know who.
After a quick check over of the car a little tinker on the engine we were ready to race.
Once again I had a disastrous start when the tyres just spun in first gear and it wasn't until I was into second did it really start to move, I was swamped with cars all around me but by the first corner I had only lost one place and was lying in fourth position. We all screamed around Charlie's corner in convoy I was behind Alan Bates and his rear end was all over the place if I could pressurize him into a mistake I would pass him and then attack the other cars, unfortunately I couldn't and I had to follow him around. I tried again at the bottom of the goose neck but I could not pass him. We flew past the club house side by side but just no room to overtake, as we entered the start, finish straight I slip streamed him hoping for another chance, once again we went into Charlie's following Alan going down Park straight I slip streamed him again and as we entered Park corner I out braked him into the corner and grabbed the inside line. We went around Chris curve side by side but as we approached the Goose Neck I managed to just get ahead and pulled away. I tried to catch the other two but I could not get near.
I had a near disaster two laps later when once again I went too fast into the bottom of the Goose neck and exited the next corner slightly airborne and went off track. I thought that Alan would catch me but exiting the hairpin I saw Alan's offside front wing lying at the side of the track. I realised that Alan wouldn't be a threat to me this afternoon.
What I did not know at the time was that he who can't be named had broken down and I was chasing a shadow that wasn't there. I was running second overall and first in class , luckily I did not fall off and finished in that position.
I am now joint leader of the Cockshoot championship and first in class.
The final two races take place on the 25/26th September at Croft circuit near Darlington.
Mallory Park July 18th
We were racing at Mallory Park 18th July and I love racing here but dread the fact that we always have electrical problems here. In practice before the start of the season the overdrive broke here, electrical fault! Last year battery went flat and the year before that alternator broke down.
This year was no exception to our electrical woes.
As the van had decided it had enough last time out on the return from Angelsey.I had borrowed Burger boys van and he was driving it as well. He is another one who after seeing me drive refuses to let me drive their vehicles. I think he was surprised though with the amount of spares we carry plus various parts to cater for the crew. I followed Paul being driven by Lesley, I could get used to this life being chauffeured every where.
We soon set up the gazebo which promptly blew away onto Lesleys car. Guess who was popular?
The weather was typical English summer showery spells with dry patches and as we were getting the car ready we decided to stay with the wet tyres. I say wet tyres as they have marginally more tread than the dry tyres.
It was time to get the car scrutinered and this is where the fun started, it would not start, we thought it was a jammed starter motor and we put some jump leads on it and it still would not start. If in doubt hit it,and we did with a large hammer but it still would not start. last but not least we towed it around the paddock until it started. Luckily it started again in the scrutinering bay, as there was mutiny in the ranks about pushing it back from there.
The weather now had stayed dry for a short time and we decided to change to the dry tyres, just as we jacked it up it started to rain. Back to plan A Marks and Spencer might not have plan B but we have more plans than there are letters in the alphabet. The weather changed again and so did the tyres to the dry ones. We were changing the tyres quicker than any scouser.
Just as I went out to practice it started to rain. I was third out onto the track and I soon overtook David Coulthard who was trying to get some heat into his tyres . I was just crossing the finish line on my second lap when the red lights went on the practice was stopped. A MGF had caught fire which was promptly extinguished by the marshals. His half shaft had come apart and caught the sump. Practice resumed I was doing OK but was having problems with the brakes as they did not seem to be working as normal. After the problems with them overheating at Silverstone,I had opened up more cooling to them but I think I had over cooled them and they were not getting up to temperature. Well that was my excuse as I kept locking up at the hairpin. The rear of the car was also not happy at the hairpin as it kept losing grip and exiting the corner sideways.
I had qualified third overall and first in class, The car was checked over and was readied to race once more, one of the surprising things about Mallory is the amount of fuel used, it is higher than normal due to the high speeds on the circuit.
By now the rest of the crew and supporters had turned up and the gazebo was full with people trying to tie it down.
It was now time to race , as we were called over the tannoy I turned the ignition switch and nothing happened at all. I knew what was wrong the wire to the starter had fallen off. The bonnet was thrown off and I delved into the engine bay. I could not fit the wire and neither could Paul. We would have to jack it up and some one fix it from underneath. The problem is the jack is a bit temperamental and I don't trust it so I sent Paul underneath. well I've still got a race to win. With great sigh of relief it started.
I had a great start from the line and by the first corner was in second place although I knew it would not last long I stayed in second place behind David Coulthard for three laps before dropping back to third, he was faster than me and slowly left me behind. I was still having trouble with the brakes, back to the drawing board I think.
I really enjoy racing here and for me the race was over too quickly perhaps finishing early due to the car that broke down at the hairpin.
I had finished third overall and first in class also setting a new lap record in class B . Perhaps not having brakes helps.
Our next outing is at Curbourgh sprint run by the MG Midland centre on Sunday August 1st all I have to due is find a van.
Anglesey June 26th
Team Slap My Top were racing on 26th of June at Angelsey, this is to be our only international event of the year.
We left after work on a warm Friday night and progressed well although the van was overheating slightly on the hills. Due to work commitments the team was down in numbers with only myself, Lesley and Paul's son Callum making the journey
We just managed to arrive at the circuit just as the bar was about to call last orders and managed to get a couple of orange juices for ourselves and a few other drivers. This session carried on long into the night discussing tactics for the next day.
Saturday was unlike most Welsh summer days in the fact that it was dry. Scrutineering went well, this year I remembered to remove everything from the cockpit including the split pins.
Practice was early the second of the day, we were on my favourite circuit the coastal. There are various circuit layout at Angelsey but this is my favourite because of the Corkscrew which brings you down from the top of the circuit to the bottom in style.
I followed David Coulthard out from the assembly area following him in his MG ZR 190 which is faster than mine but I wanted to see if he took different lines into the corners than myself. Possibly because he has front wheel drive he took some totally different routes than me.
All was going well until I entered the Corkscrew slightly too fast on a different line than I had previously, I realised that I had a choice of either armco barrier, spinning it, or driving straight down the grass. I decided on the grass, this new route was very bumpy and created two plough marks down the embankment, it didn't do a lot for my front spoiler either. Neither did it impress the marshals or the clerk of the course.
I managed to qualify 3rd overall and second in class behind David Coulthard and a certain blue MG Midget. I was hoping that Sean recently becoming a father for the first time might be tired through lack of sleep, but it was not to be.
As you know if you ever read this rubbish we have been having some problems with the front brakes , in between Silverstone and Angelsey I rebuilt them once again but this time they seemed to be ok with no brake fluid loss or fade.
After the lunch brake it was time to race. The lights went out and we were off I had a good start and as we went into the corner I saw a gap on the inside and went for it half way around I felt a slight bump as I was Tangoed by Alan Bates in his bright orange MGB GT. There was no damage done and I continued to pursue the leaders. Except for the first corner the rest of the race was uneventful except when I forgot about about an earlier oil spill and went side ways down part of the track.
I finished third overall and second in class.
Our next race is at Mallory park on July 18th. I am now joint second in the championship. In between Mallory we are off to Le Mans to watch the classic 24 hour race. Are the French ready for us? I don't think either of us will mention the football.
Silverstone June 4th-6th
Team Slap My Top were let loose at Silverstone on the Grand Prix circuit.
As usual things did not go to plan as with only a few of days to go before the race we found that the brake calipers had melted all the seals, and there were more leaks than from a secret government committee. I sent them off to be reconditioned but as the race was nearly upon me I rushed down to Worcester to collect them from BIGG RED brakes. Obliviously I wasn't speeding at any time. But they were fitted in record time.
Our other problem was that my new engine that I was waiting for had gone missing the guy who was supposed to re engineer the block has disappeared along with the new pistons, this old engine will have to soldier on for a while longer.
We travelled down on the Thursday night after work , Paul AKA burger boy having arrived in the afternoon to set up camp we were well prepared for once.
Our first practice on Friday was a none timed affair which means that it doesn't count towards your qualifying time, I was just going to use it to find out where the track goes as I have never driven it before. Some people use it as a proper practice and there were some tears as their cars failed or fell off the track. As we had problems with the brakes I used a softer pad material so as not to build up too much heat in the pads or calipers. This plan worked and their were no leaks on inspecting them. I also used some old tyres to save my racing ones luckily it was hot and dry, if it had been raining it would have been an exciting time.
After practice we changed the brakes and bled them for good measure. Several people from Kilsby MG Club visited us on Friday and Saturday to wish us luck and give advice, mainly to stay on the track for once.
The car passed scrutinering with flying colours with a comment that it was the most unusually painted car he'd seen today, to be honest it's the best looking car on the radio. It has though, a paint scheme that only the cars mother would love.
We then cycled the track later on just to see if I could gain any extra seconds for practice. I don't know if it did but it did make me feel thirsty for some non alcoholic beverages.
Saturday arrived warm and dry the car was once again refueled , checked over and we were ready to practice.
This Silverstone we were amalgamated with the MGBCV8 championship giving a grand total of forty eight cars practicing and racing together twice.
There are some very powerful cars in this race series and I thought if I was lucky I would qualify some where in the mid twenties.
Because of the work being done at Silverstone the usual assembly area has been moved and several of us were following each other around like lost sheep looking for it. I had already been found guilty of not reading the final instructions when I was quizzed about it whilst signing on. At signing on I had told everybody that would listen that you could take Stowe corner flat out, I know you can't I tried it sprinting there a couple of years ago, but it would be interesting if any body believed me.
As we went out for practice I tried to remember where all the corners were that we hadn't raced on before, I followed a couple of other cars while my tyres warmed up then went for it. I tried my usual trick of bouncing off the corners at Maggots and Beckets but found that it compromised me going into Chapel curve and after the first off track experience I tried another line and didn't fall off.
The main problem for me was to make sure that my brakes were alright, I was using my normal pads and they seemed to be working ok.
After what seemed a short time the practice was over and I was still in one piece. I had been trying to slipstream some of the faster cars in practice and it seemed that my cunning plan had worked as I was 20th overall and second in class to he who shall not be named. As usual there was only five seconds a lap difference.
We once again checked the brakes and bled them once again, then it was time to race.
As Silverstone is being rebuilt to satisfy a certain vertically challenged megalomaniac there was no grid lines on the start grid. This meant you could basically position your car where you wanted, which I did. With what looked like a clear view to the first corner.
As the lights went off I had a good start and did not lose any places going into the first corner, Copse, I went to the inside and as I did I was hit on the offside rear, which threw me to the left but I just kept my foot hard down on the accelerator and managed to keep out of danger. Going into Maggots and Beckets my main rival was in view of me as two cars came together and caused a large amount of dirt to be thrown in the air. He braked and I overtook him entering the dust cloud. Only as I entered did I start to realise that this was not a good idea as there could be some damaged cars here. Luckily there was not and I was leading the class, this only lasted a lap but it was a good feeling for a while.
The rest of the race wasn't as exciting, I was racing with an other car who was trying to overtake me but I managed to hold him off for the remainder of the race finishing seventeenth overall and second in class.
On examining the car I had a rear wing that is now been changed to black coloured by a tyre and a wheel that had a lot of tyre marks on it as well. Luckily my rear wings are made of fibreglass and they just bend, if they had been steel they would have bent into the tyre and destroyed both.
The brakes were checked again, re-bled, the car was refuelled and checked over and we were ready to race.
For the second race I was one row back in twenty first position and as usual second in class behind you know who.
Once again you could pick the best spot for your start and I did. The lights came on and they were off just as fast surprising a lot of people. I managed to get a good start and this time there were no hits at the first corner. The car in front of me was the one I had finished in front of last time and I was chasing him hard, in the hope that I could overtake him. By the end of the second lap I was really close and just before the turn into Bridge I tried to out brake him into the corner. Unfortunately the only person I out braked was myself and I had to use the run off area to save myself. I quickly spun it around and gave chase but I had lost a couple of places.
I gave chase once again but once again I pushed it too hard and spun it in the Maggots/ Beckets area. I think the spin started at Maggots and finished at Beckets , it was quite spectacular. I lost another place but this time I was more careful and after two laps of getting closer I made my move at the exit of Bridge and took the first part of the complex wheels on the inside of the corner and as I came to Brooklands I out braked him into the corner. Of course nothing is easy with me and I made a total mess of Luffield running over the kerbing and nearly into the kitty litter.
I did survive though and finished sixteenth overall and for once first in class as he who can't be named broke down. It wasn't the way I would like to come first but a win is a win.
At present I am joint leader of the Cockshoot championship and we are racing again this weekend at Anglesey.
I would like to thank my sponsors ENTUNE 2000, BT TYRES, STANBRIDGE MOTORS and REVOLUTION RECRUITMENT. Last but not least are all the people who help us and give us lots of support.
Oulton Park May 8th
All the problems we had at Brands hatch had hopefully been fixed. The new overdrive had been tested by the time honoured method of jacking the car up starting the engine, engaging gear and hoping it didn't fall off the axle stands, fly up the trailer and bury its self in the back of the camper van as you test the gears. An old cylinder head had been fitted to the engine after the last one cracked and we had a new windscreen as well.
The team has now acquired a caravan to complement the legendary LDV camper van. Soon we will have more vehicles than F1.
Half the team had already arrived and set up camp, we arrived just as the bar had closed good job we are self sufficient and bring our own.
Race day dawned cold and damp and the wet weather tyres were prepared, luckily we weren't practicing until 10.45 and we were hoping that the track would be dry, or at least there would be a dry line through the corners by then.
When I was testing the car at home I had forgot to switch off the battery master switch and the car battery was dead . We first tried charging it with the charger and the portable generator which pleased a lot of people at 07.30. In the end we had to jump start it off the camper van. My stress levels were not helped either when Clalum , Paul's oldest son kicked off the lead to the battery when climbing into the cockpit. Luckily it lasted long enough to get us through scrutineering.
We did our final checks to the car and I tried to remember how to drive the circuit because I didn't have time to do our usual walk of the track. Just follow the car in front said one of the wags , you know the one with the orange flashing lights.
The dry tyres were kept on as we went out for practice, it was still damp in places and it tried to rain whilst we were out but my main problem was once again a lack of brakes, after a couple of laps I was getting brake fade going into most corners and I was having to pump the brakes quite severely this nearly caused me to spin out going into Hislops chicane. Before the chicane you are on the fastest part of the track going down hill into the chicane, the brakes just were not working only by bouncing around the corners could I get round. If I had more confidence in them I am sure I could have got a faster time.
Back in the paddock I decided that once again that the brakes would have to be bled.
Lesley sat in the car and I asked her to help, just mentioning that the brake pedal is the one in the middle. All I got in return was a look that said I will take my revenge later and it will be slow and painful.
I had managed to qualify fourth overall and second in class behind he who shall not be named as usual.
Around this time the northern branch of my fan club turned up all five of them, and two of them Mike Kelly and Steve Tabor are old school friends. With my sponsors John and Mark from Entune 2000 there as well I was under no pressure at all.
The battery was charged enough and the car refuelled and made ready to race.
It was nearly five pm before it was our turn to race, luckily the track had dried out.
As the lights went out I had a good start but not good enough as I lost a couple of spaces and was swamped by the Midgets from class A. I managed to claim a place back but was behind my old rival Alan Bates. We were going down Cascades together tyres smoking as we cornered, going into the carrousel at Shell corner he went high and I tried to go low but he managed to shut me down. The brakes were fine as we went into Hislops. The next corner was Druids where Alan sportingly nearly always falls off but today he didn't. Going down the straight before Lodge corner I got behind Alan and slipstreamed him all the way in to Lodge corner and as we exited into Deer leap I drew level with him and as we went into Old Hall I managed to pass him on the inside.
I was then chasing the leaders but I was unable to catch them. I didn't help myself though by having a 4x4 moment going down into Cascades I managed to out brake myself , heading towards the kitty litter I turned to avoid it and went onto the grass. This enabled Alan to catch up but I managed to pull away from him. I finished fourth overall and 2nd in class.
Our next race is at Silverstone on June 5th and I am going to be let loose on the grand prix circuit hopefully not crashing at Stowe as a certain German did several years ago.
Brands Hatch April 11th
After a winter rest that did not include much work to the car except for a discovery that the front brake calipers were leaking a lot of brake fluid from them. As usual with us, there was a problem the new brake calipers not fitting the old flexible brake lines and I spent a day roaming around Coventry looking for someone to make an adaptor for me.
Other than that, all that has been fitted to the car is a new front wing and a door. The door met Mr Angle Grinder and went on a quick diet losing several pounds. The wing and door were painted by yours truly and lives up to its reputation as the best looking car on the radio. Look closely at the paintwork you can read parts of the Rugby Advertiser which stuck to the body when I thought the paint was dry.
I have been practising today though and so if anybody wants their car painting in wood preservative, I'm the man.
There have been one or two new tweaks done to the car which I would rather not say in case they are illegal.
We had a days testing at Mallory Park which was interesting. Going out for the first time and braking into the Esses I discovered that I had not bled the brakes as well as I thought I had. I pressed the brake pedal and nothing happened. I then proceeded to pump the brakes faster that an olympic sprinter runs. The car did slow down and I managed to survive the rest of the session. The brakes were bled once again with my new WAG getting a crash course in how to bleed brakes.
The next session went ok except for the overdrive on the gearbox breaking, which luckily I would not need for the first race at Brands Hatch, as we were only racing on the short circuit. The overdrive is now at Rugby OD SERVICES (01788 540666).
The car was checked over, and a few days later we went off to Brands Hatch to race twice in the Peter Best championship. Even though we were not racing until the Sunday, we travelled down on Saturday to get organised.
This time we were without Burger boy nee Salad boy who had decided to go away with his family. Some people have no commitment.
Too soon Sunday came and it was time to practice. We were on new tyres supplied by BT Tyres of Rugby and it took a couple of laps to get them to work, but once they were warm they worked well with my lap times falling, even though there were thirty two cars on the track and getting a clear lap was hard. I had qualified second in class and eighth overall, which wasn't bad. As usual, we were surrounded by V8 cars or cars with a greater engine capacity than mine. There were several V8's behind me and they usually get a better start than me. It was going to be an interesting first corner.
The car was checked over and the tyre pressures changed for the race. As we were called forward to the assembly area, the air ambulance landed and stopped all racing whilst they attended a non racing emergency. This put the time table back and our race was shortened.
After the green flag lap we waited on the grid for the lights to go out and one or two people jumped the start. For once it wasn't me. I had a good start but I lost a couple of places to the V8's, but managed to get one back on the first lap. I was behind a V8 of Dave Brook and the V6 MGZS of Dan Ludlow both of which ran over some kitty litter which hadn't been cleared from the first race and my windscreen looked like it had been hit with a shotgun. I continued to chase them but I could only catch them in the corners as they had a greater straight line speed than me. My car was certainly going well until the last lap when it lost power and crossing the finish line I was third in class and ninth overall. Quite a good result from a four cylinder car. On the slow down lap the car started to smoke and on return to the paddock it was discovered that we had a cracked cylinder head, which is not good. We then packed up and returned home.
The overdrive has been replaced and the head is being repaired at Entune 2000. They having repaired my other cylinder head which has now been fitted. This one was having new springs fitted or it would have been at Brands with us. The windscreen is being replaced at Stanbridge Motors, with assistance from Burger boy.
Our next race is at Oulton park on May 8th with the Cockshoot Cup championship.